Once we were back to Zostel after our day full of adventures, we three girls were now not part of an implied group but an explicit one. But our day of adventures wasn’t over yet. Girl-from-Mumbai suggested that we have dinner at this nice restaurant offering local food which she had had her breakfast that morning. So we made our way to Prema Restaurant near the Gokarna beach. We took the normal road through the Mahableshwar and the Mahaganapati Temple. After dinner, we made our way to the Gokarna beach. It was pleasant and I always wanted to visit a beach at night. Now with these girls it was possible and the beach had some people around so we felt safe.
This is when the Girl-from-Mumbai told us that there was another road which led to Zostel through the beach. We made our way in the dark through the long beach. We were seeing a lot of crabs and with the fear of getting bitten; we kept hopping, all the way till we reached the other end of the beach.
Once there, Girl-from-Mumbai couldn’t locate the way. But I being the master of getting lost and finding my way, was quite confident. The confidence also came by way of a pepper spray and a pair of scissors I was carrying in my bag pocket. We asked one of the restaurants, the way to Zostel and he pointed at a stairway through the hill and into the dark jungle. We weren’t sure, but again we couldn’t imagine taking the long route back through the beach and onto the long road. We saw some light on top of the hill and assumed it to be Zostel, but then the guy who pointed the way seemed to be the owner of a very shady place. In spite of this, we made our way into the jungle. Girl-from-Mumbai who was earlier very tired was now running to find her way, since she considered it her responsibility to get us safely to Zostel. I was trying to keep up with her, all right with the fact that even if we lost our way, we could always come back and go by the longer route and even if we encountered some hooligans or wild animals, I was confident to fight them off with my pair of scissors and pepper spray. The Girl-from-Bangalore behind me was very scared to walk in the jungle in complete darkness too, but before we could let any of our fears take over us, we reached Zostel.
Once there, we all just sat outside the dorm room, absorbing what had just happened and laughed it off, before making our way to our dorm. We were almost going to sleep when there was a moment of epiphany where we realized that even though we were tired as hell, we couldn’t let our day end so soon. So the Girl-from-Mumbai offered her whiskey bottle and we made our way to the high rise hut overlooking the beach. The Girl-from-Bangalore and I weren’t in the mood for Whiskey, so we instead ordered some beer from Mantra Cafe. What followed was a relaxed evening, just 3 strangers united by fate and misadventure, enjoying their poison on a cool, dark night, sharing stories and talking shit.