Mysore and Hampi
Trip Start May 12, 2005
79Trip End May 14, 2006
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writing this from delhi...certainly seems like a long time ago;
Mysore was okay..the palace is way over the top, a complete hotch-potch of a zillion styles mashed into one monsterous marahajas excess...which cost only 4.2 million rupees (divide by 33 to calculate australian dollars)...this was in 1912...maybe a wee bit of inflation since then....
Fantastic market....really bustling, beautifully fresh produce, good feel all round.
Bit of a seedy side to Mysore, apparently marijuana is know a legal drug.....if the dealers are to be believed .....lots of shady characters lurking about
Great south indian food here, Rikard (he caught up with us again here) and Mark rated the Thali at RRR as the best in south india....and so cheap it really isn't funny....unlimited refils of pickle, 2 chutnies, 3 curries, dahl, dried/salted chillies, rice and pappadams for about a dollar!!!!!
A lingering cold caught up with clare here, so we stayed for an extra day...extended our train ticket (which you can do for a refund)...but missed out by 3 minutes and lost half our fare!!!
and on to Hampi
Quite an alright trip to Hampi...train to bangalore (about 4 hours)... great dinner near the trainstation, then an overnight train to Hospet, then a public bus to Hampi...
Maybe our expectations of Hampi were a bit inflated....everyone had been saying it was a highlight of india... The ruins are amazing in their scale, intactness and beauty... the town is nestled amongst the remains of an ancient bazzar, surrounded by a striking boulder covered, ruin pocked landscape.....sounds pretty good huh??!!
Unfortunately the tourist dollar reigns supreme in Hampi... on the public bus from hospet, mark was having a little eyebrow raising/funny face competition with a young boy; a nice little random travel experience. Later that same day, this little boy was hassling us for money in a very persistent fashion, seemingly unaware of our previous meeting. Many of the residents of hampi are new arrivals, (beggars get the bus into town everyday) cashing in on the tourist boon... this reflects in the overall vibe of the town...
Many exceptions of course; fantastic resturant underneath the branches of a massive mango tree (funnily enough called the mango tree).. food was pretty good but the sitting areas and views were fantastic...run by a very friendly family.
as already mentioned, the ruins are special and rikard, mark and clare spent a full day touring on push-bikes. some of the carving work is similar to the Angkor ruins in cambodia...(not nearly as many tourists as siem reip). Three full days spent in Hampi (i think) and we were ready to move on...decided to take a bit of a punt and hit the coast below Goa for a last beach hit...
getting to Madgoan
Very fortunately picked up a train out of Hospet (it was running 45 mins late and we would have missed it otherwise) and did a full day in general...not so crowded, but the dirtiest train we'd been on.