We made an early morning mission to a salt farm on the road out of Gokarna. We thought it would be a new experience and potentially provide photo opportunities. I was sure that I had seen a signpost on our way in on the bus that said Gokarna was 1 kilometre from the farm. It was nearer 10. Perhaps the 0 had been wiped off the signpost by a local prankster. Perhaps Indians have no idea about distance (unlikely given that they invented 1 and 0). Or maybe, just maybe, I imagined the sign ;) When we arrived they had already harvested the salt on a previous day. Ah well, it was a good walk regardless. We put it out there that we would hitch a lift home to save our legs. The lift didn’t come to pass, but a local bus did conveniently (and helpfully) stop for us when we flagged it down (try doing that in the UK and see how far you get. We tried it in Cornwall last year on a country road during a rain shower and the twat of a bus driver drove straight past us). It only cost us Rs 10 for the ride back in to town, and saved us doing a 20 kilometre walk.
After another kick-ass muesli breakfast at Prema’s restaurant we strolled back home, stopping along the way at Martin’s cafe, where we were engaged in conversation by mad Antonio – an Italian traveller. When he sat down at our table, I immediately lapsed into British mode, picked up the newspaper in front of me and completely blanked him. Nikki began to make polite conversation with him. On a preceding day I had heard him talking and thought he was very loud, obnoxious (perhaps that’s how my dream’s beverage branding originated) and not to my liking. I was wrong. He was much quieter this time and far more interesting in what he was talking about so I eventually lowered the paper, and my defences, to participate in the discussion. He is another nomadic soul, having wandered the world since the 70s. I felt like I should apologize to him, and told him that I was being extremely British in ignoring him when he sat down. I added that I was glad he sat down at our table so I could challenge and break out of my old conditionings and judgements. He seemed to appreciate my frankness, and before leaving the cafe came over to thank me for it. I later thought that it’s amazing how rarely we are honest with ourselves and each other.
We just hitched a lift with a guy into town. Turns out his car is a taxi, but he still gives us a free lift anyway! Big ups Sanjay – you the man :)