Monday, June 29, 2009

Om Beach- Gokarna

Gokarna is a Hindu place of pilgrimage which is about 70 km south of goa and there are several temples here. Last night we followed a procession through the town, there was lots of banging of drums, little girls all beautifully dressed with flowers in their hair and lots of gold jewellery, holding little oil lamps. Several boys followed the truck with the deity (and a generator) in carrying the flourescent tubes being used to light the way for the holy men. As they walked through town women were several minutes ahead of the procession making drawings on the floor with salt. I'm not sure of the significance of the patters but they are certainly patterns I have seen used in the fabric and on temples.

The great news about Gokarna is the food. Last night I had a vegetable salad and Dave had banana pancake and this morning we had fruit salad with muesli and curd. We can get all the Indian food as well (Dave had a thali for lunch and I had vegetable Biryani) but it's really nice being able to get fresh fruit and veg, because that's what we feel we are lacking most of the time. We can buy fruit but generally it's just one kind, like a pineapple or papaya, and to buy veggies in the quantity we would want (1 or 2 of everything) just isn't viable.

Gokarna beach it nothing to write home about but it is used as a dunking place for Hindu pilgrims and as such is strewn with litter. Om, Kudle (pronounced Kudlee) and Paradise beaches are the next beaches along and reached either by walking on a path from the beach, or, by road. We decided to ride the bikes and take the road, it was several kms over the headland (very steep indeed) and a single track road. Om Beach is named after it's shape, an upside down w. To say I was underwhelmed is an over statement. I can see why people like it there, it's very under developed with just a few shacks on the beach and accommodation behind, but it just didn't do anything for me. On the way back from Om we happened upon a stick insect of the most extraordinary variety. It was quite large, approx 5 inches long, and stood 3 or 4 inches tall. If it hadn't moved as I approached I would never have recognised it as anything other than a little twig with a leaf attached. Isn't nature amazing?!

Guest Writer- Kazuo Ishiguro

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