Beaches or Mountains? A never-ending dilemma before planning any trip but oh boy, this trip has definitely one-upped the beach game for me! This long-awaited trip kept us spell-bound as we strolled through pristine, untouched beaches, trekked down waterfalls surrounded by lush rainforests and tried climbing up the huge boulders trusting our noob skills.
With some planned leaves pending in our kitties, we quickly decided to capitalise on the Diwali week for a budgeted getaway, but it didn't take us long to realise the contradiction this statement - budgeted getaway in the Diwali week! So we went about striking off places, one after the other, because of expensive tickets or stays or excessive rains and finally narrowed down to Karnataka. In the meanwhile, a ticket booked in advance from Pune to Delhi, in the hope of a Diwali getaway in the Himalayas, had to be canceled after a lot of contemplation. Little did we know what awaited us!
We had 8 days, a limited budget and many places to explore. Untouched beaches, treks, clear night skies were some of the prerequisites and we came up with: Pune - Hospet - Udupi - Gokarna - Pune. We didn't book return tickets and were hoping for a tatkal ticket, worst case, travel in the general class. The plan was to keep space for some last-minute impulses. We did our homework, checked the places out online, contacted people for stays, did the bookings wherever necessary and were pretty much set. Amidst the news of cyclone affecting the western coast and non-stop rains in the last week of October, we boarded our bus for Hospet.