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Posts Tagged ‘beach’

Travel Photo Contest @BlogAdda

May 27, 2010 53 comments

What? Another contest? This one is right up my alley though!. BlogAdda’s latest contest in a long line of contests is one where people contest with each other by giving a context to the content of the photos in their blogs. Phew! (trying to be funny is doubly difficult bah!)

It isn’t so difficult to write a travelogue of a certain place but it is so difficult to actually pick out five of your best/favourite photos from a whole bunch of pictures! Come to think of it, travel photo folders in my computer are competing with each other for a place in this blog, as we speak!

That line from Pringoo is so true. Have seen such ‘fast’ travelers who wants to see everything but ends up seeing nothing and more importantly ends up being a lonely traveler without any experience to share, without any experience to enrich their soul!

Shot this picture at Juhu Beach. Had gone during a weekday thinking it won’t be as crowded as it generally is but was proved wrong by the thrones of burkha clad or dressed to go to a shaadi women! A fair was held at the beach with people thronging the make shift shops to buy accessories, household items and anything and everything else with the sea as the back drop. Come to think of it, even the Anjuna Flea market doesn’t offer this kind of view! Saw this balloon guy who tried to sell those balloons to everyone and anyone but if you did not have change (Rs.5), he wouldn’t sell it to you! Ironic in some ways but funny all the way! Sir buy balloon? Only Rs.5 sir. What? you do not have Rs.5. I no sell you balloon!

The dude in the centre got an earful from his supervisor and he kept pleading he did not do no wrong. After sometime another supervisor comes and says some things in a South India language (I think it was Tullu) and you could sense the tension between those two. Once the guy left, the worker was back to doing his job but his eyes said more than what he could possible say with words to his supervisor!

Found this lonely log at Diveagar Beach, Maharashtra. What was intriguing was this erstwhile tree was so close to the sea that I wonder how old it must have been? There were many shrubs growing a little further away but this was different. The footsteps in the background add to the mystery of this photu!

Clicked this at Bhandardara, a hill station in Maharashtra. Bhandardara is popular for its lake, known as the Arthur Lake and fed by the Parvara River. We were here just before the onset of summer so the weather was cool, the water was clear and the sky was blue! This small abandoned hut makes for the best view of the lake no matter what time it is. Imagine getting up in the morning and gazing at the reflection of the sky on the calm waters of the lake. Not many sights come close to this!

This picture is one of my favourites. Clicked at Manori Beach, Mumbai. This was also perhaps the first time when people were clicking me instead of the scenery. Why you ask? Well for starters, I was flat on the ground when taking this picture and onlookers were bemused at what I could be clicking from that height that I couldn’t click standing up. Well, it was the sea shells, which look humongous from this angle!

Hope you enjoyed reading through!

The contest is sponsored by

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Beach Hopping: The Goa Experience – Part I

March 22, 2010 16 comments

There is something about a beach. The sound of the waves crashing, the touch of sand and the chills of the cold seawater on bare feet is but a generalization of an experience one can have on a beach. Yet it is amazing how each of these experiences is unique.

Over the last four months I stepped foot on more than 20 different beaches across Maharashtra and Goa. It is not an achievement I brag about (Well maybe I do :P) but it is the experience that I treasure. Some of these visits seemed mundane while others were pure bliss. After all what is a visit to a beach if it does not enrich your soul, calm your mind and clear your head?

It all began with a trip to Kashid and Murud beaches which are ahead of Alibaug. Regarded as one of the prettiest beaches in all of Maharashtra, Kashid was one place I was eager to go. White sands and calm and cool waters was what I expected and it is what I got, or rather, experienced. A blog post about the trip to Kashid and Murud is up here.

But little did I know, that this little trip will set in motion a chain of events that would lead me to the point of penning down my experience of many more beaches, some of them pristine, untouched paradises!

My second beach trip was not very far apart. An overnight trip to Diveagar and Harihareshwar concluded in mid-October 2009.

Diveagar

The long-deserted stretch of the Diveagar beach won me over while the more famous Harihareshwar was only a small visit for the sake of proof through photographs for I was too eager to head back to my new found solitude at Diveagar. Harihareshwar though is an excellent beach with the waters calm all throughout the year!

Harihareshwar Beach

Then, after a lull, came Goa. This party destination is the destination of choice to spend my new years eve. Unless I find another beach destination with lesser people and same old Trance/Techno/House/Electro music, Goa will continue to remain my preferred destination to ring in the new year. But this is not the only reason why Goa is a preferred destination.

Anjuna Beach

Sunset at Calangute.

For one, I am in love with Goan beaches and can never get enough of them. Secondly, beaches have a calming effect and no where but in Goa am I at peace within.

Be it basking in the sun on Calangute, or having dinner at Souza Lobo at Baga, or light snacks at Bob Marley Shack at Candolim, Goan beaches offer a lot more than sun, sand and booze and apparently great sights too ;).

Chill on every beach and enjoy the unique beauty was my moto on this trip. Offcourse, like a dog, I left my imprint on each beach I visited. The massive early morning waves at Calangute are not to be missed while the serene waters of Colva and the unpolluted ocean at Palolem is as close to heaven as any living mortal can get.

The Calangute Waves

The long deserted stretch of Colva. It was the only beach that wore a deserted look in Goa!

Palolem is a very pretty beach!

Anjuna has its own charm as well. The erstwhile rave capital of Goa still thrives just like any other beach. Tall cliffs that overlook the ocean make for a perfect sunset point. Baga, on the other hand, is dotted with clubs and discs and shacks that go on all night, but it is Anjuna where the real parties happen. It is not just the parties, the coarse Anjuna sand and the strong water currents are an attraction of their own.

Anjuna Beach.

But really, the most fun is the long stretch starting from Baga and ending at Taj Aguada. Different sands and a different colour of the sea every few 100 meters is a sight that greets one. It is like a beach buffet – every delicacy is there – choose the one you want! Speaking of delicacies, one should try out the Bob Marley’s Shack at Candolim. They serve good Vindaloo and excellent Veg Pakodas. It is also located in one of the less crowded parts of Candolim, partly due to the anchored ship there, which apparently no one wants to take responsibility for. Then there is X-Bar Restaurant at Calangute which serves good biryani and good food in general. Another is Manik which serves good Hukka too and has excellent chicken tikka! It is located just ahead of X-Bar on the road that leads to Baga Beach.

Calangute again, the sands stretch right upto Fort Aguada.

Moving away from the more commercialized yet very pretty north Goa beaches, we checked out the long deserted stretch of Colva. The day we went, there was a strike by the locals forcing us to take the longer, prettier road to the beach. Once there, didn’t feel like leaving.

A beach with so few people on it – surely this cannot be Goa in December. But it turned out that the strike was in part responsible for the desolation that was Colva. Anglers’ beach primarily, this is where many locals come as do the tourists.

The beach provided us with many photographic moments. Colva is a pretty beach to visit and with minimal crowds is an excellent place to relax, let go and just enjoy the beach.

But not satisfied with only one, we ventured on the roads once again to go to Palolem. So much I had heard of this beach that it was only a matter of time until I made it here.

The prettiest beach in all of Goa and by far the prettiest I have stepped foot on, Palolem was as enchanting as they come. A round cape, rocks and boulders mark the edges on either side. While the beach is pretty, it is the southern tip, which caught my attention. A natural pool by the sea, it was a pretty sight.

So much so that I chose to spend time sitting on the rocks there gazing out to the endless sea as if there was no tomorrow. A quick lunch at Chascaa was preceded by a long walk.

Amazed by the beauty, I felt sorry for the beach wondering how much pollution the resulting commercialization must be causing. But it was a clean beach suggesting that shack owners could be responsible for preserving its beauty.

Goa has so much more besides beaches. There is Fort Aguada with its majestic Lighthouse and the panoramic view of the Arabian Sea.

The Fort

The Lighthouse

The View

Then there is the Anjuna Flea Market which is probably the biggest I have seen so far. Excellent place to buy gifts and everyday items at throw away prices. Offcourse, one would need to bargain hard to get those throw away prices in the first place!

The Tibetan Market inside the Flea Market. This is one of the two major Tibetan Markets there.

Would you like to  buy some pipes?

Palolem was my last beach visit in Goa. However, beach hopping did not end there. It continued with frequent visits to beaches across Mumbai and Maharashtra. I have penned down my subsequent travelogues in the following posts:

Beach Hopping Part II: Alibaug Expedition

Beach Hopping: The Mumbai Excursion – Part III

Another one of those beach trips: Kelwa Beach

The pretty Gorai Beach and the imposing Pagoda

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Another one of those beach trips: Kelwa Beach

March 3, 2010 1 comment

Had a chance not to long ago to visit Kelwa beach. A free weekend meant I could laze on the sand at a beach nearby while clicking some pictures for memories sake. Instead of the rush and dash to visit many beaches, this time there was only one. Apparently, the Queen of the Beaches in the Virar-Vasai belt, Kelwa is located near Saphale railway station and is easily accessible by rail or road.

Early morning sun trying to break free!

Had planned this trip earlier but due to lack of time couldn’t really free myself for this trip. But this weekend I finally managed to ride all the way to Kelwa. Taking the Western Express Highway, one can drive down to Manor or take  a l from Saphale. The Mumbai-Saphale Link Road is supposedly more scenic but we missed it and instead had to take the left from Manor.

The reflection over the small lake formed by the dam.

Going through an industrial town early in the morning wasn’t what we had hoped for but it helped us reach the beach in quick time. Once there, we were greeted by an empty patch of sand that stretched for more than a mile on either side. A long and pretty beach is Kelwa but for some reason the far end of the beach looked visibly prettier even as it was hazy in the morning!

The dam!

There is a small outpost (people call it fort) on the left end of the beach while on the right end is a dam. We did not have time to check out the entire beach but it was still fun walking the long stretch to the outpost.

The Outpost. Built by Shivaji Maharaj.

The outpost needs to be climbed up on and only those who dared were successful. We on the other hand, were happy to lay besides the calm sea with the water gently caressing our feet. While sitting on the beach, we noticed a lot of crabs dancing around from one hole to the other. They got accustomed to our prolonged presence and did not seemed to mind us sitting there – they would go around us to reach their destination!

Very classic this, of the Maharashtra beaches. Scores of trees heading into the distance.

As the day progressed the crowds only got bigger. Conclusions were drawn. Kelwa is the Juhu Beach of the far-flung suburbs! There are quite a few stalls there selling cold drinks, nimboo pani and small biscuits and tea. So refreshments are easily available. Though behind the trees, there is market where the choice of the sellers is dried fish, lots of it! Probably a fish market more than anything else but it is kinda nice to see fishermen and women selling fish though would have loved to see some freshly caught ones.

There are horse rides available from the entrance to the fort and back though a walk on the beach wouldn’t do any damage. It is a pretty beach no doubt, and for my next trip I plan to check out the other end of the beach which looked deserted.

We rode back home in the afternoon and stopped at Vitthal Kamat at Manor for lunch and then back home via. NH8.

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Vithal Kamat, NH3, Thane

February 27, 2010 1 comment

Went on one of the beach trips and this time to Kelwa Beach via Manor. While returning, decided to head off to Vithal Kamat for lunch. The restaurant we went to was a vegetarian one.

We ordered for a heavy lunch including Kadai Paneer, Chole Masala and Lassi. The food here is standard fare and tastes very much like the usual in most vegetarian restaurants. Also ordered for Lassi which was nice and thick. The tandoori aloo paratha was nice as well.

The pricing here moderate and the ambiance is more or less like that of a family restaurant. There are other restaurants around Vithal Kamat so a visit to Kelwa/Manor wouldn’t leave one searching for food atleast!

Beach Hopping: The Mumbai Excursion – Part III

January 31, 2010 8 comments

The previous weekends and trips were planned, to an extent, and so was this particular trip. Decided to check out some beaches close to Mumbai this time as opposed to going out-of-town for beachasms (a term I coined for ‘pleasures attained whilst visiting beaches’ – to be understood spiritually!). Had heard and read about Uttan and Manori. Hence, decided to out for myself, these beaches that were so close to Mumbai (Infact, they are in Mumbai!)

But, before that, I had to go to Ulhas River and capture the sun rise.

The view of Ulhas River from the bridge on NH8 while crossing over the Mumbai mainland.

The view of Ulhas River from Ghodbunder.

The sight of the sun shining over the waters with the fishing boats seemingly after the sun as a marker for their next destination is a picturesque moment that I had waited to capture all this while! Had planned a trip to the Ghodbunder Fort as well but the Republic Celebrations were in full swing and had to postpone the plan for a later day. From Ghodbunder we then moved to Uttan beach. However, for some inexplicable reason, we ended up at Pali Beach, ahead of Uttan. I guess the mistake we did was to ask people about ‘the beach’ and not ‘Uttan Beach’.

The pretty view from Pali Beach.

The beach isn’t must to talk about though the jumping fish kept us intrigued for some time.

There is the Pali Beach Resort opposite this place and ahead is a small cliff from where a panoramic view of Pali and Uttan areas is visible.

Pali is great place to go to see locals in action or locals just lazing around watching the sunset. The road along the beach keeps going north. Not sure where it goes to but it didn’t seem to end so we turned back.

Another one of those awesome views from Pali Hill.

This time we decided to go to Manori (with Uttan already forgotten about!). On the way we took to off-roading and landed up at Gorai beach.

The view of sea from our off-roading venture.

Though a little unnerving at times, the route landed us right on the far end of Gorai. But since we had planned a trip to Manori, we rode across the beach onto the road and back on the trail for Manori.

Since the beach is close by, it did not take us long to reach here.The first sight was a breath-taking view of the beach from the rocky terrain north of Manori.

But we were itching to get into the water and headed straight for the sea. Manori amazed it and captivated me!

Clear waters, lots of sea shells, wonderful sad and lime juice on the beach was just so heavenly! It is amazing that not far from Manori lies Juhu beach, one of the most polluted beaches in the whole of Maharashtra, and here at Manori, the water is clear!

It is a shame though that the beach is so small, for it gets crowded quickly. But what the heck, everyone’s here to have a good time. Manori too, like Gorai, has many resorts around its periphery and most people on the beach were living at these resorts over a long weekend.

There is a certain section of the beach with many sea shells which look, in the scheme of things, akin to gravel being placed on the road – dangerous often but easy to avoid. No  dangers here though, only pretty shells. Though some of them did contain hermit shells as we soon figured it out!

It was a low tide while we were at Manori and the receding waters left behind a rocky terrain, something that I am quickly getting accustomed to! It was revealed to us but the receding waters, a couple of pools were made around Manori for people to enjoy the beach and stay cool in the waters the entire day (how thoughtful!).

A long day at the beach made us hungry and since Rock Chic was paying, we decided to eat at a place of Rock Chic’s choosing! Had lunch at Pixxy Resort (whose directions we had followed earlier in the day for our off-roading experience).

While chilling out and unwinding at the resort, we reflected back at the day well spent! Though it went horrible wrong early in the morning with the Fort visit still pending and the trip to Uttan being an epic fhail, it was still a successful day with both thoroughly enjoying the trip nonetheless. Even with all the travelling in the day, it felt like a lazy day. Coupled with lazy service, it just made us plain lethargic! The day finally ended when we, grudgingly, called for the bill, paid the money, and headed back home!

A visit to a pretty beach was what made our day. Just sitting and idling around was fun and for a change we happened to have the time to do that!

With this I end my three part ‘Beach Hopping Series’. If you guys come across any more beaches worth the visit, please to post in the comments! Trance Dude shall check it out!

It is a shame though that the beach is so small, for it gets crowded quickly. But what the heck, everyone’s here to have a good time. Manori too, like Gorai, has many resorts around its periphery and most people on the beach were living at these resorts over a long weekend.

Hotel Fulora, Alibaug

January 23, 2010 6 comments

A trip to beaches around Alibaug cannot be complete without trying out a restaurant there. We decided to go to Fulora in Alibaug City. Located a few meters away from the St. Bus Stand, Fulora is popular among locals and tourists alike. So Trance Dude, Rock Chic and Lord Chicken found a cosy table to relax and eat.

First up we ordered for Chicken Lollipops along with Prawns Chilly. The lollipops were pretty standard though the Prawns Chilly Dry was a big disappointment. Small in size were the prawns and the dish didn’t taste that good. It was below average for my liking. We though things may get better with the main course but the quality only went down. Ordered for a Chicken Afgani which was green in colour! The meal wasn’t spicy but quite oily. In fact we could only taste the oil and not the masala or the chicken.

Overall the food was a big disappointment as we had expected something better.

The pretty Gorai Beach and the imposing Pagoda

January 18, 2010 5 comments

Trance dude doesn’t quite remember when he went to Gorai beach but it sure was a long time ago! So TD (short for trance dude) and Rock Chic (RC) rode on TD’s pulsar on a hot Saturday afternoon towards the beach. But before that, the plan was to go the Global Pagoda at Esselworld, Gorai. The Pagoda, an immense structure in the suburbs of Mumbai, is one of a kind in South East Asia. Dedicated to Buddhism this imposing building is still under construction but does not fail to charm the onlookers with its golden colours and massive dome.

The Pagoda has four smaller similar Pagodas at the four ends of the structure. Since construction is under full swing, only one of the smaller Pagodas is accessible to the public.

Even the smaller one is immense and is a replica of the bigger Pagoda. intricate carvings on the Door and sayings of Gautam Buddha are abound in these Pagodas. There is also an exhibition on the life of Gautam Buddha. It is an intriguing one to say the least. A beautiful portrayal of Buddha’s life right from the his childhood to his enlightenment. A word of advice though: Start from the left as we made the mistake of starting from the right side of the room and saw his life backwards. Come to think of it, it was quite cool!!

There is a video session as well which shows why the Pagoda is being constructed,  how, donations received and purpose in the grander scheme of things. Lastly one can buy books and small items like fridge magnets (Trance dude loves fridge magnets and he bought one for himself).

The imposing pagoda is in the same complex as Essel World but we decided to hit the beach after a tiring walk around the structure. The nearest beach is Gorai and this is where we went. The beach is one of the prettiest along the Mumbai shoreline. The best part about the beach is that we can drive on in for most parts.

The pretty beach also has a few shacks and many private bungalows and resorts throughout the stretch. The grey colour sand does not please everyone but it wasn’t a problem for us. We actually liked this beach especially Rock Chic, for whom the beach is the best she has ever visited (doesn’t matter if Miramar in Goa is prettier but Gorai is the prettiest she says).

We even ate at the shack, Raju Koliwada, which is the closest one can get to experiencing Goa. Off course, still cannot sit on the beach and drink beer, a real shame though.  Anyways lunch was good and we continued checking out the beach. Riding on the beach made us lazy and I cannot remember walking on the Gorai sand! A low tide helped in bringing the bike right up till the waves which was an experience I will never forget. Imagine splashing sea water all over as you ride from one end of the beach to another!

Had earlier decided to check out other beaches but the calm ocean and the thrilling experience of riding in the sea kept us from leaving Gorai.

Not to forget the pretty treeline as far as the eyes can see. The beach grew more beautiful for Trance Dude as he spent more time on Gorai. And while there, we decided to stay back for the sunset as well. The evening lights brighten up the skies as if they are on fire. A shade of orange engulfs the sea and the sand and everything around them. It is such a pretty sight that I may never get enough of it, ever!

It was my first time to Gorai but most definitely not the last. A pretty beach like this tends to get crowded on holidays so planning ahead may help one avoid the crowds. It was lovely experience on the beach and for once a beach visit in Mumbai was a pleasant one!

Raju Koliwada, Gorai Beach Shack

January 17, 2010 3 comments

Cannot remember the last time Trance Dude checked out Gorai Beach. It was possibly, when he was a kid. This time on his bike with the Rock Chic, Trance Dude set out on his journey to Gorai. The beach was awesome, even visited the Global Pagoda. Gorai comes close to Goan beaches in terms of eateries on the beach itself. We went to one such shack which had a few pet dogs it seemed.

Hungry after hours of walking, we ordered for Chicken Fried Rice, Prawns Chilly and another Surmai. Unsurprisingly the prawns and fish was good while chicken was nothing great to write about.

The prawns they served us were big but not as big as the King Prawns. It tasted really nice even though we were very aware of the presence of Schzwan Sauce in the Prawns Chilly Dry! The dish wasn’t spicy though and once could taste the prawns through the sauce and masala. The fish was well cooked though small in size but at INR 80, it was the cheapest Surmai I have had in Mumbai.The prawns was priced at INR 100 as well, making it a cheap and good eating option if one is in Gorai.

Bob Marley’s Shack – Candolim, Goa

January 5, 2010 2 comments

I have some fond memories at Bob Marley’s shack at Candolim Beach in Goa. I go here everytime I am in Goa. I have always liked the food and drinks elsewhere but there is something about this shack that keeps inviting me back! This time around, I was there for a short duration. Got a large Kingfisher and to satiate my friend’s vegetarian needs ordered for Veg Pakoras. Took some time to arrive as usually they take a bit more time for the vegetarian dishes it seems. When the dish finally did arrive, it was a plesant surprise. The surprise was the size of em pakoras. Big and soft and extremely tasty! These were the best Pakoras I or my friend have every had! Infact we ended up ordering another couple of plates and were quite full by the time it was dawn!

But the best moment was, a beer in my hand, some awesome pakoras and Armin Van Buuren  killing it at Sunburn 2009 in the background!

X Bar and Restaurant, Calangute, Goa

January 4, 2010 1 comment

X Bar was one of those places I had been to before and was on my ‘go and hog again’ list. So took my veggie friend (ironic how I went with my a veggie friend last time too!) to X Bar late in the night. The waiter was very friendly and humoured us with his witty comments.  We ordered all our food together. Though we ordered drinks first, then starters and finally main course the food didn’t arrive in that order. Though we didn’t mind it one bit!

The main course came first but the starters followed shortly afterwards! The Chicken Biryani was good just like last time. Though this time, the amount of condiments were far too less than before. I guess someone must have told em ‘your biryani has too many unwanted particles (Remember hearing this from a foreigner at another restaurant!!). The crispy chicken though was nothing special with the chicken being pretty chewy! The veg side included Paneer Tikka Masala and Veg Spring Roll which according to a friend ‘he has had better’!

This wasn’t the first place where I enjoyed but my friend didn’t (not that I care! :P).

Overall, the place was a bit expensive for us as we paid around INR 250 between the both of us. The ambiance and service was good though and I think I would come back for some more biryani here on my next trip as well!

Chascaa Multicuisine Bar and Restaurant, Palolem, Goa

January 2, 2010 1 comment

My first trip to Palolem couldn’t be complete without trying out a restaurant here and what better than Chascaa, located on the south end of the beach. The view from here is splendid and as the day progressed we found out the food here isn’t bad either!

Hadn’t had fish in Goa yet so couldn’t resist ordering a Fish Tikka and what a good choice it turned out to be! Not sure what fish it was but it was good. Cooked well it did not smell like the way it does in many small eateries. Fish Tikka and beer was enough to make my day! My veggie friend though had a full meal. From Veg Pakodas to Malai Kofta and Rice. Even the veg items were great. Cooked well, the Kofta and Pakodas tasted nice. The combination of Jeera rice and Malai Kofta was good as well. One of the best things at Chascaa was that the flavours came out really nice and none of the dishes had any one single flavour overpowering the others.

Overall the meal was good. In fact I’d say it was excellent as the veg and the non veg items were both very good! An amazing view of the beach and of the ocean coupled with good food makes Chascaa a must visit place on Palolem! Also, the beer here is really cheap, at INR 35, it is the least I have paid for a Kingfisher Pint!

The bonus for me was when the owner played the song ‘bliss – kissing’ twice while we were here. It is one of my favourite songs and its been ages since I heard it last!

Mocha – Lot of Coffee!

December 20, 2009 Leave a comment

A coffee lover who doesn’t frequent most of Mumbai favourite coffee hangouts is a statement that defines me! But today it was different. A beautiful evening and the best drink I could think of was beer errrrr (now where did that come from!)… coffee! Been sometime since I went to Mocha, so decided to try the Brazilian coffee here while my friend went for the Colombian version.  Both coffees were served in a big cup, so big that my friend had to use both hands to lift the damn thing!

The coffee lovers that we are, we spent quite a bit of time taking in the strong aromas emanating from our freshly brewed caffeine concentrates. The Brazilian coffee was strong though the Colombian one was the more bitter of the two. Took us a good hour to finish the coffee as we engrossed ourselves in conversations on just about anything!

The coffee was excellent but a sound parameter to judge its effectiveness is how alert it keeps you in the wee hours of the morning. Its 3 AM and I quite alert even at this hour. Though ironically, my friend who had the ‘stronger’ of the two coffees is fast asleep!!

Diveagar & Harihareshwar Food jaunt!

October 20, 2009 3 comments

A trip to the beach and temple towns of Diveagar and Harihareshwar (in no particular order) proved to be good on the restaurant review front. We were able to try out different restaurants on both days to give us a sense of the kind of food you can expect there. To summarise right now, food is much better at Diveagar and there are quite a few options and most of them remain open till 9-10 PM which is a good thing for travelers like us who prefer to be just-in-time for dinner!

I would like to start in sequence from breakfast to dinner where we had breakfast at Vadkhal Naka and dinner at Harihareshwar. First up is Gandharv Family Restaurant which is located at the Vadkhal Naka on NH17. It is on the road that goes towards Mangaon. Gandharv is a veg-only restaurant (which we only realised the next day when we stopped for lunch and had to move out as we were in the mood for some prawns and chicken!). We stopped here for breakfast and had Tea and Puri Bhaji, a combination which rarely goes wrong anywhere! The food was pretty good, hot puris and hot bhaji along with chutney and sambhar which made for an odd but interesting combination! The tea was nice as well, full of milk instead of water! It was a full breakfast costing us INR 22 for the Puri Bhaji and INR 4 for the tea. A must go to place if on the NH17. Maybe next time, will try for lunch as well. There seem to be a couple more expensive places nearby but I think they will only charge more for the same quality food.

Breakfast was followed by lunch at Mihika Bhojnalaya which is located in Diveagar. The restaurant is situated inside Prathamesh Holiday Resorts. Mihika doesn’t have an extensive menu – it serves only fish in non-veg and Watana in Veg and there is Omlette Pav as well. We were served Surmai as there wasn’t anything else available, though they do seem to serve a couple more types of fishes, the names of which I cannot recall. The food here is pretty good and for INR 140 we got a Surmai Fry, Surmai Masala, some more Surmai Masala and plain rice and rotis – quite a lot for just INR 140! It was a hearty meal and I cannot remember eating so much fish for so less!

There is another restaurant, Prathamesh Holiday Homes, right opposite the resort where Mihika is located.  Holiday Homes also serves Punjabi food among other things, as the board outside clearly mentioned. Will try this place on my next visit!

We also had a chance to try out snacks at Grasshopper Inn (not sure what an ‘inn’ is doing inside a resort!) at the MTDC Resort at Harihareshwar which seems to be the only place far and wide to serve any kind of food! We had Kanda Bhajiya and Batata Bhajiya which was priced at INR 35 each. The Kanda Bhajiya was golden brown and not burnt, a serious sigh of relief! The Potato Bhajiya was oily but acceptable for it wasn’t dripping of oil! The snack at the MTDC Resort was followed by dinner at a roadside Chinese eatery, the name of which escapes my memory. The food here is nothing to talk about though everything you get here is edible. If atall there was a rating of 101 places to eat the same chinese food, then this place would be in the low 90s. The tandoori chicken we had here though wasn’t bad, a little too overcooked for my liking but tasty nonetheless. Ironic how a chinese branded eatery served better tandoor than chinese!!! The half tandoor we had was worth INR 70 while the Manchurian Rice cost us INR 60.This small eatery is on the way to Diveagar from Harihareshwar and was the only eatery we came across in the 35 kms stretch until we reached Diveagar.

We started the next day with Poha mixed with grated coconut at the Cottage where we stayed. It was a wonderful breakfast to kick start the day as the meal was nice and hot with a liberal addition of coconut. I think I will ask my mom to add coconut the next time she makes Poha! The Poha was enough to keep us going until lunch for which we stopped at Upkar Restaurant which is right next to the Gandharv Family Restaurant. Upkar was the choice as we wanted to have non-veg food. The boys ordered for a Prawns Masala, chicken fried rice and a chicken schezwan fried rice. The Prawns Masala was awesome – it wasn’t spicy and the prawns seemed fresh.  I guess we got there at the right time!! Had the prawns with Bhakri – a bread (more like a chapati) made of rice instead of wheat – which incidently was a first for me! The chicken fried rice was good and had a lot of chicken pieces in there. The meal was a cheap one as well as we spent a little less than INR 100 per person.

Interesting is the fact that two of the best places on the whole trip were located at Vadkhal Naka. In my view, this is a definate must stop place for breakfast/lunch/dinner. Also, Vadkhal has a more Veg places than non-veg places it seems as all I could see was veg resturants all throughout the Naka.

This was a good trip as I got to try out so many different places and more importantly different food items at every place. If it was fish at Diveagar then it was prawns at Vadkhal though I think the chicken and the veg food was good as well! Overall, the food was good and the trip was refreshing – nothing else matters beyond that!

Vibha Restaurant – Nagaon Walanj Paroda

October 13, 2009 2 comments

My Trip to Korlai was not just about ancient forts, lighthouses and pristine beaches but also about trying out the food in these areas. Sadly, there wasn’t anything available in Korlai so we went to Nagaon. A little tour of the beautiful Nagaon beach revealed that only Bhurji Pav was available at the many stalls at the beach. We weren’t looking for a snack but a full meal. So asked around a bit and finally arrived at Vibha – a full 30 minutes of searching!

It is amazing how place like Nagaon does not have as many restaurants as one would have liked. Do I smell a business opportunity here?? hehe! Anyways, once we reached Vibha, it become quite clear that there is indeed no other restaurant close to the beach. (Vibha itself would be around 15 minutes from the beach!). Though there are many resorts there, they do not offer lunch or dinner facilities to non-guests, which is quite a letdown!

Anyways, back to Vibha. The place itself looks like a makeshift restaurant, ready to be transported to any part of the town in a jiffy. We got the seat closest to the entrance but that didn’t matter really. The order was placed for two half Chicken Biryanis, one full Prawns Biryani and a Plain Rice and Dal Fry. The order took a long time to arrive as; apparently, we were in line as the tables previously occupied, were to be served first! A lot of people ordered for Biryanis – seems to be a favourite dish to order at Vibha! Until the food arrived, we quenched our thirst with Thumbs Up and Coke. Nearly 30 minutes late, the Biryanis arrived and so did the Plain Rice and Dal Fry.

The Biryanis weren’t as oily as I had expected, which is a good thing mind you! The chicken Biryani was tasted though the Prawns Biryani was delicious! The prawns were huge as well and not like the small ones we had at Murud. We also ordered a Chicken Kolhapuri to go with the Rice. This is where all the oil, which was apparently missing from the rice, was utilised! The chicken was good. wasn’t overcooked but wasn’t tender. Thankfully it wasn’t chewy or rubbery either. The meal was over in no time. The quantity was definitely lesser than what we had at Murud but the quality and the lack of oil made up for it! The total damage came to INR 500 (INR 120 for the Prawns Biryani and INR 50 for the half Chicken Biryani) which is reasonable for a full meal amongst 5 people!

Overall, the food was great though the slow service was a letdown. Pricing was great at well placing Vibha in my ‘must eat at Vibha when at Nagaon’ list :D.

Kashid-Murud Trip

September 27, 2009 8 comments

Kashid has been a long awaiting trip for me. Ever seen I saw pictures of the long winding roads leading to the beach and the palm trees lined up alongside the white sands, I have been itching to see this heavenly place with own eyes! The moment arrived on a Saturday when we set our course for Kashid in a friend’s car. It didn’t take us long to navigate the early morning Mumbai traffic and soon enough we were cruising on beautiful roads including the Mumbai-Goa highway. For most part the road was good, except for when we had to traverse Alibaug to reach Kashid. But that was only a small let down which did not deter us from pursing our goal.

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In approximately three and a half hours we reached Kashid Beach. Taking into account the few stops we made for photo shoots, I think we made it to Kashid in good time. Once there, the four of us quickly ordered for some snacks – namely Omelette and Bread – that is the only thing, besides some chips, biscuits and tea that you get at the many shacks situated on the beach. But the best thing besides the beach, were the hammocks! Lazing around in the hammock, we took in the beautiful sights on offer.

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The beach, the white sands and the muddy waters are surrounded by two cliffs on either end. The beach itself is a 3KM stretch and there are carts available for those would like to check out the beach in its entirety.

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We weren’t interested in that and were more than happy to click some amazing pictures while lazing around the shacks. Some of us also caught a short and much needed nap. After Kashid, we headed out to Murud beach.

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We also went to Rajpuri from where the ferries are available to go to Janjira Fort. The area is very pretty with palm trees overlooking the calm sea. Spent some time clicking pictures of the fort and the beach.

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Though we didn’t get time to actually visit the fort – a trip we have scheduled for another time. Since it was in the middle of the day, we decided against going on the Murud beach and instead chill out by some restaurants overlooking the beach.

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We had lunch at the Anand Vatika, Murud, which specialised on sea food. So since we were at the heart of a fishing community, we were all for a sumptuous sea food lunch. We ordered for Prawns fry, Pomfret fry, and Prawns Biryani along with a lone chicken dish – Chicken 65. The meal was good albeit a bit oily but good nonetheless. We paid INR 150 each, thought was a bit expensive but then sea food anywhere is more expensive than other meat products!

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Once over with lunch, we decided to head back home. Reached home in around 4 hours. Overall, it was a wonderful trip. Was a disappointed that I did not get to see the sunset but besides that there are no complaints whatsoever!

Kashid is approximately 160kms from Mumbai. We took the Mumbai-Goa highway (NH17) and took a right turn from the highway to go to Alibaug. Once at Alibaug, we were directed to a bypass road that took us straight to Kashid through a small concretised stretch of road which is surrounded by trees and lovely houses. Murud is approximately 30kms ahead of Kashid and the road which goes to Kashid from Alibaug also goes straight to Murud as well. I am assuming if one keeps following the same road, they will reach Harihareshwar as well.

Here are the albums with pics:

Picasa: http://picasaweb.google.com/godzi.85/Kashid_Trip_26Sept09

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=324338&id=764395346