Around Hampi part two

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March 6th 2010
Published: June 28th 2010
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6/3/10: I got up early again to watch the sun rise but this time from Matanga hill. I made it with 5min to spare and was surprised to see so many monkeys that had also made the climb the afternoon before. It felt as if they all sat and watched the sun rise with me, even if they tried to steal my drink bottle. The next morning we headed over the river by boat that only cost 15rs. It was the biggest money maker I had seen yet as the river at the time was only 50m wide. They managed to cram at least 15 people at a time which only took 5min to load and unload, the boat only had a 15hp motor that would hardly use any fuel so the rest was profit. This was the result of the main bridge washing away in the floods last year and everyone had to use the boats. We hired some bicycles and road east through beautiful iridescent green rice fields following the Thungabadra River. It was an amazing contrast between the green rice fields and dry boulder littered hills behind. We parked our bikes in a free parking zone offered to us by some locals and started to walk up the 250m high mountain with gruelling stairs that faced the sun. As you would expect I saw lots of monkey clambering all over the rocks and trees, some even bold enough to walk right past you without any care, not even keeping an eye on you. I felt sorry for the people that built the stairs as it would have been torturous carrying the sand and cement up the hill to form the winding artwork of stairs to the very top. It was worth every step we climbed and it revealed a beautiful 360deg view of the landscape below. Again it was a mixture of boulder hilled mountains mixed in with lush green pastures feed by an intricate array of canals branching there way trough farm land that would be desert without. We ended up staying on Monkey temple for an hour giving to view less time than what it dissevered until finally climbing back down the stairs to carry on our bike ride. Jacinta wheeled her bike out only to find her chain had been thrown. It was impossible to have the chain fall off with the guard on and while I was fixing it I had to calm myself from losing my temper at their attempt to swindle more money out of us by fixing the chain. They made the mistake of throwing the wrong chain as the other girls bike was untouched, of course I had no proof they had done this and didn’t want to accuse the wrong person. We rode another 3km to a village hoping to find somewhere to eat as we were both starving. We managed to find a small restaurant that only had one thing available to eat so we both ordered a Dosa (A large pancake with two dipping sauces) This was washed down with ice cold water while we spoke to another American solo traveller that had just purchased a Royal Enfield motorbike and was going to ride it up to Nepal. I was extremely jealous of this, Jacinta and I would have done the same if we didn’t have to carry such huge packs. My later attempts to convince Jacinta to buy a tuktuk to drive around India failed miserably. We rode back to town hoping to go for a swim in the lake as it over 40deg and it was just too hot to be out riding. We found out the lake was another 5km up the road and it was pointless going as we would have to ride back through the same heat. We handed the bikes back and found a small hotel restaurant on the river’s edge to rest and kill time. The power was out again so all we could do was try to cool ourselves in the breezeless heat. We had a shower at our guesthouse to wash away the sweat and caught a tuk tuk to the train station. The tuk tuk driver was funny and when we revealed that we were Australian there was nothing we could do to stop him talking about cricket. As usual I made up the story of knowing Brett Lee the Australian fast bowler also adding he was my cousin. This was always a fun game to play and they always finished off taking a photo and walking away in disbelief that they met someone that knows an Australian cricket player, Jacinta just shakes her head. Waiting for the train we reflected back on the town of Hampi as it was such a friendly town with little beggars and hardly anyone trying to rip you off. We were catching the train to Bangalore and then finally onto Kotchi in Kerrela. Our reflection was short lived as a man dressed in uniform wanted money from us to pay for a ticket to Bangalore. It was obvious that he had a job and could afford to buy the ticket himself if he stopped drinking as the alcohol on his breath was ripe. The salesman beside us was well educated and explained how he had been ripped off so many times from scams like these. Some cry and sob in the station until someone lends a hand which turns into lending money after a terrible bullshit story of tragedy. The train turned up at 8:30pm half an hour late as always.

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30th July 2010

well mr Dan...ur blogs r incredibly start i read a few entries n now can't resist myself to read al of in this entry i laughed for 15 min on tis line-"My later attempts to convince Jacinta to buy a tuktuk to drive around India failed miserably" i do understand how hard it wud b 4 u to remain calm, when u hav 2 bear so much n tht too when u r on a trip... only one piece of advice- nxt tym try to indulge common people whenever having some argument local agents, thy wil b more then happy 2 help.. njoy ur trip... n one question...y u r nt having any child yet???...;-) hehehehee...
1st August 2010

Thanks for the word of encouragement. I will remember your tips in the future. We are in China at the moment and it certainly test out the whole communication thing. Not much English here but its fun trying to speak Chinese and communicate with what ever is available. China is amazing and the people are so friendly but shy and curious at the same time. All the best Dan

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