Gina writes:

This week, Corey is in Delhi to do some work at the VSO office. I was planning to go with him, since he'd traveled to Nainital in May and Coimbatore in July while I stayed in Koraput. After thinking about the 36+ hours in a train each way, however, I thought that I could think of a better way to spend my time (and money). So I planned a mini-vacation, just for myself, in the small sea-side town of Gopalpur, a pleasant 11-hour overnight train ride away.

I booked a sea-facing room with a balcony and planned to do a whole lot of nothing for 3 days (Saturday early morning to Monday late night). The view was great and it was so nice to fall asleep to the sounds of the sea.

In the mornings, until 10:30 or so, the beach was eerily quiet, so I enjoyed sitting on the sand and letting the waves wash over me, watching the fishermen and dogs and crabs. The water was so warm, must have been more than 80 degrees!

The beach was hot and crowded during mid-day, but there was a nice breeze in the room, so I read books and listened to an audiobook and podcasts while cross-stitching for hours at a time. I respect and appreciate Indian cultural rules, but I still don't understand hanging out in the surf in a sari!

It's the end of the rainy season now, so I was looking forward to seeing a storm from the comfort of my room. One day, the darkest rain clouds rolled in and provided an opportunity for some good pics, but no rain.

The next day, the clouds were much less intimidating, but it did end up raining for a few hours, which helped to cool the temps a bit.

I ate all of my sit-down meals at Krishna's restaurant, just across the alley from my hotel. I never saw a menu, he just did a decent job cooking whatever I wanted (paneer chili, garlic chicken boneless, banana pancake) and was super-friendly.

On my last day, I made my way to the lighthouse, climbed 155 steps, and took some good pictures.

Gopalpur is 10 km from Berhampur, a large city on the rail line to Koraput. Since my train wasn't until 10:30 at night, I made plans to have dinner and spend time with two VSO volunteers placed there, Canadian couple Richard and Ashley. The macaroni-and-cheese was great and the conversation was even better!

All in all, it was a good trip. I felt guilty that I spent so much time in my room, doing the same thing I could have done at home, but I kept telling myself that it's good to get away from home, to recharge, to just BE in another place for a bit. Plus, it was nice to be on my own without Corey for a few days, if only to remind myself that even though I'm living in a patriarchal society, I am an individual, not just my husband's wife.