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Gokarna_Travelogue_Zosstel_View_Lunch

Travelogue: The Gokarna Chapter

An uphill walk of close to 2 km in the hot-humid climate after a tiring bus journey with cramped-up leg space, we reached Zostel. And this view, right here, made it all worth it.

Gokarna_Travelogue_View_From_Zostel

As I write this Gokarna Travelogue, I’m taken back to the town that I’m definitely going to visit again. Apart from the beaches, what excited me was- Zostel. When places live up to their hype, which happens rarely, there’s nothing that beats that in making you feel good.

Where is Gokarna?

Gokarna is a temple town on the borders of Karnataka and Goa. Located at about 500kms away from Bangalore.

How to reach Gokarna?

A bus journey of about 12 hours which costs you 600-700 INR or a longer 16-hour journey via train which can be cheaper can be taken to reach Gokarna.

Here’s an illustrative map of Gokarna comprising of beaches and temples.

Gokarna_Travelogue_Map_Zostel

The beaches in Gokarna include the main Gokarna beach, Kudle, Om, Half-moon and Paradise beach. There’s another rocky beach between half-moon and Paradise – aptly referred to as the Hell’s beach. We covered this as part of our 5-beach trek on the second day of our trip.

Gokarna_Travelogue_HalfMoon_Beach

 

Hungry and tired, we decided to find solace in the food served at the Zostel restaurant along with the amazing view for company. Decent pizza and a little extra-fried chicken with a side salad along with orange juice, while we settled down adjusting to the heat.

Gokarna_Travelogue_Zosstel_View_Lunch

Gokarna_Travelogue_Orange_Juice_Zostel

 

After a somewhat heavy-lunch, we curled up in our dormitory, instead of sweating it out in the humid sun.

Headed out in the early evening for a walk around the market leading to the Gokarna beach. The temple town was active and yet even in the hustle-bustle was calm.

The beach is quite clean and less crowded. I decided to let Nehru’s pre-independence words flow into my mind through the ‘discovery of India’.

Gokarna_Travelogue_Beach_Reading_Book

 

 

Watching people observe puja and Surya namaskar, as the sun went down for the day is quite something.

Here’s when I saw an old man performing a ritual which intrigued me. 

We treated ourselves to a simple vegetarian lunch of Paneer+Rotis, along with a minty drink called, ‘Lemon Mint Nana’ which was quite good. We repeated the same the next day as well.

Gokarna_Travelogue_Lemon_Nana_Prema_Restaurant

We had decided to head out early for the 5-beach trek and pack up our stuff and keep it safely in Zostel’s Common room.

The 5-beach trek included Kudle-Om-Halfmoon-Hell’s beach before reaching the Paradise beach. We had our breakfast at Om beach in one of the joints which

Gokarna_Travelogue_Morning_Kudle_Beach

We had our breakfast at Om beach in one of the joints which was open in the early hours of the morning, overlooking the sea. Bread omelet and black coffee to start the day. What more can one ask for?

Gokarna_Travelogue_Breakfast

 

The post-Om beach trek towards HalfMoon was the best of all. Walking over the hill in the tiny pathways in-between trees was an entirely different experience. At one point, we had this majestic view of the entire sea and standing atop that section of the hill, making us feel so small.

Gokarna_Travelogue_Arabian_Sea_View

 

 

Since we were walking along the sea, over the hills, we came across boards which read like, ‘No way! Many people DIED here’ and we might have felt a little scared had it not been for the funny font and dripping paint.

Gokarna_Travelogue_Trekking_signs

 

As we crossed the half-moon beach and came across these amazing smallish gorges, we hid from the sun as the heat increased.

[Tip: Start your trek before 6 AM so as to avoid the harsh sun]

As we reached Paradise beach, which is a small section in the beach stretch, I just took out my book to read, while my friend took a dip in the sea. Of course, I couldn’t resist the water much longer and stripped down to dive-in.

Gokarna_Travelogue_Om_Beach

 

Instead of the trek, there is the option to take the boat which makes stops at all the beaches for you to do a quick photo-session if that’s what you want. While returning we actually took a boat to Om Beach instead of heading back on foot.

The view is great from the boat and you can also spot a few Dolphins. But this still doesn’t beat the trek and I’d highly recommend you to to do the trek.

Gokarna_Travelogue_Om_Beach_View

 

We were hungry and a cheesy La Polo Chicken Pizza along with King Fish became our lunch. Fish wasn’t great but the cheese made up for it.

In the last few hours in Gokarna, we went back to Zostel and took rest in their common room. I loved this part about Zostel, even after you’ve checked out, you can still keep your stuff, chill in their common room (which is amazing) and freshen up in the common bathroom as well.

We had to board our bus for Bangalore by 7 PM and a quick stroll around the beach, shopping and some home-made ice-cream and peanut-butter to bring back home, and a goodbye to Gokarna.

Gokarna_Travelogue_Homemade_IceCream

 

There are few places that you visit and then decide there itself that you’re gonna head back here soon. Gokarna is that place. I liked it better than Goa and this sits right at the top of beaches in India that I’ve visited, along with Varkala and Malpe.

 

Gokarna_Travelogue_Kulfi_Beach

Getting NASHty

Roaming around in one of the crowded inner markets of Bangalore, I found it too difficult to get through, especially with a vehicle to escort with me, which was more of a problem than actually helping ease it. God bless those poor ones who had to make their cars penetrate the confusing and crowded markets, where getting lost is not a big deal at all.

The dictionary would describe markets as a place where buyer and sellers interact to exchange the possession of goods or services by either transfer of a good (as in a barter system) or the equivalent of the good (currency notes/gold, etc). In marketing terms, a market is nothing but a collection of consumers.

Leaving the definitions aside, a market is one of the most happening places in any city. Shops swarm every nook and corner meeting the eye. One thing that is similar in all sorts of market is, similar shops (as in selling the same product) clustered in one lane. And so it’s not a surprise when you have electronic lane, paranthe wali gali, kasai mohalla etc like places in many parts of the country.

But why they have to be there all in one place?

Won’t it affect their businesses with increased competition??

The consumer will have numerous options to go ahead and randomly go to a shop. Then why follow this pattern??

Let’s just take a little help from what John Nash in answering this question. Who is John Nash? You can read it here.

I’ll just try to keep it simple by imagining you to think of a market with just two shops, selling the same product. For e.g., say cold drink. Now, this market is in the middle of a big city and people can come and go from both ends. If suppose Mr. X starts his business by putting up his stall near one end of the market space, he is sure to gain most of the customers from that end, but the customer staying at the other end would find it tasking to go all the way to the other end.  Suppose to capture the customers from the other end, Mr. Y puts up another stall selling cold drinks to the other end, and then people of the other end will visit his stall to thirst their throats with colas. This way Mr. X loses out to Mr. Y many of his customers from the other end. But then, Mr. X decides to shift his shop to the middle of the market so as to get the market share that it lost to Mr. Y. Of course, he would definitely end up increasing the whole share. But seeing this, Mr. Y would also shift his shop from one end to the middle, almost next to Mr. X. This way both end up being adjacent to each other, by finding equilibrium point to maximize their sales.

Now, just use the example above to think of a market place where most of the shops are placed in almost in the same lane. John Nash devised this concept and it is called, “Nash equilibrium”, which is defined as “a pair of strategies (a*, b*) in a two-player game such that a* is an optimal strategy for A against b* and b* is an optimal strategy for B against A*.

So, the next time you visit any electronic lane or a paranthe wali gali, you can remember Nash and his equilibrium concept to know, why it is so.

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