We jumped on an early train from Varkala and managed to snag two free seats in a sleeper car for the 14 hour journey to Udupi. Ten hours into our journey we discovered that the conductor had double booked seat 34! We ended up sharing/making friends with a family travelling home to Mumbai for the holidays.
We arrived into Udupi around 2am and caught a tuk tuk to our luxury 1 star hotel. We’ll admit, it was grim but really cheap and it meant we got to have a look around the temples in Udupi. In summary, it was better than waiting in the station for 7 hours in the dark.
Favourite Udupi Memory
Ella murdering the cockroach with a glass while watching Mad Max
The next morning we took the earliest train, north to Gokarna and had our first experience of the second class (lowest class) train carriages. Tickets cost us 50p and weren’t nearly as scary as we’d imagined! Another short bus ride from the station brought us to the centre of Gokarna, a little village in which livestock make up 50% of the road traffic.
Twenty more minutes of pure tuk tuk magic and we had arrived at the steps that lead down the cliffside to OM beach. We walked into the first beach hut restaurant and said yes to the first room they offered, which meant we could lock our bags in a room while we shopped around for the room we would actually take! #sorrynotsorry
The beach itself is crazy nice and split into two coves, the second of which is lined with beach huts. Our private beach hut in Nirvana Cafe cost us £5 each per night and was worth every penny! We had a porch, a private bathroom and a pet frog! We loved it! It also set the scene for our second game of #wheresella
The day’s slipped by as we watched the local pups cooling off in the waves and tourists running from the cows that lazily plodded up and down the beach.
Despite the numerous warning signs about the dangers of swimming, the most likely culprit to cause injury on OM Beach is the rogue frisbee! People REALLY love frisbee here!
Each day we sampled a different restaurant and although the prices differed slightly, there didn’t seem to be a bad place to eat. Gokarna gets a lot of Isreali travellers so most of the resturants have added an Isreali section in their menus. FYI – the hummus Isreali good!
On our last day we hiked 40 mins along the cliffside to nearby Half Moon and Paradise beach. Not the toughest hike in the world but trudging uphill through seaside vegetation in the baking heat can convince you otherwise! Both beaches were much quieter (probably due to hike!) and meant you could easily swim without too many prying eyes. OM beach is really nice during the week but can get a little crowded at weekends when the local men come to perfect the art of staring awkwardly at the bikini clad travellers.
Probably the best thing about OM beach is that almost every night, you get the most insane sunsets! The sun seems to be twice the size and perfectly outlined in the sky! Sharing a beer on the beach while watching the crazy sun go down is definitely one of our favourite moments so far!