We woke up early, said goodbye to Om and hiked over to Kudle Beach with the same plan of no plan, just the hope that something would turn up. And it did. (Phew!)
We got a room in the Shangrila (not the fancy schmancy chain…this one was a guest house behind a restaurant boasting an authentic Italian wooden pizza oven) which contained all we needed: a bed, mosquito net, and one of the tiniest bathrooms we’d seen so far.
You can’t get in trouble for peeing in the shower if the toilet is IN the shower!
Kudle Beach seemed like a very accepting place with a lot going on. At any time you could see people swimming, children making sandcastles, frisbee, volleyball, bongos, massage, yoga, tai chi, soccer, meditation, racket ball, reading, tanning, circus folk practicing juggling and at night fire poy and fire hoola hooping etc. Almost everyone seemed perfectly content to do their own thing in their own space without interfering with anyone else doing their own thing.
The view and the vibe was not without its very prevalent tarnish “but”. It is such a pity that Indian culture hasn’t yet evolved to a state where throwing your garbage anywhere you want is frowned upon… So much beauty and soooo much trash.
Here we both had traditional ayurvedic massages (we’ll discuss our differing opinions in an upcoming post), took a Gokarna Yoga Garden yoga course in a cute yoga garden built amid rice fields (small world, wouldn’t you know my instructor was from Toronto, formerly of Downward Dog studio)…
…and had our first cooking class (recipe here).
We also did a day trip to see an old fort and the second largest Shiva statue in the world. Sitting at an impressive 123 feet, the relatively recently constructed Shiva is perched behind an ancient temple where we walked around to witness the chaos of prayers taking place left right and centre.
Most importantly at Kudle we celebrated Matt’s birthday! He had FaceTime with family at breakfast (got to compare the sandy beach to snow), ice cream and Nutella for lunch, cocktails and king fish and pizza for dinner, and then a lovely end to the evening out on the beach looking at the same constellations we gaze at back home.
All in all Gokarna was a great (and necessary) spot to be able to stop and chill out for more than a couple nights in a row. But after a bit, being in a place that catered solely for the shanti tourist crowd wore thin and we were ready to set off on the next step of our adventure!