From: Tommy Hermansen
Date: Fri Feb 23, 2001 7:08pm
Subject: Gokarna’s stench
Greetings earthlings! I was finally able to leave Varkala after five wonderful weeks lounging in the sun down there, I guess I only had a mild case of the well known Varkala Syndrome, the one that makes you never want to leave the place. Other people I met had been there for over two months, and where suffering from it quite badly. The last weekend was especially fun, when I and my Malteese friend Neville organized a techno party on the Papanasam cliffside on Saturday night. I also got to play myself, my first DJ gig ever! But we didn’t use a mixer, luckily – or else I don’t think I could have pulled it off just as successfully. The people seemed to have a great time, jumping around screaming their heads off. We also conected a microphone to the amplifier, so that Gert a Tabla player from Berlin could jam with us while we were playing out our records. After that, Jen – a vocalist from London joined in as well. Good fun indeed!!
On the train from Varkala to Karwar, I met some Marine Biology students from Goa. I was invited to visit them when I get up there in about a week’s time. I got to Karwar station about five o’clock in the morning and standing there waiting for the bus to Gokarna were Emma from Cork and Lucy from Halifax. They’d done the same as I had, quit their jobs for travelling around Asia. They were working together as radiographers at the st. Bartholomew’s hospital in London before going on their trip. We got on the bus to Gokarna, and after a bit of haggeling and paying a couple of extra unforetold rupees we finally got to our destination. Gokarna is a dirty stench ridden little town on India’s southwestern coast, about 50 km south of Karwar.
There are several good beaches around here, and my favorite so far is Kudle beach, just about 20 minutes walk to the south. The other ones further down south are also very nice, but the sand and the waves at Kudle are really special. Gokarna is also very important for the Hindus, and right now there’s a big festival going on here, so the streets are packed with pilgrims from the areas around. Yesterday I had lunch with some people from Belgaum and got really sick afterwards (Dehli Belly), so today I’ve just been relaxing indoors – drinking loads of water compensating for the massive fluid loss. Toworrow I’ll hit the beach again with Emma and Lucy, and our Danish friends Rune, Martin and Andrea. The place we’re staying at here in Gokarna (The Shanti Nivas) is really clean and quiet.