Land and hit the sand!

Land and hit the sand!
No two beaches are ever the same. And it’s not just about burying your toes in the sand or chasing crabs any more.

Beach vacations have become a staple for many Bengalureans, and standing on the threshold of summer, they want no grain of sand left untouched or no wave uncounted.  Neha Paranjpe, who calls herself a waterbaby, tries to travel every two months, and beaches are an incredible part of her bucket list. “There is something about the sun, sand and the surf which recharges me so much. For the last three years, I have been celebrating my birthday on the beaches,” says Neha, who works with an ecommerce website.

“Although I live in Bengaluru, I hail from Pune, and the Konkan coastline has always been a favoured destination.” However, it is her recent trip to the Sri Lankan beaches that left her spellbound. She traced the southerncoast line of the country. “We were a group of friends who had planned the trip according to what each one wanted. We started from Yala beach, which is predominantly for surfers and travelled along the coastline, covering Mirissa, Unawatuna and Gaulle. It was splendid,” she recollects.

 But the real allure of the beach, she says, was watching the whales and dolphins doing somersaults in Mirissa. “It was the best experience I’ve ever had. You are taken in a boat to the middle of the sea, just before the international waters, from where you can watch the blue whales jumping high. We wound up our trip with the Hikkaduwa beach, which is known for scuba diving,” she narrates.

For Kitty Iyer, a travel blogger, the African beaches tug at her heartstrings like none other. “The best beaches I have ever done are the ones in Zanzibar and Dar-es-salaam. They are not very crowded. Unfortunately, Africa is only know for its wildlife and not for its beaches. Saadani beach, that lies in the Southern National Park in Tanzania, offers an experience that cannot be described. You could actually spot pug marks in the sand including that of lions,” she explains.

“There are cottages in the beach and you wake up to the sun rising over the waters. However, after 6 pm, you can’t go anywhere  without the guard. The funny part is that the washroom is located a tad bit outside the cottage and there are occasions when people have noticed pug marks inside the washroom —  chances are you might run into an animal in the washroom,” she laughs and adds, “However, the one that also remains in memory is Majorca in Spain. It was a beautiful beach but shocked me for obvious reasons,” she says. Nishita Ganguly, deputy manager with Deloitte, too loves the white sand beaches in Dar-es-salaam. “Their untouched beauty is what makes them  special. I have also been to the beaches of Bentota.

They are perfect on a full-moon night. Star gazing is ideal as in the clear sky, you can see more stars than you ever can from any corner of India,” she says. “The northern most beach in Goa, called Keri, is  another lesser known spectacular beach with not more than three makeshift shacks, ideal for a time away from the cacophony,” she adds. A lover of water adventures, she finds snorkelling an amazing experience. “In Zanzibar, we took a small dhow into the ocean and  jumped into the water right in the middle of the Indian Ocean and swam amongst the dolphins. The view is great, the feel is even better and the moment lasts forever.”

These die-hard beach girls also lament the poor state of Indian beaches.“Cleanliness is the biggest problem for us. Plastic and other disposable items should not be used or sold on the shacks of our beaches to ensure that nobody litters. Dogs and cattle should not be allowed on the beaches, so that we can enjoy the beautiful view of the sunset while walking, instead of having to watch every step to avoid the dung,” points out Nishita.

 Kitty, meanwhile, is now all set to swim with the sharks in Coron in Philippines.  By all counts, for the beach faithful, no water is off the radar!
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