Manipal-Gokarna

Gokarna is a place most would call the hippie capital of Karnataka. With a lot of western Foreigners coming here during Nov to  Feb, the beaches are filled with people looking to get tanned and high.Situated around 180kms away from Manipal,  most of the students see this place as a peaceful weekend getaway.

On a normal Thursday, I wake up at 7.30 am for an 8’o clock class, with no interest to go to class. I texted my best friend/travel mate that I didn’t intend to go to classes that day. He replies quarter past 8 that he didn’t go to classes either. Seeing that it is a coincidence not to be ignored, he says we go somewhere. As we wanted to go to Gokarna for a while now, and as we had never succeeded pitching a tent on any beach (read Manipal-Goa) we decided to camp on Paradise beach. We hired Avenger 220 Cruise again, as it served as so well in our past trips, and also as it is very comfortable. So we start our journey by 12.30 in the afternoon, a 4-hour journey, and it was pretty normal, except for when my aviators flew off from my face and when my phone fell from my pocket and shattered to pieces. Since we made multiple stops (my phone just shattered to pieces, give me a break) we reached Gokarna at around 5 pm. We went directly to Om beach and we started our trek to Paradise almost immediately. 

 

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Trail along the cliff

 

The trail was along the cliff for a while and once it entered the jungle it got rather confusing, There were a lot of paths in many directions and we were very confused about where to go and the sun was near setting, and it started to get dark. As most parts of the trail were along a cliff coast side, we needed to reach our destination before sunset. Around this time, a couple of dogs came to our rescue. They started to guide us on the trail and even waited for us when we were lagging behind as if they were trained for this job. The trek wasn’t tough but it was definitely dangerous. One wrong step and we would start sliding down the cliff a hundred meters onto a rocky coast.  After a 40 min long trek to Paradise beach, the sun just set, meaning there was light enough for us to camp on a cliff facing the ocean. We did not, sadly, have any time to gather firewood, but luckily the night wasn’t cold and we could do without a fire.

 

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Camp on the cliff

 

It was a pleasant cloudless night, and we were very far from villages or towns, and surrounded by hills, meaning the entire sky an ocean of stars. And stars being the only source of light, the ocean mirroring the stars and the entire milky way galaxy was visible. We were lying on the ground contemplating whether what we saw was a shooting star or an aeroplane, listening to the waves crashing on the rocks below become a rhythm. At this particular moment, we felt like never leaving this beach. Listening to the waves we fell asleep and woke up to the birds singing early in the morning before the sun even rose. After staying there for a while, soaking in the pleasantness we started trekking back to Om beach and had our breakfast there. The return journey was pretty uneventful and coincidently our classes got cancelled too. We reached Manipal, returned the bike and celebrated our most unplanned trip by a plentiful meal and a long sleep.

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