I stopped awhile to admire the sound of the 'waves'.
My plan was to meander down to Redi, close to the border with Goa, come back north and find a place to stay in the Shiroda area.
The peace of the afternoon is suddenly broken by grunting and thrashing of hooves on the grass. There is a bull fight going on, this one is between bulls, not about man spearing bulls.
Somebody seems to have forgotten their auto-richshaw in the foliage.
The area is punctuated with several lakes, all reflecting the sombre grey of the clouds overhead.
We passed several little temples.
The condition of the road was fairly poor at times, very slushy and brown,which seems to be the predominant colour of the soil in this region.
The cliffs of Redi are an impressive sight. The hills around are a good vantage point.
The winds were heavy, and the palm trees seemed to agree, all struggling to stay up, leaves bending to the might of the Wind God.
Another God, the famed Redi Ganesh, sits nearby. Ladies sell flowers and fruits outside the temple. The temple is in the middle of a makeover.
One of the workers takes the opportunity to cool off, presumably after a hard morning's work.
The connection between the red soil and the poor state of the roads around the Redi cliffs area dawned on me on the way. Tucked away behind every turn in the road were dump trucks. Had I counted, I would likely have ended up with hundreds, all silently parked in the Redi area.
Trucks were parked all over the dense undergrowth. There was a yard where it looked like old trucks were sent to die.
I wonder what the temples would have to say about the mess outside.
Shiroda is not too far away from Redi. That's where I hoped to find a place to stay the night. The beach, I had read, is very pretty.
By then, it was time for a quick, delicious Malvani lunch.
Local folks pointed the way towards the beach. The foliage got very dense as we went along, and the sea was visible soon enough.
Silver Sands Beach Resort appeared out of the undergrowth, as if by magic.
It was then time to say Bye to Sanjay and his auto-rickshaw. He would head back to Nivati while I would be finding my way to Shiroda, and then Goa soon.
The beach was unexpectedly pleasant. Stretches of white sand beach, with the sound of water that reminded me of South Goa. Waves that seemed to float in, with a constant, low key roar, rather than the periodic gigantic crash of large waves.
Fishermen struggled with their little nets. While the sea seemed deceptively gentle from the safety of the beach, it must have been a like a constantly changing beast within.
Well, not much luck here too, this time.
The beach stretched several kilometres in either direction.
Redi Beach was located way down towards the south.
Shiroda reminded me uncannily of Baga (Goa) in the early 1980s. Clean beach, barely any people, creepers and trees that manage to live in sandy environments, and a sense of peace.
Fishermen were busy getting their boats ready, they were probably getting set for a fishing trip sometime soon.
A helpful notice on the beach.
The weather was extremely unpredictable. Sudden showers alternated with quiet periods. The sun even managed to peer out from behind the clouds on one occasion.
The view of the sea from the little sitting area was very convenient to stare at the sea for hours, and getting out for walks every now and then.
The sun sets behind the clouds, and it gently gets darker.
Dinner was Malvani dinner platter with Seafood in the dining area. The metal plate reflected the light of a compact fluorescent lamp.
My hut was one of a few. This time, however, I was not the only one in the 'resort'. A couple more huts were occupied.
The structure did enough to keep the rain away. You were guaranteed of fresh air, with so many openings all around. Hot water in a bucket was available on request, but I did not feel the need for it. The temperature of the water in the shower was quite comfortable.
The 'kitchen hut' is quite clean and well laid out inside.
It's time to say bye to my Baga beach of the 1980s, with the skies threatening to open up any time.
Those are real grey clouds out there, I thought, wondering whether it would be a wet day ahead. I hoped the clouds would pass by soon and not disrupt my travel plans.
A cross silently stood guard by the beach at Silver Sands, like it has perhaps done for centuries. I made some tentative plans for the morning.
I needed to find my way to Shiroda very soon. The staff told me that the bus to Panaji leaves from the Shiroda Bus Stop at 10:00 AM. If that does not work, for whatever reason, I could jump into a local red bus to Sawantwadi, a fairly large town in the context of South Maharashtra towns, and then hop on an inter-state bus to Panaji or the Konkan Railways train to Madgaon.
The owner of the resort offered to drop me to the bus stop about 4 km away, since he had some vegetable shopping to do in the market in town. I said good bye to the warm staff, and was soon on my way, riding pillion on the owner's scooter, umbrella in my back pack and camera in my pocket.
Next stop: Shiroda, and then Panaji.