Accommadations: Shubhankar Homestay; booked through booking.com; $26/night + amenities
Food: Other than the breakfasts at Shubhankar we ate at a small Indian/Chinese restaurant a 5 minute walk south on the main road.
Transportation: we arrived via train and auto-rickshaw and walked while there.
Communication: no wifi but we went to an internet shop in the village a couple of times; my phone’s internet connection was slow and iffy
This was all about the beach. One huge, long, amazingly textured beach with almost no one on it. Ok, on the weekend a few people, plus some folks from a retreat came out at sunset to stand in the water. Otherwise there were times when we were the only people on the beach.
However, the many small crabs created interesting textures on the beach from their burrowing.
We walked to the train station at 6am and boarded for our 7am departure. We had a 4 berth compartment all to ourselves for the 8 hour ride. We couldn’t open the window but had A/C if we felt hot. It was our own little world complete with yummy foods (cheap). It took at least an hour to clear Mumbai and then we were crossing the misty plains leading to the Western Ghats, a range of hills strung down the west coast.
An hour long auto-rickshaw ride up the coast from Ratnagiri delivered us to our homestay; bouncing along with tantalizing view of long long beaches and past numerous small villages. Although there wasn’t much traffic everyone dodges and whips around one another.
Malgund is on the Konkan Coast, an area popular with Indian tourists but not Western. That’s probably because the tourist infrastructure here is not geared for Western tourists. Very few people speak English, beyond the usual “Hello. Where are you from?”. We managed to get along just fine though as our hosts spoke English and smiles and gestures can go a long way.
There isn’t a whole lot to say about endless walks on the beach: watching spinning spiral shells with hermit crabs roll back and forth in the spume; little tiny quarter inch clams borrow themselves into the sand; 1 -2 inch crabs burrow their way also, leaving intricate patterns on the surface; the sound of wind and surf. The small surf was fun to swim and float in.
We booked for three nights, we stayed for five (partly because I got the sniffles, but it was easy to stay).
Other than walking on the Malgund Beach we walked to Malgund village several times and to Ganpati Pule once. Ganpati Pule is a temple destination. We did go to see the Ganesh temple there but the lineups were so long we ended up on the local beach instead. It was crowded. It was fun to watch how Indians enjoy the beach.
Poor Sue. She felt compelled to swim in pants and T-shirt so as to not shock the locals. Meanwhile I could strip to swim trunks and fit right in. We did meet a few locals and Indian tourists on the beach and in the village. All in all our time at Malgund was very laid-back. On our last evening we strolled down a back road, past a temple and many small homes in the dusk. Little traffic disturbed us and a few other people were out enjoying the evening.It was so peaceful we weren’t sure we really wanted to leave.