As we walked out of Pristine Resort, we noticed that the neighbourhood boys had created an effigy representing the ills of 2013, which would be burnt at midnight. They were collecting funds to buy fire crackers. That was a fairly noble cause, I thought, getting rid of the evils of the year.
Beach art - a 'Sand Man' - silhouetted against the sun.
The last sunset of 2013 goes by gently.
Junior wanders around capturing sunset scenes along the beach. The last rays of the sun.
Beach shacks are all set for the festivities to bring in the new year.
A zoomed, long exposure shot of the port area far away.
Dinner is served.
Junior's 'modern art'. He points the camera towards the shacks and waves the camera after setting the exposure for a few seconds.
Waiting for the midnight hour.
Fire artists show up, play with long sticks and rings of fire, and pass a hat around after the show. The boys seem to be less than 15 years old.
The much awaited fireworks began a few minutes before midnight. And went on, and on, and on.
We had heard a lot about the beach fireworks, and our expectations were fully met. It was out of this world!
The fireworks display continued all along the coast, from shacks and resorts. From our shack in Uttorda, we could admire the displays being set off at Cansaulim in the north all the way down to Majorda in the south. Our heads were in a state of 'perpetual rotation'. Here... wow... there... look at that... now out there... whee!
The awesome fireworks lasted close to 10 minutes. You don't know which way to turn! It's happening all around!
Click here for a slightly blurred 6-minute amateur video clip of the New Year fireworks at Uttorda Beach.
Finally, it was time to head back to the resort. Sporadic fireworks still continued. Music kept playing on. We walked along the beach for close to a kilometer at midnight, our first late night (or really early morning!) walk. A flashlight was of great help!
Reminders of the festival and holiday season along the way back.
On Jan 1, we set out for our usual early morning walk to the beach. A little bird catches the first rays of the rising sun.
Santa Claus standing by a beach shack under the shade of a Tuborg umbrella has witnessed the fireworks and the coming of the new year.
A home near the resort wished us well for the season.
We noticed the remains of the 'Bad man of 2013'. The local boys had been collecting funds the previous evening. They had indeed stuffed the effigy with fireworks and set it alight!
Finally, it's time to complete our packing and eat a quick lunch before heading to the airport. Fish curry and Veg curries will do very well for lunch.
The customary goodbye drink consisting of local Palm feni, slices of lime and a slice of green chilly for flavour.
Will we be back in December 2014? The comfortable weather, lovely ambiance, yummy food, hospitable people, endless beaches and not to forget, my annual health check-up, all seem to be beckoning us!
Best wishes for a Happy 2014 to all. Why wait for the end of the year to set fire to the 'Bad man'?
Thank you for joining us on our holiday. Bye now!