The View from our room
Unfortunately we have moved on from Hampi( I am writing from Mahabalipuram), But it really was the most brilliant place you could imagine. Divided in two by a sacred river where people bathed and washed their clothes, On one side was an thriving Bazaar and immense temple and palace complex which had been ransacked by the Arabs four hundred years past and on the other was really a chilled out small settlement where the majority of the travelers stayed. The only way between the two was a tiny little boat with a wee put-put engine, which wouldn't set sail until it was ridiculously overcrowded with both people and goods. However dangerous it looked i never seen any problems and the drivers were exeptionaly skillful in dealing with the rising water levels which hid massive boulders just beneath the surface at the same time as having to deal with stupid russians moaning that us whiteys had to pay five ruppes more than the locals ( five rupees is less than 10p) as Marta rightly pointed out if they dont like it they are free to swim . Sometimes if there was space a guy with an accordian would jump on to supply
After Marta took this the kids absolutely swarmed her
the soundtrack to our two minute journey across the river.
We stayed for nine nights in a really cool place called Sai Plaza which had wonderful views back across the river to the temples, and was staffed by a really friendly mixture of locals and guys from Nepal which meant they did great chicken Momos. While they did serve beer sporadically my first taste of the Alcohol policy in India was on my first night when i thought a G&T would go down brilliant only to be told they don't make Gin and toilet.
All around our wee lodge was an incredible amount of wild life. water buffalo, lots of monkeys, Massive birds, lizards, Squirrels, frogs and we were told there was loads of snakes but we never seen any around there, Marta sat down beside one across the river which gave her an I a bit of a shock but it was a harmless wee constrictor much more scared of us than we both were of it after the initial shock.
One of the most pleasant surprises of our trip so far has been how cheap everything is, with ten euros you can eat and sleep
like a king for a day and the food is really good with dirt cheap road side stalls selling the freshest snacks and the prevalence of water buffalo means that most of the cheese is great mozzarella
Being so close to the river meant that our alarm clock was the people washing themselves and their clothes along the river and also a guy selling tin flutes that must of decided the best tune to shift them was the theme to Titanic. The most majestic sight of all from our window was the ceremonial Elephant going for his morning bath making all the people seam tiny.
The transport of choice was easily the TVS XL heavy duty Moped which went over the biggest potholes as if they weren't there and enabled you so much freedom to travel round the boulder strewn landscape to visit the many places and temples Hampi is so famous for. The places of choice on our side were the Reservoir which was great driving round at sunset, the Monkey temple and an ancient village called Anegundi which was still inhabited and felt like being in an Indiana Jones Movie, Speaking of Movies Jackie Chan was
filming in the area, unfortunately Marta was just getting her ear adjusted to the Indian English when we were told and she thought they were talking about a Jackie Chan temple, which i think would make a marvelous addition to the Hindu religion and their millions of gods (the god of comical Kung Fu).
As i said We have sadly moved on after having our hearts stolen by Hampi a place we are sure to return to one day. But have found a nice little spot in a stonemasons village just down from Madras called Mahabalipurran, which has great carvings and the freshest fish (anyone up for a five euro lobster), unfortunately Marta has made friends with a lot of tailors already so it may be a bit more expensive here as she gets a few outfits made up. We have arrived here during a festival called Pongal which is the Tamil new year so the place is quite busy with a festival atmosphere however tomorrow we get the bus To Pondicherry, which should be really interesting.
Pongal is Massive
Mikey and Marta
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