We stayed at Om Beach. Say it a few times and you can imagine the kind of person who stays here. It's the first nice beach in Karnataka so all the Goa crowd comes down here to beat the crowd. Hampi was the same way, with a lot of Goa-esque ex-pats trying to make it feel like home but grooving on the climate and atmosphere and, apparently, lax drug enforcement.
At Om Beach we stayed at the only hotel that was connected to the road (we'd hired a car and driver from Bangalore and needed safe parking); the rest of the hotels were pretty cool shack-like communities spread down both arms of Om. The place was crawling (well, compared with Bangalore!) with European hippies and (oddly) Russian tour groups. Most of the groovy crowd hung out at the southern half of the beach and we mostly had the northern half to ourselves with the occasional Indian tourist family (no matter where we go, we are almost always the only white family; even in places with European tourism there aren't often kids along). Oh yeah, and we had to share the beach with a large contingent of homeless but friendly dogs and a good number of cattle (who all slowly ambled back down the beach at sundown). We wanted to take a boat out to see some more of the coast but they wanted such an exorbitant price that we gave up (on our last day Tim overheard a fisherman quoting an Indian family a price about 1/20 what they'd quoted us).
I'd brought Kekai's camera to the beach (waterproof) so it figures that a gorgeous pair of sea eagles soared and posed for us at a distance that his wide angle lens simply couldn't make anything of. They had an enormous nest in a Casurina on the edge of the beach. We first saw one of them coming back in from the ocean with a long, snakelike fish hanging from his beak -- very cool.
On our last day (sadly, only the second morning) we got up early so that I could get some pictures of the eagles with my camera (better zoom), but, of course they only left the nest when I put the camera back in it's bag.
On the ride back home we went through some pretty forest south of Sirsi. I caught a glimpse of a lion-tailed macaque from the car window (practically posing, he stood so still) but by the time the driver paid attention to my excited squawking we were so far down the road that it didn't make sense to stop or try to go back.
When we got back to Bangalore I think we were all a little depressed. The kids most so. We're looking forward to our next opportunity to escape the madness and see a little more wilderness.