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.

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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.

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My patient bike partner on Royal Enfield
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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.

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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 & __.  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.

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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.

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Walking towards Vellas beach, you will have an insightful journey with several informative charts on display about Turtle Nesting & Hatching
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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.

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

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