But mostly it's the feel of the town and the ways I can spend my day that have kept me here. I've basically had two options for what to do each day, hike in the hills or walk along the beach. Turning off my brain a little has been nice. And the town itself is a Hindu pilgrimage site and way more distinctive than the concrete blocks I've seen in most of India. Nothing too spectacular but a few architectural flourishes can do wonders for the aesthetics. And the ol' sacred cow is everywhere around here.
They just tend to wander the streets, going through garbage and grabbing anything edible that they can. And I've learned that cows apparently like to eat newspaper.
Cow and beach aren't two concepts that go hand in hand for me. Thank you India for letting my brain wrap around something outside the box. Speaking of the beach, this is the beach I walked along the most. It went on for about an hour and a half, about 30 minutes down the guesthouses stopped popping up and it was all fishermen, their boats and their poop. But for those stretches with no one, and no poop, it was beautiful.
This guy below came up onto the front steps of the restaurant I've been getting my daily masala dosa at. He just stood there and waited for a few minutes until the manager came out and gave him a plate of old idlis. Smart cow. And for explanation, a masala dosa is a thin rice and lentil flour pancake wrapped around some potatoes and onions fried up in lots of spices. Served with sambar (a soupy curry) and coconut chutney. Absolutely delicious and at 20 rupees (less than 50 cents) the best lunch around. Their coffee was also pretty good, as I head north I get into tea country. Good but not the same.
And this guy has to be the ugliest stray I've seen in Asia. Thailand had some pretty nasty dogs but this guy could win a prize. He ran off before I could get a better shot.
And just for my mom here's a photo of my $6 hotel room and the view from the balcony. The room could use some new paint but was spacious enough and private. The balcony view was a lot better in sunset when everything turned pink, or when you can just watch life go by on the street. But overall both were nice and just relaxing.
So that's about it from Gokarna. I've been saying I'll leave here for a few days but then decide to just stay a little while longer. The guy at my hotel is ridiculously laid back so I'm under no pressure to vacate the premises on that front. My next stop will likely be somewhere in Goa (ahh, more beach) since direct trains to Mumbai are all full. Some were on waitlist 150 so I'm going to have to make due with local buses for awhile.