Incredible India continues to surprise

An Italian woman, troubled by sand fleas, walks through the water every day to avoid being on the sand. She likes to talk and I can easily hear her clearly-annunciated but heavily-accented English until she tells me about a wonderful ayurvedic massage down the beach. “Where? My husband would like a massage.” “It’s called LaTOOsa.” “Say it again?” I ask. Eventually she spells it out: L-O-T-U-S. “Ah, Lotus?” “Si, LaTOOsa!” she beams. We exchange our names. “Orrbearta!” Italian Marina exclaimed. “My sister’s name!” Roberta sounds so much better in Italian, and I’ve found a new friend in the water.

I’m enjoying conversing with British friends using expressions I haven’t heard in a long time. “Chivvy along,” a mother ordered her dawdling children. “WHAT?” said Gerard thinking he was hearing a foreign language. I explained, ‘chivvy’ meant hurry. “In all the years I’ve known you, you’ve never used that expression!” It’s not the first time I’ve surprised him.

Visiting the weekly market provided a photo op.

Marion and Juergen encouraged us to join them taking the ferry off the peninsula to a tiny hamlet on the mainland. Before breakfast we caught the 7.30 am bus to the port where the little ferry was waiting. People and motorbikes crowded on for the short but lovely ride.

Marina had told us of a chai shop on the other side and we set off in expectation for a nice breakfast. Four miles later, through road construction and clouds of red dust, stil no chai shop. Exhausted, thirsty and hungry we turned around.

After the long walk back, we found the chai shop right where it was supposed to be and sat overlooking the bay with our chai.

But what saved the day was the unreserved friendliness of everyone. Obviously few western tourists ventured their way and we were still a curiosity: big smiles and waves from road laborers, housewives and school children. By the time we got off the ferry hoping to catch the bus back to Gokarna, it was high noon. The shopkeeper said the next bus will come in two hours. There wasn’t a rickshaw in sight. Fatigued and overheated we started walking. Eventually we caught a rickshaw back to town. Not exactly the outing we’d anticipated.

Certainly the dogs along the way could have advised us if we’d only taken the time to listen. 

A few days later, bird watcher, Tina, proposed another walk to the little beach of Belekan. “About a two hour walk,” she claimed. “We’ll leave early to avoid the heat and take a bus back.”

For the first hour we followed a small road through the jungle alive with bird calls. Then Tina followed a footpath that meandered past rice paddies and the odd house. 

The green of the rice paddies shimmered. And if we stood still long enough we caught glimpses of white–egrets, ibis and storks. n stalks glimpses of white–egrets, ibis and storks.

Suddenly the footpath opened up to the beach. At the far end sat a cafe where the bus terminated. After our two hour trek our chai tasted even better. 

Then we were informed that the bus would not be coming for another two hours. ‘Man proposes and God disposes’, someone muttered.

The general consensus was to walk back. Gerard was of a different mind, happy to hang out at the cafe and await the bus. Had I known what was being said, I would have enjoyed also staying for a swim. But not following his gut, we trudged off with the others. Now in the noon day sun, our pleasant stroll through the jungle became a test of endurance–heat, sun and no water. Finally reaching our room, Gerard collapsed on the bed. After looking at map, he huffed, “Two-hour walk, huh? That was more like ten miles!” Once again, Incredible India has its hidden surprises.

I could have told you that

15 thoughts on “Incredible India continues to surprise

  1. Beautiful. Where exactly are you.? It’s nice of you to give Gerard authorship credits, but he’s more like the foil in your play….🤣


  2. It appears that you and Gerard do at least one hike from hell every trip to India…maybe more! Hey, they’re the best travel stories right? Glad to see you two back in India🙂. Think I’ll be making another trip come fall. Question: Do you prefer the beaches in Karnataka to those in Goa? I’ve hit the Goa beaches but none in Karnataka. Thinking about my future itinerary. Take care and carry on…Cindy Hennes (the woman from the noodle house in Shimla 2013).


  3. Great share Bobby we love hearing from you and your adventures photos too keep them coming I remember all my travel but I would not attempt it now studio and aa but I did spend a good birthday in Boston with Thomas and Christina love to you and Gerard


  4. As always, enjoy reading of your adventures and misadventures, written with skillful narration. Love the visuals as well, Mr. Wiggins. Be safe, stay well…..have fun!!


  5. Ohhhhh Bobby c’est magnifique 😻!
    Merci beaucoup pour toutes les photos!!
    Bisous et passe une bonne journée!🥰💯❤️💕✌🏾


  6. Ah, India – you two are in amazing shape to walk so many miles! Here in Louisiana, Kent and I stroll a nearby boulevard daily and enjoy the ancient southern oaks, blossoming camellias all December, and 10-foot tall blooming azaleas now…For a longer stroll we walk around the Alligator Pond at University of Louisiana (real alligators :-). Yesterday, colorful Mardi Gras parades filled the streets. Much love, Dana (Mark) and Kent


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s