Trip Start May 07, 2005
Trip End Aug 28, 2005

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Saturday, June 18, 2005

10 hours on a train for the 500km ride to Hospet the nearest city to Hampi!

I am happy that I could get at least a bit of sleep during this night Friday to Saturday and the bus finally arrives in Hampi half an hour later.

Hampi is a ruined city supposed to gave around 500.000 people a living place about 500 years ago. Today only several temples and ruins of different buildings can be seen, of course besides some hotels and restaurant recommended in a very popular guide book (and of course I do have the same guide book and now that not all of these places are really recommended).

It is a touristic place and soon I meet a girl from Canadia and one from Korea to explore the ruins together. 3 white colored people travelling together! This has a huge impact on the children living here. The new welcome slogan changed from 'Hello Sir, picture?' to '10 Rupees? 5 Rupees? 1 Rupee? Schoolpen? Chocolate?!?'. I am not sure if they expect me to carry around a fridge in this heat for the chocolate, it really can get annoying. But besides that Hampi is a great and pretty relaxed site in a beautiful rocky landscape with a river running in between!

And the river is the first challenge! Our preferred (of course recommended) accommodation is on the other side. How to cross the waters without destroying the unbelievable expensive digital equipment every tourist is carrying around in these days? In contrast to todays high tech there are some boats crossing the water. To describe them in short: these are big nutshells! Have a look on the pictures. Still I can't belive that there are really swimming with up to 7 people inside! It was exciting. Especially on one night crossing! Do you know how you feel, sitting in a 'thing' which definitely does not fit Europeans safety requirements, seeing nothing and only hearing the sound of plashing water? It is another great experience I don't want to miss anymore! And happy that my digital camera survived.

Saturday in Hampi is an exhausting climb through the hill area to discover heaps of ruined temples and houses! It is amazing and I cannot stop taking more and more pictures! Playing the typical tourist we even got a nice blessing of a temple's elephant after putting a coin in his trunk.

Hampi was a huge city and so the area is too wide to walk all over so we decide to hire some bikes for Sunday. And explore the outer areas with one absolutely astonishing temple. The look and the entrance fee! 10 Rupees for Indians and nice 250 Rupees for foreigners, okay it is just 5 Euros but for this money I could have lived a whole day with accommodation and delicious food here!

After all Hampi was the best I've seen up to now in India and I am looking forward to the next weekends. On monday morning I arrive at my guest house in Bangalore half an hour before my cab is picking me up to work...
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