Apparently Shiva, the Hindu god after a period of penance was re-born from the underworld through the ear of a cow. I am surprised more people aren’t born through the ears of cow’s in India there are so many of them walking loose on the highways and byways, Gokarna being no exception. This is a very special place for Hindu’s and millions come here for a holy dip before the ritual viewing of the deity. The mere viewing of which is supposed to absolve the penitent of a hundred sins, even the murder of a holy man. Sounds so ridiculous, yet so familiar (think of confession ! )
Anyway they have a mix here of holy cows and shit hot beaches. Yesterday we went to Om beach, which is this double crescent shaped beach from where boat loads of Indians head out to get to Kudlee beach. Om beach itself is very cool. It was Saturday and many Indians were out to party after a hard weeks work. They like to seriously party on their day off, which isn’t surprising when they work so much. It does lead to accidents, a lot of Indians end up drowning through a mixture of too much drink and an inability to swim which many of them can’t. Instant Idiots–Just Add Alcohol.
Namaste Restaurant on Om provides a welcome respite from the singularly vegetarian delights of Gokarna, which due to its Hinduness is strictly veg only. It is also supposed to be a dry town. I have yet to find a truly dry town yet in India. However if you have to be vegetarian anywhere, India without a doubt with it’s thousand year old traditions is definitely the place to be. Vegetarian that is seriously good.
I am writing this at about 11pm and the first of the monsoon rains have started to fall. The respite from the humidity of the day is seriously welcome. It has just dropped from a sticky 38 degrees with 90 percent humidity to a more manageable 30 with 50 per cent.
The restaurant we go to just at the entrance to Gokarna beach, is called Prema and serves some delish home made ice cream, which you can safely eat. It is here that we have seen some real casualties. Om and Kudlee get the tourists, like us, Gokarna gets the Pilgrims and the western seekers. (hippies, crusties, acid casualties & bhang heads), I pulled up outside a restaurant today in rickshaw and there was this one, I think German, spinning and laughing and keening and screaming, much to the bemusement of the locals, I instructed my man to keep going and drop me off round the corner, least I attract her attention.
From what I can gather the enlightenment seekers have found Karnataka as an alternative to the commercialization of Goa and they seem to be a much more serious bunch(as in more stoned and a more ascetic) than the younger crusty bunch we encountered up in Pushkar, Rajastan.
We are leaving here tomorrow to go to Mysore and looking forward to the change and being able to order eggs for breakfast .