Our thoughts of the ocean will linger on, Long after our foot prints in the sand are gone…!!

28-09-2012

It has never been one of those long thought fantasy of mine to walk along the seashore more than a day admiring the way as to how the water tries to escape from the huge stretch of itself in the ocean in the form of waves, but only to go down in Vain.

But then on the other hand if you do have bunch of energetic friends who start the conversation of doing one, then I happen to be one of those guy who’ll take the proceedings further and make sure we have the experience to cherish later for once…..BRAGGING 😛

That’s exactly what happened, friends all suggested Beach Trek and we decided to do one. ALL the R & D’s were done with and the whole Itinerary was put together and just when we thought it was all seven of us leaving, it happened that this guy Achyut backed off. I personally din try to persuade him to come, though others did…..was very well aware of the fact that he’s not the sort of guy to miss out on a trek until and unless he really had to….

So the awesome six!

Bargavi
Deeptesh
Dheeraj
Kishan
Madhuri
Suman

Well, it came down to all six of us and it was all six of us who made it in the end. After a bit of hungama in Majestic which I expected, being aware of the fact that Kishan had also joined us, but only this time he surprised me by coming only, some six minutes late (if my watch had read correct :P), “SURPRISE!!” I told myself when I saw him walking into the platform. But then yes, all made it before the engine started, Good for us!!

It was 8:23 PM when the bus left and couldn’t help but only blame on ourselves for having booked the ticket late….happened that we had the last two rows to sit (which happens to be dedicated only for those notorious heads who done like sleeping when travelling…but why us)…..time passed by and then the bus stopped in Tumkur road at 11:30 PM for dinner. Most of us were hungry, at least until we saw the hygiene of the hotel, but then as for me and kishan it din’t matter. We ordered NAANs and Panneer Masala and started eating only after which suman helped us finish it. Well here’s the bill:

NAAN – 40/-
Panner Butter Masala- 90/-
Three Naan’s and one curry  –  Total 210 Bucks 😦

Note: We always try to travel on low cost budget even if it takes some suffering from our side. It makes the entire expedition more memorable and fun (Also we get to save money)

After the so called dinner was done with, we happened to board the bus. I’ve always never been able to sleep in the bus no matter how badly I wanted to. Usually find it difficult to position my legs comfortably which I think is the main reason for me not being able to. Well the journey continued while I sat in my seat, the last row one, like I had mentioned, listening to music. Sometimes I kind of wonder as to how people get to doze off so deep even if the bus is throwing us off the sit frequently, thanks to the state highways here, and that’s exactly what was running through my head when I saw these guys, not to mention Dheeraj and Suman being able to doze off full on. And then when I look at Madhuri it reminded me off one off those Cocoons except that the layer covering the evolving Butterfly in this case, Madhuri, was missing. She was all hugging herself tight and had dozed off. Bargavi on the other hand was all cursing herself for having sat in the last row, she did show me some actions pointing to the roof and shuffling both her hands up and down which kind of looked kiddish and cute! (:P), guess she was referring to the bus throwing us off the sit. I never slept the whole journey and had already started thinking of having a sound sleep in next day’s camp by the Beach Shore J

All the way I sat looking outside the window with the same bunch of thoughts running in loops in my head, as always, but then yes, I certainly can realize the difference. Unlike the usual, whatever be it the thoughts that hits my head when am travelling, there is this sense of Positive Vibe that runs through my spine, and that’s when I tell myself that am born to travel. The only other unknown guy in the last row apart from us who happen to sit next to me, got down in some unknown place where I did spot some houses, one’s which looked really old, one of those typical looks of an old house that, one will get to see in the villages. People, not surprisingly where already awake for what I could see, now that I sat next to the window replacing the unknown latter. The Dawn started rising slowly as our bus speeded through some sharp curves. Meanwhile all where awake when they realized that we were almost there and that the dawn’s up.

Always sort of happens with me when I take charge, very diplomatic when it comes to deciding one out of two places as destination when am travelling to the place for the first time. It was as to whether I should get down by Honnavar main stop or Kamath hotel stop in Honnavar itself; I preferred the latter so that we can always come back given that it was the main stop and that we can get bus back to Kamath. Also thought that we’ll have our breakfast in Honnavar. It was 630 by then. My Guess proved to be wrong which I realized when I enquired a local lite as to where I must have got down to get bus to Haldipur, he pointed towards the direction we came from asking us to go back to the Kamath Hotel Stop. For once I had communication problem when I spoke with him. Never expected it actually, all the way thought that people in Honnavar spoke only Kannada, but it was only when I asked direction with people that I realized that there were people speaking Konkani and Tulu also. Adding to that my thought of having breakfast in Honnavar was also shattered when one of the local lite told us that all the hotel there will start serving Breakfast only after 8 and that Kamath’ s only place there, where it begins before 7:30 AM. Kind of weird isn’t it, a place where people begin there day early you have the breakfast being served only after 8. Never the less, thought that it’s gonna kill some time. So no point waiting, we walked back to Kamath for say 2 Km. 7:10 AM it was and the person in the hotel asked us to wait for ten minutes and so we did. Meanwhile all of them refreshed and I still remember the artifacts which were dumped (at least it seemed like that) by the space in the entrance of the hotel where we all sat on a soft couch. Quite interesting art works they were – an age old sword, old treasury locker, Portraits of hand drawn paintings and few others which I didn’t even know what they were. Ventured on clicking on some snaps until we had the breakfast ready to be served. Pretty ok the food was, nothing worth mentioning to have been Authentic to the manipal side food, in fact I would call it typical Kamat Highway side food.

Well the breakfast was done with and we were all geared up to board the Bus to Haldipur in NH17 road. But apparently there were no real buses that goes there but these small typical Indian rural side vans (roof being just 5 feet from bus floor, width being 6 feet) which if one hadn’t noticed before is usually jam packed during the peak hours and its pretty difficult to look around to see as to who’s next to you when the bus is Full. It’s virtually a small match box stuffed with sticks. Embarrassingly Dheeraj was stuck between nowhere in the bus and so did Madhuri. While I tried clicking some snaps I could see people’s staring eyes shooting at me. I did click two of them still though

Just clicked (never focused)

After travelling around 12 Km which lasted for around half an hour we happened to reach Haldipur. Checked with the local lite there and was pointed towards this narrow road which would lead us straight to the beach. Until then I never found a sign of having a beach at walk able distance, but then when we walked thru this road, started seeing fishing nets within most of the house compounds and also started smelling Dry fish as well. Meanwhile Dheeraj was made fun of for not having bought a sack, but interestingly he had a towel which he tied across his one shoulder diagonally to his hip and tied the so called stuffs of his to it (I’ll remember that, thought it might come handy at required times). I noticed that all the house there where different from each other and also so very different compared to the houses we get to see in the city side. They were simple and from outside it looked as if the houses are very spacious.

Slowly the sun glasses started coming out, we could feel the heat already, but then we were aware of this and as a precaution, the pre-requisites list for the trek also included the sunscreen creams which also came out from the sack along with the glasses. And meanwhile I was trying to spot the backwaters connecting the ocean which we were supposed to cross, over the bridge like the GPS view had mentioned in one of the blogs I referred. And so did I in no time, just after having walked 2Km I could see the Bridge and alongside the bridge were the Fishermen. For what we saw they did have a really good catch for the day. Saw the fishes that were pulled off from the water fumbling in the net trying to escape back, but no way out. It was kind of weird for me when Bargavi, Suman and Madhuri were empathizing for the fishes while I had already started imagining them in the Pan being fried with all the spices to get that red texture of meat :P. Also I was kind of wandering as to why they fish here while the ocean’s just a Km away. Thought that people in the vicinity came there to fish and consume them themselves. Well the idea seemed very erotic to me, we people walk down the road buying Chips and other Junkies while the people here just walk down the street to fish and taste the meat, all fresh and Juicy. Full of Proteins and Amino ‘s. Tempting isn’t it!!

The walk continued further and we spotted cattle’s for the first time, had a gossip running, calling the Two (only two that we spotted) to be Nandini and Bargavi. Another 100 meter we walked further enquiring the people on the way as to which side of the beach, left or right, that we must be taking to reach Gokarna, well the replies came but only after telling us that it’s not possible to walk along the beach to Gokarna, in fact I saw some laughing, guess they must have thought that we lost our way to Gokarna. Well we din’t bother to explain them that we’ve come for the very purpose of walking along the beach to Gokarna. RIGHT side from the beach we were told, which we were kind of aware of, keeping the basic geography in the mind, but then yes, knew it wouldn’t bother us enquiring one or two on the way and so we did. Walked 200 more meters and there we saw the waves trying to rush towards us periodically but only in Vain. Well the very sight of the beach made us all happy. We then switched to our shorts and started our trek and meanwhile the regret for not having got cards to play with, for the night vanished as Kishan and Dheeraj found a box with three sets of cards which they flicked from the Hurt where they went to switch dress.

Slowly as we walked we felt the heat and the sun was hitting down on our face. Realized that it’s never worth trusting the MET Predictions. As we walked we started spotting the dead fish’s laying around the shore half eaten by the birds. They weren’t decayed, it had to do with the salt water. As we walked we spotted the Karki Island visible behind us. After walking for half an hour, came our first Barrier which we were aware of, the first peak to cross. We decided to walk along the shore over the rocks so that we din’t have to tire ourselves. But that wasn’t to come easy as well, proved to be a bit risky walking over the greasy rocks which looked pretty desperate to send us down. We watched our steps more vigilantly and slowly walked with our hands held together. When we had walked to that extend wherein we could see the beach on the other side I realized where we were, RAMANAGINDI beach, like it was explained in the blogs. Beach that was sand witched between two peaks. We could see the small stretch of the beach and followed by that was the peak on the other end. The beach was clean and neat, which is to say that we din’t spot many plastic or glass bottles around.

Walking across admiring the beach and the secluded atmosphere, we reached the peak on the other end and this time also we tried doing the same, walking along the shore over the rocks but only after walking for few steps we realized that we had to climb over the peak. We did that, as we walked uphill, slowly the vast view of the beach started presenting itself. At one point when we reached the peak the view of it was just AWESOME like, Loved the overwhelming view in front of us. We sat for a while enjoying the view, and had some snacks. Then we decided to descend down, by now it was 11 AM and we had gotten a bit tired already, but was aware that it was a long walk after this peak in the beach. We continued and at one point we reached a situation were in we had to cross the rock which was very linear and greasy, couldn’t find any way around. It stood 6 feet from the surface of the water and we had no idea as to how deep the water really was, quiet a gamble it was. Dheeraj stretched out and crossed by holding on to the branch that had grown between the rocks. Next went suman who gave us a Rush for once, when she almost slipped of the rock and if it wasn’t for Dheeraj holding her hands she would have gone down. Well that’s when it really hit me of the fact that it was only Kishan who knew swimming really well, while I was an amateur being only able to save myself in the best case. We were more cautious after Suman’s slip. I went next and also had a slip but had a strong grip of the branch. Next came Madhuri, when she was about to cross, Bargavi gave us another Rush by Screaming out, we all for a second thought that it was a snake, wasn’t the case though. It happened to be a huge crab, 5 inch one. Had a laugh at it, and continued. All crossed safely. Once we were done we saw a clear route a head which mostly people around there must have been using. Walked a head and then finally we could see the Entire Stretch of DHARESHWAR beach. People there saw us curiously as we walked towards them. We asked them for water, they were more than happy to offer us. Guessing they must have realized how tired we were by the look on our face. We decided to rest for a while. Sat below the front roof of a house with the door closed. Cucumber, Carrots, Apple, Musambi and the Chapathies came out from the sack. All tasted heavenJ. We sat talking for half an hour.

The walk then began again, we could only see the long stretch of beach a head of us. The Dhareshwar beach seemed like the place where the fishermen lived. We could see many hurts by the shore and many fishermen doing their routine work. As we walked we were fortunate to come across a bunch of fishermen reaching the shore after having done with their daily fishing. Their wives and few children, we saw them helping them unload their catch. It was amazing to see the huge pile of fishes they had caught. Kishan even convinced them to give us three fish which we thought of Bar-B-Q’ing for the evening. And they were more than happy to offer us for free. One of the ladies cleaned the fish for us. So fresh the meat looked. We gave the children there chocolates for having helped to fetch water in a bucket to clean up the fish. Happy they wereJ. Before coming for this trek I was told that if we were fortunate then we might spot hundreds of birds of different family in this stretch from Dhareshwar to Kumta beach but I realized that we were on the unfortunate side as we couldn’t find any. Disappointment!

Breathing through the nose with the sun hitting on our face we walked and spotted a lonely Boat, say some 15 feet in length lying their supported by huge logs of wood at the bottom edges. Clicked some snaps and then we continued our walk. Long walk it was and finally we reached Alve Baagilu (place where the Aghanasini River joins the Arabian Sea). From what i had read from the blog, we had to cross this point by going to the village and taking a bus to Vannali Beach. But we had other plans, although the people there weren’t prepared to help us cross the river with their fishing boat (it’s against their ethics) we convinced a person there to get us across the river with this boat which could only accommodate three people at ones. Two on both side and one person in the middle. And so did kishan and Bargavi who went first. The fisherman sat on one side with the paddle. Before he started both were warned not to lean or make any unbalanced body movement. Only this time, not sure who the culprit was but the boat almost toppled and both kishan and the fisherman dropped in the water fully while Bargavi stuck to the boat, seated cross-legged not prepared to let go of the grip. A funny situation that was, people around had a laugh at it and we did as well. Bargavi’s mobile got ruined, since she fully had gotten wet and so did the mobile that was in her pocket. The fisherman then decided to take one at a shot, so kishan went first and this time they happened to cross successfully. Meanwhile few kids who came there from nowhere told us that it was just 4 feet deep if we cross at one of the point which was a bit towards the beach. Off came the rope from the sack as a precaution and we rest of us except kishan started crossing gripping the rope. Bargavi and Madhuri freaked as we walked across slowly, but to my surprise although the water was only 3 feet deep, all of a sudden the current of water from the river to the beach increased and every time we put our feet down, the sand below our heel started loosening and started flowing along with the water which gave us a rush, a scary one though. Well we started shouting to each other that we must walk fast but it wasn’t scary after all, ten more steps and then the depth was only 1 feet and that gave us a relief. Quiet an ADVENTURE

Well by the time we crossed the river it was 3 PM. We entered the KUMTA village temple and had our lunch there. We got few stares from people around not surprisingly since we were seated inside the temple premises. Once we were done, we completely cleaned up leaving behind no hints of us having come there. We asked for water in one of the houses. Me and Dheeraj waited while others started walking. That’s when we came across few kids playing their, who were trying to pull our legs. We clicked photos with them. Made them shout out Suman and Bargavi’s name.

We then walked for another 2 Km from there and reached VANNALI Beach. The place had a Mosque by the shore and for what we saw was with full of Islamic fishermen and women. Saw few kids playing cricket and as we went further saw five gals having drawn something different from our childhood days and playing, jumping over the squares drawn on the beach sand. Bargavi with all the curiosity approached them asking as to how they play the game. It was me and Bargavi walking in the front and as Bargavi conversed with the gals I looked around to see all the people looking at us curiously. Well that stopped us from talking with the kids their and quietly walked further. The place had the stench of dead fish which were all soaked in salt and cultured in the sand for consumption.

Then we crossed a small peak by walking 1km further and then we could view the MANGODLU or the famously known SEMICIRCULAR beach. We jumped over the serious of rocks and reached the beach finally. I tried washing my hand with my camera sling around my wrist which I later realized was the dumbest thing to do. My camera dropped in the water, only for a second though but then that proved fatal enough. I couldn’t turn it on and it was all ruined. Never thought that the snap of Mangodlu beach which I took lastly before the incident would be the last for the expeditionL. We conversed with a person there who apparently was the only one staying by the beach shore. Enquired him regarding the temple where we had planned to camp for the night. It was 5:30 PM by now.

From there we crossed a small peak and walked for 1KM to reach KADLEGUDDA Beach.

Further as we negotiated the with our tired legs to push few more kilometer, we came across HOLANAGADDE beach and GUDE ANGADI beach, a KM apart. We were all very tired but the view of the sun setting kept us going. We walked slowly admiring the beautiful scene of the sun going down which I think we only deserved after everything that we had gone through for the day. I, Bargavi and Dheeraj were in the front with huge gap with the rest of the three. At one point they were lost from our visible range. We started singing random songs and I loved the atmosphere there.

Sun setting, Orange sky, Cold beach sand, Breeze hitting our face, Songs we sang (:P)……….Totally summoned myself and enjoyed it. AWESOME LIKE

We three reached the point from where we had to walk 300 odd meters to the KANCHIKA PARAMESHWARI TEMPLE where we were supposed to camp for the night. It was 7:15 PM when we reached there. Three of us sat in the beach singing randomly and having biscuit and chocolates. We also flashed our torch to Suman, Madhuri and Kishan who weren’t all that far from us now. The place had gotten really dark by the time they reached us. We then walked inside the village and to our surprise we din’t find any hotel, there was only a shop selling basic commodities. We were told by a local lite that the place had no hotels. We then reached the entrance of the temple where unfortunate for me and Kishan, the fish we carried all the way to cook for the night had to be dropped outside the temple. Climbed hundred stone steps to reach the temple. The temple was pretty spacious and kept very clean. We refreshed and then fortunately for us we were asked to sleep inside the temple for the night by an Elderly person who by the looks seemed like the one who runs the show there. He also told us that we could cook dinner in his house if required and so came the magi packs out. I and Madhuri left to his house which was just 5 mins walk from the temple. His house was maintained so neat and the kitchen was kept very much organized. We cooked all the 13 packs of Magi thinking that we could finish them all. We weren’t sure of it though until when we were done cooking. The quantity was just too much. We gave some to the people in the house. Once we reached the temple again, the rest started digging. We were just so hungry, but still our appetite wasn’t all that great to have all the magi we had in the vessel finished. In fact we ate only half of it. Total WASTE

We all then dozed.

Alarm rang at 4:00 AM in the morning.

But by the time we packed the tent and got ready it was 5:00 AM.

We left the temple after having cleaned up the place where we slept and also washing the elderly Person’s vessel which he offered us to carry Magi. All the left over magi was packed in a trash which we dumped there only.

We started early mainly to avoid the sun and it proved worthy. With a cool breeze hitting our face we started walking in the beach again. It din’t take us long before we reached the BAADA beach. Then came the KAAGAL and KIRIBELE beach spaced 2KM between them. Meanwhile during this time we enjoyed the view of Sunrise. But at the same time the heat was slowly getting to us. So we din bother stopping. Finally we reached Kiribele beach from where we had to walk up the peak north east to reach the Aghanasini River crossing point. As we climbed up the peak we could see the stretch of Aghanasini River meeting the Arabian Sea. Had our breakfast here, all the left over fruites and chapathies were finished with, and yes not to mention the Tango pack which Bargavi had got, proved to be handy. We walked downhill from the peak towards the west a bit. Finally reached a foot track which led us straight to the River crossing point. Crossed the river in a Yacht which ran on a Diesel Engine (even enquired with the engine brand, Yamaha’s Engine it was :P) to reach the TADADI beach. From there another kilometer we hit the BALEKAAN Beach. These places where fully residential and seemed like they were all into fishing. The beach was completely covered with fishes whish were smeared with salt and ploughed regularly to expose the entire fish to sun. These are then being packed and sold for consumption. The place smelled very weird though. But for first time since we started our trek we spotted a hotel. It was 11 AM then.

2 kilometer we walked further to reach the PARADISE beach, and no wonder it was called so. The pebbles in the beach water clearly seen. Fully secluded with a pleasant atmosphere. But then when I had read through some blogs before coming to the trek, it was mentioned that one can find shops selling Eatables and lot of foreigners could be spotted here. But then here, now it wasn’t the case though. To our surprise the place was totally abandoned. Open roof dance floor which must have been the Partying place once was all demolished partially and we could see Alcohol bottles and Syringe fallen around. Quite fishy the place was and in fact when I tried looking around the place for the route to the next beach I came across this piece of land between the trees that was filled with alcohol bottles and the syringes were everywhere around the place. We all sat by the shore enjoying the view. Kishan and Dheeraj meanwhile tried fetching coconut from the tree. After a long persistent effort, they did manage with one.

We then started our Trek again knowing that we weren’t far from Gokarna now. After walking along the hill following a narrow path we reached the HALFMOON Beach where we were provided by tender coconut by the only family which lived there. Still remember the funny conversations we had, seated by the shore there. We cherished the tender coconut, desperately. We knew that our Trek had almost ended here.

We reached OM Beach after having negotiated through some very narrow paths.

Beautiful the beach was with lots of foreigners in swim wear 😛 and the beach side restaurants. We relaxed for a while and then took an Auto to GOKARNA by when the time was 3:00 PM. Had lunch and left to Gokarna Beach where we played in the water. But more than the fun we had in the water, it was the later TWO incidents that we enjoyed the fullest.

1)    Gals were not prepared to let go of this guy who charged us 10 bucks more to use the rest room there. They had a fight with him. 3 on 1. Poor guy gave up eventually. Way to go Madhuri, Suman and Bargavi.

2)   The rain which never showed up for 2 days poured for big time from 5:30 PM and we had to reach the bus stop to board the bus back to Bangalore at 7PM (Remember we had booked our tickets). Bus stop was 1 Km from there and we could already see the roads flooded with water up till the knee height. Waited till 6:10 PM but the rain only got worst. So left with no option, we decided to walk, none of us had rain coats. So guess what we did?? Removed the tent roof cover from the bag and four of us held it on four corners while Madhuri stood in the middle (Kishan meanwhile had Achyut’s rain coat with him so he was saved). With the water level up till the knee and people laughing at us, and the rain getting worst, we walked for 1Km and 1Km of awesome fun it was, through the streets where people all took shelter under the roofs of shops even after having the umbrella. We guys seriously rocked. Got blasted by few auto and car drivers who passed by which din’t matter at all to us. Utter FUN it wasJ….wouldn’t forget J……Wish I had photos of this incident to share. Zooperr ADVENTUROUS it was.

Well we finally hit the bus stop, refreshed, changed and boarded the bus to BANGALORE!!

click here to view all the trek pics 

Trek Expense:

Two way Rajahamsa Bus Fare: 455 + 455 = Rs 910
Other expense:  Rs 350 (Includes the expensive tender coconut deals we had during the trek)
Total: Rs 1250

 

Must Carry:

Sunscreen
Sunglass
Hat or Cap
Fruits (avoid dry fruits)
Facemask (for sensitive skins)
Minimum of two liters of water

 

Trek Route:

Picture below shows the GPS view of the route from NH17 to Haldipur beach and also from Haldipur Beach to Gokarna Beach.

Route from NH17 to Haldipur beach
Route from NH17 to Haldipur beach
trek route along the shore
trek route along the shore

And then the following table gives an approximate idea on the distance between the beaches, as traced from Haldhipur to Gokarna along the coastal route which I got from an unknown source.

Coastal distance from Haldipur to Gokarna

Place

Distance
(km)

Cumulative Distance (km)

Haldipur 0 0
Ramanagindi 1.5 1.5
Dhareshwar 1.5 3
Kumta 5 8
Kumta Beach 1 9
Vannalli 1.5 10.5
Mangodlu 1 11.5
Kadle Gudda 1 12.5
Holanagadde 1 13.5
Gude Angadi 1 14.5
Baada 1.5 16
Kagal 2 18
Kiribele 2 20
Aghanaashini 3 23
Tadadi 1 24
Belekaan Beach 1 25
Paradise Beach 2 27
Halfmoon Beach 1 28
Om Beach 1 29
Kudle Beach 2 31
Jatayu Thirtha 1 32
Gokarna 1 33

 

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