The bus ride from Hospet to Gokarna was a roller coaster. The worst road I’ve had the displeasure of being a passenger on. In reality it could have been worse, I could have been in Medway. The bus was quite empty so I had the three-person seat for both my bag and myself. Which is the only positive I could take from the journey. The delayed bus meant the driver had to hurtle super mega speeds that were twice as fast of any other bus, in the world, like ever. The Indian roads are notoriously bumpy. Speed + bumpy road = not very smooth transit. In the midst of the constant shaking and trembling of the Government bus, I managed to nod off a few times, but I was woken several times to a huge bump that took me clean out of my chair into the air and crashing back down again, almost hitting the ceiling. I am not over dramatising this at all. I shit thee not. Clear off my seat into the air. Several times. Many times even. The Indian men on the bus were not impressed either and shouted and cursed the driver. This I thought was hilarious. Even though I had been woken up and shaken around, I should be pissed off but I laughed out loud. All the things that should annoy me I find enjoyable, knowing that this is not forever, just an experience on an epic journey around India.
Gokarna reminded me of Palolem but without the package holiday folks. More for backpacker, cheaper prices, etc. It has five beautiful beaches, a relaxed pace to life and beach huts designed for dirty backpackers. I was due to leave after one night but I met some super nice people and decided to stay a little longer.
The first shack I lived in was on Kudle beach. This beach has less hippies than the others and not everybody played with circus toys and donned dreads. The hut was cheap and I was on the beach, literally. The floor was sand and the two storey shack was built from wood, palm leaves and bamboo. The food was amazing and the landlord a loony, my type of place. However, the bed bug bites I received were a bit of a downer. I met some fellow Brits, a Kiwi, a Columbian and a guy from Chili and I promptly evacuated my bug infested beach hut and waddled down the beach to a cleaner place in the Sangrita Lodges.
Again I was in a similar situation where Gokarna didn’t offer much culturally but the people around me did. We ate good food and drunk lots of beer and rum. We made fires on the beach and attempted to sing songs. I had a great time drinking and meeting dozens of Danes, Swedes, Germans, Indians and Israelis. I also met the odd Indian or two. Time flew.
Visiting the Om Beach next to Kudle Beach by boat, we discovered a Bollywood film being filmed, Love is Poison. The boat full of backpackers wanted to star in it, so, being the charming fella I am with a can-do attitude, I approached my ‘contacts’ behind the Sony cameras to see if we could get a break in Bollywood. Before I knew it, we were beach bums hanging around in the background with the male dancers and some hot chicks in bikinis. We did a few shots, flexed our muscles and practiced corny sexy looks before relaxing with the crew to eat the most amazing chicken masala, roti and rice. First I’m in a Rajasthani music video and now I’m flexing my non existent six pack in a Bollywood movie. That’s how I roll. Google me yaar. I’m all over the place.
Paradise Beach is a small and beautiful beach with no permanent buildings on it. It’s only inhabitants are several backpackers who come here to set up camp and live a simple life. I met the lovely Kirsty and Emma, a couple of English roses, and we walked the long and winding paths to Paradise Beach from Kudle. The views stunning and the walk a pleasure, we were a little let down by the so called legendary Paradise Beach. The groups of people had their own seperate camps and didn’t seem too happy to share their cool hippy life with any non-hippy looking folk like us. Maybe we arrived on an off day, but smiles are free yaar?
However, I did have a moment of clarity on Paradise Beach. I decided that opening up a company selling fresh coconuts at festivals would be my future. An epiphany god damn it. All will be revealed. Half a year doing the festival circuits with half the year traveling the world sounds very appealing. Maybe NSW rejecting my claim to teach in Oz was a sign for bigger and better things. Mikes Nuts has a ring to it. The play with words is endless. Innuendo heaven.
Gokarna behind me I finally head to Cochin in Kerela to witness the backwaters and life in the far south. I’m heading there with a bunch of great guys but sad I’m leaving behind some super nice people in Gokarna. Friends are made and lost in days. My journey continues. The next chapter will be created.