There was I thinking that episode wasn’t as adventure packed as previous editions, but you guys seemed to like it. Maybe it was the image of Melanie and I sweetly sleeping off our hyderabadan colds in dusty little jewel of Karnataka, Bijapur.
With all the handsome princes off awaking sleeping beauty and snow white, we settled for general Indian guesthouse hustle and bustle. Dusting ourselves off we braved luke cold showers and (spot the tourist) warmed our bones by eating Thali in the garden of our guesthouse.
Once upon a time a rich Muslim by the name of Mohammed Adil Shah built a mausoleum for himself, his two wives, his mistress and some various other family members. He called it the Golgumbaz and it’s dome is said to be rivaled only by St Peter’s Basilica in Rome. Si, Si, that makes it pretty huge! After climbing up 7 storeys you reach the base of the dome and the ‘whispering gallery’, if you whisper into the wall a person on the opposite side is supposed to hear you, and it’s repeated 10 times. Indian children behaving as they do, instead it has the atmosphere of a swimming pool at the weekend and led to a strange feeling of claustrophobia. So much so, I preferred to risk my vertigo with the 7 storey view of Bijapur from outside.
Having slept through morning and faffed around at the train station before the Golgumbaz we failed to reach Bijapur’s other great sight/site, the Ibrahim Rouza before the chain clanked shut on the gate at exactly 6pm. But hey-ho, it’s pretty nice from a distance and with our bodies and spirits in need of some R&R we decided to clench teeth through another hard day’s traveling and hit the beach.
I’d have to say it was the hardest day yet. Next time if you see everybody filling the seats from the front only, be aware there’s probably a reason why. Melanie and I left our seats and probably averaged at about a foot high, about once every thirty seconds. Backs, necks & jaws jarred, not to mention our poor little bottoms, 4 hours turned into 5.5, yet still we decided to brave the worst roads in Karnataka for a further 5 hours, using the mantra “get me to the beach” to sustain us.
Boy, it was worth it. Finally, I’ve found paradise in India. Screw Goa & Mamallapuram. This is what a tropical beach is supposed to be like 🙂
Strange with it’s mix of holiness in such proximity to semi-naked Europeans, Gokarna is a sweet little town with loads of Brahmin priests trotting around and Hindu’s making pilgrammes, tons of little temples and a lush little hippy vibe.
A 10 min trek down the mountain with 20kg’s on your back, and it’s 100 (1.20 GBP) rupees a night for a room 4 metres away from the beach, yum food and a beautiful gentle sea with none of those rip tides warned about in most other Indian beaches.
Obviously Mel and I put in some pretty hard beach work, sunbathing, swimming, having a little sing-song, getting drunk on illicit whisky and some crazy German fire water round the camp fire; and my 5kg’s are firmly, firmly back on (I never knew aubergine moussaka could taste so good) before Mel has to put me to further shame and toodle on off to her next volunteering role.
So I’m left having to cover a 100 rupees a night on my own…. Maybe I’m unintentionally kicking off a vibe saying “room mates please apply here”, but I wasn’t expecting the first person I spoke more than 2 words to, to ask if I’d “like to spend a few days with them”. Now of course this isn’t strange beach behaviour, unless…. You’re a f@#king Swami and then please leave me out of your Sex tourism trips. Outraged I was, outraged. Yes the Hindu religion is a bit f@#ked up, but if you can love orange enough to be a Swami, you can drop sex and not go pervving on Western girls in bikini’s!!!
Grump firmly on and Swami avoidance techniques deployed I was lucky enough to bump into Bindi Girl and exorcise those demons over truly fabulous banofee pie, to feel buoyed and happy enough to almost float up the mountain with my 21kg (yep it went up) the next morning on my way to beach number 2. Anjuna, for the third time.
But here I leave you not huffing, but definitely puffing, up the hill as bagpuss goes to sleep and the Internet café mice stop going round and round.
Just 3 days left for me before I sit on a train to Chennai and board an aeroplane. Maybe you’ll have to find out the end of the story in person, who knows if I’ll get bored enough in my final days to complete it here.
Catch ya later bill and teds.