6.1.16

Harihareshwar - A New Year's Eve Adventure

HolidayIQ
Fools do rush in where the angels fear to tread. On 31st morning, husband and I decided to take our chances, packed our bags, and drove off to Harihareshwar in Maharashtra. We knew that most of Mumbai will be out vacationing this time of the year, and finding a place to stay might be next to impossible. So we dumped a couple of sleeping bags into the car, and started off on our short road trip. 

We had never been to Harihareshwar, a small town in Raigad, known for its stunning beach. The town also has a temple, which is said to be blessed by Lord Shiva. The river Savitri enters the Arabian sea from here. It's about five hours of patient drive from Mumbai. I say patient, because the roads will test you. It is, however, extremely scenic, and since the husband and I enjoy the roads as much as the destination, this was a perfect getaway for us. 

Now, let this be known about Harihareshwar. It's beautiful alright. But it's a sleepy little town, despite its touristy reputation. It has two lovely beaches, an MTDC resort, a few private resorts, and a few bed and breakfast places. Don't expect cafes, and luxurious stays here. When we set off, we weren't even expecting a warm bed to sleep in. But we got one.


The MTDC Resort is lovely, but was fully occupied.
After inquiring, and being turned away by quite a few places, we found a non-ac room at Gokul Bed and Breakfast. The place is a five minutes walk from the beach, and is a welcoming homestay run by a simple and hospitable couple. Spoilt brat that I can sometimes be, I was quite shocked by how basic, and stripped down the place is. But the husband reminded me that it was better than sleeping in the car, the place was clean, and there was warm water. So, all settled. 


The place is clean, and the owners are friendly and helpful.
I will never, ever forget those curtains!
We now had a roof over our head. But what about the New Year Eve celebrations? Ha! You don't marry a food lover, and not expect to be surprised. I had packed an elaborate picnic basket, with some beautiful vegetable chips ( a BIG shoutout to Roxanne Bamboat for these), wine glasses, chocolates, snacks, and some canned drinks. There was still the question of some food, since Gokul was serving only vegetarian food (31st was a Thursday, and Maharashtrians fast that day, so no meat!). Our quest ended rather quickly, because just a five minutes drive from the hotel was this place, "Pizza Corner" that proudly proclaimed, "Delicious Italian Food". Italian food was Pizza, Burgers, and Soft drinks. The menu listed "Chicken Starter", which we were told was chicken tikka topped with garlic sauce and mayonnaise. We ordered it. It was good. Or maybe we were just too thankful. We also ordered a chicken pizza, which was some sort of Konkan style concoction that went down well with the Diet Pepsi we had managed to procure. 

Back to our room, we browsed through the limited channels, till we found one with Annu Kapoor on it. He kind of saved our marriage that night, by playing some of the best songs from 80s backwards. Food, drinks, chips, classic music, and just the two of us. Not a squeak from the other guests, who all seemed to have gone off to sleep at 11!!! This was the quietest new year both of us ever celebrated together. We chatted late into the night, whispering for the fear of waking up other guests. 

And that, friends, is how we welcomed the new year. No late night parties, no loud guests, no pub brawls, no Bollywood "item" numbers. And it was great! Or maybe, I am just getting old. The next day, we decided to visit the temple. But that's another story. One you shall hear soon. Meanwhile, how did you bring in 2016? I'd love to hear from you. 

2 comments:

  1. Sounds like a lovely New Year. You seem to have made the best of it. I would also have stared askance at the curtains although the outside looks very sweet.

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  2. You made all neat arrangements to enjoy the new year :-D The place looks tidy and clean and provided the rush around that time of the year, it's quite decent too. :-)

    Wish you a happy 2016 ahead... :-)

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