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Said a sign in Ratnagiri yesterday. We were on our way back from Ganpatipule, a little known beach destination with precious little to do, other than hang about on the whitish sands in the early mornings and evenings, hide from the sun’s glare under thatched roofs sipping beer, coconut water or buttermilk, and just laze about listening to the waves and watch fishing boats trawl across the Arabian Sea. It does not have the sophistication of many beach destinations around the world – you certainly aren’t going to get cocktails served to you while you sun yourself, and the beach itself isn’t the largest. It does attract hoards of visitors but these mysteriously keep to one end of the beach, leaving you with the rest of the expanse to yourself and a few others. There is one resort right on the beach, it is cheap and I would describe it as functional. Its biggest draw is its location. Many of the sea facing rooms have little balconies (some of the ones in the back have porches) where you can sit and stare at the stars through coconut fronds in the night, listening to the surf.

This place is relatively off the map but a lot of Indian tourists do know about it. The locals aren’t jaded with tourism and even though you won’t get many special requests honoured, they are still friendly and a bit shy. Yesterday morning, we were lazing about our porch in the shade, watching some locals climbing trees and getting coconuts down. Upon my request (routed through the husband) they gave me one of them and I drank from it without a straw. Later they hacked it so I could eat the tender cream inside.

P.S. I am aware that I still haven’t completed writing about my earlier trip to Sikkim, last year.