Sunday, October 19, 2008

Road Trip II

Day 4: Mangalore to Gokarna. Km: 240 km

We turn north to return. An uneventful drive covering territory we have already seen. The roads are as bad. The scenery as pretty. We reach Gokarna and look around at the resorts available. The prettiest one Swa Swara is out of bounds for us – they need a minimum of 7 nights stay! One day, when I am retired and have all the time in the world, I tell myself. So we settle for second best. Which is not bad except for the 10 minute walk to the beach! Gokarna is a small temple town that still has not seen an influx of tourism. It has some 3 beaches, the best known of which is Om beach (named so because of its shape). We attempt a short foray to the seaside to see Om Beach. It is a bit crowded – mostly Indians and some foreigners. We have little time before the sun sets and we promise ourselves a morning at the beach tomorrow.


Day 5: Gokarna to Goa. Km: 130 km

Today we attempt an early morning excursion to another beach – Kudle. It is smaller, but we feel prettier. It is a bit of a trek getting there. When we do get there, there is no one on the beach except a dog bathing in the sea. We sit around, soaking in the isolation and quiet. And when the sun comes out in full force, we head back to the hotel. The hills are close by and the views from up there are awesome. There is a stretch of road that you drive through on the way to the beaches that has possibly one of the best views I have seen anywhere. The beaches by themselves are a bit rocky and for anyone used to the Goan shack scene, quite lonesome.

We leave Gokarna mid morning and are in Aguada after a Goan lunch by 3 pm.

Day 5, 6, 7: Goa!


We finally get to do a Goa holiday together. We do the normal things people do in Goa – have beer on the beach (Anjuna, this time), climb Chapora fort in Vagator and drink in the exquisite views, go para sailing, watch the dolphins, lie around in the water, eat some glorious food (smoked kingfish and wine!) and generally chill (not normally a word we associate with vacations!). Food, drink and the sea – an almost unbeatable combination to unwind.

The season is not yet fully on. So the flea markets are not open and some beach-side shacks are not either. A restaurant owner tells us he expects a slow down in the influx of tourists (the foreign ones are what he is worried about) this year. It is only to be expected, I suppose with the world economy the way it is. But we do not see any shortage of firangs, especially at Anjuna. At some restaurants, we are the only Indians around! I am always amazed at the utter un-selfconsciousness of the white man with respect to his body. Flabby almost-naked white bodies (and some really well-toned ones, I must admit) on the beaches is a common sight that attracts little attention from anyone.

Aguada is nice luxury to relax in. It is easy to get used to the pampering. But I still cannot give in to the indulgence of a day at the spa (though it is very tempting)


Day 8: Goa to Mumbai. Km: 560 km


Before you know it, 3 days have flown past and it is time to head back. We reach the smog and traffic jams of Mumbai by late evening. And look back at a holiday that is quite different from any we have done before. Being able to drive around and do your own thing, go where you want to go when you want to, not bound by strict itineraries – this anniversary gift to ourselves has been probably worth all the hydrocarbons we released into the atmosphere.

1 comment:

UL said...

where is part 1? I don't see it here...loved the narration, esp. with the pics, you seem to have had a wonderful holiday...