My Realm

Meet me - know me - read my posts and try to figure me! Well I am someone who is always thirsty for adventure, someone who simply hates playing sheep(u know the types - follow the herd!). An enthusiastic trekker, who loves to travel and ever ready for one of those wierd new found sports- luv to make new friends and njoy being my family's pet :)!

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Marathon Bike Drive (Part 2 of 4)

Having had a hectic day -and to add a lot of 'masti' last night, we were pretty sluggish to wake up. Dhanya and Amit were the first ones to see the dawn of day. Slowly and steadily everyone one got of their back and just lazed around. We ordered some amazing hot tea and sipped on the same watching TV and reading the local newspaper. Soon we were all done with the pleasantries and were all ready to rock the day. Amit, Nachya and me were the first ones to walk down the streets for some tea. So we stopped at this one hotel ordered some idli's utappa's wada's and finally had a bad experience of getting an omlette in place of the uttapa and we walked down with the rest of the gang to another neighboring local udupi hotel. Here we relished on much of the udupi food followed with tea and coffee.

Back at the room we finished up with our packing and were down at the parking lot all ready to see the dawn of the next day. (~11am)

What we gathered from the directions was, we should be riding straight out of Karwar down south till a place called Madanagari and the take a right which leads directly to the Gokarna village. So off we took , and just immediately halted near Rabindranath Tagore beach at a local juice 'wallah', here we had mosambi and pineapple juice and finally took off for our day. The scenery was stupendous- blue skies with the distant green mountain ranges to our left and the blue (clear crystal blue) sea to the right. Soon the road took up the hill and went curving through the passes onto a pretty straight stretch that led all the way to Madanagari. Nachya and Amit were the first to halt for us there, Bandya and me followed in later and we were asked to leave immediately to Gokarna to search for a hotel :-). So off we 2 bikes left and took the very narrow stretch of road to Gokarna. Our aim was to find a hotel near Om beach. Here we noticed many people clad in black 'lungis' , I did read Gokarna was a town of temples where wishes get granted and all sorts of things. Soon we overtook a slow bus and reached Gokarna village in no time. (~2pm)

From here we took the left(as the sign board indicated) for a 2km rive to OM beach in the hope of finding some shacks. Soon the road got narrow and went serpentining up hill from where we got a breathtaking view of Kudal beach, what a view it was. Moving further, the road went over a table land and ended abruptly where too many cars and humans were parked. There a watchman of the guest house(hotel really) asked us to park the bikes inside. Where the road ended the plateau too fell down to the beach! Basically there was vintage point from where one gets a view of what this beach is called "OM" beach (we never took that).

So post some enquiries about places to stay etc we learnt that we could find some shacks at Om beach or many in and around Half moon beach. He also said that almost all hotels were full. Here a fleet of steps led down to a beach side cafe and further on to the beach. Post some thoughts we decided to get down and start the search. Once down, a local vendor at the beach said it would be wise to search for shacks at Half moon beach since all were full at Om beach, he also we said would have to take a 10min boat ride to get there which would cost us 50/- per head(A hike was possible to half moon beach but that would eat up over and hour and we did not have teh time or energy to do that). So here we got in touch with Nachya and Dhnaya (through bad n/w coverages) and told them we were proceeding the search down the beaches.

The boatman was a Good-man :-), he gave us all the information about the beaches around this place and where we would find what. The beach I must say was full of westerners, I sort of mistook we were in Goa! Soon with a few more customers we rode off Om beach on the fisherman modified motor boat to Half moon beach. Lots of pics and wonderful feel later the boat took a left into another creek and we could see the little Half moon beach. But here there were no shacks the boat man said we would find a lot of shacks at Paradise beach, where he willingly took us. So off Halfmoon we took another curve to Paradise beach - this place was again a little bigger than Half moon but had a lot of shacks and a resort as well and it was full of aliens (wink wink). Here we requested the boatman to give us 10mins to inquire about places to stay, so we rushed through a crowd of alien skin to the shack owner who had no interest in talking to 'desi's' , fine so we showed him no interest and sort of planned to finalize a house in the village and get back to the beach for dinner. All said and done we remounted the boat enjoying the view around waiting for some aliens and rode back with a couple extra customers! On the this return ride we spotted a dolphin!

Back at OM beach we learnt an agonizing fact: we hit roadblock no. 2!

Yogya had a flat tyre in the middle of no-where and Nachya was helping him sort out the issue. So here we were at ~3:30pm in the afternoon- no room to stay with a flat. By now Amit Dhanya too were at the guest house. Nachya took Amit's vehicle(since this bike had no saddle bags) down hill to get the flat done, in the meantime we were brainstorming on what our plan of action should be. Soon we learnt that the other guest houses too were full near the Gokarna village, so we sortof decided on getting back to the village and searching for a hotel there- incase we found no hotel we would enjoy and return back to Karwar for the night stay(things were starting to look bad).

So we left the guest house and encountered Nachya and Yogya on the way (needless to say they were frustrated and agonized over many little tit bits that went wrong for them), so letting Dhanya and Bandya leave ahead Amit(my pillion now) and me returned with Nachya to get the wheel fixed back in the bike, a little effort and the wheel was back in. Here we learnth the hell they had to go through to get a puncture repair man in the village, also we learnt that the locals said that beach side shack people don't give houses to Indians they only prefer westeners, so we spit some scum and decided to get on with the day. So Nachya and Yogya went back to the guest house to pick the red bird and we encountered Bandya on the way with some great news- We got ourselves a room!

The irony of the matter was we got a hotel just near the entrance of the village (had we tried at the village first - this never would have happened)- so so much for OM beach! My verdict is its a good looking beach and all but sucks bad at high season!

By now we all teamed in and checked our special Delux room with 5 beds and 2 extra beds. The room was good, nothing to complain about (well not having A/c and warm water might have been an issue for some (giggle giggle) ) we were content. So at ~4pm we went down to the hotel's dining room for lunch and relished on a simple meal. It was not too good but not bad either (some might differ with this opinion of mine). From here we took our frisbees and got into shorts and loose clothes and decided to walk down to the local Gokarna beach. The walk was through little allies and charming streets - the place was full of temples all sorts of God's set home in this place. Now I felt better that I was right about Gokarna being a place of Gods.

Soon after a few twists and turns we came headon to the beach, here we had tea at a local store (we ditched one store as he was preferential to aliens). Soon we jumped down at the beach playing the frisbee and enjoyed the mild evening breeze. The beach was a huge huge stretch and was almost vacant at the far end. It had many fishing boats and fishermen and many people playing in the water. Soon Bandya, Nachya, Dhanya and me got rid of the tops and made a dash for the water, Chikka got his SLR along and decided on fine tuning his skills, Amit and Yogya decided to take stroll. The water was wonderful -it was salty yes! But we enjoyed every moment of it.

Having played for over 1/2 hour we decided to get back on shore. Soon we all regrouped and took many pictures and started humming songs and the humms got louder as the day dove from dusk to dark. All sorts of songs, all sorts of background music. Chikka 'n Nachya played the mouth organ too as I kept giving background jhankar beats. Many people on the beach gathered around us as we sang in and out of tune but in sync. As the place got darker we decided to have some tea at the same shop, and we made this shop our place for the next couple of hours singing all sorts of songs again. Many people walking past coming in and out of the shop kept looking at us and smiling and clapping and cheering along. It was an amazing feeling!

Post some coconut juice, tea and more tea we walked down for dinner(~7:30pm). As we walked we sang and people around either shut their ears or clapped and cheered for us. The streets were now a bustling little market with all sorts of things being sold. We bought some powder(sore ass treatment) and shampoo. We learnt of a place that serves the best fish Gokarna has to offer, but unfortunately it severed only Fish and rice and we were 2 veggies and no one wanted to eat rice so we decided on searching for our next good resturant. So we walked through dark alleys and went past the bus stop and finally located out restaurant. Much to our dislike it was a western hotel full of aliens, yet it was getting late and we had to eat so we decided on placing our order. It took us 2.5 hours and a lot of shouting later that we got our order at our table, the food was good but the service simply sucked. All the time we had loud blaring local music in the background- it was some festival time in the village.

Bandya had some plan of doing some candle lighting stuff at the beach so a few of us-frustrated with the service-selves decided to go back to the room and get the candles whilst the rest(only Nachya and Dhanya ) walked down to the beach , Amit and Yogya took the bike while Bandya Chika and me walked down.(~10am)

Once at the beach our couple of drunk bikers greeted us and we sat on the sand singing songs. The night was bright with the moon shining full and the breeze kept a consistant top hue. Soon Bandya briefed us on the plan- make a big enough circle within which all of us can sit and then dig deep holes all around the circumference and plant candles in them and then eventually light 'em up, it would look fantabulous. So with the singing and chatting we got on with the digging and realized the breeze was pretty heavy so we had to dig deeper, we finished one circumference then we go one with another set of concentric circles with trenches interleaving the previous ones. All this with the candles being lit up simply looks heavenly - it felt as though we were siting in the midst of some lava trenches! Once all was done we sat in the middle and sang songs after songs... many people started gathering around us and cheered our effort and we kept sticking Bandya's hand up for his creative thought (well he felt remorse for the fact no white alien came to appreciate the creation!) :-). In the process we got ourselves introduced to many of the vacationers at the beach.

By roughly 1am the candles started fading off and Amit/Dhanya decided to take leave. We realized we had forgotten out plastic bag at the restaurant we had dinner so we decided on getting it back at this hour hoping it would be open. So we walked back trying to keep our voices low in the quiet alleys. The moment we crossed the bus stop we realized the little village play was still going on with no audience center street. The restaurant was open and we got our bag back, here we decided to have some tea as Bandya exited a drunk to dance in front of me, it was a weird experience!

Soon we traced back our steps humming and singing and now also dancing (to the village play steps) back to our hotel room. At the room a few of us sat around maps as we decided on our plan for the next day, we still had to finalize a destination for Day3. So we decided where ever we stop at 4pm we would take the nearest destination to be out next halt. We presumed Ratnagiri could be a probable choice- We were to be proven so wrong! It was roughly 2:30am or late when the lights went blink...

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