All I knew was that I was going to visit an island…This impressed me enough to place my first few steps towards the journey. We were 10 of us from Bangalore, met up at the the boarding bus stand at about 10 pm. I knew only one person in the entire group, a lovely friend of mine from school. The rest were all his friends.
We had quite a while before the bus came. That was when an easy conversation hit between two. It was between two unknown souls who were a part of this trip. The chat was amazingly silky, not what you usually get to see between two individuals in conversation for the first time. To top that, it was so, from the very first word uttered, soon woven into an effortless connect...The two souls, not unknown anymore were Nish and I.
We reached Udupi, the Konkani city in the state of Karnataka, at about 9am next morning. Met up with another friend joined us there from Mumbai. Again she was a friend to the rest and just an acquaintance to me...Not remaining so for long though. :) This was Andy from Mumbai. Wasting no time, we checked into Karaavali Hotels Pvt. Ltd, a hotel nearby. It was a pretty decent one, considering the fact that we were there just to get all freshened up. Our next task in hand was to pacify our tummies to make sure they were with us in whatever sport we ventured into. ;)
After getting a little heavy, we made our way to the beach town, Malpe.
Beauty #1: Malpe Beach
Malpe is a natural port situated at about 6 kms from Udupi, Karnataka. Udupi, being a coastal town in the Western Ghats region of the State of Karnataka, in Southern India.
We boarded a public bus at Udupi and marked our way to Malpe. On reaching the nearest bus stop, we learnt it was time for a warm up. Our destination was about 1.2 kms from there. We started walking our way to Malpe, warming ourselves up internally and the exteriors getting warmed up as well; all thanks to the walk in the premises of hard-hitting Sun rays! The walk perked us all up, totally!
No sooner did we enter, we were welcomed by The Father of this Nation, Mahatma Gandhi he is…The statue is a lovely piece of art, right at the entrance, welcoming all the visitors to behold this little beauty of Nature; Nature’s beauty being our destination in mind.
The excitement rose to a different level all together, when our eyes fell on the sea. It was beautifully blue…! We were lucky to have been there on a day when the beach wasn’t crowded, rendering the true feel of the place.
It was a sight which soothed all the 12 muscles of my eyes in one instant…Believe me when I say this! Almost instantaneously making me sense a rush of cool water within, radiating all the heat my skin had been subjected to.
Jet Skiing Experience –
Breaking my sense of bliss at once, stood a few men asking us to try our hands on jet skiing. The Jet Ski was way too tempting. We almost unanimously asked, “How much would it be for a ride? (most of us bearing an expression of ‘I don’t care how much ever it is’)” . The reply from the other side was “Only 250 for a ride for 2”. We exchanged glances with each other and decided to go for it, again almost unanimously. Now, we all had a variety of expressions associated with it though...I was thrilled, so were a few others; a few were excited and a very few (read 1) was petrified! :) Anyway, all 11 of us were set to take off in turns…
A small piece of information –
A Jet Ski is part water skiing device and part speedboat, with a definite hint of motorcycle during operation. Instead of the traditional propeller or screw motor, a Jet Ski uses an enclosed gas-powered motor to literally push water out in a jet stream. The Jet Ski operator straddles a central platform and assumes a shock-absorbing posture with knees slightly bent. The motor is electronically started with a toggle switch located in a column in front of the driver.
All Jet Ski models should also have a dead man's switch; a connection between the driver and ignition system which should kill the motor instantly if the driver falls off.
Tony and I were the first to go for it. We were thrilled! The very second the motor kick started, we were tickled with an extreme sense of excitement. The tickle got more and more powerful with every second ticking by…Leaving us absolutely ecstatic! The rider took us through the waves in a super high velocity making some amazing curves on water...Giving us a feel of Natural High, making our body release endorphins, the happy enzymes as they are called…Biologically, endorphins are known to be the proteins in the brain acting as body’s natural pain reliever. Adventure certainly contributes to it's release, big time! :)
This ride takes you to an excited state so high that when it ends, your mind & body would totally resist coming to the ground state. It is tough to convince yourself then, but as we all know, every electron has to come to its ground state sooner or later! :-)
Being in this ‘excited state’ was certainly an experience of incredible exhilaration! For most of us, it was the first experience of this sort, making it all the more thrilling!
Thought of that moment –There was something amazing about the sea here. The tides were mighty but never seemed violent…
”Like a Mother who is real strong & tough to the world, yet the most gentle & benevolent to Her kids (read visitors like us)…Immediate was this ‘feel’ with an absolute sense of ‘aptness’…!”
Beauty #2: St. Mary’s Island
A boat was soon made ready to take us from Malpe beach to St. Mary’s island. The boat seemed comfortably occupied with the 11 of us seated in it. The deal was that we pay an amount of INR 1400 and they take us to the island, let us spend an hour there and drop us back at the sea shore.
This little piece of our journey began. It was a delight to witness the blue beauty all around, so close to us. Eyes seemed to be enjoying this space, so serene and peacefully clean (read relative to the cities in India), which they could possibly only crave for, in our otherwise catastrophically polluted city lives. It was a 30 minutes ride, a simple one yet a joy ride beyond doubts!
This expedition reminded most of us, of the poem ‘The Rime of the Ancient Mariner’…Perhaps reminded us of a verse from the poem.
“Water, water, everywhere,However, we got reminded of it on an absolutely positive note, like a slight piece of fun in being able to connect something gathered so long ago to what we come across today…! No fear or no sense of danger intended unlike what was actually portrayed in this beautiful Lyrical Ballad. :-)
Nor any drop to drink.”
Nor any drop to drink.”
We reached our second destination of the day. St. Mary’s island it was! Soft, serene, simple, peaceful, laid-back; these were a few words that popped in my head when I first saw this slip of land. It was the call of the hour…It was up to us how we best lived these 60 minutes...!
It was so different a feeling, being on land, amidst greenery and rocks and find myself surrounded by water all around. We decided to live this moment on the shore of the island! Feel the purity of water around and the warmth of the rocks untapped.
Swimming Experience –We kept all our belongings aside to get all set to plunge into water. It was only when we went in, did we realize that it was way too deep beyond a bit. Our eyes were on a rock a little away amidst the blue boon. Each and every one of us had a silent wish to make it up to that bit and capture the moment…
The swimmers made it with fun, playing their swimming tricks with the gentle bed all way. Most of us were non-swimmers and tried to stay away from the depth we couldn’t manage…Though we had the life jackets on and we knew for a fact that we wouldn’t drown, the very imbalance of our body in water would frighten us. However, this wasn’t the picture for long enough. :)
We soon saw ourselves comfortable with each other on the blue cradle. I couldn’t believe that I was swimming (with the life jacket on though ;)). Every muscle of ours seemed to be at work. We were now managing to swim on the moving blue carpet. We all swam our way to the rock and felt a sweet sense of achievement…Well, for each one of us, it certainly was an achievement! A treat it was for all of us. A bigger one for the non-swimmers for sure!
It was absolutely amazing an experience!
Thought of that moment –
“She (read St. Mary’s Island) is gorgeous, heavily nurtured and bundled with natural treasure. On the serene lap of Her Mother (read Malpe beach), she seemed to be at peace…!”
I bet you can’t say which beauty is better. These are certainly 2 lovely feathers in the cap named Karnataka!
As the Mother, so the daughter, both beautiful in their absolutely different ways!
- Ahi (Somebody who isn't scared of water anymore)