Saturday, January 17, 2009

Gokarn bike trip..

I always wanted to go on a longg bike trip on my dear darling Avenger but things never worked out. But as Kareena Kapoor rightly said in Jab we met - "insaan jo actually main chahta hai, uske sath vai hota hai", things just happened.

I had a 10 day vacation from office during christmas/newyear and I had made no plans what so ever until december starting. But as it had turned out in last two years (Rajasthan and Rishikesh and Mangalore/Bangalore) I was hopeful that pieces will fall in place. And so it happened.

I booked my flight to bangalore after a week long discussion with Gaurav and co (the bikers gang) and flew to bangy on 24th night to start my first bike journey to Gokarna.

I reached bangy at 11:30PM and a old school fren came to meet up, we had a good time sitting outside the CCD having coffee after which I went to Gaurav's. We had thought of sleeping off at 12:30 to get some sleep as the plan was to wake up at 4:00. But we started chatting and discussions flew and we finally slept at 3:15 :P.

Well! when you are so excited for something, sleep doesnt matter. We started off from bangalore as I was pillion riding Gaurav on his Avenger. Others included Vibhav, Sunil, Krishna and Amiya. The ride started off well. It was pretty chilly in the morning but I was fortunate enough to hide behind Gaurav :D. The roads were a candy and the drive was smooth. We stopped for breakfast at a amazingly small tea shop where we were served with set dosa sized idlis and 'bhajji'. It was much better than we expected. We kept driving and stopped at Jog falls which is supposedly Asia's (or India's?) tallest waterfall. It was a slight dissapointment coz there was hardly any water although the sheer length of the waterfall was still amazing. After Jog falls it was all Ghat section and the drive was awesome. It again was getting Chilly as we drove.

None of us had been to Gokarn before. And it was really surprising to see such small roads all over the place. Finding Gokarn was a task in itself. There were not many sign boards, no proper highway nothing. We still managed to reach there. We had heard about Om beach a lot so we directly headed to Om beach and after reaching there it was more of a shock than a surprise.

Gokarn was a world in itself. Desolated from the external world it was so vibrant and lively even at 8:30 PM in the night with hardly any lights around. We tried to find acco at Shacks on Om Beach and we were told that out of the 15shacks and 200 rooms hardly any will be available. All shacks were full of people eating, and lazying around. There were some overpriced resorts that were obviously 'full'. And the most amazing part was that there were hardly any indians around.

We found some acco in Gokarn city (2 rooms for 600 bucks I guess). The place hardly looked like a hotel, it was more of a old house converted into a guest house. We were extremely tired (I definitely was), and after pillion riding most of the journey I had stopped feeling my bums :P. After a okiesh dinner in a local resto I just wanted to crash.

Morning was very pleasant. As people were getting up and ready we went for a brief stroll on gokarn beach. Gokarn city is a mixture of two totally opposite cultures. At one side the city is a hub of temples and religious people flock here alot. At other side is its beaches where mostly foreigners come and stay for weeks together to just relax and unwind. We saw a lot of temples on way to Gokarn beach and everywhere pilgrims were queuing up to pay homage to the gods.

Gokarn beach was the worst of all. Not coz it wasnt beautiful, it was just crowded by Indians who feel no shame dirtying any place and leaving their mark. At one instance I even saw a group of women brushing teeth with sea water. So this was the dirtiest beach of all.

We drove on bikes to Om beach (The beach is of Om shape so the name) ready with our backpacks with spare clothes and everything as we had thought of staying on beach the whole day. We went directly to the first shack on the Om beach for breakfast. We were in adventurous and laid back mood already. We ordered some spanish breakfast (yukk!!) and sat there eating for atleast 2 hours. Meanwhile a small kiddo was roaming around with a tatoo book and offered us to get a tatoo. We all decided to get a temporary one that lasts for 30 days. As we were on the Om beach most of us got a 'Om' shape tatoo. It was 12:30 PM when we finally thought of leaving the shack. We even thought for a while to stay for some more time and have lunch also but decided to leave instead.

After walking on the beach for sometime we decided to get into the sea. We bathed in Sea for a long long time and it was a lot of fun. We lazied around on the sand in Sun. After that we went for a trek from Om beach to the next connecting beach which was the Half moon beach (which was of half moon shape too). The trek was long enough to be fun and short enough to be not tiring. The views from the trek were spectacular. Half moon beach was very small with only 1-2 shacks. We had lunch at one and people got into water again. I was lazying around on one of the rocks seeing/feeling the sea.

After sometime sunset was about to happen. So Sunil and I trekked back towards Om beach to get a glimpse. Sunset didnt happen completely (coz of clouds) but it was still beautiful. The place was very beautiful though.
There was a tall palm tree on the hill and only shrubs all around, the hill was surrounded by water on three sides. It was really good just to be there and feel the air. After a while all of us were back to Om beach as we started walking to come back to our hotel. On the way we stopped at another shack for dinner/snax and again sat there for a long long time. I had never eaten so many fishes n sea food as I ate here. We finally reached hotel late into the night around 12. The so called hotel's door was closed and as we knocked we were welcomed by a guy who said there is 'no chance' that we had a room in that place and it required little convincing even after showing him the key to our room that we were actually staying there :P.

The next day morning was as pleasant as first day. I had gotten up pretty early so I went for a short stroll on the Gokarn beach. The beach looked beautiful just before the sunrise. I started walking and soon there were less and less people to be seen. I just sat on the beach and stared into the sea for a long time. After a while Gaurav and all also joined in and we had breakfast at one of the shacks. After breakfast we did a little shopping as people jumped on the bracelets and T shirts.

Today we had a different plan. We had to trek from Gokarn beach to Kudle beach which is supposed to be the best among all Gokarn beaches. The trek started off well with good scenic views of gokarn beach but it was quiet tiring as we moved on. On the way we found an amazing place that happened to be a yoga centre with a Australian teacher. We stopped there to have some juice (lassi sucked). The place was just amazing as it overlooked kudle beach and there was nothing at all around the place. After a little while we reached kudle beach and got into water again.

Kudle beach was so shallow that we kept going inside the sea and still could touch the bottom. We played frisbee inside water for sometime and then again lazied around on the beach.
I even slept for sometime as other people started pouring mud on me. After everyone was done bathing/playing in sea we went for lunch and kept eating for 2 hours until it was about evening. As we were leaving kudle beach to trek back to the hotel we saw some foreigners doing juggling/martial arts and what not. The place looked amazing with so many people doing so many different things. We were amazed thinking what were all these people doing there so far from their homes. Beats me!

After changing we again went to Om beach for one last time to have dinner. We had a quiet dinner and a pending 'intro' session in which everyone spoke about himself for sometime. We came back to hotel after dinner as we had to get up early to start our ride back to Bangalore.

Except the pillion riding, the trip was just awesome :)). Gokarn is a beautiful Beach city and is ideal for a long trip to unwind and relax and enjoy the nature.