Karnataka - Gokarn, Om beach - 2 nights

Trip Start Jan 31, 2008
Trip End Ongoing

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Where I stayed
Namaste guest house

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Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Day 10 - 03/03/08

I said goodbye to my Italian friend this morning and departed for Gokarn which is south of Goa in the district of Karnataka. I first jumped in a taxi to Magao which is where one of the main train stations in Goa is situated, it was around a 65km ride. After the taxi, I had my first Indian train experience, the journey to Gokarn is 110km and takes around two hours and all for 30 pence! The trains are like cities on rails, people selling tea, soft drinks and food, guys sweeping the floors, beggars, its a crazy experience.
When I arrived in Gokarn I met some follow countryman, the first brits I've spoken to since I've been in India. I shared a taxi with them to Om beach which is around 6km south of Gokarn village. We found accommodation straight away at the Namaste guest houses right on the beach. Ended up sharing a room with  one of the Brits. Went to the beach after dropping off our bags. It's the best beach I've been to in India so far. An exquisite natural bay with powder white sands and a few rocky outcrops, plus there's no one trying to sell you anything (Unlike Goa) which is a bonus.

Day 11 - 04/03/08

Today I visited Gokarn village which is busily preparing for the Shiva festival which starts in a couple of days, This area of Karnatakata has many ancient pilgrimage sites with lots of Hindu history. Visited a temple where pilgrims had already started worshipping the gods, playing music and making offerings. As everywhere in India holy cows wander the streets, shops and temples in search of food. In the temple a random cow was chilling eating food the pilgrams had thrown on the floor. The Indian's provide food for the cows and I think they're probably better looked after than most Indian people. I've seen the cows in many comical situations such as shitting very close to unsuspecting tourists on the beach, complete havoc on the roads and stealing people's fruit, Indian cows are very amusing, far funnier than their British cousins.
After a couple of hours spend in the village, returned to Om beach on a rikshaw and went for a swim. When I returned to the hut I started to feel a little ill, just drunk water all evening and eat a bowl of plain rice and around 11.00pm left the beach side bar and promptly throw up on the beach. Went to bed and got eaten alive by mosquito's, nevermind, shit happens!
Going down to Kochi in Kerela tomorrow on the train at midnight, should arrive at 2pm. Going to spend some time in the backwaters on a houseboat and maybe a few day trips on some traditional Indian dug out boats. In many ways I'm glad to be leaving the beaches for a while. I need to keep my days busy, been too much lazing around in the last week.
Hope my illness passes tomorrow as I'm really looking forward to my time in Kerela, don't want to be ill.

Day 12 - 05/03/08

Still feeling pretty rough this morning, decided to stay at the guest house and catch up on some writing and formulate a plan for my week in Kerala. Only eaten toast and nan all day, don't want to risk anything heavier. Getting a taxi to Kumta train station which is around 30km from Gokarn, then an epic 14 hour train journey to Kochi!
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