Turtle Festival Part 1: Bike ride to Ratnagiri

With every journey, my account balance comes down to a number I fear to check & my skin becomes a shade darker but I believe that I should be rich in experiences instead of saving all of that I get.

It is a lovely Sunday morning while I am seated in a coffee shop, sipping my favourite Irish latte in an expensive cafe I can barely afford, but I still continue to come here to splurge once in a while. Guess today is one of those days.

As I begin to write about Vellas, I reminisce the incidents that took place while we were on the journey. It started when I happened to stumble upon a WhatsApp message by the Wandering Soul Riders group. This was an invite for The Turtle Festival at Vellas. I, at that very moment looked it up & asked them to reserve a seat for me.

I packed for a two-day journey in a jiffy on Friday night & had only a few hours before we started the early morning ride to Ratnagiri from Panvel.


This was my first long distance bike ride ever. As we started from Panvel, it was an early morning, with a cool breeze blowing on our faces had our time on the road & bike passed by easily. Only when the scorching sun took over the calm skies, we started sweating & feeling increasingly uneasy. The challenge was to be seated on a two-wheeler for so long.

But as you move on the road, you realise that it will give you seemingly all kinds of experiences, from a sore butt to the joy of tasting the freshly plucked blueberries from a tree on the side of the road on the journey, from getting tanned to drinking Kokam sharbat with soda to hydrate yourself.

My patient bike partner on Royal Enfield
Halting in the shade to beat the heat

From main land Mumbai to the Konkan coast, you will see a subtle transition taking place, with roads flooding with coconut trees as you move towards the Konkan coast & the air becomes more humid.

After riding for 4 hours, we first halted at Bankot fort which is situated near the Vellas village. This fort has a very interesting history. It was first captured by the Portuguese from Adil Shah in 1545 and was later acquired by the Marathas.

Grand Bankot fort faces Bankot creek, where river Savitri meets Arabian sea

This historical architecture with a grand gate, having lots of mango trees & the river facing view, is an amazing treat to the eyes.

Roughly another 30 minutes of riding took us to the Vellas village. And oh my! It is a heaven that should only be explored with one’s own eyes. I feel guilty about popularising it with my blog as I would rather have it secluded than a populated tourist destination. I request you all, if you ever visit Vellas beach, please DO NOT litter it with plastics bags & __. Ā I will get to ‘How plastic adversely affects Turtles’ in my next blog post – Vellas Turtle Festival Part 2: Turtle Nesting & Hatching

Soon we settled in the Konkani rest house, homing with a Maharashtrian joint family. WSR group arranged for our stay & food.

Eating delicious Konkani food next to the Family farm

And having Sol Curry – Which is a local beverage made of coconuts & mint

We retired for a small nap, woke up to the evening Masala Chai & got on our bikes to finally visit the beach finally!

Vellas is known as the ‘Village of Turles’ where the local people help in the nesting & hatching cycle of turtles.

Walking towards Vellas beach, you will have an insightful journey with several informative charts on display about Turtle Nesting & Hatching
And you will pass through the chamber of high-rise coconut trees before the beach comes into your sight

We had two slots to see the baby turtle hatching i.e the breaking of turtle eggs, one in the evening & the other, early next morning. This could take place at any time. That evening, we didn’t get a chance to see it & we simply enjoyed the beach time, with the fishermen coming in to fetch the next day’s supplies & with very few tourists on the beach, it felt serene.

We ended our evening with the crimson colored sky dissolving in the neat waves of the Konkan coast.


And to follow was an early morning, where we witnessed the turtle babies coming to life šŸ™‚

Vellas is indeed a special place & they have a community protecting turtle since quite some time now. You’ll be surprised to know that their survival is important for human existence & will find all of these in my upcoming blog post.

Hope you had a good read.

Stay Outrageous, Stay Carefree

~The Outrageous Girl

5 thoughts on “Turtle Festival Part 1: Bike ride to Ratnagiri

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