From Gokarn towards Honnavar - Part 1

When Tom, Robert and myself reached the temple city of Gokarn that Saturday morning, the only fear was of the rains. Monsoon had already hit the southern coast a week before and we were literally on collision course with it, just 200 kms off Mangalore. We had heard that it was raining cats and dogs the previous two days. But the rain Gods seemed to be in retreat that morning with the sun confidently showing its glowing face amidst the thin clouds. I am not sure whether it was out of sympathy on the three crazy souls from Bangalore or sheer disrespect towards the renowned meteorological department of the country which had predicted monsoon a week or two early this year. Eitherway we were quite happy with the state of affairs. Our plan was to walk all the way from gokarn to Honnavar along the sea shore. To be precise, the idea was to have fun walking from Gokarn "towards" Honnavar, not necessarily "to" Honnavar, except that we had to catch our bus back to Bangalore from Honnavar Sunday evening. After all it is the journey that matters, not the destination.. right?

Without philosophizing much, lemme get to the story. After a quick breakfast at the bus station we walked towards the Gokarn temple. The temple is 10 minutes from the station and the beach is another 5 minutes from the temple. The narrow street that lead to the temple still had the old world charm all around it... old houses with courtyards, priests walking around in dhotis, stores on the street-side selling flowers and prayers echoing from the temple. The beach was almost deserted except for a few fishermen. This was the case with all the beaches we walked; rarely found tourists anywhere. It was quite a feeling to have the beach all for yourself, the only commotion around being the playful rambling of the waves.

Beach walk is like taking part in a quiz like 'Who wants to be a millionaire'. Once you walk across the beach and reach the end of it, you have a hill or rocky cliff blocking the way, like a question. You have three options as answers - [a] stop the walk and go home [b] climb the hill and get down on the other side [c] get around it through the sea. If you choose the right answer, you reach another beautiful beach and get to face the next question at the far end of it. For us the correct option was always [b]. Option [c] was too dangerous and we were anyway too dumb for option [a].

So we climbed the first hill and eagerly looked to the other side. We were disappointed to see level ground all around. There was no beach visible in the vicinity. We had to somehow get to the other side and kept walking along the rocks. Soon we came across private property with electric fence blocking our way. We did not come all the way to get intimidated by metal wires wrapped arrogantly around lifeless sticks. So like civilized cultured homo sapiens do, we jumped across the fence and in a short while rewarded with the splendid view of Kudle beach. The first sight of the beach from the hills was the highlight of the whole trip; viewing things from an unusual angle giving you a different perspective altogether. Probably a fresh look from a different plane is all that we need to breathe life back into routine, monotony.!! The climb downhill was little risky but we touched down at Kudle without any damage. We had a nice walk on the empty beach, chasing flies and appreciating 'Crab-art' on the beach.

Another hill, some breath taking views, few gulps of water and we reached the famous Om beach. There is a well defined walkway from kudle to Om beach with white arrow marks showing the direction from half way up. Om is the most famous beach (infamous in fact for the drugs and other niceties in life!!) and had the only functioning cafe during off season. We took a break, had a few rounds of fresh lime soda and refilled our water bottles. The beach is in the shape of the sacred symbol 'Om' and hence the name. The beach is beautiful and has got quite a few resorts along the sea shore. Our next stop was a small beach called the 'Half Moon beach'. An old fisher woman made some nice tea for us there and while we were enjoying our tea we met Craig. Craig was from Yorkshire and was also on his beach walk. He wanted to cover as much distance as possible in two hours and was literally running in that scorching heat. We resumed our walk and after crossing a rocky terrain and interesting vegetation, reached the Paradise beach.

Paradise is yet another small beach where Mr. Ramakanth lives. (didn't find GOD anywhere; looks like he fled paradise learning about our attempts to regain it) Ramakanth stays in Paradise with his 3 cats, 2 goats and 1 dog. He also got 3 boats, 2 hammocks and 1 Djembe. He offered to make us lunch and we could not resist the offer seeing the hammocks by the sea. It was time to have some bread toast and tomato omlette and take a short nap under the coconut trees. We soon got pampered by laziness and comfort and even thought of staying there for the night. But considering the distance to cover we left Paradise after an hour's rest.

Our destination was a fishing village called Tadari. This is where the Tadari river joins the sea. Boats are available to take you across the river to the village of Agnasini. Tadari is a small and beautiful village and we soon reached the port which was kind of noisy with all the fishing trolleys bringing in loads of fish and the vendors bargaining for it. Soon came the boat to ferry us across and it was a short 5 minutes ride.
click here for more pictures
To be continued....

1 comment:

Rob said...

Mon Ami

Good Job i say. Looks like you've got follower #1.


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