We were eager to hit the road and after a quick breakfast, began the journey to Udipi. To my disappointment, NH 17, our path for the entire trip did not exactly run along the beach. Infact, to go to any beach, we had to take some quick diversions. Still, it was early enough in the day to just enjoy the scenery we did have and the fairly good road. Udipi was yet another series of temples – Shri Krishna, Chandramoulishwera, Ananteswara and some smaller Mutts. The first temple required men to take off their shirts. NA tried objecting but to no end. Given that fairly pot bellied men seemed to have no issues flaunting their pot bellies, our scrawny friend’s protests over doing a Salman Khan was quite amusing. However, he was sticking to his principles and we lost sight of him for the rest of that round.
The Traveler's Guide (which had been put back into action) mentioned that the nearby Malpe beach was another touristy option. It did however forget to mention how breathtaking the beach was and how it should be on every itinerary involving that area. The sand was golden, the sea a happy blue, reflecting the happy blue of the sky. Our driver grudgingly admitted that there was a ferry to a nearby island, the St Mary’s Isle. He was reluctant to take us there, pointing out that the ferry did not leave unless there were atleast forty people ready to board it. We decided to go anyway and when we reached, found out that a ferry was just about to depart. Happily skipping on board we settled down to admire the calm sea during the twenty-minute ride. The water on the shore was clear enough to let us see the shallow bottom of clear golden sand. The island was pretty small, with a few thatched roofs to provide some shade and could only be visited on a one-day trip. There were a few snack shops and no restaurants and consequently the litter was well under control. Entranced, we began to walk in the cool seawater around the island and came to a secluded spot where we could admire the sea in peace. When we were finally satisfied with the longish ramble, we caught the ferry back. We were famished by then, and happily tucked in another awesome fish meal at Kairali hotel.
After this, it was time to hit the road, full steam, to reach Kundapur, our next destination.