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I crave the love so deep; the ocean would be jealous: Gokarna Beach Trek with Safarnama Travels

Being a mountain darling, I was seeking for a change and wanted to spend time with my Love. It was not like I was not travelling before. Being a trek leader, travelling was like every weekend affair. But this time, I wanted to travel for myself, I wanted to go with him, I wanted to relive our first trip when we fell in love with each other. My saturation point had already crossed after 3 months of continuous travelling without him. I craved his love and time. Maybe because I had started enjoying his company more than myself and am at peace with him.

After continuous fights with him because of our recent start-up work, conflicting personalities, lack of time for each other and other commitments over the past couple of months, I thought it's time for us to make some time for each other. After hours of continuous argument and persuasion, he agreed. We booked our weekend trip to Gokarna through our most trusted traveling partner - Safarnama Travels, the same organization, I’m now the part of. We both knew the culture of the organization, the bigger reason for the choice of travel partner was. Gokarna is a very small tourist town centered around temples. It is known for its huge coastline and several beaches that have scenic rocky climbs. The beaches are pristine and hidden behind a frame of well-placed hills that trek enthusiasts are keen on trekking to hit the beaches. The best time to visit Gokarna is from October until March when the weather is warm and pleasant.

I unpacked all the beautiful dresses which were lying dead in those abandoned suitcases, packed some good food, got a shirt for him and did all the preparations required for the trek. I was super excited for this trek and wanted to revamp our relation which was lost in daily cobwebs of life.

Day 0: Bus Journey from Bangalore to Gokarna- ‘Strangers are just friends waiting to happen’

After a successful completion of the day at the office, around 9:00 PM, I boarded the bus from Hard Rock café, MG road and saw him sitting on the seat eagerly waiting for me. I gave him a big hug; he too kissed my forehead and here is the start to an amazing journey and some lifelong memories which I can narrate to our grandchildren. The trip started with getting familiar with all the participants and laying out everyone’s expectations from the trip. The trek leader was quite energetic and knew how to create a friendly-positive atmosphere. He iterated the whole itinerary for the next two days and gave us the confidence for the wonderful trip ahead. Soon the trek leader wore his DJ hat, and here we were, losing ourselves to dance beats. We knew, we don't get a chance to take a break this often, we knew our life is speeding and so we let ourselves groove. Around 10:30 PM, we stopped for dinner for 40 minutes at ‘Vrindavan Hotel’. They serve a refreshing lime juice once must try. We were so hungry that we could have eaten a whole horse. After satisfying our hunger, we continued our journey.

Day 1: Gokarna Beach Trek – ‘Tan Fades but memories stay forever

We reached our homestay, Gokarna Adventures in Gokarna Beach around 8:00 AM, got refreshed and had a delicious breakfast. The topography is soothing and oozes of beauty in every bit. The Gokarna main beach forms the coast of the town and is followed by Main beach in the northern direction while the other beaches lie to the south. The town is popular among Hindu pilgrims as Gokarna has one of the few Shiva's holy temples with what is claimed to be the original image of the god. It is believed that Lord Shiva emerged from the ear of a cow (Prithvi, the Mother Earth) here, thus, the name “Go-Karna’. Journey starts from Gokarna beach itself.

Paradise Beach

After completing the morning rituals, we boarded a local bus arranged by ‘Safarnama Travels’ to Belakan Beach from where the trek started. The sight of sea that stretches to the horizon like a white desert caught our attention. We could inhale the seawater and feel the cold air. Some people even dived into the sea. Everyone was feeling blue. We started our hike towards Paradise Beach though the forest area. The terrain was exhausting. After 30 minutes of continuous tiresome hiking under the burning sun, the view was outright heaven! Paradise beach, also referred to as Full Moon beach, is wrapped in total strange excellence. It's an exceptionally rough shoreline, with sand in the middle. Waves are extremely solid, and it is very dangerous to go out far into the ocean. Crude and immaculate, the shoreline is far from all the hustle. The beach can solely be reached by boat or by trekking through the forest. It can be described as beauty at its best. We spent around one-hour dancing with water, sprinkling it on each other like children and capturing moments on our cameras. Being hydrophobic, it was not an easy dance. The same I told my Hero who reverted saying, “If I’ll not win my fears with him, then what is he good for” which filled me with the desire to challenge my fears. Soon, all the travelers became one group.

Half Moon Beach

From paradise beach, we started to trek through the coast to Half-Moon beach. Half-moon beach is so named on the grounds that the shape looks like that of a half-moon. Isolated by a cliff from Om Beach, Half Moon Beach offers stunning perspectives of the ocean. Spotted with average Indian style town hovels or shacks, the shoreline is the ideal spot for unwinding and relaxation. With umpteen hammocks set amidst trees, you have an astonishing spot amidst nature. Prevalent exercises like Volleyball, Paintball, Paddle boats etc. are available here. They serve the most astounding sustenance at super low expenses! After 15 minutes of break at Half moon, we carried on our trek to OM beach.

OM Beach

We reached the beach by 2:30 PM. Om beach is situated at a separation of roughly 8 km from the town of Gokarna. Two semi-bow shapes that combine taking after the image 'OM' is the explanation for the name of the shoreline. Here, one has the option to enjoy water adventure sports like Kayaking, Banana Ride and parasailing. If one has the luxury of time or can be patient enough to overpower their hunger, one must try ‘Namaste Café’ which offers best egg chilly and tandoori chicken, I ever tasted. If you are a seafood lover, ‘Nirvana Café’ is a must visit which serves best prawn chilly, chicken steak and cheese mushroom omelette. As per the trek leader, we were required to meet him around 5:00 PM outside Namaste Café. We still had half an hour, which I encashed with my hero, building our sandcastles promising lifetime commitment to build our castle together, playing with sand and enjoying the seascape.

Kudle Beach

From Om beach, we were trekking through little timberland to the perfect sunset point along with a stop at dolphin viewpoint. We were lucky enough to witness two dolphins swirling in the water. The terrain started from climbing up around hundreds of ladders, crossing the forest and then descending a few ladders. We again by now were hungry. In a short time, Kudle beach was achieved. A white sandy beach circumscribed by palm trees, Kudle beach is completely ravishing. Beach is known for its style of ocean food and sunset. There is an assortment of ocean depths accessible which are cooked in their local style. As the beach is a loved destination place for foreigners, the local vendors likewise provide some foreign dishes in Indian style. ‘Sea Rock café’ is known for serving Chicken sandwich, Prawn sandwich and Maggi. Similarly, for vegetarians, one can visit ‘Sunset Café’ for sandwiches and noodles. The beach is quintessential for swimming and basking in the sea, the water is safe for splashing and diving, but the solitary existence of the beach makes it a little risky as it is devoid of lifeguards with a very minimal crowd. It is hardly a 10 minutes boat ride from Om beach and 15 minutes from Gokarna beach. The picturesque was magical and enchanting. If one feels tired, one can stay here till the curtain of night falls to enjoy the confluence of sparkling moonlight and dazzling sea.

Sunset Point

We continued our trek to sunset point where land was bleached by the fiery sun. Off in the distance the sun begins to set in a drowsy unhurried fashion. It is the most beautiful sight I have ever witnessed. The colors swirl together in a muzzy mass across the sky. The sky turned wild. Lightning hurls itself across what was once the tame uncaring paradise. A wild explosion of heavenly emotions had replaced my peaceful evening. What could be a more exciting ride than living in a place with your loved one where your plans could be invaded upon so abrasively by a cause you cannot control. The sun was setting. People were laughing and embracing under the sunset.

We again hiked back to our homestays crossing the Gokarna Market and walking on the beach. We purposefully walked down on the shoreline of the outer banks. The sand squish slowly through our toes. Gokarna beach is one of the five beaches with no dearth of beautiful magnificence. Bound by rough mountains and the Western Ghats on one side and the Arabian Sea on the other. The beach is serene and a most loved among explorers. Around 8:00 PM, we were in our camps, where ‘Safarnama Travels’ had also arranged a rain dance. Soon we freshen up ourselves, had a delicious dinner and get ready for Bonfire. The bond among us becomes stronger. We shared our life incidents, played some games and retired to our respective tents.

Day 2: Ascend to Mirjan Fort- ‘Fort is a mindset not just location

After having an early breakfast, we packed up to leave for Bangalore. On the way ‘Safarnama Travels’, has arranged a visit to Historic Mirjan Fort. Situated on the banks of River Aghanashini, Mirjan Fort spreads out over an area of 4.1 hectares (10 acres) is a royal reminder of our glorious history. Known for its architectural elegance, landmark of extraordinary historical interest, the fort is also believed to be a site for many past battles in 16th and 17th Century and was functional till 1785. Later, British captured this fortress and utilized it for their armory. The fort has four entrances (one primary and three backup doorways) and numerous wells, which are interlinked with access channels leading to the circular moat (used as a defense measure to secure the fort) that completely encompassed the stronghold and leading to the canal works outside the fort's limits. The splendid fort truly gives the impression of a fairy-tale castle all covered with grass and overgrowth. Again, we took out our sleeping cameras, and seized the moments at all corners of the mighty fort. There comes an end to the journey. We returned from Bangalore with a bond much stronger with each other, bunch of good friends, hundreds of photos and unforgettable memories.

We still have those fights, but what matters more is we want to make things work and not give up. I Love you Gokarna. Thank You ‘Safarnama Travels’ for such a perfect weekend.