After my Shirdi trip and staying for a few days in Mumbai I left for Gokarna, my starting point for Konkan visit. The train route from Mumbai to Konkan that starts just after Goa is one of the best, random waterfalls and cliffs make this journey worth memorable. I reached Gokarna early morning and the place was as secluded as it could, there was nothing around this station but I was told that buses come around here often. After waiting for a while and finding nothing I took the only autowala and asked him to take me to the KSRTC, for what I knew was entire town was concentrated around this bus stand only. The way from Gokarna station to the city was awesome, the sun was rising giving the surroundings a royal treatment. There were green paddy fields around that looked so beautiful and picturesque. By this time I phone signals went off and I was left on my own in this unknown city.
And the walk started.
When I started my journey I had decided in advance that I am going to walk a lot, I brought a city map from bus stop and moved towards the main beach and temple. Not that I was going to worship but it was fun walking down the alleys, the roads and most of the houses looked very old and traditional and you can see few pujaris walking around the city, but as a matter of precaution from my previous experience I always avoid talking to them.
And it rained.
I was enjoying the tiny lanes of the small city when it started raining. I waited for a while and then started walking again. There were signs telling the way to temple and main beach, I reached there walked around when another problem started. I had this additional bag in that was filled with some books that I brought along from a sale in Mumbai and it had become heavy. Till now it was not affecting me that much but I had no idea that it’ll start doing so in sometime.
I was considering taking a hut on rent around the beach but as I had read that there were better beaches than this one. I looked around the road ahead was full of rocks where waves were hitting with full force and shattering. I was sitting on sands when this stranger arrived to me, he offered me a place to stay in 50 rs only and showed me a hut that looked quite good from outside.
Tempted I started following him only to find that he missed that hut and started taking a small lane that was full of bushes. I started thinking that what the hell I was thinking trusting this guy, weird thoughts started coming to me and I ran away.
You need to trust your instincts while traveling alone and trust it as much as you can.
So I trusted my instincts and ran away, moved towards Kudle Beach that was a small walk and a small trek around the cliff. After reaching here it felt like I have reached a completely different city. This is why people call Gokarna a little heaven. The area was filled with firangs walking almost naked with not caring a thing about the locals. Not that I am ranting or something. While walking around Kudle beach I realized that my bag was creating problems. It was too heavy and was giving me problem carrying. I had my breakfast there and left for Om beach, there an even bigger trek was awaiting.
As I started for Kudle I met a French couple asking way to where I was coming from. We chatted for a while and then left. Om beach was a little difficult trek that made me walk for almost a kilometer for no reason until I found this friend who guided me towards the beach.
Trekking and Hiking are not the only ways to reach beaches here, there are roads and autorikshaws run around, but I was in no mood for the easy way down.
It was time for Om beach that from a distance used to look like Om in Devanagri font. Best part of this beach is the food, it’s amazing and you can eat anything from French, Italian to English in the most genuine price that you can think of. This is the best place to stay as this beach is full of huts designed in traditional style and are not that costly. It was around 12 and I had nothing to do so I went to Namaste Café and ordered a mug of beer. While I was sitting there I saw two girls talking about the snake they saw last night near their hut.
As the staff in namaste cafe suggested the path to further beaches was practically inaccessible but I decided to give it a chance. I joined a group of fellow trekkers and started walking with them. My bag was creating a problem and the route to this trek was too dangerous. There were little waterfalls on way whose source was unknown. This trek was more around 5 kms but after we reached our destination the pain was worth it.
Half-moon beach is the most beautiful beach of Gokarna, there are small fisherman huts who don’t even understand Hindi but are ready to treat you are a guest with a nariyal paani. The beach and the water around is beautiful and this beach looked much popular among the foreigners.I was not in a mood to trek another 10 Kms to Paradise beach so I took a quick rest at this fisherman’s cottage, had food at his place and then decided to return to KSRTC bus stand and take a bus for Goa.
When I started to trek back to Om beach I was already tired and after a while it got mixed with the weight of bag I was carrying with me. Sea was roaring by my side and yet I was unable to find the way down. I trusted my instinct and kept walking towards the road. There was something that kept me walking a feeling that I have to reach home but a part of me kept telling me that I should give up.
At times I used to sit in a corner and then move ahead after gathering my energy. This was time when my mind started to give up and I started Hallucinating. I was having illusions of buildings far away as I was wishing to find a restaurant or a cottage where I could take some rest but it was all an illusion.
They say at your last moment your life starts flashing before your eyes and it had started happening to me now. I felt like screaming for help but I was unable to. I wished if I could find some help and there was no one. Finally I saw the main road and realized that I skipped the road to Om beach and was heading to Kudle beach now. Cursing my luck I sat on road looking for a life but nothing happened. I was out of water but I had no option other than walking so I did the same. I was about to fall down when a bike passed by, I waved my hand and he stopped. I took lift, reached the bus stand only to find out that there was no bus to Goa at this hour. So I decided to change buses and reach there at any cost.
But that is a story that will be told some other day.