The Beach Trek from Honnavar to Gokarna - Day 2

Posted by Anantha | Posted on Saturday, January 26, 2013

The day 2 started pretty early for us. By 7:30, we had packed our tent and started walking towards the next hill at the end of the beach. A boat had 'Nature Nirvana' painted in big fonts and was parked on the beach. A villager who was on his morning walk on the beach said the beach is now called Nirvana beach after that beach resort had started. The long stretch had started as Kadle beach and had ended as Nirvana beach.

To our sursprise we saw few women carrying water from one of the creeks of the rocks on the hill. That was a stream of fresh water flowing down the hill all through the year it seems. That was really a nature's wonder, to the left we had salt water to infinity and here was a source of fresh water right on the shore. We freshened up there and ate few apples that we had carried and walked up the hill. Once the trail on the hill led us to the back of that big hill, we saw a range of small hills all covered with bushes and there was no clear path. We still marched ahead, as always, Byre in front and me following him. The trail got narrower with many thorny bushes on both the sides. Both of us got many scratches, some cutting deep enough and some not so deep. At one place I was bitten on my entire back and neck by red ants. We must have disturbed its nest some where in the bushes. The burning sensation was unbearable but surprisingly was momentary. I took off my shirt and vest and cleared the ants. In an effort to help me, Byre was also bitten. Even after that, we had some hope that the narrow trail might open up some where and we might get to see the next beach. Few meters ahead, the trail almost demanded us to crawl on our knees. At that point, we gave up. We decided to walk balk to Nirvana beach. The decision was not so easy, as we had to face the ant attack again on our way back. We got ready for it too. On our way back, almost at the same place, the ants bit us again. Luckily there were not many this time. We did the exercise of removing our shirts and vests again this time. Amidst all that burning sensation on shoulders and back, we had a hearty laughter about how foolhardy we are when it comes to trekking.

Sleepy Kaagaala village...

Seeking directions to the nearest bus stand from Nirvana beach, we walked towards the road. It was 10:30AM by then. That means we had wasted nearly two hours trekking that formidable hill. The village we reached was called Kaagaala. That was a typical laid back village of North Kannada. I love such places. In a shop there, I had ginger soda and Byre had some other aerated local drink. The shop owner was wearing a faded white vest expanded to the maximum to cover his large belly and a white dhoti. A typical costume for a shop owner who might have his house at the back of the shop. You can find many such houses where one of its rooms adjacent to the road being turned into a shop in North Kannada, South Kannada and Udupi districts. When we told about our failed attempt to cross the hill behind, the two other people at the shop said, it is difficult to cross the hill at this time of the year. The shop owner told us to catch the bus to Aghanashini river.

We reached the place where river Aghanashini meets the Arabian Sea. As we had seen the last time where the nameless 'local river' had met the sea, here also the union of river and sea was beautiful, no roar no noise, just a calm union. Agha in Sanskrit means sin, Aghanashini means the river which relieves us from our sins. The river is born in Sirsi and joins the sea at TadaDi. We waited for the plying boat to cross the river. While we were waiting for the boat, we turned back and had a look at the hill which we failed to climb. The hill indeed was formidable, it was all covered with bushes this side also.

A short ride in the boat and we reached TadaDi port. A guy told us, from TadaDi port, beaches of Gokarna are not very far. We were happy and also sursprised that we were so close to our destination. A relaxed lunch at Om Beach in Gokarna looked very much possible. The first beach we got was Belekan beach. We stopped at a shop there and gulped few packets of Masala Buttermilk. The beach had few huts for rent facing the sea. At the door of one of such huts, we saw a long bearded firang sitting and smoking. He clearly was stupored. May the weed help him attain his enlightenment ;-)

A short uphill climb from Belekan beach led us to Paradise beach. We saw a bunch of foreigners sunbathing there. The beach was full of rocks and did not look suitable for taking a plunge into the water. We walked to the Halfmoon beach. Byre said, Halfmoon beach is ideal for swimming. For the little bit of floating skills we have got, calling it swimming will be an exaggeration :-) We kept our bags on the rocks, slipped into our swimming trunks and got into the water. Few were already in water with life jackets. We got to know later that boats ply between Om beach and Halfmoon and charge some bucks for providing the life jackets. Then they will be dropped back to the Om beach. When we were getting into the water, a firang female also got into the water. She seemed like an expert swimmer. Within few minutes she was at least half a kilometer away from the shore. We continued playing in water. The firang female kept swimming away. At one point we really had to strain our eyes to spot her head in the sea, it looked like a mere black dot in the blue water. Byre joked she might reach Murudeshwara by evening :-) I was envious of her swimming skills. It's high time for me to hone my swimming skills. My breathing techniques are terribly wrong. I need to practice a lot to get it right. Lot of firangs were walking across the beach towards the Paradise beach. Some of them got into the water and some lied sunbathing there it self. A middle aged firang male was lying holding a book on the beach. He seemed disinterested in the book he was reading, rather seemed like he was waiting for some thing. Then a boat came from Om  beach. All the people who were still in water with life jackets got into the boat and the boat left to Om Beach leaving Byre, me and just handful of people in water. The firang was waiting for this I think. He kept his book aside, came near the rocks where we had kept our bags, removed his shorts - the only garment on him and plunged naked into the sea. I exclaimed, Waaww that's freedom, I want to do it too some times!

Sunset at Om Beach

Feeling hungry, Byre and I got out of the water, dresses up and headed towards Om Beach. There are lot of people who walk across Paradise, Halfmoon and Om beaches. Hence there is a clear trail on the hillls that connect these beaches. We reached Om beach around 3PM. The shoulders were paining after carrying our heavy backpacks for more than ~35kms and we were hungry too. We got into a nice hotel facing the sea ordered our food and beer. Byre booked the bus tickets back to Bangalore from Gokarna on his mobile. Again few nice conversations with firangs around... Drinks.. Nice food and the beautiful view of sunset from the beach. Thus was the end to our most memorable trek till date.

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