A score settled

Trip Start Sep 01, 2010
Trip End Ongoing

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Where I stayed
A shed (with resident cockroach)

Flag of India  , Karnātaka,
Sunday, November 14, 2010

In direct confliction with the words of my travel agent, I was rather unceremoniously kicked off the bus at 3am in the middle of nowhere. 'Luckily' the bus driver's mate was on hand to taxi me the further 30 Km to Gokarna for a mere 500 Rupees. I refused and settled down to wait the 3 or 4 hours for the local bus. A short while later, two more would be travelers were ensnared  in this same despicable trap and together we bartered a deal for our carriage into town.

            I arrived in Gokarna just in time to witness the locals early morning defecation into the ocean and waited (upon the insistence of my acquired rickshaw driver) for sunrise. The reason for this delay became quickly apparent when the driver turned off the main road and steered his vehicle onto the coastal path. More dirt bike terrain than anything, this led to a bumpy, but pretty hilarious off-road rickshaw experience…

            I made it to Om Beach shortly after 6am, which as it turns out is the perfect time to make your approach. The sun had just come up, not a soul was to be seen on the most beautiful stretch of sand I have so far seen on my trip. I walked the full length of the palm fringed, sandy beach, found myself a shed to live in for 150 Rupees a night and settled into a life of reading, swimming, lying around, eating, drinking and sleeping. 

            I met a hippy who was paying an American loads of money to learn a completely made up healing technique that involved curing peoples illnesses (like cancer) with the power of her mind. Managed to control myself and not shout at her. Later, felt a bit bad as someone really needs to shout at her (her closing statement was "I don't know, it just works").

            Despite the association of the term paradise with abject disappointment, I went for a walk to Paradise Beach. I got quite lost. Along the way I stumbled along dusty pathways, climbed over rocky outcrops, wandered through someone’s garden, discovered a lighthouse and eventually found the actually quite lovely Paradise Beach. Had a beer and a bit of lunch and decided to get the boat back…

            One evening I was sitting on the beach minding my own business as the sun was going down, when I was approached by a young cow (bull). For a while he just stood there mere inches away staring at me, but I knew he was looking for trouble. I wasn’t going to bow down to this kind of intimidation. Besides, I had a score to settle with cowkind. I threw out a few insults to show I wasn’t scared, “look at you with your massive head, your no god” and “I eat your kind”. After this he made his move and started head butting me, each blow harder than the last. I got up from my seated position and squared up to him. He came at me at a run and I dodged at the last second. The following few minutes turned into a matadoric battle. I sent him round and around in circles again and again. Eventually he got all confused and dizzy and made his retreat. Russ 1, Cows 1, I had had my revenge.

            I also made friends with a cockroach who was living in my shed (quite the amicable roommate as it goes) and got to watch the lightning crossing the horizon on most days.

            Eventually, after nearly a week had somehow past, it was time to leave Om Beach. Though instructions as how to go about it weren’t abundantly clear…
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