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Published: August 9th 2017
Geo: 15.3333, 76.4667
Happy New Year from Hampi, and what a nice place to celebrate a new decade.
Well after a week and a bit in Goa, we had to leave, so we caught the train to Hospet which is only 14km away from Hampi. The train ride was quite nice and unexpected. Carole and Myself couldn't get two seats together let alone in the same carriage, but i ended up sitting next to Chuck from New York who was part of a big group (Around 150 from all over the world, Archeologists, Professors etc.) who were celebrating the 30th anniversary of some excavation. And because i was sitting with Chuck i managed to get some free snacks because they thought i was part of the group. We had a Thali on the train for lunch and seeing as there is limited space we hopped up on the top tier of the sleeper to eat, somewhat dis-comfortably. I had mentioned to Chuck how i had not seen any Australians while i was in Goa so he took me to the upper class of the train to meet some people who were from Australia.
We arrived to a flurry in Hospet and Carole, Chuck and
myself along with 4 bags and a friend of the rickshaw driver crammed into one rickshaw to Hampi.
Hampi is an amazing place, it's hard to explain so the picture will tell more, it is a dramatic change of landscape from farming plains to mountains full of boulders and rivers with greenery mixed in.
We had previously arranged some accommodation which was a fairly decent room but pricey. We also ran into Gloria and Mel (Again) who were also going to Hampi for a couple of days. After we settled in, we had about an hour before the sunset, so Carole and myself took a walk to some ruins and temples at the end of Hampi Bazaar. It was New Years Eve and the side that we were staying on (temple side) doesn't allow alcohol, so it ended up being a dry New Years. We caught up with Gloria and Mel for dinner and ended up ringing in the new year on a restaurant with a few other people watching a few fireworks. It was a very quiet night so i think i was in bed by 1am, but that was fine seeing as we had a full day of
sight seeing to endure the following day.
A fresh New Years day followed and we were told about a elephant that is washed in the river everyday, but it was New Years day and there were a ton of pilgrims along the river, so the elephant did not get washed that day. After we got breakfast we hired some bikes and set across the river on a small packed boat. We set off and explored the other side of the river where there is more accommodation and restaurants and rode a few kilometers up the road to Monkey Temple.
Don't let the name fool you, it's a temple for the monkey god Hannuman and there were only a handful of real monkeys along they way.
After you endure the 600 odd steps up hill, and in our case in hot weather, you are rewarded with 360 degree stunning views and scenery. We grabbed some lunch on the way back and crammed into a boat full of push bikes and one motorbike perched on the nose. We were both pretty buggered when we got back so i rested while Carole did some internet. At about 4 pm we took a walk up
to the hill for the sunset, it has amazing views all around but you could still hear the faint honking of horns and commotion that surrounded Hampi.
We went to the Mango Tree restaurant for dinner, we had to walk along the river and through some banana plantations to get there, but the food was nice.
Morning came and we wanted to see the Elephant washing, sure enough they were washing her in the river, we even had a go at scrubbing. The Elephant seems relaxed and happy, but talking to a local, it's all she knows. She has been doing it all her life so she doesn't know what it's like to be roaming the jungles. They wash the elephant so that it can bless people in the main temple in Hampi.
We grabbed lunch with Mel and Gloria at the Mango tree and then headed up the river in a Coracle which is a round boat made from thatch with tar on the bottom to stop leakages. It felt nice to float along the river while seeing some random temples and ruins. We hopped off and took a walk back into Hampi stopping off at more temples and ruins along the
Poor Carole started feeling pretty ill during the day, but for dinner we went to a roof top restaurant joined by three others, so there was Myself, Carole, Mel, Gloria, Olivier (French), Katrine (German) and Hannah (Sweden), It was a nice dinner.
The next morning i awoke early to checkout the sunrise from the lookout as i heard it was better to view in the morning. Carole had a sleepless night due to being ill so needless to say she did not join me. It was our last day so this was the last time i would be able to see the sunrise.
It was OK, nothing special. There was quite a bit of mist hanging about and because the mist surrounds the horizon it spoils the sunrise, and sunset. But it does make the sun go from yellow to bright red.
From the lookout i hired a bike and explored the southern region of Hampi which had more temples and old ruins. I grabbed a quick lunch and by the time i got back we were ready to leave to Guntakal where we had to stop one night for our train to Chennai.
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