Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Sun on my face and sand at my feet; Gokarna!

2013 has been an incredible roller coaster of ups and downs, and I was craving some quiet time; to unwind, relax and basically recharge my batteries for the craziness that I already know 2014 is going to be!! And one of the best decisions I have made was to choose Gokarna as  my year end vacation spot! Honestly I have not been to many places in India still untouched by the ravages of tourism. I had the best time and came back feeling so refreshed!

I have compiled below a list of my favorite experiences in this lovely beach destination!
1) Swimming in the balmy clear waters of Kudle beach! Or just lying on the water with the sun on my face, and the sound of the waves, nothing better to calm down the noises in my head. With such few people and awesome clean waters it felt like my own personal infinity pool.
2)  The trek to Paradise beach from Om beach; over and around the hill, guided by our own little doggie GPS, he waited while we caught our breath and took our pictures of the breath taking view!
3) Paradise beach; easily the most serene, empty beach I have been in! Just us on the rocks, and the water lapping gently at our feet and a lone boat in the sea. It was exactly what I needed to calm my crazy brain and be in the present.
4) Nirvana cafe; good food, lovely people, a friendly welcoming vibe, an excellent view of the ocean and the best mint tea on Om beach!

5) Doggies galore and so adorable; sleeping in the shade of the sunbathers, digging trenches to find the cooler sand, splashing around in the waves with their human and canine buddies, was such a delight to just watch their care free happiness.

6) The pace of life; breakfasts that merged into lunches, lying around in the cafes guzzling beer, the people competing with the dogs in the lack of an agenda in their day, one of the wonderful things about vacationing in a place that doesn't have much to "do"!

7) Freedom; to loiter,no stares no hooting no calling me sexy, I finally felt comfortable enough in India to wear my bikini!!
Yoga on Om beach
8) Food; while the food is not that brilliant in Gokarna, there are some must tries. The falafel and beetroot juice in Nirvana cafe; divine! And the hash browns in any cafe! They are nothing like the real hash browns but yummy nonetheless. The coffee shake in Namaste cafe is also noteworthy. Its important to also mention here that alcohol other than beer is available on Kudle beach. Good reason to spend your afternoon there!

Falafel at Nirvana Cafe

9) Location, location, location: I love the combination of the hills and the sea. Makes for some splendid views and for some very interesting walks. The boat ride back from Paradise to Om beach also highlights this aspect of Gokarna!

Overall, Gokarna proved to be a hidden gem, close to nature, wonderful people and an environment conducive to detoxing your mind and body!! Im seriously considering making it an annual pilgrimage!
The walk to Paradise beach!

The mandatory selfie!