Sunday, 4 March 2007

2nd/3rd Week - Gokarna, Udupi, Fort Cochin


Went onto Gokarna from South Goa. Loved this place, should have stayed longer. my shack was 50 rupees a night (60p), great atmosphere, loads of people just chilling and chatting, mainly English and Israeli's (spell?). It was run by this wicked guy called shanka and he had this old worker who danced to techno and slept in the corridor. There were some strange characters, one Indian bum who gets stoned all time, has one front tooth missing and the other wobbles as he speaks. He really annoys people and speaks a lot of crap but watching him is highly entertaining. The town of Gokarna was a nice escape from the beach with nice local people and temples.

Forgot to get a pic of gokarna beach, this is south goa. left ohm beach(gokarna) with a drum i traded for 100 rupees and my towel, good deal, gonna try get a drum lesson today.

my favourite place so far, only saw 2 other tourists the 4 days I was here, a little lonely in that respect. Got recommended it by Pablo, an old aussy who was on ohm beach. There was no info in my guidebook other than a small paragraph, so the first time I did not have the rough guide holding my hand. Due to minimal tourism i was not bothered at all, as they are not dependent on tourist money, a lovely change. Saw a traditional Indian play with dancing, Hindu festivals, Indian art and some classical Indian music from famous Indian musicians, bought the cd of Ali Akbar Khan the previous day, who played. Amazing concert in the grounds of Monipal University. All these events were free. Going away from tourist areas certainly in this case has been what I was looking for, real Indian as people tell me.

This is Varanga, east of Udupi, chose it from a local guide book, hired a local guide and we got buses to the temple as I was to tight to hire a car. This has been the best temple so far, there were two, both as beautiful as each other. I liked this the most due to the tranquil setting and the surrounding area, temples that attract tourists are hard to enjoy due to the people and the scruffy surrounding area. The keeper of the temple said I was the first tourist in a year to visit, all other visitors have been Jain Hindu. The bus journey on the way back scared me as much as Rorys driving, even the beautiful Indian girls on the tv could not help, gripped the seat in front for the 40 minute journey, when I eventually arrived at my destination, I removed my hand and my fingers would not straighten, they ached bad, think i must have starved them of blood, my hand eventually came back to life.

This was a Krishna Festival, so lively and void of any health and safety regulations, fireworks going off all over the place, with sparks flying onto people, the big Gargantuan chariot is pulled round the square, it nearly took out a local market stall, with the people frantically trying to get it back on track, there was an elephant leading and clearing the way for the chariot. The previous night some young Krishna's studying dentistry tried to get me to go to thier place to study the religion, they were a little to religious for me, so I showed them my two gold teeth and that seemed to disturb them and they soon left!

At first I thought this was a town with no tourist purpose, there was no obvious things to do and see. i took the advice of the local guide book and went to the port, this was the only photo I took. There were so many great photo opportunities but everyone on the port was staring at me, i wanted to find a corner where i could hide and take photo's, some people smiled and laughed at me, supposed it is not a typical tourist spot. There were about 50 birds of prey in the air all looking for scrap, some big, some small, not sure the type.

Fort Cochin

Typical tourist photo. In Fort Cochin, had a mixed start here but determined to enjoy it today, gonna hop on my bicycle and see some art. Too many people trying to extract my cash, feels fake compared to Udupi. The journey down here was hard, thought this place was closer to my last town, so just got a local train rather than express, left my hotel at 4am and got to Fort Cochin at 8pm. The seats on local trains are hard and my skinny bony ass suffered. There are 6 people squashed on a 4 person seat with some people sitting on the luggage racks. It was pure endurance, the SAS would do well to use this in their training, everyone looked to be suffering. I gave up my seat and stood, every so often a blind man or a little girl singing would pass through trying to earn money. It was my intention to get off the train 4 stops b4 but i couldn't leave, i needed an easier town, i was drained. Gonna head back.

Take care.


Tyas said...

I love the shot with the birds :)

zen said...


Charlie said...

hey zen, thought Jains were a type of Hindu, will have to do more research. I didn't go to any other temples, I met some one who went to a town near Udupi. Are you from India?