Fort visit and snorkeling

Trip Start Apr 27, 2012
Trip End May 02, 2012

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What I did
Sindhudurg fort

Flag of India  , Maharashtra,
Sunday, April 29, 2012

The same autorickshaw guy took us to the Malvan jetty. We kept our bags at a shack that sells hats. A lady runs this place, and her son organises a snorkeling/ scuba diving trip.
We decide to go for the fort visit cum snorkeling package. 
A boat takes you from the jetty to the fort, they need at least 20 passengers to start the ride.(When crowds increase, they over stuff the boat-at least that's what it looked to us). It was low tide, and the boat needed careful maneuvering through the rocks close to the fort. 
At the entrance of the fort are these yellow-brown rocks, that look really interesting.Unfortunately, that was the only interesting thing we found on the fort. 
As soon as you enter, you are bombarded by the "guides" asking if you want one. Since it was vacation time for schools, there were these really young boys posing as tourist guides. For a long way into the fort, you see various shops on both sides. We had a cashew drink at one of the places. Next to it was a book stall. Since we hadn't decided where to head from there, we bought a Sindhudurg and a Ratnagiri map. Buying that map would turn out to be an extremely fortunate thing for the rest of our trip !
You don't need to walk too much into the fort to realise the sorry state it is in. It's nothing close to the image that is formed in your minds when you are reading the history of Shivaji Maharaj. Plastic bottles are dumped everywhere. People are oblivious to the fact that they are in a heritage structure. Local people(or who knows who exactly) stay there in proper concrete houses. In short, its nothing what you are hoping for.

After an hour, a boat came to the fort shore, to take us to the snorkeling location. After a long wait and a change of location, our turn to go into the water arrived. Maybe because of the high tide, or a lot of tourists, or the time of the year, the fish/anything else was not really visible while snorkeling. People who went scuba diving could apparently see the corals. But we weren't too keen on doing scuba diving, since we didn't think the instructors were certified professionals. So, to attract the fish to the snorkeling groups, they release bread into the water. Which obviously is a terrible thing for the eco system there. It was my first time snorkeling, and though we did see some fish it was not an experience that I really enjoyed.

I really hope the people in charge of the fort and the snorkeling/scuba activity get their act right. Imagine visiting a grand fort built by one of the greatest kings, and then proceeding to see the rich underwater life around it. What an experience that would be. For now, I only hope it gets there than in the opposite direction.

Once done with all this, we headed into the Malvan city. An autorickshaw guy took us to a nice place called Swami for lunch. It was again home style food. We again had lots of solkadhi.

By then we realised we had had enough of a coastal experience. We cancelled the plan of heading to either Vengurla or Ratnagiri, and decided to head towards Amboli.

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