A recent work trip for a team building activity landed me in Goa. Not only was this the 6th trip to the coastal state but also the most luxurious. So one stayed at the uber-posh Alila Diwa resort, chilled in the infinity pool, while kicking back with a mean cocktail and a Napolean pasta.
However, 3 days of the pomp and I was done with it and needed a real vacation. So the SO joined me in Goa and we sneaked off to Gokarna- Goa’s lesser-known (thankfully), less touristy but prettier neighbour in Karnataka.
We caught the 2pm train from the Madgao station and after some 3 hour long smooth chugging, made it to Gokarna Station. Here we piled on into a tempo, loaded with the Gokarna local folk as well as hippie backpackers. Did i mention Gokarna is a hippie backpacker paradise?
After reaching the main area surrounding the Namaste beach, we randomly decided to start our trip with the Kudle beach and a brief auto ride and an even brief hike down a hill later, landed at the Kudle beach- literally a backyard beach. Barely spanning a km, perfect C-shaped and sparsely dotted with shacks, Kudle was a perfect little secluded beach.
Roughing it out is not an option, but the only option at Kudle so we ‘checked into’ a charming little straw-shack ( The 10k/night resort from just a night before ain’t got a thing on our Om Shanti Shack) with a young Swede backpacker and a sulken-natured German for neighbours.
After a much needed siesta on the stone platform bed of the shack, we headed out on to the beach in the evening, lay on the soft sands under a waning full moon, and caught some delicious lebanese fare for dinner at another shack.
The next day was spent beach bumming and general chilling at the shack, letting the general ease and quietude of the beach sink into us. Save for the gentle noise of the sea waves and an odd screech of a kid in the distance, Kudle is as peaceful as it gets.
We went for a walk along the waves against a beautiful orange of the setting sun, and finally settled on the rocks at the far end of the beach, waves crashing at our feet and the sun dipping lower and lower. The rest of the evening was another few surreal hours under the starry sky, and shiny black of the sea, while the colourful lights from the few shacks flickered moodily.
Early next morning, we left our shack, and hiked back up from the Kudle beach into the temple area, to leave for Goa in time for my flight back to Bangalore. We walked many times ver near the many temples, Gokarna is home to and also the Namaste beach which is at best avoidable. Intrigued by the women of Gokarna, dressed interesting in Saris sans the blouse and bead-jewelry covering most of their neck and chest, resistant to being photographed.
Also, don’t miss the curious graffiti and Banksy-isque art thrown all around, rather curiously interspersed with the trappings of a religious town.
We took the same train back to Goa, and I did end up missing my flight, but did not mind the extra few hours in Goa, finally kicking back with a coffee at the Miramar beach.
Oh Kudle, weren’t you just the perfect, albeit too short, break from the city, from the corporate, and shall be remembered most fondly.