Trip To St. Mary's Island

First of all, a short and simple intro :

St Mary’s Island is a small group of islands lying 58 km north of Mangalore and little to the north of the port of Malpe town. St. Mary’s Island are known for their famous basalt rocks which have crystallized into columns and split into hexagonal mosaic.

Now,about my trip :

One of friends(Pratik) had asked me if I would be kind enough( 😛 ) to accompany him to St. Mary’s on Sunday,10th Jan. Well, I did not have any urgent work and moreover it was my first weekend at Manipal in the new year, so I readily agreed. Next Day, I bunked gym( Yes, I started gyming) and we started at 10 after having a nice breakfast. There were 14 people and I knew only 3 well. I had asked my friend (Abhinav) to accompany us just half an hour before because I knew had I asked earlier he would have said a clear “NO”.

We took a Bus from the MIT Bus Stop to Udupi and then took another to Malpe. Then, a ferry to the Island. Detailed travel instructions below.

During the ferry ride, there was water all around us and I remembered the famous “Water Water everywhere but not a drop to drink” from “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner” by Samuel Taylor. On reaching the island, we quickly changed and took some nice pictures (We had a wonderful photographer among us ).After a round pf pictures, where each one of us displayed their best poses, we went to the other end of the island. There were big rocks all around and I later came to know that these are Basalt Rocks and St Mary’s is the only place in India where these kind of rocks are available. The water too was quite ok but not very clean (thanks to the careless tourists). We went to a place which was surrounded by rocks and there was water in the middle. We started swimming and I got a chance to try out my skills ( 🙂 ). We played catch – catch and some other idiotic but fun-filled games. At around 3, we boarded the ferry again to take us back to Malpe as the last ferry was supposed to be at 4 and we were not in a mood to spend the night there. If given a chance,I really plan to spend a weekend at an island. On reaching Udupi, I had lunch after getting turned down at two restaurants. One more bus ride and HOME SWEET HOME ( Well, I call my hostel my home )

Travel Instructions from Manipal

1. Take a bus to Udupi bus stop.

2. Ask for a bus to Malpe Harbour, tell him clearly that you intend to go to St Mary’s Island.

3. At the Malpe bus stop, walk for around 200 meters to Malpe Harbour .

4. Buy a 1 rupee entry ticket for the harbour.

5. Go right till you see a gate and a shipyard.

6. You would find a ticket counter there, buy a to and fro ticket costing Rs 80 for the ferry ride to the Island

7. Wait for the ferry, it can take upto 1 hour. As soon as the ferry comes, don’t rush, make a queue and board it nicely. Pushing others is dangerous as people may fall off into water.

8. Find a seat, the ride takes around 30 minutes. There are two floors in the ferry, go upstairs if you can spare another 30 bucks.

9.All the passengers are transferred to a smaller boat which then takes them to the island.

10.This boat ride takes 5 min. Get down safely and voila, you reached the island.

Tips :

1. Be prepared to get yourself drenched. Take another set of clothes if you are too shy to take of clothes while in water. More importantly, take a towel.

2. Take adequate amount of food along ( Chips and cold drinks). Alternatively , if you are a rich lad, you can buy them at the island at triple the price.

3.Take along a nice camera.

4.Most important, take your friends along.

Final Word : On reaching the island, I was not actually happy as I expected a lot more but at the end it turned out to be one hell of a trip. I recommend all my friends to at least visit once.