Well, because I spent the weekend in Diu, one of the beaches closer to Gujarat.
I was hankering after Daman, but my freinds convinced me to Diu . I had heard more about Daman from others since that is where most ppl go, and my frnds had too, on a previous occassion when i was somewhere else. But Diu it was this time.
Left Ahmedabad on a night sleeper, double decker bus - a little claustrpophobic, but definitely better than a normal seater bus. Reached Diu at 730 in the morning. Just as the city was waking up? Nah! Diu ppl were blissfully asleep. NOhing apparently opens before 9am. Thats the life!
Scouted for a hotel near the city, but finally decided to go to the beach recommended by a company frnd - Nagoa beach. This beach is well known among foreign tourists bacause of its seclusion and quiet, and a 7Km uninterrrupted shoreline.
Reached the place - 8KM from the city - in a auto and fell in love with the beach. Long empty 7KM stretch. No ppl. Only 3 hotels. Checked in into one of them. Pretty decent place, and would have spent more time admiring it had not the sea been calling. That was 8am. Th beach is shaped like a cove with rocky edges on two sides, and clean open almost-white sand in the middle, where if u climb up the shore then the hotels are placed. There are 2 tea shops and a few t-shirt vendors on the road in front of the hotels. Nothing more. Oh yes - a coconut water seller too!
Leapt onto the beach and did nto leave it till the water was giving me goosebumps and the tide changed and the sun was scorching hot. It was 1130am. came into the room and had some beer ans a short bath. Enquired about the price of hiring a mobike - 200 the hotel said. Considering this would mean taking an auto back to the city, went to the city, to look for a bike. After 3 shops and around 3 KM of walking, finally managed a bike for INR250. and no petrol. The nearest pump was across the raod, but it was out of petrol. the next nearest one was 5 KM away. another bike rental shop was selling petrol at INR10 premium. Took 750ml of that!
At last my poor stomach was gratified as we stepped into one of the few hotels and ordered. The food was decent, nothing fabulous, but good for my appetite. The menu of course was prawns and chicken,...and beer :)
Headed hotelwards and spent an hr or two in sleep. Only to get up and leave to explore the rest of the place. FIlled some more pterol from the station nearby, and went to the shell museum. It is run by an old ex-merchant navy man, whom we had met on the beach in the morning. He was fishing and had warned us of the rocky area in the sea.
The museum was delightful with shells from all over the world - a personal collection...and some to sell.
Moved on to Goghla beach...another famous beach and spent the evening there. It is on the other side of Diu, separated from the Diu mainland by a bridge, connected to mainland Gujarat. Nice beach this one too - with 4 hotels and numerous under-quality bars. This was a little more populated, and the bars of the hotels faced the sea, giving off light and making it feel more populated than it actually was. A place where more of the Gujarati families were seen - grandparents to kids.
Moved on back to town and went to the Fort. The inner parts were closed, but the rest was still open, including the area from where the ships were launched. Awesome view and sound - the sound of waves lapping against the fort wall.
The fort has a deep and wide moat...now dry, and a number of inscriptions ont he walls, proclaiming the Portuguese ownership.
Bought some port wine for dinner and ate at a sea-side restaurant placed on the cemented bank. Very nice prawns and Pomfret.
By the time we made it back to the hotel, we were too tired for the planned beach round. THe countryside is nice dotted with numerous palm trees and breeze. Cold by night and comfortably hot by day.
Next day began at 10 with exploration of the other end of the beach, where there are majestic rocks hiding a variety of shells and hidden caves in the forming. Some more wandering on the beach and then we checked out. Deposited the luggage at the Cloak room of the bus stand and went to the famous Jallandhar Beach. Also went to another secluded beach a little further then Nagoa before going to Jallandhar.
Saw the sunset point in broad daylight from afar and went to sea made Naidi caves...deep, underground and the ideal spot for Webshots wallpapers. 16 caves with wonderful markigns and sun filtering through. Made our way onto the top through a different point and almost lost the location of where the bikes were parked!
Went to the Church musum and basked in its shadow for a looong time - to rest. Saw some old wood carvings which were displayed in the church.
We were too tired to see the insides of the Fort (whaetver was left), so decided to spend the remaining 1 hr before the bus left in a bar...had cool refreshing beer and boarded the bus.
Though the bus left on time (730pm) it stopped at a town in Gujarat to replace a window for more than an hour. And stopped a zillion times more o the way. Yet it managed to reach ahmedabad 30 mins before time - 530am.
A very refreeshing trip in a beach town not yet touched by tourism. Empty beaches with soft clean sand, choice of places to stay in without overcrowding. The bars are sub standard, but one can live with them for a day two. The poopulation of the whole place seemed to be v low, just enough to make it seem like a city, but non0existent when compared to aany Indian city.
The sea was not too rough but my one regret - it did not smell like the sea anywhere in Diu!!
Alas I scourged the beaches, the sea and the city for a faint salty odour. But, i was not rewarded. my one repent.
So please go to Siu and spend a most relaxing weekend and wish for a job there, and a quiet life colecting shells and bathing and swimming and .... but you will be cursed by an absense of the sea-smell.
Which is pretty decent if you think about it...that can be a pretty bad smell!
And yes, do have work. Thought my peeling skin and brown color should be written about.