Date: 1st March, 2010
Since this was my last day in Gokarna, and since I was all by myself, I decided to do things at my own pace.
Woke up at around 10am, did my business in the common restrooms, paid for my room/hut and then checked out. Stocked up on water and said my goodbyes to the staff at Sunset Cafe.
My second post has photos of Sunset Cafe but if you want to call for reservations, the numbers mentioned on the card they gave me are: (0) 94485 26270 & (0) 93410 79315. They have huts and rooms with prices starting from Rs. 250 onwards.
I thought I’d be of service to my readers and friends by checking out a few other options that looked like decent places to stay on Kudle beach.
By far the most expensive hotel on Kudle Beach is Hotel Gokarna International.
And by ‘expensive,’ I mean this is the only proper hotel on Kudle beach. Just about everything else offers simple huts and small bricked rooms. Rates here range from Rs. 1200 ($26/€19) to Rs. 1500 ($33/€24) for double rooms. Not all rooms face the sea — so you can imagine which ones cost more. Hotel Gokarna International has a bar and a restaurant serving both vegetarian and non-vegetarian food. And don’t worry, no shared bathrooms here.
Next up is a funky little place called Jazzmin Cafe & German Bakery. They were fairly accommodating and asked me to take as many photos as I wanted. So I did.
When I questioned them on prices, they told me it’s best I e-mail them with my “requirements” (e-mail: email@example.com).
At the other extreme end of Kudle beach is Ganga Cafe, which looked like a pretty decent place too but I couldn’t have been bothered to walk all the way there with all my bags in the hot sun. Sorry.
So with all my bags in tow, I made my way up the rabbit hole for the last time.
I then took the same path over the hill to Om Beach, which is where I decided I’d spend the day before heading back to town. The reason I opted to stay back one more day was to take a lot of videos on my camera (Canon 7D). Of course, I did take photos in between.
It was already past noon by the time I reached Om Beach so I decided to have an early lunch. I walked into Namaste Cafe, by far the most popular joint on Om Beach and a preferred stay for many who tend to book rooms in advance.
Their restaurant was quite busy as well.
Namaste Cafe has a variety of rooms from basic huts to air-conditioned rooms and prices start from Rs. 200 upwards. For more information, call (08386) 257141/ (0) 94481 53643.
Om Beach attracted bus loads of people that day, guessing because some people got holidays for the festival of Holi.
After a long & lazy lunch, I decided to walk up Om Beach and climb up the path to Half-Moon beach. So I asked my waiter if I could leave my laptop bag at a safe location at the restaurant itself. After doing so, with my tripod and camera bag, I set off once again.
I had to wear socks this time as my feet were getting blisters and scratches from my floaters and from walking barefoot on the sand.
I took the same path we took the day before.
As it was nearing 5pm, I decided to head back to Om beach.
Back at Namaste Cafe, I collected my laptop bag, washed up, cooled off with a lime soda and then made my way up to the auto stand.
Got into one, and saw the beautiful coastlines of Gokarna one last time while I made my way back into town.
Since I had some time to kill before my boarding the bus, I went to the Gokarna beach area for some photographs.
By this point, my camera battery was dying from all the video I recorded during the day. But I couldn’t help but click these posters.
After this, I switched off my camera and made my way to bus. The VRL buses begin at the same spot they drop you in the morning coming from Bangalore. By 6:45pm, it makes it’s way to the town office where it picks up the remaining passengers.
I took this opportunity to go out and grab some grub. I had a sudden yearning to have some ice cream but some stores ran out. Others pointed me to an old rustic coffee shop up the road.
As I patiently waited for the old man at the counter to finish tabulating his bills, I asked for “ice cream”. And then he ran down the list of flavours he had. Going by what he listed, I realized this was home-made ice cream and not the usual mass-produced artificially-flavoured stuff.
I opted for a scoop of mango and he packed one up in a generic ice cream cup with a lid and spoon. All this for how much? Rs. 6 ($0.13).
In many ways, Gokarna feels like it’s stuck in time. A time and a place where you can get a cup of ice cream for just Rs. 6, where ATMs aren’t available in every nook & corner and amenities are basic at best.
The very same reasons I seemed to love Gokarna. It may not remain like this forever, that’s for sure, but I’m sure about one thing — I’m definitely coming back!