Saturday, April 18, 2009

Karpe Wadi

We had heard a lot about this beach resort at Nagaon, near Alibaug. So when a long weekend came up we decided to drive down and spend a couple of days there

To reach this place , when you are on your way to Murud, take a right turn in Nagaon .... at the chowk where there is a statue of Shivaji. You will have to pay a charge of 25/- here. Karpe's wadi is just around the corner from there.

The place is beautiful no doubt about it. Lots of coconut trees, with hammocks. And the Arabian sea crashing in your backyard. :-)




We are always on the lookout for remote and quiet places. Where we have had a great experience of remote village life on the sea .... no electricity after sundown .... the pitch dark beach with a dome of stars over you ... the silence with only the sound of the waves crashing.

Karpe wadi has been advertised as that way .... which attracted us. Unfortunately, the place was filled with too many people jostling around. And the cottages were in a line ... attached to each other .... too close for comfort. Strange ... coz there is no dearth of space there.

There was nobody at the reception. Finally when we searched out a guy he informed us that the place runs on self service ..... we would get a new description on the word later throughout our stay .... and pointed out our cottage and handed a key. No welcome drink of tender coconut water as advertised. ;-)

We lugged in our luggage. The rooms are small but neat. We were warned that there might be power failures ... and the generator might give away anytime.
Not a very reassuring welcome. Should we have driven on to Murud?



Anyway ... we freshened up and went to the dining area for lunch. It was a buffet layout .... but you are not supposed to touch the serving spoons. A guy will put in just a little of everything on your plate ... almost as if you are suppossed to taste it first and then decide if you want more. :-)

If you ask for a little more, you are given a mocking look .... that calls you a shameless glutton.

The plates you see looked like this after a series of "a little more please". ;-)

Coming to the food ... I know it looks awesome. But it was not.

We love simple and authentic food .... and were expecting the same .... some good and simple local cuisine ..... but were very disappointed. The food was not only completely tasteless ... it was served cold. Everything was cold ... even the dal.
And dinner was worse .... as they serve the same rotis that is made in the morning. Ugh!


But the place is beautiful. If only the people running the place were a little more cheerful, the visit would have been worth it.

At noon.



The same place .... in the evening.


A quiet evening setting in.



We had asked for tea and were waiting. After a while a guy from the reception came over ... crossing the whole place up to the hammocks where we were sitting ... just to tell us that the tea was ready .... and we were to go and get it for ourselves.

I found it very funny ... if he was anyway coming over ... why did he not get the tea? Then remembered ... self service. :-)

And yes, the tea was terrible. So we asked for special tea ... hoping it would be a little better ... but no such luck ... I found the taste absolutely revolting ... as if you were drinking some disinfectant. Gross!

We were already in a pitiable state ... hungry ... they have no snacks ... but we did get a cold drink.



It is sad that such a beautiful place of nature is being used by worthless people to make money. Parallel to the sea ran a pathway in to the woods and dunes. We went for a long walk through them.



On returning we overheard the manager / owner arguing with one of the guests who had approached them for a bar of soap. The person wanted a soap and was being repeatedly told that there has to be a soap in his room. He insisted there wasn't. The manager then asked him to wait and sent a boy to check it out. Quite shocking ... for who would want to swipe a wee little bar of yuck smelling Medimix?

People running resorts for tourists should know that politeness and warmth are the keys to success. Nobody would want to spend time in a place where he/she is made to feel unwanted ... we distinctly got the impression as if we should be sorry we picked that place ... and giving them so much of trouble.
And after paying good money too.

The bottom line is .... if you are in the hospitality bussiness .... you should learn be hospitable first.

We left the very next morning ... could not bear to even try the breakfast on display .... some gooey yellow stuff that the people there did not bother to explain ... only mumbled a name we had never heard of.

On our return journey, we came across this little place on the road ... near the sign that says "Akshi" .... called the Sagar Hotel.

As you can see, it is not much. ... but do not go by face value. They were frying hot vadas. We were dying to have something fresh and hot, so stoppped. The simple and good natured father son duo who run this place immediately came over and served us some hot vadas with the softest pav and fresh coconut chutney .... in clean plates.

Leaving us to eat in peace, they went inside ... and made sure to come back and ask if we wanted anything more.
We asked for tea ... and it was made fresh ... right from boiling the milk to hand crushing the elaichi/cardamom. Absolutely divine. :-)

They had a few things on sale .... we picked up some homemade Poha Papad ( they turned out to be excellent ) and some fresh drumsticks. Also some fresh ripe tamarind.

For the first time in 2 days, we had eaten well ... and were welcomed and served with warmth.
The folks at the resort should get some lessons in hospitality from this simple duo.

As far as we are concerned, I can say we were glad to see the back of that place called Karpe wadi .... and would happily give it a miss the next time we plan for a trip to a beach. :-)

22 comments:

  1. Sharmila,

    What a pity that the beauty of a serene place like this gets subdued by some listless souls. Bet those people are not getting paid enough :)

    I and my friend once went to a pizza place for lunch that had a board outside that said 'All you can eat Pizza for $5.99'!!
    When we entered, we found out the place was run by a Punjabi and since we couldn't see any buffet layout, we went up and asked where the buffet was. This guy showed us a teeny weeny table where two medium pizzas were laid out...one cheeze, and one pepperoni! they looked cold, and there were only a few pieces left!! That was all we could eat pizza....:)
    We thanked him graciously and left the place without any more delay!! :)

    Well, the pictures are awesome, its great Sharmila that you and your partner share the same interests and go out for these soul lifting/refreshing outings often. The very best of wishes to you both of you!! :)

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  2. There is something more to it than less/more pay Joyeeta ... it is attitude... or maybe lack of training.
    At least you could walk out of the place .. we couldn't as we had already paid for the stay.
    Thanks though ... yes ... we are vagabonds still ... always on the lookout for fresher pastures. :-)

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  3. Right said Sharmila, attitude it is and that is why I mentioned my experience. Most Indians lack a good attitude, wherever they go...!! It is like they take their personal grudges to work everyday and rub them off against anyone they have to work with...I totally have experienced this in India many times, in HongKong and the US as well!!

    But look at the other father-son duo...they seem to come from another world!! This contrast we see in life teaches us so much..isn't it??

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  4. I wouldn't group every Indian under that Joyeeta .. it more of personal attitude or interest.

    Every person has this little tendency to shirk work in him/herself .. but a good management can put that right.

    But if there is nobody to guide or take care of the overall sincerity then the result will be what we experienced. :-)

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  5. Fortunately we got a better treatment at karpe wadi. The guy running that place was hospitable. But the rest of the gang is useless.
    The food served there is not the best. Its bland.
    The beach at Nagaon is beautiful.
    If you like spicy food and lonely untouched beaches..may be you shud try the beaches around Sindhudurg and Kudal. They are simply the best and the people there are friendly and hospitable.

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  6. I must say you were lucky Shiva! Else going all the way with such high hopes and having a bad experience really is a wasteage of time and money.
    I'll defintely try Sindhudurg ... much thanks to you. :-)

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  7. Thanks for visiting my blog.These pics are breathtaking!

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  8. i think u got a wonderful time...nice snaps... :)

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  9. Amader moton public er jonyo khaoa bhalo na holey thaka tai mati hoy jai. Ar amar janyo cha tao ekta boro factor. Ekhane jokhon berate jai, kothao cha pai na seita boro dukho, cha ar tar sathe garom garom singara jodi highway'r dhare petam ki bhalo hoto.
    D ke idea dilam ei rokom ekta dokan diy, cha singara bikri korbo, shunlo na pore haath kamrabe

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  10. Ekdom thik Sandeepa! Ki bicchiri experience je holo. :-)

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  11. Chanced upon your blog somehow :) .... amazing and very interesting writings .... loved your travelogues as well as the foodie blog ...
    Happy writing

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  12. Thanks Amitabha! You have some pretty interesting blogs too. :-)

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  13. Dear Sharmila
    anek bar PoDlam all travelogues here..comment kortei bhule jai..ki likhbo..? ami abhibhuto..lekha and photo compositions both..the reflection on water over the sand ripples, exposed roots of the Casurina wao...
    will look forward to more from your camera and pen

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  14. Much thanks Mr.Ghosh! Always love to hear from my readers. Hope to be able to do more posts soon. :-)

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  15. All of the travelogues are great read! The writing is simple and refreshing. Feels like I am taking the journey!! But, was a little dissapointed by no posts after April 2009 :(

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  16. Thank you Roshnai! I share your disapponitment. :-) It has indeed been a long while since we took a break last. I have been planning a vacation for sometime now .. hopefully you will get a read soon. :-)

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  17. Going through your blog i feel you have no idea as to where you were going. Had you carefully gone through the website its an agro-tourism not a star rated property. I would advise you to visit a star rated place if you are looking for the amenities and facilities you expect. They have a capacity of 40 people in a three acre( approx 130680 sq foot) property, i dont think that the place is too small for 40 people.

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  18. Anonymous,
    To each his own.

    If you go through the post properly you will notice that I was talking about courtesy from the people running it / working there and good quality food ... which are basic necessities for me in life ... you are welcome to think of them as amenities for yourself.

    Serving of stale and cold food and lack of cooperation is not something people look forward to in a holiday ... especially if you are paying good money for it.

    I have had some wonderful trips of agro tourism that are run by more rural people who far excel in hospitality and warmth. And they have some excellent fresh cooked food too.
    You may check my post on Morachi Chincholi.

    The area of some acres that you mention is for the few dogs, cats and chicken that we have found running around there. And of course a few jackfruit and coconut trees do not make up for anything agro.
    The rooms are not spread out but are huddled close by each other.

    I suggest you visit the place instead of staying stuck to the website. It is not too far from Mumbai.

    And yes, if a star rating is so important to you I say I'll rate simple good hearted folks who welcome their guests with good manners and hot simple food a double 5 star.

    Thank you for writing in.

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  19. I hang my head in shame! This is very close to my native place. The people in this area are very hospitable. This vadi deserves the review you have done. I have not visited it myself but sound lacking in basic ethics! Pl. don't give up on other parts in Alibag and Murud. Hope you find a better place and the next stay is memorable.

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    Replies
    1. Anjali ... please don't take it personally. I know how warm and simple the people are of that region. I have explored many interiors of Maharashtra and Konkan areas and will never give up on them.
      Murud is our fav getaway and have always had wonderful experinces with the people there ... local and bussiness running ... both. The simple and unassuming Patil's Inn is a wonderful example of local hospitality and food.

      This particular case was unfortunate.
      I write here exactly what we get ... not what we expect. Like I have mentioned, it is the locals who fed us with warmth and hot food finally.

      What I wanted to say here was that if somebody is running a hospitality business, they should learn to be hospitable first. And compromise with hygiene and bare necessities is something no traveler should have to put up with.
      I am not at all mixing up the locals' nature with that of the ones who are running the resort.
      All that said ... we did not have a good experience in Karpe Wadi and that is what I have put up here.
      And I have got some very angry comments and mails for that too. :-)

      Delete

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