All in all, Alibaug is an ideal place to spend a weekend riding under morning sun or twilight sky, appreciating nature and indulging in a slice of much-welcomed serenity. There is a range of roadways and nature trials that one can discover. Plus, for those wishing to be bolder, Alibaug has large swathes of farmland and pristine hillsides farther down its coast, which can serve as great camping spots post the monsoon season (early June to mid-October). In fact, for the early part of the year when the weather is warming up, cyclists can even indulge in evening rides and find plenty of spots to camp with no habitations for miles around.
For many cycling aficionados who live across Mumbai city or any of India’s other major metros would know how difficult it is at times to find a quiet and decent stretch of road, across which you could traverse with little or no disruption. Often, most of the roadways are crowded throughout the day or present many hazards that tend to ruin the overall experience. Fortunately, Alibaug offers itself as the ideal alternative, for those wishing to indulge their passions in fast cycling or more leisurely travel.
Related to that, the level of traffic is expectedly less, and there are many stretches that witness infrequent vehicular movement throughout the day. However, it would still be wise to be watchful, especially in the township areas, as buses and cars do pass by frequently and there are several places where the roads are narrow.
Otherwise, navigating across Alibaug is fairly good, and there are plenty of road signs and markers to help cyclists along their journey. Plus, there are plenty of stores (general, medical, and mechanics) at various township areas, should visitors require any supplies or need any help.
One of big highlights about Alibaug are the numerous beaches that can be visited, which offer a range of activities such as horse and camel riding, aqua sports, boat rides as well as local food and beverage stalls. Some of the more popular beaches include Alibaug beach, Kihim beach, Nagaon beach, Mandwa beach and Murud beach, where you can, via ferry, visit the famous Murud Zanjira fort. For those wishing to find some place more quiet, Awaaz beach is a great place to visit.
As equally delightful as its beaches, Alibaug offers visitors a rather rich countryside. A part from the main township zones, the smaller housing communities nestled among the vast stretches of farmland exude tranquility. Plus, there are areas where all that can be seen for miles around are green hills, mangroves, trees and open beaches, coupled with the sound of a variety of bird species.
Even the journey to and from Alibaug is rewarding, as ferries passing through the Mumbai Bay are followed by flocks of seagulls. While these sea fowl descend to pick up the tidbits of food caste to them by tourists, they are a joy to witness after a long day of cycling.
Although one could drive from Mumbai to Alibaug, the best way to reach it is via ferry, which would take a couple of hours, depending, of course, on the time of day and season. There are two ports: the Gateway of India, dropping tourists at Mandwa, and Bhau cha Dhakka (Dockyard Road), which drops tourists at Rewas.
For those looking for group cycling events, the group Mumbai Travelers does daylong trips and are one of the more popular organizers with whom most enthusiasts choose to ride.
By Rohan Moorthy
“Rock and Heavy Metal, the Great outdoors, Art, early History, Spirituality and Human Beings…just some of the many things that fascinate me! For more do catch me live at: @RohanMoorthy on Twitter or for more random thoughts do visit me atrohanmoorthy.blogspot.com“