|Travelling back in time in Bellekan|
At Om beach I sensed a change of spirit in the Indians we met. We were greeted with a friendly smile. My travel companions had also gotten a "guesthouse" recommended. "The Dolphin Bay Café" was like living with an Indian family who doesn't care at all about hygiene or horrible smells. So cheap though (only $2 a night) for a bamboo hut, and even though it's the dirtiest place I've ever stayed at, the food was delicious and the staff was lovely. When I think back to before I went to India, people told me that "there is nothing predictable about travelling in India, except that you will at some point get food poisoning." Not even after eating all the delicious street food everywhere we went (not to mention the food at Dolphin Bay), did I get sick. In hindsight it must have been a stroke of luck though, everybody else I travelled with caught something or other at some point.
|There really are cows everywhere in India, also at Om Beach|
|Ruins at Paradise Beach|
|Paradise Beach as seen from the mountain road leading to Bellekan. Banana plantation right in the middle!|
|Gokarna town; pretty neat place with honest people|
The closest grocery store was in Gokarna, which was a half an hour walk up a steep hill and through rough forest, only to reach the bus in the small village of Bellekan. The bus from Bellekan took another half hour to Gokarna. It doesn't sound very hard, but when you're working against 35 degrees and boiling sun it's no cakewalk.
|A simpler way of life in Bellekan|
Reaching Bellekan was like travelling through time, to a more primitive and innocent time. When I stopped at a tiny little kiosk(the first out of fifty I saw that day)I actually paid the real price that locals do and not three or four times more as I had gotten used to. Walking there in the gravel streets, people stared at me like a zoo animal, like if I was one of the very few white girls they had seen in their lives, which might actually be true.
|Straight ahead and a little bit to the left; can you spot the monkeys?|
After a few more days we got itchy feet and decided to head further down south to Kerala and Fort Kochi, my favourite destination in India.