Gokarna was going to be an independent trip as per my initial travel calendar but then it changed when I could not find any convenient return ticket to Mumbai from Hampi. The train takes too long and consumes your entire day. So I decided to take 2 days off and break my journey at Gokarna which is only 12 hours from Mumbai. In hindsight, It was a good idea.
I had heard of shacks by the beach in Gokarna which I was excited to check out.
My little adventure enroute Gokarna
HAMPI TO GOKARNA:
The bus was going to reach Gokarna at around 8 in the morning. I intended to sleep through my journey. I got up at around 6 a.m. when the bus stopped to take a halt. I checked with the conductor about the duration of halt, he conveyed 10 minutes. I decided to use the washroom. When I returned after about 5 minutes (How long can it really take to locate a washroom at a bus stand, use the toilet, and pay?) I found that my backpack was missing from the bus. I asked the guy sitting in my seat about my bag, he told me it was on the other bus, this is a different bus.
I panicked, enquired with the police outside. They confirmed that the other bus has left. Thankfully I did not have to do much after that, they took care of everything from calling the conductor, getting me into a different bus, and explaining the situation to every relevant person.
I got into this bus which soon overtook my previous bus and stopped for me to board the bus.
I found my bag intact. I was exhausted and was left with no energy to argue with the conductor (Also, I have lost faith in convincing people). The old me would have slaughtered him.
The first sight of Gokarna made me smile. It was like a small town with a slow pace, exactly what I wanted.
I walked to the beach from the bus station, looking for ‘Gokarna shacks’, I looked at two shacks and took the first one. There was one bed in it, I had my own sheet so the status of bedsheet didn’t bother me.
I just walked around the place. I had 2 days here and there was pretty much just exploring the beaches on my list so I walked around at my pace. I did not bother taking a bike on rent or booking an auto. Crossing the little hills to reach a new beach was exhilarating.
The weather was not very cooperative but I expected nothing less in the month of March. The place has a major Hippie population and there were not very many travelers to hang out with. A lot of people I met here were either helping with an Ashram or were on a really long trip, the ones without a return ticket.
Renting a place is really cheap here so it does make for a great place to just free your mind of all the clutter.
On my first evening, while I was soaking the beauty of sunset by the beach, I was joined by a Russian guy who has been living in Gokarna for a couple of years. This happened to work out really well for me as he politely offered to drop me to my guesthouse when I intended to leave as it was getting dark, once we were close to my guesthouse, he offered to take me on a drive. He took me to a plateau where I could see a starry night and listen to the music of waves somewhere far in the background. As he had been staying there running a business, he had explored every nook and corner of the place. He also took me to a Russian Hippie place where they sing, dance, and essentially just enjoy! Unfortunately, nothing was happening that evening so he dropped me to my guesthouse and we closed the day with ‘chai’.
Next day I repeated my routine only this time, I spent the first half exploring the town with my neighbor from the guest house and the second half on my own.
In the evening, I left for my ‘Karmabhoomi’ – Mumbai.
From a shack to my room in Mumbai was not an easy journey in the sleeper class.