Two-wheeler fun in Diu

It’s easy to get around Diu on foot; the island is small enough for it. However, it’s not the most efficient method. Moreover auto-rickshaws are hard to come by. Everybody zips around in two-wheelers and the guide books had mentioned that they are easily available for daily hire. So we checked with our hotel guys and they arranged a Scooty ES for Rs.175 per day. And what fun it is!!

We immediately took off towards Nagoa beach, which is about 4km west of Diu city. The road runs parallel to the coastline and is quite scenic. There was hardly any traffic so it was absolutely peaceful and stress-free. When we got to Nagoa Beach, we parked at one end of it and strolled over to the other. It was only around 10:30am in the morning but the sun was beating down already so I kept trying to find shade amongst the palm trees that fringe the beach. The beach, itself, is nothing great. It wasn’t unclean or anything; it just wasn’t as sandy or pretty as those in Goa or Kerala. Beyond the palm trees, a narrow, paved road separated the beach resorts from the beach. They looked ideal for a family vacation of doing nothing but staring out at the sea and lazing in the wonderful sea-breeze. We sat beneath the palm trees and did the same. There were a bunch of school kids who seemed to be on a picnic. There was also a stall that was arranging parasailing for the adventurous. We watched all this for a while, took some pictures and eventually walked back to our bike.

We rode further west along the coast but didn’t find much. So we turned around and headed back to Diu city along the same road. On the way, we turned right into an area called Fudham. It had a derelict Portuguese church, which looked great from the outside. The main entrance was closed but we could peek in a bit to see a small altar with a few pews – looked quaint. From here we rode further in as the map pointed out 2 beaches and a Sunset Point in the area. But it was noon and was starting to get really warm. So we decided to get back to Diu city and come back to the Sunset Point later in the evening.

After lunch, we went to a cyber cafe and spent a couple of hours surfing the net and updating our blog. At around 4pm, when the heat was at a much bearable level, we rode out to Diu’s foremost attraction – the Diu Fort. This is at the east end of the island and is just about a kilometer east of Diu town. We parked in the parking lot outside and walked into the massive fort. As we walked in, we noticed a landing pier to the left. From here there’s a clear view of the former jail called Pani Kotha (Gujarati) or Fortim-do-Mar (Portuguese), which is a little out in to the sea and can only be reached via a boat. Unfortunately, visitors are not allowed to land there – one can only take a boat towards it for a closer look. We didn’t bother, though – the view from the landing pier was good enough. Later we passed thru the fort’s double moats and entered the massive enclosure. Just within the main entrance, to the right, is a sub-jail where some kind of construction or repair work was going on. Further in, the fort had several bastions, which had huge cannons looking out into the sea menacingly. The entries to most bastions were thru a steep ramp that led up to a platform from where the view to the seas was clear and obstruction-free. There were also a couple of chapels – one was closed and the other, a smaller one, was within a bastion. There was also an Armor House, which had old, wrecked machinery that looked interesting and scary at the same time. We walked the periphery of the fort and realized that it was rather huge and in its day, quite an imposing one. Today it’s in a little bit of ruin with no apparent effort to restore it. There are hardly any marked signs except for a few here and there. In contrast, some of the huge forts by the sea in Maharashtra seem to be in better shape and better cared for. Nevertheless, Diu fort is definitely worth a visit…

Since it was now close to sunset, we rode our Scooty to the Sunset Point that is Southwest of Diu City. The beach or rocky stretch that overlooks the sea, where the sun was setting, was quite dirty and uninviting. So, instead of going to the beach, we sat on a ledge at the side of the road and watched the beautiful sun from there. It set completely around 6:10pm. I absolutely love this time of the evening; the sunless sky, before it’s dark, always looks spectacular!

It had been a long day of sight-seeing but loads of fun, especially because of the mobility we achieved thru the Scooty. Every visitor to Diu must definitely hire one if they plan to explore the island properly. Moreover it’s just pure fun.   For tomorrow we have just one more place left to explore – the Nagar Sheth Haveli

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