Around Hampi part one

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March 5th 2010
Published: June 28th 2010
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5/3/10: I wanted to make up for yesterdays sunset so I got up early to watch the sunrise. It was funny to see the monkeys everywhere and they freely walked around you keeping one eye on you at all times. I also did the same as you can never trust a monkey. The cool morning air was a blessing and felt great to breath. I was half an hour early for the sunrise so I walked around for awhile looking at the rest of the monkey’s and temples. Jacinta had a restless sleep because of the heat so she was happy to sleep in for a little while longer. I found myself being asked by countless other Indian travellers asking “where are you from”? This ended up resulting in me being involved in group photos with all of them not just because we were from Australia but because we were white and not Indians. Being asked is always friendly and polite and you end up getting used to people for a photo or one taken with them. The first time it happened Jacinta said no because she thought it might be a sexual thing but this was soon cleared up and we now get more out of talking to them about where there from and what they are studying or do for a job rather than just saying no. I would rather this than the constant starring at your every move. We have often had groups of Indians starring not even taking there eyes off you for a second as you walk past them. It’s that bad that you have to say hello to them so you don't feel so uncomfortable, this is usually followed by a big smile and a HELLO back. Their culture does not perceive this as being rude or creepy.
I had got distracted that much that I almost missed what I originally came for. I snapped a few good photos closed to a high hill that I later found out was called Matanga hill and if I was ever going to get great photos I would have to climb the 200m or so and take photos off that.
I went back to get Jacinta out of bed but she was already up. Our plan was to hire a motorbike for the day and ride around all the temples. We managed to hire a new 80c/c automatic piece of shit. It was so gutless that we couldn’t even get up the first hill just to get out of town and Jacinta had to jump off the back to get up the shallow incline.
Hampi is an amazing town surrounded by smooth boulder mountains, combined that with old ruins and an amazing array of canals that feed the green farm land below you have something special that I have never even seen before. I didn't know what to expect of this town and it surprised me a lot. We finally managed to pick up enough speed on the bike before we hit our first temple only 200m out of town so we carried on knowing we could come back to it later. We turned off onto a dirt track to our first temple named Octagonal temple. Then onto Udana Veerabadra Temple were it was quiet enough for Jacinta to have her own ride on the motorbike. Although we didn’t have helmets I was confident that Jacinta would be fine and before even asking how to start the bike she had already kick-started the bike and rode off down the road. I pissed myself laughing trying to hold the video camera still at the same time; she just looked so funny and uncoordinated. We took a few photos and carried on down the road getting lost from the hopeless tourist maps that have no scale. We ended up getting a tip from another tourist that said the Vittle Temple was worth seeing but the rest were very average. We decided not to pay the 250rs/per person entry fee instead climb the rocky hill beside it to get a good view from above. On the way up Jacinta knocked her camera against the rocks and once again I had to remind her to be careful with the camera. Five minutes later even with the strap around her hand she managed to throw the camera on the ground smashing the camera. This just pissed me off as there was always a good excuse for her to drop the camera until finally she broke it turning a good day into a bad one in a split second. The rest of the day was spent not talking to each other as we walked around the rest of the temples. We headed back into town as the temperature started to reach 47C+ and it was way too hot to be walking around. I still had plenty of fuel left so I decided to go for a ride by myself to let off some steam. I ended up taking some back farm roads until the road went no further so then I took the dirt track that lead off the road until that ran out, I found a small bushy narrow track leading to greener fields, so I took that, then I motored trough the boggy ploughed banana fields until the bike just couldn’t go any further. I managed to get the bike bogged a couple of times and decided I would end up breaking something soon if I didn’t get back on the road. I visited a building site restoring a temple and found that interesting as they did everything by hand including lifting the 3 ton granite blocks. I got back on the bike and realised that the handle bars were slightly bent and I had a dead flat front tyre Ooops. I managed to over straighten the bars but had to ride the 5km back to town sitting as far back on the back seat as possible to reduce the weight on the front tyre. I must have looked funny as everyone was looking at me strange. By the time I got back the tyre was worn around the edges from rubbing against the rim Oooops. I pulled up at the hire place and explained that the tyre went flat when Is in a temple, he ended up giving me another bike in the mean time. Half an hour later I went back to pick the bike up. The tyre revealed evidence of where I had been and where I wasn’t supposed to go. It was full of massive thorns that had penetrated to 1 ply thick tyre wall Ooooops. A quick white lye did the trick and I explained that the gardeners around the temples cut some bougainvillea and I ran over the branches. It ended up only costing an extra 50rs to fix the tyre but it served me right. I tried to climb Matanga hill again to watch the sun set but the clouds had beat me to it and I missed the entire thing.
Night time was hot again and things just didn’t cool off. I was halfway through shaving when the power went out and had to finish off shaving wearing a head torch. The power didn’t come on until two hours later and once again we had to wipe ourselves over with a wet towel to try and cool off under the mosquito net.

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