Off the beach

Trip Start Jan 21, 2007
Trip End ??? ??, 2008

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Flag of India  ,
Friday, February 16, 2007

Thought I should get off the beach for a while!  Wasn't going to bother with Hampi given it's inconvenient location half way across the country and not on the way to anywhere else I wanted to go.  But apparently it's a must see so made the effort and glad now that I did.

Hampi is a weird place, it's an old ruined city but has a landscape of hills of massive boulders.  It's very hard to describe, best way is to pinch someone else's words and say that it's like the Flintstones.  Hopefully the photos (if I ever manage to upload them) will show it well enough.

Arrived here on Sunday.  First time on an Indian train, it was ok actually.  Went sleeper class which has 3 tiers of bunks in sections of 8 (for my sister's benefit - who will point out that that is not possible - one of the bunks is only 2 tier!)  I had the top bunk which is the best.  If you have the lower ones during the day people have to sit on them whereas on the top you can sleep if you want, and since we had to get up at 5.30am, I did!  Took about 7 and a half hours which wasn't too bad.  Asaf was also on the same train as me but as he booked his ticket earlier he was in a carriage of tourists whereas I had all Indians in mine and no one to talk to really.

Found a nice guest house to stay in for 200Rs a night with bathroom, although it was also my first own private Indian hole in the ground toilet!  You get kind of used to them after a while.  The guest house is across the river from the main town of Hampi where it's quieter, but you need to get a motor boat across the river and the boat closes at 6pm so no big nights out to be had here.  Not that kind of place anyway.  All the guest houses show movies every night so that's the best way to spend a night.

Managed to pass 6 days here doing not a lot!  A bit of sightseeing, but not too much, one temple looks very much like another temple to me, and same with ruins.  On my last day went to the Hanuman Temple (aka the monkey temple) which just about killed me!  We took a long walk there over massive boulders, fields, streams etc then when we got there had to walk up 600 steps to the actual temple.  An English couple took pity on me on their way down and gave me more water as thought I was going to pass out!  It was worth it for the views from the top though.  The photos don't do it justice at all.  I took loads of photos of monkeys, but just when I got really close to one on the way down it jumped on my head!!  I was terrified it was going to bite me (not had rabies jab) or else steal my camera!  So no photo of that incident.  Got it off eventually just by walking away as it didn't want to leave it's monkey friends behind.

Heading for Goa now, going to spend a few days in Baga/Calangute area before heading south again.  Tried to get the train back to Goa but yet again its's full for weeks.  Don't know how that is because going to Hampi there were plenty of tickets.  So have to get the sleeper bus.  It costs about 3 times the price and is 3 times as unpleasant.
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