Paradise beach and the last hippies

This is the second post by our guest, the awesome writer Richard Flett (author of few of these pictures as well), with whom we shared the roads of Incredible India. Enjoy!

“Our next destination was Gokarna, so off we went on another 150km hitchhiking adventure up the road. First ride; I thought it was just to the next town a few kilometers away but ended up being after we communicated properly about 70km along to the coast. Catching a fresh faceful of pan being spat out from the driver as it looped out the front window into the rear where i was sitting was a small price to pay for the nice journey.

Then the second ride a young dude who was previously working in Afghanistan as some sort of mercenary for the US army shared with us some interesting discussion and became double awesome as he bought us lunch too. But the karma caught us back up, our next ride seemed all well and good, but when the driver dropped us off he started to demand money. We tried to explain that we had no idea that he wanted money when we hopped in and we wouldn’t have if he did, but it didn’t really matter what we said as the driver didn’t really speak any english apart from the words ‘two hundred and fifty rupees’. Someone nearby where we were dropped off came over and could speak fluent english so explained each parties point of view to each other, but after all the confusion he just hoped in the car and took a ride up the road without us paying but with him probably paying the driver instead. These situations make me feel really bad for some reason. Obviously the driver just saw it fit that he ask a little petrol money off some foreigners, and to be fair it wasn’t really much for 20 km ride compared to european prices. But you become this anti-money asshole when you are in a third world country.As obviously being ripped off by enterprising individuals happens a lot more there, but at the same time you wouldn’t think twice about that amount if you caught a ride from an enterprising travel corporation back in the West. It is rather stupid. Anyway I kind of feel that being an asshole is my vibe with money at the moment, so that was how it was…

Two more pleasant rides and there we were, a completely different world from the rain forests we had just been in. Now a little bustling beach side town. And full of tourists. We knew that there were five beaches here and the further away from where we were now the quieter it got. So off we walked towards our destination of the fifth and final beach: Paradise Beach! It soon became obvious that we weren’t going to make it there that day, as asking somebody along the track how far it was revealed it was like 10km more of crisscrossing up and down small hills and around rocky cliff faces and it was now getting dark. So we aimed for a halfway point of Om Beach. A good two hours later of wandering around in the pitch black with only half an idea of where we were we found Om Beach. There we ended up finding some big group of foreigners who became our friends for the evening around a table in a beach side shack restaurant. We didn’t worry about accommodation until we were sleepy and ended up asking the restaurant owner who rented out some bungalows if we could just camp out the back somewhere. He realized we were ‘Paradise Beachers’ so let us freely camp out by the staff house for the night.

In the morning after another hour of walking around rocky cliffs we finally made it to Paradise Beach. The name lived up to the reality if you are of the hippy inclination. Although not the prettiest beach in the world, it did have some of the best vibes. We were welcomed into a small group of about ten to twenty neo-hippie-rainbow-peace-loving-travelers. Mostly people escaping the German winter, but with their heart in the right place.

Life slowly passed on by for a week.

Day to day existence blurred into one all encompassing point of just being.

Wake up.

Refresh body in the sea.

Eat some oats, drink some chai.

Watch the sun slowly move across the sky.

Feel the ebb and flow of life.

Let time drift away.

Well that is basically the week summed up. Those days just passed on by, it was good, nice people, good vibes etc. Kind of like the perfect beach holiday that those pioneering hippies back in the 70’s made their way to India for. Some family even carried over an entire Paradise Beach styled restaurant from the nearest village every day serving thali for 60 rupees which made a pretty decent lunch!

It took two days to convince ourselves to leave.

It wasn’t all perfect paradise either, like I fainted at one point from blowing on the fire too much cause the wood was way too fresh to burn, Anto and Ania got rather sick for a day or two and there was this rather voyeuristic goat herder who left his goats to graze our food every day while he feasted his eyes on the bathers.

But apart from that it was pretty good.”

Well, it was way better than the touristy Goa under occupation of a bored Russian crowd (we actually had a nice Russian tourist guide-host who helped us to reconnect to the civilization. Thank you Daria!).

Anyway we love hippies.

Shortly after that we decided to head towards Mumbai….

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