Recalling experiences from my West Coast ride, this episode is from the night I camped all alone at Apsara Konda Beach, the night that easily qualifies for the craziest thing I have done till date. Being truthful here, I admit I was no hero of that night and this was the first time I was going to attempt such a thing. Here is what transpired that night.
Camping Site-Selected. I knew I should be done pitching the tent before the sun goes down, so I zeroed in on the camping site by 4.30 pm. It was Apsara Konda Beach, located around 30 kms from Murudeshwar Beach. It was a little isolated, clean and nice, away from notoriety of drunkards and I was told: A guard stays there for the night. But, little did I know!
Dinner- arranged. As the camp site didn’t have food facility, I stuffed in food by 5.30 pm and took some to have in the night. I knew once it’s dark, it will also be time to sleep, so I shouldn’t worry about the night. But… little did I know!
Tent-pitched. It was very windy but with the help of some surprised and curious people, my tent stood tall by 6.30 pm and we watched a very beautiful sunset, that orangy ball kept going down and down. Soon it was dark and I was in my tent after inserting the pegs to fix the tent nice and tight. But again, little did I know!
And then… Soon the beach was deserted and it was pitch dark outside. Time was hardly 7.30 pm when there was eerie silent all around except for the waves hitting the shore. I stepped out with my torch to gauge the area and found a big problem, the first one. I observed that a chance of my being a little too close to the sea was possible and sea level might rise in the night. Though I knew I should be safe, but the thought wouldn’t go away. I then dragged my pitched tent away and fixed the pegs once more. The inexperience showed up, but it’s okay, I thought.
I came back inside once again and saw the photos I had taken that day. While pondering over that day’s experiences and enjoying the coastal winds, I know not of when I slept. But then…
I woke up suddenly with the sound of my tent wavering in the wind. That should have been 10.30 pm or 11. Sleep didn’t cooperate with me again and I took out my phone to inform my brother of my whereabouts. My mind started to wander on the various situations I can be in as the night followed and none of them were encouraging. To avoid such thoughts, I took to writing that night. I wrote what I was feeling and I wrote anything that came to mind. Some of my notes from that night, with time stamps:
¶Make the sand flat bed before tenting. Preferably carry a sleeping bag. My back hurts.
¶Good thing: Not many know I’m tenting here.
Bad thing: Not many know I’m tenting here. Where is the guard they spoke of? 🙁
Post that, the situation just kept getting worse. There was thunderous lighting. There was strong wind trying to fly my tent off. There was heavy rain. I was distracted, I was getting moved, I was trying to find the reason behind this attempt of mine. I continued writing.
¶Good that lot of juice left in my cell phone battery.
¶1110, Want to read, but “5 people you meet in Heaven” sounds like a depressing title right now.
¶My bike is parked a little over 300 m from here but the thing is I can’t see a damn thing outside to even think about pack up right now.
¶I should be okay if I stop looking outside and stop listening.
¶Every now n thn, whn the sound of my tent wavering in the wind changes, I bend out to hv a luk if thr is smbdy, turns out just the wind changed its direction.
¶Get a whistle and hope u nvr use it.
¶I should blog this as “Things NOT to do”.
¶1140, it’s raining badly. but the wind has gone down a bit.
¶Wondering wht hpnd to those 4 guys who had planned to sleep out in the open. 😀
¶Hope that water holding capacity of my tent holds n is not crossed.
¶1226, was scared of ppl in the night but now of nature.
Think that was not enough because then my tent almost collapsed as I realized one of the pegs had given up. I tried to provide support from inside through my leg, but it just wouldn’t hold.
¶1236, mustered up all the courage I had left, to chk the faltering peg and reinstall it. Nature tuk all my pics in full flash and I cudnt bring myself to say cheese.
¶1244, it’s calm rite now, no wind or rain. I’m hvng an uneasy feeling though.
¶0101, trying to sleep.
¶0330, just woke up. feeling better.
I stepped out at 4 again, but with far greater confidence as I had seen worse that night. And there were just so many stars, so many of them.
¶N the waves r so white…almost grinning with mouth wide open…reminding me of the happy dent white ad.
¶0503, I’m hungry.
The daylight started to break in and it was the best thing to witness after a long long time. I had a moment of ultimate pleasure when I packed up and met my bike which was washed by the rains last night.
I was happy that I made it through and also sad and glad about meeting a side of myself I didn’t know. My friends and myself too have hardly heard me saying this, but that night… I was scared. I did find a slight justification though for the fears of that night because weather was really harsh, as recorded in this photo taken right by the beach road.
But do I regret it?
No, not much. Good or bad, it’s always a learning experience. Plus the sunrise from behind the mountains more than made up for it.
Will I do it again?
Ohh yes. Now I have to, more so because I need to overcome that fear and find the sense of confidence once again.
What was your scariest moment? And how did you come out of it? Please do share.
¶0640, I leave.
Murudeshwar to Goa- The Beach Run on West Coast
This is so gripping and intense. Conquest of fear finally, which not many people can dream of and you probably wish to do this again!!
Thank you sir. I really wish to accomplish it and give my senses a second shot! 😀
Crazy but must have felt awesome later…:-)
Ohh yes Himshi, it took some time but it felt awesome, esp when I saw the first hint of daylight. 😉
Ohhh this is so familiar, this reminded me so much of my first few nights spent camping alone, in the violent wind and all the scary noises and dark fears of the night! Solo camping is not easy! For me, the secret was earplugs.
It is not easy, but has a thrill of its own… No? 😀
So did you go solo camping again?
Haha, not yet. I am looking for some plans to surface, as of now camping with friends 🙂
wow, Jatin…u had a fantastic night, juggling with the tent,thoughts & fears…lucky that u didn’t have little guests (crabs, scorpions, etc.) in your tent, to make your life a little more chaotic
Hahaha, only they were missing! 😀
That is really scary.
I had a scary moment once when photographing a crocodile.
Hehe cute article there 🙂
Times could get testing when traveling alone, but all you could do is wait.
Thanks mate, you’re right. You’ve got a wonderful blog yourself, keep it up 🙂
Thank you so much. Learning from your blogs too 🙂
[…] if you get time, just try camping solo at Apsarakonda beach on the Western […]
Hi Jatin, pondered on your blog while searching for experiences of solo camping. Very well experienced and expressed night, i would say. Thanks for sharing.
Thanks Anand! A terrifying night once, an interesting story now. 😉
Gosh !!! it’s a great experience though. I just somehow recalled our Dudh Sagar trip.
Haha, Dudhsagar was epic too. This one was just downright crazy!