Hey guys 🙂
Hope you enjoyed reading the previous four parts of my travelogue on my 12-day trip through the coffee land of Karnataka, India. For first-time visitors to my blog, here are the links:
And now, here’s the fifth and the final part in the series… happy reading 🙂
December 23rd, Udupi/ Mangalore
I wake at 7:30 am. I have a breakfast of uttapam (a rice-crêpe like dish) and coffee at 8:45 am and leave for Kaup Beach.
Kaup Beach (pronounced as Kapu in the local Tulu language) is 12 km from Udupi on the way to Mangalore.
When I reach the bus station, I find a bus for Mangalore just about to leave. The 20-minute bus ride to Kaup costs eight rupees. The bus stops along the highway and I get down. There’s a small shop nearby. I ask for the auto rickshaw fare to the beach. Twenty rupees. I cross the road and board a waiting auto rickshaw after checking the fare. “Twenty rupees.” Good. The road to the beach passes through a quaint little village with plenty of coconut trees.
The auto rickshaw stops at a place from where I walk along a path reaching out to the beach. It’s lovely and not a single soul in sight! Well, it’s only 9:30 am.
Watch this video: Kaup (or Kapu) Beach I
Watch this video: Kaup (or Kapu) Beach II
Watch this video: Kaup (or Kapu) Beach III
The presence of rocks in the coastline makes the sea rough. I get a good feel of the power of Arabian Sea in its crushing waves. Each time a big wave hits the rock on which I’m seated, water surges up reaching for my feet.
Watch this video: Kaup (or Kapu) Beach IV
Another main attraction is this 100 feet high lighthouse built by the British in 1901…
Kaup or Kapu Beach is truly a lovely and serene place. No wonder many films have been shot at this location! I spend an hour or more basking in the early morning solitude. By then, a few people have arrived…young couples seeking privacy in hidden areas behind the lighthouse, a few men idling in the shade and watching the beach from far.
The sun is shining brightly. Feeling a little hot, I buy a chocolate ice cream bar at a nearby shop. The walk back to the bus stop is quite enjoyable. I visit a small temple near the bus stop. By the time I return to my hotel, it is 12:30 pm. An hour later, I have lunch in the hotel restaurant: Fish fry, prawn curry, steamed white rice and cassata ice cream. At 3:30 pm, I check out from the hotel. When I go through the hotel bill, I smile quietly. The guy at the desk has given me a 15% discount on the room tariff. A very nice surprise considering that he had told me that they couldn’t offer me a discount due to high demand for rooms. He doesn’t mention about the discount. Instead he and his colleague give me a worried look. I guess they have noted that I’m unwell. Thank you, sweet fellas! I’m not in a chatty mood so I just make the payment without mentioning the discount. An attendant carries my bag and places it inside the waiting auto rickshaw and then I’m off to the bus station. I reach in time to catch the bus for Mangalore which is just about to leave.
Mangalore is 60 km away from Udupi. It takes a little more than an hour to reach there and the ticket costs 55 rupees. In Mangalore, I have decided to stay at the Hotel Veenu International which is conveniently located along the main road, not far from the hotel where I had stayed earlier at the start of my 12-day trip.
The bus reaches Mangalore at around 5:00 pm. I see the hotel on the way and get down at the nearest stop. It saves me the auto rickshaw ride from the bus station! The hotel has an A/C studio room. It’s small but quite nice at 900 rupees including breakfast. There’s no English Music channel on TV so I listen to Hindi songs instead. At 8:00 pm, I order a sweet corn chicken soup in my room and by 11:00 pm, I’m off to sleep.
December 24th, Mangalore
I wake at 8:00 am. An hour later, I have a light breakfast of idli-vada and coffee. At around 10:00 am, I set out for a look around the area. I walk till I reach the Balmatta junction where Hotel Prestige is located. I had been here for dinner on the first day of my trip and had loved the food served at its fine dine restaurant. This time, I decide to have lunch at its seafood speciality restaurant. It’s a budget restaurant and looks good from outside. The scorching sun is beginning to exhaust me. It’s only 10:45 am so I turn back to my hotel. On the way, I stop to buy the local sweet – banana halwa. I can’t resist buying a chocolate ice cream before proceeding to the Hampankatta junction where the famous Ideal Ice-cream parlour is located. The ice-cream parlour is as crowded as it was on my previous visit to the place. This time I order a Tiramisu ice cream. I feel totally sapped of energy so maybe the chocolate will give me some. It doesn’t. The chocolate overdose makes me feel worse. I look forward to resting in my room.
I spend about ten minutes waiting to cross the busy one-way road. I take a chance when I see just two buses on the road. A correction… two speeding buses! I realize my mistake a few seconds later when I’m standing right in the middle of the road. The bus near the other side of the road suddenly gains speed. Feeling very weak and tired and with slow reflexes, I realize that I cannot turn back. It would mean getting mowed down by the second bus hurtling towards me at full speed. I’m trapped! I have no other alternative but to turn sideways and stay put in the small gap between the two buses. I go numb on seeing them charge at me. My head starts spinning and my legs get wobbly. I try my best to remain steady… an inch here and there and I’m dead! A second later, I’m sandwiched in between the large buses. It makes me claustrophobic. To add to my horror, I see the rear wheels of the bus, which I’m facing, about to run over my feet. Numbed, I cannot move in the narrow space. My eyes remain fixated on the wheels and then… the wheels move away from me. My knees feel like they are going to collapse. Acting on a sudden impulse, I land a hard punch on the bus. Thud! The sound is very loud, it resonates. To my surprise, my sudden action brings me strength and my legs feel solid again! I think my ordeal is over but… only for a second! When I turn to face the road I see the speeding cars behind the two buses. They continue on their path like they haven’t seen me. Have I become invisible or what??? Words fail me so I wave at them to stop. They don’t. They just pass by me like I didn’t exist. Stoooop!!! I want to scream loudly but I cannot. I have become numb again and somewhat distraught this time. Am I the only human here??? The next instant I hear a male voice shout “Stop!” Wonders never cease! I have human company!!! Wait a sec… is he standing in the middle of the road too??? The cars stop immediately. A*******s!!! They finally noticed me!!! As much as I want to turn around to thank the guy, I don’t. My mind commands me to just move ahead. I storm off the road in disgust oblivious of the attention I have generated around me.
By the time I reach my hotel room, I have made up my mind. Instead of having lunch at Hotel Prestige’s seafood restaurant, I’m going to have spaghetti with prawns and beer at Café Diesel, its Italian restaurant. Three hours later at around 3:00 pm, I take an auto rickshaw for the restaurant.
It’s a nice little place. Only three tables are occupied. I choose a corner table. An international football match is playing on the large-screen TV. I place my order: A small bottle of Kingfisher beer and spaghetti with prawns. Very soon, a large bottle of beer arrives at my table. Great! Like I wanna drown my sorrows in alcohol! The guy with whom I placed the order must have either misheard me or misjudged me. “I asked for a small one.” The flustered guy in front of me immediately returns with a small bottle and a glass with a lemon slice in it. I tell him to take away the glass. I prefer drinking straight from the bottle. A short while later my pasta arrives. Absolutely delicious! I feel considerably better. Instead of walking back to my hotel, I choose to take an auto rickshaw. I spend some time at a cybercafé opposite my hotel to do web check-in for my next day’s flight back to Mumbai. It’s around 4:30 pm and there are hardly any vehicles passing on the road. I return to my room. I lounge in bed, listening to music on TV till it is way past 9:00 pm. By that time, I develop a mild fever so I order a sweet corn chicken soup. It makes me feel slightly better. Sleep comes to me past midnight.
December 25th, Mangalore/ Mumbai
I wake at 8:30 am. I have the usual breakfast and step outside. Being Christmas day, the entire area looks sleepy. The road is desolate even at this hour. I check the time to be sure. Yes, it is 10:00 am. My Jet Airways flight departs from Mangalore airport at 3:00 pm so I have to start from the hotel by at least 12:45 pm. I ask for a private taxi to the airport. It arrives on time. I make the hotel payment and then I’m off to the airport. The flight arrives in Mumbai on time, at 4:30 pm. It brings my trip to an end! When I walk out of the airport, my well-roasted arms are proof enough of a great deal of time spent under the scorching sun of coastal Karnataka.
Well, that’s it guys! Thank you so much for reading my travelogue and I hope you thoroughly enjoyed it as much as I did sharing it with all of you. I look forward to sharing my next adventure in “I-don’t-know-which” place, maybe after 5-6 months or more or when I feel the need to seek another adventure.
Meanwhile, if you’re interested in reading about my adventures across Mexico and all about Mexico, do check my three e-books which are available for sale on this blog:
If you’re a fan of Mills & Boon novels or love reading romance novels, here’s one for you available for sale on this blog:
Thank you for visiting my blog… do keep visiting!
See you soon…till then, take care 🙂