After reading our blog, my dear husband decided to ‘surprise’ me with a anniversary getaway to Chiplun. A beautiful town in the district of Ratnagiri, Chiplun is a 6-7 hour drive from Mumbai, almost mid-way to Goa. After a tiring drive (see the planning – we started only after having lunch!), we reached Mr Dinesh’s Farms, a place recommended by our friend Dipti. Google Maps took us straight to this place without much fuss.
Set on top of a hill overlooking the valley and in the midst of an 18 acre cashew and mango orchard, the owner has very tastefully developed this lovely farm-stay. No wonder, we fell in love with the place almost instantly.
We found ourselves in the midst of a local festival (called Gondhal in Marathi), post which the villagers pick up jobs on fields. After a heavy bhakri-mutton dinner, we enjoyed the festivities in the local temple, before starting on a jungle safari in Dinesh’s jeep. Other than the driver, there was one person perched on top of the jeep while another sat in the bonnet holding a loaded rifle. Dramatically enough, we drove through the dense forest, listening to the driver’s story about sighting a tiger pair a few months ago in the very same route.
The next morning was absolutely pleasant. Waking up to the sight and call of peacocks was some experience. We had a lazy breakfast and spent some time in the garden (although there was a very inviting, ultra-modern pool, given the cold water, we did not dare), before heading for a boat ride in the Vashisth river. This bandar/ jetty is unique – it is a place where four talukas of Ratnagiri district meet, Guhagar and Chiplun on on side of the estuary and Dapoli and Khed on the other. We spent our time talking and enjoying the great weather while floating on the calm waters.
After a heavy fish-bhakri-rice lunch we drove back to Mumbai, with our mandatory vada-paav stop at Kshuda Shanti Kendra (literally translates to satiating your hunger).
All-in-all, full marks to my husband for having meticulously planned and given me a surprise. What a lovely weekend!
About the author: Tejas Parulekar is a first generation entrepreneur who has (ad)ventured into a domain that is traditionally dominated by large hospitality chains and other travel portals. A Banker by experience and Chartered Accountant by training, she is aspiring to leave an imprint in the hospitality sector by bringing together the little fish (Homestays) to take on the mighty shark. Encourage her and her homestay hosts by booking your next stay on www.saffronstays.com.