From Palolem I moved South to Om Beach, Gokarna Karnataka (catching the 4 hours train from Chaudi, it’s just Rs 20 and worth taking it only for the ride!). The first impression really wasn’t great, I fell in love with Palolem when I was there and just wanted to go back.
To get to the beach there are a few steps in the rocks to climb down, and then there is a long walk on the beach to the second half, where all the beach huts are: not great if you’re carrying two backpacks under the sun and it’s like 40 degrees. I went all the way down to Sunset View and picked a not-so-nice room there, the prices are cheaper than Goa but don’t expect the same standards, and not certainly a bathroom in the room. I made a huge mistake here not to check out Nirvana Cafe, as it is just before Sunset and much much much better, for just a couple of hundreds Rupees more. Oh well…
After an almost sleepless night I walked with others on the coast to Gokarna, about an hour away, stopping for a quick swim at Kudlee Beach.
The walk is nice an worth doing, but then again, it was way to hot and the sun too strong to enjoy it properly – should have definitely have left earlier than 10:30. Kudlee beach seemed the most commercial one out of all, offering a wide variety of beach huts and restaurants in a small space. Gokarna beach on the other hand, is a white long stripe of sand but is a holy place used by pilgrims to bath, so don’t bring your swimsuit in there!
The city of Gokarna itself was not as special as I was expecting it from what others told me before, but I was probably too blinded by the burning sun.
The day after me and my new travel companion Rick, together with Rory, Joel and Daniel went the other way to Paradise Beach, which is again about an hour walk distance from Om Beach, but this time we took a boat that takes five minutes.
On the way we passed Half Moon Beach, nice but small and not really appealing, then to get shortly after to Paradise Beach, one of the best places I’ve seen in India! It is a small hidden gem, with still no shops nor anything around besides two or three street vendors that sells you coconut and drinks, and the closest restaurant is a small hut on top of the mountain (don’t trust their ’10 minutes walk’ sign though, and be prepared to get lost in the bushes).
Unfortunately time was tight, the train to Kochin was expecting us, so me and Rick had to leave sooner than what we wanted to. We still had time to play stupid (but oh-so-funny) games with the waves and build a small shelter from the sun…
Out of all these beaches my favorite one was definitely Om Beach. There is a great vibe there, at sunset the sun lays softly on the sea and there are yoga classes on the beach at sunrise. It’s cool just to see the new generation hippies ditching Goa to hang out in a much better, undiscovered place. Check it out before is too late!