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right after celebrating xmas with an indian friend in bangalore at her parents house i went to gokarna with an overnight bus… i discovered that the single sleeper was the best way to travel til this point i always had unknowingly booked semi-sleeper…  but i have to say you do feel rested much more if you can lay down properly… but anyway, it was also a very nice thing to see how xmas got celebrated here in bangalore in this family of my friend… spicy south indian food including lots of non-veg (fish, pork, beef) and lots of wine… sweet and lulling. xmas carols and songs were played til late at night on the tv… many songs were broadcasted in german, english, tamil, kannada, malayallam and hindi.  the xmas tree was out of green-coloured paper.

when i woke up to the sunrise in the bus on the way to gokarna i got enchanted by the most intriguing landscape and the sunrise turned everything in a golden light. the red earth. the colorful houses… the different shades of green… palm trees… people on the roadside making puja in front of their houses and stores…

i arrived in gokarna which is south of goa in karnataka and took an auto to om beach where 2 of my friends were staying already… om beach is really beautiful… alternative travellers have been slowly abandoning this beach in favour of other and smaller beaches due to the newly built resort.. but still you can find lots of alternative travellers, buget travellers… the accomodation is cheap.. most basic shacks with bed and mosquitonet cost 100 INR. nirvana and namaste also have brick huts with own bathroom and shower for 400 INR… om beach is so beautiful with lots of rocks in the water, a little island in the middle… although i enjoyed being at om beach sometimes it got a bit exhausting (especially over the holidays) when huge groups of male indian tourists took constantly pictures of you or other white women in bikinis… on those busy days i escaped to the other beaches that are more informal and smaller… half-moon, kudle, and my favourite: paradise beach. on paradise beach and kudle lots of people stay long term or sort of drop out for a bit… paradise has the smallest beach but that creates a really secluded and intimate environment… people know each other and so really soon moved to a really basic hut there… you just get a bedroll in your hut and pay 75 INR… new year was totally amazing there… everything got decorated with flavours and colorful ribbons: the hammocks and the whole garden of the shiva moon cafe. people were painting each other with mehendi and colorful body paint… in the evening… people started dancing and drumming and there was also a huge fire… i have to say that the whole evening went by in a state of drug-related slowness yet fastness that makes it difficult to remember details but rather the feelings i felt… it was good way to get into the new year… although it did feel a bit surreal… this party or gettogether seemed like a time travel to a different decade… to the flower-power generation… hippees… those who know me know also my love for certain things of the 60s and 70s and so it felt very much like being at home in that sense that i felt so comfortable with everyone and the kind of people i met there… 

one funny thing on the side maybe… after i crashed in the early morning hours of the new year in a very comfortable hammock i woke up to the sunbeams warming my feet. i looked down on the ground and saw a huge joint, already ready to smoke laying in the sand under my hammock… as i still have not mastered the skill of rolling this seemed to be like a extra special gift to me.. 😉 so my first day in the new year was spent mostly very relaxing in the hammock reading or swimming in the incredible beautiful ocean. i really don´t understand why people make such a fuss about goa which gets so damn expensive during xmas and new year.. for shit accomodation you easily have to pay 2000 INR or more… and gokarna is cheap, quiet, not really busy, beautiful….

gokarna is like a secret tip among a lot of travellers… i don´t know what will happen to it in a couple of years… already modifications has set in through the building of resorts on om and kudle beach…

i also saw two german celebrities there…. georg uecker who plays in the lindenstrasse a weekly soap and another gay famous men which name i have forgotten… tststs… shame on me… id like to think that they picked a really good location to have a private holiday without getting bothered too much.  

but anyway, i really want to visit gokarna again… it was one of the most beautiful places i have been to.  only white haven beach in australia is still my number one.

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