Gokarna - Trekking by the beach

16th Nov 2019

Day 1 - Getting to Gokarna

Photo of Gokarna - Trekking by the beach by Rohit Nair

There were ten people in the initial plan, but eventually, the count was reduced to two. So I started on Friday evening in a bus from Bangalore at 10 PM. The bus journey was uneventful, if you leave out the 'road-rash' driving style of the driver. I'd reached the Gokarna bus stand by 9.45 AM. Sowmya was on her way from Hyderabad, and she had to change three buses, I guessed it would be past noon by the time she gets there.

I had a heavy breakfast at a small restaurant within the bus stop, got my copy of 'The Pickwick Papers' out and started reading. An hour later, I got my guitar out, and started playing. A few school kids came and sat around me, listening. By 12, I was feeling a little sleepy, so I packed all my stuff, and dozed off on one of the seats there. Sowmya reached by 12.45 PM, she did Hyderabad-Hubli-Ankola-Gokarna.

After a quick update of how our journeys were, we rented a scooty from a shop near the bus stop. This was our ride for the next three days. We went hotel-hunting on the scooty, and after being denied at a couple of spots, finally found a place to stay, with a view of the Gokarna beach. After resting for a while, and freshening up, we left to see the sunset from a cliff close to Kudle beach. After sitting there for a while, and playing the guitar, we started walking towards Kudle beach. That's were we had our dinner, sea food of course! And lazed on the beach for a while gazing stars, and getting all philosophical, before returning to the hotel. The plan for next day was to trek to Paradise beach from Om.

Photo of Gokarna - Trekking by the beach by Rohit Nair

Day 2 - Trek to Paradise

Now the sequence of beaches from Kudle is, Kudle-Om-Half moon-Paradise. There's a small trail through the hills next to the beach right up till Paradise beach, and even beyond that. So we started to Om beach at 7.30 AM, had a quick tea, got some snacks for the journey and started our trek. After walking across the length of the Om beach, there's a narrow path that leads to the cliff. We walked that path, and started walking. There was a fair bit of crowd on the trail. We took it slow, stopping along to click pictures. The sea was blue, and very pleasing to the eye. And although the weather was humid, a constant cool breeze kept the temperature down to a bearable level. By the time we reached Half Moon beach, it was 9.30 AM. It was starting to get a little hot now, so we decided to have a quick dip in the sea. No one else stopped for long here, since they wanted to get to 'Paradise'!

Photo of Gokarna - Trekking by the beach by Rohit Nair

Half an hour later, we had resumed our journey. It was starting to get tiring, as the difficulty and the heat increased. In another hour or so, we reached Paradise. There were a lot of people here already, and we wondered if we should've stayed at Half moon a little longer. But then, we ended up getting into the sea again, and playing around for another hour or so. And after resting on the beach for another hour, we were on our way back to Om. We had our lunch at Half moon, and proceeded to complete the tiring journey.

At Om beach, we sat down to watch the sunset, while a German lady shared her experience with us about how her stay in India has been so far. We got into the sea one last time, before heading back to the hotel. While riding from Om to our hotel, we lost our way, and reached the town side. On asking for directions, we got to the hotel by 8 PM. Freshened up, and went out for dinner at the cafe in the Zostel premises. There was live music, and the guy was playing some really nice songs that we could sing along! We stayed back till he was done, said good bye, and came back to our hotel. The next day would be our last day in Gokarna. So we decided to explore the town, and the forest area around the beaches.

Photo of Gokarna - Trekking by the beach by Rohit Nair

Day 3 - Detours

We started off with a morning walk to Kudle, had our breakfast, and came back to the hotel. We checked out, and left our luggage at the hotel, as our bus left at 8 PM. We had the entire day to go around the place. We went to the town first, rode around the Koti Teertha lake, got a couple of souveniers from local shops, and had our lunch.

Photo of Gokarna - Trekking by the beach by Rohit Nair

There's one thing to know about Gokarna. The beach side, and the market side are two completely different places, in terms of people, landscape and culture. The market place is all religious, with temples around. It is a pilgrim tourist destination. The restaurants around serve only vegetarian food. The houses are old-fashioned. The beach side is more of a hippie destination. You won't find a lot of shops in this area, just hotels, and beach shacks, not as crowded as the town.

While returning, we took a detour on the way, not really knowing where the road leads to. It was a small forest like area, with lots of birds around. We stopped to explore the place, when a full-grown peacock crossed the street. It was a beautiful being, and walked gracefully. We tried to chase it down from the street, but couldn't see it again. But we ended up reaching a beach, the Belekan beach. There's a port here, that ferries people across to Kumta. We spoke to a fisherman who showed us a bag full of fishes that he'd caught.

Photo of Gokarna - Trekking by the beach by Rohit Nair

After riding around for a while, we decided to return to that sunset spot. This time around, there were quite a few birds around. Brahminy kites, a white bellied sea eagle, bee eaters, and more. That was the end of our mini vacation. We got our luggage, rode to the bus stop and returned the scooty. Dinner was at one of the local restaurants. We got on the bus, and it was right on time. It went on smoothly, till we reached Tumkur the next morning. The bus broke down, and we were made to get on a different state transport bus till Bangalore, which was around 70 kms away. By the time I got back home, it was already 11.30 AM.

This was one of the few journeys that I didn't do a bike ride on. This is what travel was to me, before riding happened. Also, the trek to Paradise beach had been on my wishlist for a long time, and it was checked on my 6th visit to Gokarna. I realized that some things take time, but in the end, they are worth the wait!