The woods are lovely, dark and deep, But I have promises to keep, And miles to go before I sleep, And miles to go before I sleep.
~ Robert Frost
It’s more than a year since I am in Bangalore , I have been to couple of treks , there was a futile attempt to cover Puducherry on my bike, I couldn’t cross Vellore because of the storm & constant heavy rain we encountered on en route. I decided not to resist nature & took a shelter at Hotel Surabi International & returned back to Bangalore on very next day, I would say it was fun, 400 KM ride, torrential rain. I relearned importance of small things in life, which we usually ignore for instance dry comfortable clothes & a hot cup of tea.
This time we decided to plan another trip but because of my previous experience & the augmenting summer, I decided to adopt public transport this time. I took two days off from work & clubbed it with my usual weekend which resulted in good solid four days extended weekend to improvise this trip, I was optimistic 🙂
So the plan was to start our Journey from Bangalore to Gokarana on Tuesday night (10th of March 2015) by a bus to reach Gokarna (KSRTC). So among four days only first day was planned, we decided to leave the rest three day itinerary on circumstances.
→The best time to visit these beaches from October to Feb. On-line Bookings are available & it’s reasonable as well.
“It doesn’t matter where you are going; it’s who you have along with you & what you have in mind. If you really want to imbibe a place, don’t go with a conceive thought, instead of it , set yourself free, trust the spontaneity, you may have one of the best experiences of your life “
We boarded our bus from Kampgowda bus terminal, the overall journey was alright, I would not say, we had best time of our life in the bus but it was reasonable considering the amount we paid :). We reached Gokarna via Shimoga early in the morning around 8:00 AM IST. While entering in the city, I noticed “concentrating ponds” of salt, this was my first experience of getting a close look at the salt manufacturing & found it very interesting.
We already had a booking for accommodation in “Namaste Cafe” (one of the best spots )at Om Beach for next two days. There are some other small shacks offering lodging facility & I’ll try them if I visit Gokarna again.
My first experience after stepping on the beach was mesmerising, it was serene, I felt like, we have got our own private beach, the view was spectacular, the waves were high & it was perfect day to spent some time with this amazing subset of Arabian Sea . The good part was because it was an off season , there was not much of local crowd. If I didn’t know where I am, anyone could have stated me that I am in some European country & I would have agreed to that. Everywhere I can see these tourists having fun & taking Sunbath “Basking”. This was a great feeling!!
I can bet that “Kudle Beach” would be one of the best beaches in India, its crystal clear water, well defined clear shore & topping in its beauty was the white sand. We spent almost four hours just trying to imbibe its beauty in our eyes, the dawn was making the view more scenic however it was time to go back to our base.
After reaching back to our cottage, I took shower, trust me you would need one after a day like this, we tried sea food in the dinner though we didn’t have an appetite. Next morning I woke up early & strolled at Om Beach & captured some great shots, it was a great experience. You can also see fishermen trying to net fishes.
- Beautiful & clam OM Beach
- Sunset at Kudle beach
- Taxi ride from Gokarna to Karwar
We boarded our Taxi from Namaste Cafe to Karwar Bus stand as we missed the direct bus which departs around 8:00 AM in the morning, but the view to this 60 KM stretch was amazing via Gangavali River. The plan was not to plan anything after this, we didn’t know where to go ; south Goa with calm & serene life or North, the party hub (not so good time , best time is from Nov – Jan ) , we left this on our fate , decided to board the first bus whichever is with last stop either to Panji or Canacona . At Karwar, we got a direct bus to Panji (110 KM’s – via Canacona). This was fun too, the amazing part was there was a Bar just next to Karnataka border (isn’t it amazing).
We reached Panji by 3:00 PM, we took a cab to Calangute. For next two days our hideout was Falcon Resort.
Apart from usual stuff, I was looking for something different. I don’t know about other folks but for me it was too crowded & commercialised (both Candolim & Baga beaches ). However I enjoyed a bit of water sports (Parasailing & Deep dive).
Next day we went into a boat & reached Grand Island (En route saw a lot of Dolphins having fun), it is at equivalent distance from North & South Goa. I can’t explain the beauty of clear blue shallow sea water. This was amazing & beyond words which I can use to express my joy. I got an opportunity to do water snorkeling here along with swimming. Our Lunch was planned at Monkey Beach (I don’t know what they call it, there were no monkeys around & I am glad about it). Made two new friends Steve & Phil (Phil , has traveled 40 countries so far & he is just 28). They are true drifters, this also helped me to understand the differences in our approach towards life.
I am sure there would be some more descent places to explore, which were left out because of the tight schedule. I must admit this was first time, I was near to any beach & had a gala time. The downside was, I was tanned like anything & it also made me realize that I need to shed some weight, which I am planning to but couldn’t get it going.