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inner india

sometimes the road was blocked by herds of cows…

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or as soon as we stopped by village people, screaming boys and girls or schoolchildren on their bicycles…

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we reached haveri and found a guest house where after some discussion we were allowed to get our bicycles up in our room instead of leaving them over night in front of the house. the ramp leading to the rooms made it much easier to persuade the receptionist…

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the most beautiful guest house we found in hadagali. it was the only one in town and nothing here seemed touched by tourism. we had dinner in one of the two restaurants in town, and though it looked more like a plastic version of an ice-cream parlor the food was delicious.

we walked there during a power cut. in all the stores and houses only candles shed a little light and it was a surreal feeling like walking through a time long past.

the next day we took on the last kilometers to hampi,

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saw the first elephant along the road

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and reached hospet, the next bigger city to hampi. it was a difficult ride because of the many trucks which came in endless streams from the mines from the surrounding area. but therefor the last 10 km to hampi were beautiful and again lead through rice fields lined with palm trees and the rocky landscape hampi is famous for as background.

to get to our guesthouse we had to cross a river on a small boat but managed to get ourselves and the bikes safely to the other side.

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locations people travel

goodbye beach

we left om beach and gokarna to turn inland towards hampi. soon we found ourselves in deep forests with just our road cutting through.

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we were sweating up the hills and reached sirsi in the evening. after finding ourselves a guest house we went to the marikamba temple, one of the biggest and most popular in karnataka.

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it was a big holiday and the temple was crowded with people. at first i felt a bit uncomfortable and in the way of everybody. but after some time a woman came up to us and shared some grains and fruits which she had brought as gifts for the gods. this and some words on the history of the holiday and proceedings taking place helped a lot to feel welcome though we did not take part in any of the rituals.

the next day we passed a bridge from which you could see a lot of typical scenes of india.

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people taking a bath as well as the cows…

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women doing the laundry and placing them on the riverbanks in the sun to dry,

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while the men were cleaning the machines after use in the fields.

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locations postcards

paradise beach

i was about to take a bath the next day when i saw two familiar faces. i recognized marten and manon from the netherlands whom i first met in esfahan and then again in yazd.

they were on their way to paradise beach, a 40 minutes walk from om, and after a break for coffee…

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we joined them to get at least some exercise while off the bikes.

the way leads through a jungle-like area and along the rocky coastline…

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just next to the beach is a nice restaurant situated in a palm garden with view over the beach and sea and with a breeze coming in it was the perfect place during the warmest time of the day.

there are also boats going between those beaches but we decided to walk back the way we came and came by some cliffs where a lot of people gathered to watch the sunset…

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after this expedition we felt ready for a last swim and a big dinner afterwards.

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locations music people

om beach

we stayed a day longer in gokarna,doing the laundry, sleeping, going shopping and styling our bikes the indian way with colourful stickers of ganesh.

the ride to om beach was just 5km but to enter the beach we first had to carry our luggage and cycles down some stairs.

when we looked for a place for the night we found every place to be full and so we turned to the advice given by sabine and lukas and asked at the place they stayed if we can put up our tents. they gave us a place between the huts and palm trees and we don’t pay anything but eat at their restaurant in return.

the first day we did what everybody’s doing here…

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there’s a woman selling fruits on the beach but if you buy a pineapple or some bananas you have to pay tribute to the local mob…

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otherwise they eat your shorts or any other belongings which you leave unattended.

almost every evening there are some concerts. sometimes directly on the beach and sometimes in one of the cafes and restaurants.

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these are matthew from england and yochai from israel. a lot of talent in this place and not only on guitar but also on didgeridoo, flute and percussion.

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people travel

gokarna

it felt good to be riding again after 10 days of relaxing but also a lot of lazyness. a place like goa makes it easy for you, takes you by the hand and won’t let go of it once you made up your mind to leave…

we heard good things about gokarna, a hindu pilgrimage center, 80km south of palolem.

on the way we met sabine and lukas, also from switzerland, traveling in the opposite direction after flying to the south of india from iran which they were traveling before like we did.

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they told us about the beaches of gorkana and where we may put up ours tents if there is no hut or cottage available.

after arriving in gorkana we decided to head straight for om beach. we didn’t go far before we met another cyclists from germany who told us that it was still a long and hilly road ahead. as it was already late we decided to look for a guest house in town and continue tomorrow.

we found a nice guest house and later a wonderful roof top restaurant to regain our strengh after this first day on the bike in 2010.

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food locations postcards thinking...

goa

the first days in goa i stayed with some indian guys which where renovating their house to turn it into a guesthouse. i was their first guest and as construction was still in progress the line between host and guest wasn’t that clear. we had lunch and dinner with 10 people eating together sitting on the floor. we visited the flee market in anjuna, went to the beaches and i was getting used to india. the food, the noise, the climate and had a melted chocolate bar for christmas. i definitely would have preferred some cold snowy family and friends christmas.

i had my daily pineapple-orange juiceĀ  in the morning just across the street. after some time i was called the “lucky man” by the guy operating the stand for bringing customers to stop and order as well. the first time 2 couples came up after i had received my glass and another time it was more than 10 people and the juice man didn’t knew where his head was for the next half an hour. so i received my juice the day i left for free…

on the way south i realized how different it will be to cycle in this climate compared to what i experienced the last months. the scenery was nice. palm trees everywhere, rice fields in almost unreal bright green tones and huge rivers…

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when i arrived in palolem i didn’t have to look for accommodation for long cause a guy offered me a room in his house for 200 rupees and it won’t get any cheaper around this time of the year.

i went to the beach this evening and found a bar with live music. it was open stage but i was too tired to play so i postponed the goa concert and went to bed early.

the opportunity came 2 days later as there is almost everyday open stage at the beach. here you see the lovely audience across the beach listening…

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with a camp fire in front, the stage was nicely illuminated…

when morgane and battista arrived on new years eve they got the room next door. we had dinner at kim’s place. a restaurant where you still feel like being invited home by the owner and pay prices half or even less than on the beachfront. later we went to the beach. we bought a bottle of wine, listened to some reggae music in front of a bar, bought another bottle of wine, enjoyed the fireworks, thought about getting another bottle but went to bed instead.

our landlord was happy for his rooms were booked out and so he invited us over for lunch the next day which i felt was way too early for new years eve, but we had a lovely meal with his family and later watched a bit tv together…

otherwise there’s not that much to tell about palolem. my view during the day

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and during sunset.

after a week i could understand the people who came here and just stayed…

on the other hand there are a lot of tourists in goa these days and not all of them care that much about where they are as long the sun is shining and they got their drink in time. we decided to continue to the south!

Categories
postcards

the anniversary post

*** 6 months on the road *** 100th post ***

hurray. live from gokarna, india.

my indian number: 0091 9665497932

here and here you’ll find the blog of alex (who also reached india by motorcycle over pakistan) with pictures and stories from the time in iran.

i am traveling once more with morgane and battista. we met again on new years eve and will continue to mysore and hampi after staying for some days at “om beach”.

i’ll soon post something about the last weeks. stay tuned dear readers. all the best for 2010!!!