Sunday, January 4

Murud alibaug diary

We were planning for an outing for a long time now. Even this time we planned. But my past experiences told me that this one too, would be a big fail. However thanks to pranav, he booked the hotel and so we had to go.

I had no clue about Murud beach, had heard about Alibuag and that’s it. Call me an introvert, but the thought of going out somewhere makes me kill myself. With date fixed, hotel rooms booked and a car ready, I had no excuses this time, and I am glad for that. Thank you Sanjyoti, Shantanu and Pranav, I am glad you guys forced me into this.

25th Dec, got up pretty early and I had Pranav’s bike to commute. Packed my Suitcase, took my Camera (Canon 1200D) and off I was. Forgetting roads, driving super slow etc is typical me so I won’t bore you with the Story.

We started late, were caught up in the traffic, Pune Traffic so you can imagine, however we were just in time before sunset. Especially for photography. Shantanu and I were to compete.
Murud is a very clean beach near alibaug region. About 200Kms from Pune, it is a good weekend destination. It has various historical monuments and a very famous Janjira fort. Read about Murud on this wikipediaarticle 

Even though it was a public holiday, we did not find Murud beach crowded. It was surprising to see the beach quite deserted. The beach was very clean, no noise pollution except for some honking of beach scooters. Low waves meant we could walk at the shore with our costly cameras in hand.
How and why I got my DSLR is a totally different story and calls for its own post. I had done no research and got a canon 1200D totally on my instincts and I must say I am proud of it. However the hard lesson for a noob like me with no prior knowledge of handling a SLR is that one has to actually sit and learn how to operate this camera. And that is fine. I totally enjoyed holding and random clicking on it. Loved it.

Murud Beach during sunset
Back to Murud beach, with Sun about to set, I had my gear ready and I was on a shoot. Click, Click, Click. Walking on an empty beach, with toes deepen just enough, it was blissful. Enjoying the breeze we then walked back towards our hotel. Found an empty bench, we relaxed and played some old Hindi music.

We decided to dine in a restaurant next to our hotel. The restaurants there mostly serve thalis. Without any thoughts we ordered a Surmai (King mackeral) Fish thali. It was just perfect. Perfect mixture of all the spices, right amount of everything. After dinner we went for a walk followed by few hours of Cards. We played challenge, mendicote etc. That was a perfect way to end day.

Next morning we were all up before sunrise, fresh and ready to rock and roll. Morning breakfast was a simple pohe and tea. As per planned we all went towards the shore to take a dip. There were some water sports and we had to experience that. I was very excited since it would was my first time. We some bargain, we booked our self for scooter ride, banana ride and bumpy ride.

Scooter ride was a good experience followed by bumpy ride. Don’t ask why it is called a bumpy ride. Sanjyoti if you are reading this, you can ask. (Pun intended). If you are ever on a beach and there is a bumpy ride, you should must experience it. An air filled bag like a bed has some rope hooks. You have to lie on your stomach and grab the hooks. This bed is then tied to the scooter via a rope. At first it feels a little silly but the real orchestra is when the scooter takes you for a spin. The driver rides you across the waves and you are sure to bounce in the water. The gush of sea water hits your face, the waves hit and at the same time you bounce. I was awestruck. It was superb, exhilarating experience.
We then took the banana ride. Again my first time. We took our seats and off we were. I was told that we would be made to fall from the ride halfway and then we had to swim our way back. We had life jackets. So we would always float. Later I realized that we have to jump off the banana boat and enjoy the water. The scooter rider or the guide would not do anything magical to make us fall. So if you are reading this and have never taken a banana ride before, next time you are on a beach, try this ride. When you are some distance close to the shore, confident enough that you can swim, get up and JUMP off the ride. It is equally fun and a must to do in a banana ride. Trust me.

The life jackets were fun indeed. You just float when you are in water. We spent nearly an hour in the water meditating on our backs, splashing water on each other, doing gymnastics, yoga etc.
We then took a shower and as decided went via a boat on a deserted fort. It almost broken and barely had any structure. We saw few fishermen and some tourist like us.  The fort that you see in the below picture was quite intimidating and our decision to go there turned out fruitful. I got some very good shots.

We returned back to the beach after spending an hour. We decided to lunch in another restaurant and Thali was the choice of all. I again called for a surmia thali, who would want to skip the chance of having a fish thali? Not me.

Murud also has a very famous janjira fort, another tourist attraction. Travel to the jetty and take a boat to the fort. From the outside, it was huge and appeared well preserved. We had a plan to visit janjira, however on reaching the jetty we were astound by the queue of fellow travelers. It was huge and our chances of getting to janjira appeared minimal. Also a wait of almost 2 hrs did not sound feasible, so we returned back to go to the beach. Anyways we were at the Murud to relax and spend a quality time.

The next day we took off early to go to Alibaug. It was just 40kms from Murud so we had to take a detour to Alibaug before returning back to Pune. The alibaug fort is another tourist attraction. After entering the beach, you have to walk about 1Km to reach the fort. If it is low tide, we could walk from the beach however during hide tides the waves hit the shore and it could be difficult to walk. We reached early during the day at low tides. We quickly walked to the fort, paid the enterance tickets and were ready to shoot again. We were at the Kolaba fort. We saw a temple, and walked across the fort to click some nice pics including selfies. A trip without a selfie is no trip. After spending about an hour we walked back since the tides were high and we would have to walk through the water. Fun times. However the beach authorities turned on the alarm and were informing the tourist to come back from the fort as soon as possible.

From the  Alibaug Fort
After sipping our coconut water, we started back to return. The road was clear with no traffic so our return was pretty easy. By 6.00PM we were back in Pune and by 6.30PM I was home. 

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