Ratnagiri was giving me more than what I had expected. The captivating green vistas and the relaxing stay at the secluded, tranquil beach of Karde (Read my Karde experience) had set the mood. Now I was eager to fulfil my wish of plucking my favourite fruit, on our return journey.
This time, the roads were narrower. We kept winding through the ghats when we saw few bullock carts heading towards Harnai wholesale fish market. The carts are used to carry fishes from the fishing boats to the beach. The items are then auctioned and the market is set every day at 4 – 4:30 pm.
This fish-y beach is located close to the Harne Port. The Kanakdurg fort and the lighthouse are set amidst this picturesque location. We could not stop our vehicle to click the pictures as the hilly roads were narrow and stopping the bus would block the traffic.
On either side of the roads were cashew nut and mango trees, all laden with fruits. It seemed this year showed up with a huge production of mangoes. Every tree, small to large, were loaded. As we kept on twisting and turning through the roads the sea front kept peeking through every turn.
Layers of white waves arriving the shore, the beach was pristine and aloof. The beach leads to a creek. The creek is the estuary of River jog. The either side of the creek is covered by mangrove forest. While multiple fishing boats are parked in the creek, stating the economic dominance on fishing.
The famous, ancient Kadyawarcha Ganapati temple is situated on a hill on the other side of the creek. Previously people used to cross the creek by boat and climb the hill through the village to reach the temple. The newly constructed bridge has eased the mode of transport.
I was becoming impatient to fill my empty bag with the desired fruit. Then finally a favourable spot was found where our bus can park while we engage ourselves in an act of stealth. My annoyed husband warned me to stay away from such activities, citing moral reasons. This was my predetermined idea which I could not drop at the last moment.
The two youngest member of our group gleefully joined hands in crime. Then a senior member joined. Gradually it turned to a group of ten. Then, Attack! The youngest members in excitement climbed the tree swiftly, while we plucked and picked from the closer branches and the ground.
Our hooliganism alerted the locals. Few warned us while passing by. As we boarded the bus after the brisk act, our innocent driver had to hear some harsh words. A passer-by in his bike gave his piece of mind. Now the guilt conscious started pricking me. I felt sorry. I apologised.
The excitement was over. As we approached narrower road through the villages the traffic congestion began. Now we were hungry. Our pre-ordered ‘gharghuti jewan’ (home-made meal) was ready in some Marathi household. We were served a traditional Maharashtrian meal at the courtyard of the household, along with ‘Solkadhi’ a digestive drink made of coconut milk and kokum.
With our belly full and heart content, we set off for our return, twisting and turning again through the ghats, back to our home.