Jun 5, 2009

Om beach and beyond

Durga, Deepi, Gulli and I left Dharwad by 2 30 PM. The day was relatively cool since it was cloudy. As we turn off the highway, and head towards Gokarna, we passed by salt pans.

We reached Om beach by 6 30 and spent some time on the beach. We checked into two cottages at Kushi Resort, about 4km from Om Beach. The resort, opened recently, is an areca nut plantation in a valley, slopes covered by thick jungle. It's an experince to spend a day or two down there but it may get sultry. The water had a strange smell, the staff said that the water comes from a spring and the minerals in the water gives off the smell.

We were the only guests that night. We dined in open air, the service was slow but the food was alright. Somehow that night, I just could sleep well. We woke up early, had tea and went off to the beach. The sun had just risen as we set our foot on the sand.

While Durga, Deepi and Gulli played in the sea, I went exploring the other end of Om beach... up the hills. I had company- 6 or 7 dogs.

I spent some time shooting pictures and enjoyed the breeze. Then walked back slowly towards the beach, taking more pictures on the way.

As I reached these guys, Deepak was doing Yogasana. I joined Gulli in the water, it was a great feeling to be in salt-water. We went on chest deep and tried floating. The waves would crash down on us... it was fun. Deepi also joined us. We played the water till a boat man offered to take us for a ride. We did not bargain much, our idea was to spend some time in the boat in deep sea.

About half kilometer from the sea, we got a glimpse of a dolphin, just the back and the tail. The boat ma cut off the outbaord engine and we were just floating around in silence. We saw more and more dolphin tails. We could never predict where the next one would surface. We had keep our eyes opene and keep looking around. We had enough with dolphin tails and moved on. We passed by Half-Moon beach and Paradise beach. This is where normally most tourists turn back but we continued further. We saw more small isolated beaches. Now we were heading towards a bunder and a fishing village, some Agni... I cannot recall the full name. Here the waters were kind of rough. Later I realised that this is where the river met the sea. Manouvering the boat through this stretch was tricky. Back in calm waters, we saw fishermen in their tiny boats.

Our boatman took us to a tiny island, actually a submarine sand dune. We stopped and spent some time collecing shells and playing around. That's out boat parked on the island beach.

This looks like a drawing... hills.

That's just before we left the island.

Though the kids seems silent, we got a noisy welcome.

Some kid's creativity.

Deepi and Eshwar (our boatman) helping the local fisherman pull the net.

The sun was up and getting bit too warm for comfort, we decided to head back to Om Beach. We went through the rough aters again and were out of it safely. Back Om beach, we paid Ra.1000 to Eashwr and Ram, we were happy with their service.

Back at the resort, we freshened up, had snacks and soft-drinks and packed up. Our next destination was Gokarna... Mahaganapati Temple and Mahabaleswara Temple. The town is not what it was during my first visit with Gulli back 1996. Crowded and hot and messy. Anyway, we visited both temples, all of us hungry and we went in search of a place for food. Finally ended up having lunch at Pai Hotel, we did enjoy the lunch of chapati, palya, rice, sambar and papad. We started our journey back to Dharwad, it was better to be moving than to be stationary.

The journet was almost non-stop. Rains greeted us as we entered Dharwad.


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