Here’s another entry. We’ve just arrived at the holy town of Gokarna, south of Goa. Saturday, 2 February. ‘This morning, we got up at 5.30am to watch the holy men going down to the sea to purify themselves before returning to the temple to make their puja or prayer. Accompanied by hoards of devotees, they stripped off to their dhotis and immersed themselves in the salty water. The atmosphere was one of gleeful exuberance and anticipation. As the sun came up, we packed our bags and made our way over the headland to Kudle beach to find a more salubrious place to stay. A horseshoe bay fringed by palm trees, the beach attracts the more ‘worthy’ traveller, ie men in MC Hammer trousers with skanky dreadlocks and women in, well, pretty much the same plus a shawl and assorted bracelets. Everyone is very skinny and very brown. Sipping our chais at a beach cafe, we watched these spiritual travellers engaging in alternative beach ‘sport’ activities like tai chi, yoga and that twizzling thing they do with long pieces of rope with balls or something on the ends (what’s all that about?). After a while we got bored so went back into Gokarna to look around. We met some very friendly stall holders including a young boy who looked about 12 but was in fact, 20. In perfect Cockney, he asked Tim if he was ‘alwight mate?’ and, after Tim had bought one of his necklaces, called him a ‘diamond geezer’. Great to see the spirit of Ray Winstone lives on in deepest, darkest India. Walking back, we were amazed at how few of our fellow Western travellers wanted to exchange pleasantries. There’s something decidedly lacking, humour-wise, in these people. ‘Lighten up’ I say ‘and cut those bloody locks off – you’re not black’. When we got back to the beach we played cricket with some locals. One of those prats with the twiddly things walked straight across the pitch, lost in a mystical reverie. I know I’m in India and should be more chilled but I do want to kill someone.’ ….. more to follow.