A lonely endless stretch of coast, occasional fishing boats and fishermen, yellow sand dotted with numerous red 'ghost crabs', the melancholy call of the sea gulls making you feel even more lonely, the restless blue sea with its white foam washing your feet every now and then, the wild sea wind trying to lift you off your feet as you walk towards your destination... What more can you want in a weekend escapade?
Generally people think of going to the beaches to indulge into the comfort zone of a hotel, gather sea shells, build sand castles, swim, get tanned and have fun...
But we planned something completely different-- to walk the entire day with the massive Bay of Bengal accompanying us along the way...
On a Thursday, we boarded the Goa bound Amaravati Express that left us in Balasore in the dead of the night (i.e. Friday at around 4 a.m). We had to wait for some 2 hours, until it was dawn, and took a cab till Chandipur Beach. Our coastal trek started from Chandipur beach, Odissa, towards Digha, West Bengal (6.30 a.m). It was a two-and-a-half-days of trek along the coast.
Day 1- Chandipur to Koshafal/Koshafuli/ Kasafal (crossing the Buribalam river by a steamer soon after starting from Chandipur)- It was a 7 hours walk (approx). Night stay at Koshafal. (There are NO hotels in Koshafal. We built a shelter with a plastic sheet in what happened to be a market yard). You can either cook your own food (then make sure you have raw materials and a stove), or you can speak to the local people, and ask for their hospitality (in return of paying them, of course!)
Day 2- Koshafal to Dogra (8 hours walk approx)- Here one has to note the timings of tide and ebb from the residents of the village. One has to cross rivers/ meanders of river a couple of times. It's better to reach early, than be late when one needs to cross the river. When the tide comes in, it gets difficult to make the fishing/ passenger boats agree to help you get to the other side. In Dogra, there is a government rest house (that also serves food) as it is a popular picnic spot.
Day 3- Dogra to Digha (approx 5 hours)- In the final lapse, you reach a village, on the bank of Subarnarekha River. Here again you have to wait for a boat to take you to the other side, and that also depends on the timing of the tide. After you cross, there are auto rickshaws waiting to take you to Digha. Once you reach Digha, there is a rail station. There are also bus depots, from where you'll get Kolkata bound buses.
So, on Sunday night, we reached Kolkata. A memorable trip it was.