Comments about the drive and the Road Conditions.
It was just a 6 hrs 30 min of drive time (with 1 hr 45 min spent for Breakfast and darshans of Ballaleshwar). E way is E way. Goa Highway was fine but the state and isolation from civilisation on SH 102 and 103 had made my wife very edgy and rightfully so. One can travel on this route once to experience the beauty of the surroundings of the drive but let your car be mechanically sound and I do not recommend this route for Solo car (like we did.) A group of two or more cars and if willing to take this road may be OK. It is recommended for safety (Konkan is very safe for individuals, it is just the breakdown that I am hinting at) and also to break the isolation by taking one odd break on the way.
After reaching the Home Stay, we just inquired if car can come in (and it could) and went for lunch (as we had not asked the Home Stay to cook lunch for us) at Nisarga restaurant. We were hungry and ordered fried prawns, fish curry and dal tadka with Rice Bhakari (corse roti). We liked only fried prawns and not other items. The location of the place and the sitting is beautiful but we would not recommend this place. One more traveler staying at home stay later shared our views on this place.
Post lunch we wanted to explore Murud beach. We went to Silver Sand resort, parked our car and went to the beach. We did not realise that there is a way to beach where car can be brought. That way is next to famous Durga Devi temple. We explored the beach. There were lot of people frolicking into water and few enjoying beach quad bikes and horse carts. Very few stalls at beach were doing roaring business. It was fun to watch all these activities. After spending over one and half hour we decided to have some tea at one of those stalls. In the interim I decided to get my car to beach.
As I got my car and parked it on the beach, torrential rain (a typical Konkan phenomenon) started. Luckily we had come geared up with umbrella for all and we could save ourselves. One notable feature was that water sports had not yet started on the beach. Hence we decided to reduce our stay by one and return to Mumbai the next day.
We had already tied up for dinner at home stay. We reached Ashiyana Home Stay at about 1930 hrs and settled down in an AC room.
About Home Stay.
The whole Harnai – Murud _ Karde coast is dotted with hotels, resorts and Home Stays. We stumbled upon Ashiyana during the search on internet. Ashiyana Home Stay Run by Dr Z Dalvi, a Unani Medical Doctor and his wife (who seemed to us the force behind this venture) is on Harnai - Palande main road. It is just about 20 meters from the main road. It may appear that cars can’t reach the home stay but reality is that cars can reach and considerable numbers can be accommodated in their compound.
The Doctor and his family stays on the ground floor and the guest rooms are on first floor. It has four rooms (two AC and two non AC) and a common hall which has two four seat dinning tables. All rooms have attached toilets. The rooms in this home stay are very neat and clean with good beds and clean linen. Towels are also provided if required. The bathrooms also are very clean, functional, have western seats, ample water and hot water is available. It was pleasant surprise to be in a neat and clean Home Stay with modern facilities. It was evident that the owners take pride in providing comforts to their guests.
The dinner was simple vegetarian fare with Konkani style of cooking. It was tasty, well cooked and enjoyable. The clean room, clean toilet and very nice food hooked us to this place. Problem that we faced was that Mahavitran (the Maharashtra electricity distribution co) had either switched off the supply or it had tripped due to torrential rains and thunder activity (event that is a common occurrence in this belt and faced by all resorts and home stays).
The home stay had their inverter so light and fan were available. We were worried about length of power cut and possibility of inverter batteries draining out but soon they switched on generator to feed fan, light and also to charge the inverter. The supply returned at about midnight and then we could switch on the AC.
Morning breakfast of Upama and Poha also was equally enjoyable. We found this place very good and the rates reasonable.