This might sound a little clichéd, but it is as true as the heaven itself. And, you’ll soon find out why! So, my Gokarna plans weren’t coming true anytime sooner. My corporate life didn’t seem to cooperate so much. And, to top it all, I was craving for a trip ever since I can’t even remember now.
A casual Thursday afternoon, I could take no more of this routine-life. Without much expectation, I booked a trip with Plan the Unplanned for the very next day. They, being true professionals, sent the complete trip details to us within hours of booking. All set for the trip with complete strangers, we left Bangalore at 6 PM on Friday.
What followed next is now that beautiful memory to me, which I must cherish for the lifetime.
Gokarna Town itself has a lot to offer to a wanderer. However, the weekend trip demanded us to prioritize just a few of them, mostly beaches. And, let me warn you, these beaches together itself constitute a complete package. So, off we went!
Gokarna Adventure Beach
This is the main beach right next to the Gokarna town, where most people start their trip. The local market, the Mahabaleshwar Temple, which is a 4th Century Shiva temple, and surprisingly, one of the homes to many vagabonds, this beach is a must-visit or rather inevitable for your Gokarna trip.
We reached our campsite on the beach early in the morning. After freshening up, we set the start for the day. Let me tell you, bathing was not our priority here.
We wanted to save up a little more time and be environmental friendly travellers. But, most of all, beaches were legit begging us to dive in!
We left for our bus, which would take us to our next destination: Belekan Beach. That was the starting point for our day-long trek.
The Belekan Beach is commonly, and rightly, known as God’s Own Beach. Nedless to say, it is damn true! It took us a while to take in the entire beauty of nature here. One click of our camera shutters was followed by ten equivalents by our eyes. The trip already felt too good to be true. We set off for the longest trek most in our group ever had.
And the name says it all! It does, it does. Don’t make me repeat myself! The scorching weather and the long walk were just about to take a toll on us.
Right then, we got a little sneak peek to this beauty. A few steps more, and did we get the best view a beach can ever have!
The nomads were having the best time of their lives. All they had was the extreme basic necessities, and a few hammocks hanging around the coconut trees. Oh, how envious was I! The sun glitter on the sea surface was almost begging us to stay a little longer. Hence, we followed. A little later, quenching our thirst with much-needed coconut water and feeding ourselves with sweet pieces of pineapple, we took off to our next stop.
Half Moon Beach
Apparently shaped like a half-moon, as the name itself suggests, this beach was a quiet one. It just had one or two shops to feed ourselves (although, we had our packed lunches provided by PTU). We also managed to take the much-required rest in the shade while enjoying the vast beauty in front of us. With a few more rocks to climb upon, for the best view of the sea and a glass of soda-lime each, we were all set for the Om Beach.
As surprising as it may sound, this beach is actually shaped like the ‘Om’ symbol. Or, to be exact, like ‘U’ in Hindi (उ). However, before we landed on this beach, we took a little detour from the viewpoint of Om Beach. We left for the Rock of Peace, which is the viewpoint for dolphins. The one thing you have to know before going here is that there is no guarantee of witnessing the dolphins. It completely depends on your luck, which we definitely didn’t have on our side. Not the surprise to me, ha!
We finally reached Om Beach and oh, what a beauty it was! Felt like the cleanest beach with a huge number of people, mostly nomads. With them, enjoying their lives without any worry of the world on the other side, this beach still didn’t feel too crowded. Stories of friendships, volleyball matches and a few failed trials at swimming would definitely be an everyday scene for this one. We stopped by at the Ganesh Café. Had one of the best interactions with people, food and nature in general. If I had to choose my favourite, I’d probably pick this beach. There, I said it!
Also, home to the very famous ‘Namaste Café’, this beach just demanded a longer stay, and indeed we stayed. Captured the beautiful sunset, with a little drama of boats hanging around and the rocks laying down at the perfect places. We left behind nothing but pieces of our hearts at this very beach.
I’m assuming, everyone who has reached up to this point of my blog has probably already planned a Goa trip at least once. Fulfilled, or not! However, you must be wondering why I brought it up now. Let me tell you, Kudle is the most commercialized beach of Gokarna, and once you see it for yourself, Goa vibes will hit you hard. A haven of restaurants, it will leave you wondering which one of them to choose to satisfy your stomach and your pampered taste bud. After much strolling around, we spread out in different restaurants depending on our cuisine choices.
I stopped by the ‘Little Paradise’ restaurant, along with two more friends. Wouldn’t say it was the best dinner I had. However, the meal in itself was so complete with the beach front, cold breeze hitting our bare skins, candlelight, the beautiful stars shining above and the coconut tree hanging up above in awe of nature. Contented, we sat there just listening to the waves hitting the shore.
After the long and tiring, yet the most satisfying day in a while, we left for the last destination, our very own campsite at the Gokarna Adventure beach, where it all started. The destination was just about 3 km but a few of us gave in on the trek because of the heavy dinner we had, and took the auto ride back, while a few decided to take a trip around the town to get back.
The Clichéd Bonfire and Camping
The tents were set, and so was the night, peaceful and calm. However, we still had so much to do, and nobody was ready to give in yet. After getting back we freshened up, except this time we decided to bath, ha! The trek leads were already setting up the bonfire and by the time everyone was back, the travel stories, the childhood memories, and the hidden talents started surfacing. The clock ticked, but we had no bus to catch, no code to write and no boss to answer to. Getting closer to the group of strangers, which I now call friends and taking a rewind on the huge day we had, we all headed back to our respective tents.
After all this, all I can recall is waking up to the chirping sounds of birds, and then pulling down the zip of the tent to let the soft morning sun hit on our faces and finally opening our eyes to the breathtaking beach view, and man, if this wasn’t heaven, what is!