Date: 28th February, 2010
The next day, we woke up and checked out of our rooms as we were going to be out & about until lunch. We took another small hut at Sea Rock cafe (but slightly better than the Rs. 100 one) to dump our bags — & I needed one for myself as I was going to be spending one more night here. This one cost Rs. 200 ($4). We paid the lady and then headed to town.
We took an auto (cost us Rs. 150) but we couldn’t call the guy who took us yesterday as there is no mobile network coverage on Kudle beach (Airtel and Vodafone — don’t know about the rest).
Gokarna town is a stark contrast from the popular beaches of Gokarna. Conservative, religious, predominantly-Brahmin, laid back. And lots of cows.
So we just walked around it and headed to the beach.
This is the main beach in Gokarna and it’s quite a big stretch. It’s where the locals throng and visiting pilgrims frequent the most.
And because of that, it’s also the most trashed and crowded beach in Gokarna. We didn’t bother checking it out or walking down the stretch as it really didn’t offer anything special. So we headed back.
We had plans to rent bikes and head for Murudeshwar, which was 80kms from Gokarna but we dropped it in case we were late in getting back. All except I were returning to Bangalore that day and the bus was at 7:15pm. In case you wanted to know, the bikes cost Rs. 300 and above, depending on the kind of bike you want (or at least that’s what the renters told me.)
We roamed around town in search of ATMs.
After withdrawing money from the State Bank of India (there was also a Karnataka Bank ATM), we headed back to Kudle beach for lunch. You won’t find restaurants selling the kind of food you get at Om, Kudle, etc. in Gokarna town. Most eateries are strictly vegetarian.
Once we got back to our room, we checked out again. Why?
Well, there’s an old guy at Sea Rock Cafe who is always drunk and high. The previous night he was chasing a young couple and hurling abuses at them in Kannada. He chased them walking but when they stopped, the old man stopped. Basically he was drunk and was causing a ruckus. But fell short of actually hurting anyone.
Well, he did it again in the afternoon. First joking and then again hurling abuses at everyone. Then he turned his attention to us. He never touched us but we were getting very annoyed. Finally our Kannadiga friend had enough and went to complain to the lady who basically runs the place.
Instead of doing something about their old man, she instead gave our money back and told us if we wanted to leave, we could. So we did.
And then we went next door. We asked Sunset Cafe if they had a room for just me and they showed me a Rs. 250 hut. It was sooooo much better that we didn’t hesitate. We took it, dumped our bags in there and then sat at the cafe for lunch.
It was 4pm and we had plenty of time until my friends had to leave to catch their bus. So we began our long (and lazy) lunch.
As the sun moved towards us, we moved a table away from it.
Come 6 ‘o’ clock, it was time for my friends to collect their bags and head for their buses. So I walked with them until the end of the stretch.
I guess what I liked about Gokarna best were the beaches but also, the kind of people who thronged this place. Take for example these Swiss hippies. One of them was playing a instrument called Hang. It was a unique sound produced on a steel vessel-like instrument. Check it out:
I liked it so much, I even bought the guy’s CD.
After we said our goodbyes and I walked back.
After sun set, I took bath in the common washrooms (as most huts don’t have an attached toilet) and watched the movie ‘City of God‘ on my laptop. (Very good movie by the way)
After that, I attempted night photography.
Sunset Cafe is a much better deal than Sea Rock Cafe and I’m glad we shifted. I can recommend this place over Sea Rock any day!
I enjoyed my sleep a tad better than last night‘s.