Thursday, February 21, 2013

The Mighty Fort

Today morning was dedicated to exploring Vijaydurg Fort. The fort is surrounded by water on 3 sides. The boundary walls are largely intact. It is possible to take a walk on the boundary wall for most part of the fort. The inner structures are in shambles and there is very little information available in terms of information boards. I read the information from 'Saad Sagarachi' book and tried to imagine the grandeur that the fort would have held in its day!

Learning for the day - helium was discovered from Vijaydurg

Welcoming you with cannons and bombshells!

After a good three hours exploring the fort, I returned to the hotel, picked up my bag and was on the road again. As advised by the hotel staff I took the shortcut from Padel Canteen (yes, that's the name of a place!) to Amberi Pool. As with the earlier shortcuts, this one too seemed to be heading nowhere for most part! It was scenic though

At long last I rejoined the main road. What followed was the usual sequence of barren plateaus and bridges. I soon crossed the controversial Jaitapur.

As I was riding along I saw a signboard showing a left turn to go to 'Vethe beach'. This was different from the usual signboards which go by just the village names. Almost all villages to the left of the highway have a coastline! My curiosity took me right to Vethe beach. And what a beach it was. Small in size but seemed like a lovely tropical beach!

I found some beautiful shells on the coast

I next reached Ratnagiri. A quick lunch and I was off to Ratnadurg Fort. After that I took the Aare-Waare road to Ganpatipule. This road runs right along the coast!

My initial plan was to halt for the night at Ganpatipule. Ganpatipule is a famous religious destination. As I neared it, the hordes of tourists were a repellent! It was around 3.30, I decided to continue ahead and look for accommodation elsewhere. Riding along I reached Jaigad. Jaigad has a big power plant. The approach roads are full of trucks. There is a lot of dust in the air. The ill-effects of development on nature! I headed to the jetty from where I would get a ferry. As I drove in I could see the 4 pm ferry leave. I now had to wait for over an hour for the next one. I was now targeting to reach Guhagar for the night. It was a 40 km ride on the other side. The sun set when we were on the ferry

The daylight was disappearing fast. I wasn't keen to drive in the dark. As I was racing towards Guhagar, I noticed a direction board pointing towards Velneshwar. I remembered that there is a MTDC hotel there and decided to head to Velneshwar instead. By the time I reached there it was completely dark. The MTDC did not have a room available. I then went to Hotel Kinara, along the coast. The location was fantastic and the rooms were ok. I was to be the only guest in the hotel! The caretaker quoted a high amount. I tried to negotiate, but with darkness already upon us, there was no way I was going to win a 'who blinks first' battle with him. I took the room and after a quick shower headed to the beach for a nice walk!

Co-incidentally, all three days I stayed overnight at places beginning with 'V'!



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