My little paradise

Trip Start Sep 19, 2012
1
32
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Trip End Ongoing


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Flag of India  , Karnātaka,
Saturday, January 12, 2013

Over Christmas and New Year a lot of new folk arrived in Benaulim. Some off them were regulars like Simon and Bea, Nick was out for the first time and did really great star fish impersonations on the beach. As well as Dan and Clare and Sarah. Plus many others and there was a relaxed vibe at Hawaii, the shack we frequented. When Simon and friends left Sarah asked if I would join her in a trip to Gokarna which was just what I needed to escape Benaulim for a few days.

Gokarna is about 2 hours by train from Margao and is one of the Hindi holy towns. There are a number of temples and Pilgrims come from all over. The town is strictly vegetarian and not even eggs are served in restaurants. The town had a strange feel and it to me it felt like India meets an old Mexican/wild west town from a spaghetti western. The streets are lined with traders and stalls but everyone seems laid back and relaxed and not the usual hustle to buy goods.

The main beach was not very exciting but packed with locals who had made the spiritual trip to Gokarna. We spent the night in town and decided to head off to Om beach the following the morning. Before we left we wandered around and suddenly I heard chanting and a young girl selling jewelry jumped up and scurried away. I looked up to see a small procession of people  carrying a corpse, wrapped in a shroud, on a bamboo stretcher. I have seen this before in Varanasi but was a bit shocked to see that the face and head was exposed.

We caught a rickshaw to Om Beach. We weren't aware but there was a harvest festival on the go so many of the locals had taken time off to come to the beach. Most of the huts were full but we found  very basic huts right on the beach. The huts are built of woven palm branches and inside there is a concrete base with a mattress, mosquito net, fan and light. There were about six huts around a small communal area and then further back was the ablutions. This consisted of a squat type toilet and a shower room with buckets of water. Sounds and is very basic but you do not need anything else. Next to the huts is a beach shack (restaurant) where you can order just about anything you want.

Our neighbours consisted of Israelis, Argentinians and a guy fro Mumbai. Mostly serious dope heads and there was a constant aroma from joints and bongs. In fact the Israelis hardly left and just smoked bongs from morning to night. 

Om beach is named as it takes the shape of the Om sign. The bay is very calm, the water warm and the sunsets spectacular. it is really just a place to chill, relax sunbath and eat good food.... paradise. Most of the visitors are more 'travelers'   and not really tourists. You would think that tattoos and dreadlocks are compulsory..

Around from Om there are two other beaches, one called Half Moon and the other Paradise beach. Paradise you be a the hard core hippy traveler beach but all the shacks have been demolished by the police. There are still people living rough in the bush. Sarah and I caught a ferry boat to the other beaches. They would not stop at Paradise beach and I heard later it was because they didn't like the nudists. We got off at Half Moon beach and relaxed in one of the shacks for breakfast accompanied by didgeridoo music. later had a swim and a walk over the rocks and through the bushes before heading back to Om in time for Sun-downers.

A really great place to visit and has inspired me to start traveling again. Sarah was an awesome person to enjoy this place and we had great conversations over beers as the sun set.A great Travel Buddy! Thanks Sarah. And I do believe I will come back here one day. I would love for Kate to see this place and realise that there are alternative options to working all the time. Most of the people here work a few months, save and then travel.They are  happy.
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Comments

Lu on

It sounds wonderful!

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