Kashid Beach

Trip Start Oct 13, 2010
Trip End Mar 08, 2011

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Flag of India  , Mahārāshtra,
Thursday, January 13, 2011

The next morning we woke up and started our hunt for the bus stand. We had stayed the night in a place called Alibag and they were not set up at all for western tourists. Almost every sign was in Hindi and most people didn't speak English. Luckily we found one man who pointed us in the right direction and we spotted the buses. After some more pointing and head waggling we found where the bus would pick up and went over to wait for it. Simon made friends with two of the guys sitting there waiting with us and practiced some of his Hindi. As we sat there we watched many other buses come and go. Each time a bus pulled up the people, waiting patiently just seconds before, would jump up, pushing and shoving their way on to the bus. At first the amount of people waiting with us was small, but as time went by it grew bigger and I was worried that if we didn't get on the bus early, we wouldn't be getting on at all. So I stood with my bag closer to the sidewalk, ready to make a mad dash for the bus when it arrived.

Soon enough it did pull up and I joined the frenzy to get on the bus. I was elbow to elbow with feisty grandmas and school girls. Luckily, I was able to save a seat for myself and for Simon before it filled up completely. We'd heard that Kashid Beach was nice, so we were hoping to get off there and check it out. After driving out of the village we started along some smaller roads that followed the coast. We could see the ocean and palms, it looked picturesque. After about an hour we turned a corner we saw a long beach lined with tiny little shacks and palm trees. Each shack was full of hammocks and coconut stands. Right after we passed it the bus stopped and they told us this was our stop. When we got off the bus there were only a few buildings around, and nothing else in either direction. We decided to walk back towards where the beach was, and after a few steps we saw two other back packers walking towards us. It was Sabrina and Stefan from the slum tour! We were happy to see them again and they told us how they got off at the beach and walked this way to try and find a place to stay.

We decided to turn around and walk with them for a bit and we found a place on the main road with a big sign that said "rooms available". The guy working there barely spoke any English, but he showed us the one room they had, which was actually really nice, clean and large. I joked that they should change their sign from "Rooms Available" to just "Room Available". Using hand gestures and signals we asked if they had extra mattresses and maybe we could all share the room to save money. He said that was fine and Sabrina and Stefan thought it was a great idea. So we negotiated of 500 rupees for the 4 of us, put our stuff inside and got ready to check out the beach. We asked him if there was a faster way to get to the beach and he pointed across the street to a little path. We followed that past two properties and then came to an beautiful, clean, empty beach! We were all pretty hungry and decided to walk up towards the huts to see if they had any food. As we got closer we saw that that was where most of the Indian tourists hung out, but there were still only about 20 people total on the beach. It was super quiet and calm.

We found our own little shack and I ordered a coconut. Sabrina had been volunteering in Delhi so her Hindi was better than ours. She investigated what the food situation was and found out that they pretty much had snack stuff, but could deep fry some potatoes and onions for us. So we opted for that and planned to hunt down some fish for dinner later on. We hung out there for a while and then decided to head back and go for a swim before it got too dark. The water was the perfect temperature and very calm. It was nice to have our own private beach, so Sabrina and I could wear our bathing suits without being gawked at the whole time. After swimming we went back to the room quickly to rinse and change, then we walked back to the beach for sunset and to start our hunt for fish. We walked down the beach in the other direction this time, hoping to find a restaurant with an ocean view. As we went along we saw that most of the properties that lined the beach were actually private mansions and we didn't find anything. We cut through one area and saw that up the hill away from the beach was a large resort. We figured they might have a restaurant we could eat at so we headed that way to check.

When we got closer we realized it was a super expensive resort, with its own golf course and a huge guarded entrance. We asked the guards if they had a restaurant and as soon as they realized we weren't guests they sort of shooed us away. We walked back to the main road and headed towards where our hotel was. It got dark pretty fast and we saw some blinking lights up ahead that looked promising. When we got closer we realized it was the little restaurant just across the street from where our room was. We asked if they had fresh fish and they said yes, so we decided to sit down and have dinner there. We had two options for fish, pomfret and surmai. They brought the fishes out on a tray for us to check out and we each chose which one we wanted. Simon and Stefan really wanted some beers, but the restaurant said the nearest one was 7 kilometers away, because they were a dry village. Simon was determined to get some beers so he went outside and found a group of young guys hanging out with their motorcycles. He figured they probably knew how to get a hold of some. Sure enough they said they'd ride to the village 7km away and buy some for him if he gave them the money for it.

He returned to the table and told us that the beer was on its way, having commissioned the guys to buy it. I joked that maybe that was the last time we'd see those guys and the money he gave them, but about 15 minutes later they pulled up with the beer. Simon had a good feeling about trusting them, and he was right. So with our beers now we were ready to eat some fish, which came out of the kitchen shortly after. It was grilled and fried with spices. After a few beers we were all joking and making lots of noise. We kept ordering more and more fish, because the first couple were too spicy for Stefan and I. Sabrina and Simon ate our first round of fish, but eventually we all had our fill. We headed back to the hotel room and decided to finish our beer there while watching whatever movie was on the movie channel. It happened to be "The Proposal", so Sabrina and I were happy. The guys were drunk enough to not mind and after it finished we all went to bed. A minute after we turned off the lights Sabrina whispered something to Stefan and I shushed them, totally jokingly, and we all started giggling like kids at a slumber party. Eventually we fell asleep and slept really well.

The next morning they got up early and went to the beach. I joined them a bit later while Simon got breakfast at the restaurant. They were planning to continue south that day because their mothers were going to meet them in Goa that Sunday. We talked about staying another day or two, because it was really peaceful and the room was nice. They packed up in the afternoon and took the bus. Simon and I decided to walk down the beach again to check out the tide pools we'd seen the day before. As we climbed on the rocks we saw how they were super sharp with the remnants of mussels and barnacles. The tide pools didn't really have many animals, but we did spot some tiny sea anemones. We climbed up a hill that had a nice view and sat there for a while. Simon was fully into Shantaram at this point and I enjoyed reading my yoga book, trying out some of the poses they mentioned. For sunset we walked back down the beach and decided to go swimming since it was still nice and warm. It was fun, just the two of us, on our own beach. Afterward we got dinner at the restaurant and then went back to the room to watch bad Boys 2, which was hilarious.

The next morning we slept in and took it easy. We had a lazy late breakfast and then I took a nap after trying some yogic breathing, which was really relaxing. Simon managed to rip a big hole in the back of his pants, so we went to a the littly general store to buy some thread. I did my best to sew together the rip, but it was tricky. For sunset we walked back to the beach, but it was much colder and windier so we didn't stay long. It was a really lazy day and after dinner we watched City Slickers. Kashid beach was nice, but the only drawback was that aside from tomatoes and onions, there were no fresh fruits or vegetables. We decided to leave the next day and find another beach to hang out at.

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