Friday, December 2, 2011

Gokarna: Home of the Best Lassi on the Planet (and a Nice Beach to Boot)

Kudle Beach in Gokarna
Since we really didn't enjoy the overall feel of Calangute, we decided to head on to Gokarna the next day.  To get there, we had to ride through Panaji again, but I didn't see the same driver this time.  Once we got to the other side, the traffic lightened significantly, and stayed that way for the remainder of the ride.  Gokarna is in the northern part of Karnataka, the state south of Goa.  There are many temples and Hindu devotees who make pilgrimages here.  They also have some much nicer, quieter beaches.   

The view from our hotel window
We arrived in the mid-afternoon, settled into a hotel, and walked the main drag in town to look for lunch and get the lay of the land.  We found a spot for lunch and had the most delicious meal!  Dal fry (lentils cooked with spices) with cashews, paneer (cottage cheese) with cauliflower in a tomato based sauce, rice, naan, and a coffee lassi for me (to DIE FOR!) and a banana peanut butter iced milk shake for Colin (also super yummy).  After our late lunch, we strolled on the town beach, which was being enjoyed mainly by cows, and back through town to look at the temple chariots, and then back to the hotel to digest the contents of our happy tummies. 

Muesli fruit and a big glass of CURD
The next morning we hiked over the headland to one of the nice beaches in town after stopping at the same restaurant for a breakfast of muesli, fresh fruit, curd, and honey.  Curd is basically fresh yogurt, and this was very thick, delicious stuff.  The muesli was made up of different grain flakes, coconut, cashews, and raisins.  Yummmmmm.  When we got to the beach, we found a nearly deserted wide swath of clean sand and large, black boulders.  It was gorgeous.  We laid our towels in a shady spot on the beach and spent several hours relaxing and trying to come up with a post-travel plan (nothing concrete yet).   

By the middle of the afternoon, we were hungry again and ate lunch at one of the beach restaurants (fresh fried prawns for me and a falafel sandwich for Colin) before making the walk back into town, where we just had to stop again for a cool, refreshing iced coffee lassi.  Seeing as Colin is lactose-intolerant, and I suspect my GI tract has become less accepting than it used to be, all of the dairy today may not have been our most brilliant idea to date.  But it tasted so good, and I, for one, have no willpower when it comes to food. 

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