I wouldn’t want to call it anything else. Decorative adjectives might steal Ottinene Beach off its pure, natural beauty.
Ottinene Beach — I must say — turned out to be the best part of our beach-hopping trip along the Karnataka Coast. When I looked up this place, I chanced upon so many good things people had to say about this coastal area in Byndoor. I heard that the cliffs around here lent this place unique beauty and that it was a place for spectacular sunsets.
All that, it was.
It turned out to be better than anything I had read about it. It was pretty clean. Most importantly, it was unspoilt. How unspoilt, you will know by the end of the post.
Ottinene Beach was such a soothing picture: of stretches of undisturbed sand, dark rocks adding some contrast to the scene, of a river gently meeting the sea and almost invisible small white crabs playing tag on the beach, not having to worry about being run over by boisterous human giants.
The Byndoor river flowing down to the sea was one of the first things that caught my eye when I got there. The estuary was a stunner; it seemed to enhance the already sublime setting. It was not one of those rivers that furiously dumps its waters into the larger body of water. Instead the river chose to ever so gracefully offer its waters to the Arabian sea.
When we pulled-over near there, my littlest one was fast asleep and showed no signs of waking up. So hubby offered to babysit for a while so that SonnyBoy could begin playing in the sand. However, when we walked down to the beach we just decided to go for a stroll along the almost-deserted beach.
We headed for the estuary. It was on the way there that I noticed the crabs. They were almost transparent or should I say fairly-well camouflaged on the finely powdered sand and I didn’t see it from afar. I was surprised by the sight of these delicate crabs on the beach. Then, as we walked further down we saw that it was quite a party over there. There were so many of them.
And the sand was not as undisturbed as I thought it was. The crustaceans had dug small holes all over and this only added to the natural beauty of Ottinene.
And the seemingly ladylike river I first saw, was found breaking and carrying away chunks of sand along its path to the salty vastness. It was quite something to watch small and big pieces of moist sand get eroded. We saw a large piece trying to hold on to its footing for a bit and finally give in, deciding to go with the flow. The process was quite slow but we chose stay and watch the process before we retraced our path.
On the way back when we got to some big rocks we had run down on that descent to the beach, I spotted something else — a white star on the beach. We walked around those rocks and I could barely believe me eyes for there in front of me was a small constellation of starfish!
In the couple of hours we spent at Ottinene Beach that evening, there were only a handful of visitors: a few families who didn’t spend a whole lot of time there and two groups of students who probably didn’t get enough of the beach as they were ushered back into their school buses in a few minutes of their arrival. So we, and the crabs and starfish did have the beach to ourselves for a good part of the evening.
Later, when we finally walked down to feel the ebb and flow of the waves, I found that the waters of Ottinene Beach were even richer. I hadn’t seen so many shells in a long, long time. (Or maybe I did and just cannot remember. What’s more — I could see them move about in the crystal clear shallow waters there. Yes. There was life in them.
Fast forward to late evening, I didn’t feel like leaving. At least, not until sunset but then the sun didn’t seem to want to leave the beach either. Seriously it felt just like that. So we left before the sun did, because there was one other thing we had to do before night fall.
Looking back at the visit to Ottinene Beach, what was unexpected was that even after all the bits and pieces I had gathered from the internet and also Karnataka tourisms’s promotional material, we didn’t find clear directions to beach. Not even the two maps of those two big internet giants that we have come to rely on for directions, were of any real help. The maps didn’t give us ‘directions’ as such. But I did find a random map that marked something labelled ‘secret beach.’ We took some leads from that. It was quite like trying to find the way to a little dot on a physical map. But we got there, safe and sound and left there in one piece. And now, this is what I have to say: it is ok that it is. as it is. Perhaps this is why this beach continues to be what it should be: quite quiet, absolutely calm, a haven for little sea creatures and, most of all, ‘simply beautiful.’