Just wanted to post some vital info on dandeli and gokarna as promised.
-By far, Kulg(0828-4231585) is a much better place to stay than Jungle lodge Resorts. JLR has too much cement and doesnt give an adequate enough feeling of being with nature.Also, kulgi is closer to the dandeli wild life sanctuary itself.
-But the logistics can be a pain. From the central town, JLR is about 1-2 km, whereas kulgi is about 10-12km. And the only way to get to-from kulgi is through the local sumos (a crowded one!) which are quite infrequent. Kulgi supposedly runs its own van , but this wasnt available when we made our trip.
- Neither kulgi nor JLR are by the kali river rafting point. If you stay at kulgi, you will be asked to call Imam (09448331729) for arranging rafting. He, however takes you to JLR and you raft with John and mohammad from JLR only. From JLR to the point of rafting is about 20 km and JLR has jeeps to take you to and back from the river.
-Bison, the other place to stay is by the 'beautiful' green stretch of kali - and we saw one of their tree houses while on the raft. If I had the money to splurge, then bison it would be.
Accomodation at Dandeli
-There is no way to directly hit the beach - you can trek about 3km from the town or take an auto for about 125 bucks to a point close to the beach ... ou will find steps or a dirt road leading to the beach.
- though sunset cafe or namaste cafe(09448153643/08386257313) wouldnt accept reservations, try and push them for booking. Though i havent seen namaste cafe myself, it sounds like a better option than sunset.
- there is a 'Sugama' travels that offers bus service to bangalore and they had seats available when i landed in Gokarna. So, incase KSRTC is all booked, you can try these guys.
- By the way, did you know KSRTC offers booking from outside karnataka? I didnt and i was breaking my head over how to book the last lag of my journey - and finally one nice ksrtc guy said that it was possible to book gokarna to bangalore tickets from chennai!