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Turtle Bay A Rustic Adventure land

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Turtle Bay Resort nestles, relaxed and unpretentious, on a sandy stretch of beach some 50 km north of Udipi, Karnataka. It comprises a cluster of waterfront cabins, cottages and pitched tents and makes no claims of being a luxury hotel. Rather, it is a back-to-nature retreat snuggled in the coastal village of Trasi, far from the madding crowds. During weekends, students from neighbouring Manipur College come here to unhinge from the hectic grind of books and unwind as it serves as an ideal base to indulge in a whole lot of nothing.

For activity beyond the hammock, stroll down miles of powdered beaches and feel the sand caress your toes, splash about in the clear blue waters of the Arabian Sea, snorkel with multi-hued fish at Coral island just off the coast, enjoy a relaxed picnic on a rocky outcrop, drop in at the neighbouring fishing village bustling with the traffic of fishing boats, go on a boat cruise down the backwaters fringed with a riot of vegetation…

One of the highlights of the trip, however, is going on a trek into the rain forests of the neighbouring Sahyadri range that runs down the west coast of the sub-continent. The nature trails here snake through mountains which received the second highest rainfall in the country after Cherapunji. So it is not really surprising that the silent forests that drape these slopes are streaked with spectacular perennial waterfalls. And there are so many of them that one can go on a five to six day trekking trip with overnight halts either in forest department lodges or tented camps and visit a different waterfall each day.

The trail follows a twisting course that coils up forested slopes, jumps over rocks and thick undergrowth. After a good two hours of sweaty trekking you will hear the roar of the waterfall well before you reach it. Haul yourself over one last fold in the land and the waterfall revealed itself in all its splendour: a curtain of water blowing in the wind as it tumbles down a soaring cliff and into a pool of crystal clear water. This is a realm that goes beyond picture postcard beauty. As you strip down to your swimsuit and wade into the waterhole you will discover that even in paradise the water can be biting cold. But don’t let that stop you. Dive into the inviting pool and swim (or walk if you cannot swim – the pool is not deep) to one of the rocky ledges under the spray of the waterfall. It does not take time for the body to adapt to the chill factor though an occasional gust of breeze could make you shiver.

The thrill of soaking in nature’s own swimming pool is truly amazing but, as with all good things, it must come to an end. After climbing out of water soak in the warmth of the sun by stretching out on a rock and hovered in the happy cusp between wakefulness and sleep. The truth is that at the edge of the waterfall, the lines between reality and fantasy are fairly blurred.

The trek back to the resort is less demanding as much of the trail is now downhill. Once there, climb into a hammock and perfect the Zen of doing nothing once more… you have earned it.

File Facts

Turtle Bay Beach Resort is located in Trasi, a coastal village about half a km off the Bombay/Goa/ Mangalore National Highway No. 17.

The closest airport is at Mangalore (108 km). The closest railway station is at Kandapur (18 km) on the Konkan Railway line.

Turtle Bay Resort, the only hotel in the area, has cottages, beachfront shacks and tented accommodation.