Hello from a roof top cafe in Hampi. I flipping love this place, it’s going to be very hard to leave.
I had 3 fears about my trip; Indian railway, turning up somewhere and not being able to get my bearings and feeling lonely. Hampi has been the first opportunity to face these fears and as a result I’m thriving. Did I say I love it here yet?
My first Indian railway experience was actually quite fun. Everyone around me was really friendly and helpful. I ate the food but didn’t brave the toilets.
When I arrived at Hospet I shared a rickshaw with an English couple and went straight to my guest house. The driver tried to sell me a tour and I said I’d let him know. There were a few other people at the guest house and all of them advised me against doing a tour “it’s easy to walk around Hampi”. I let the guy know the next day and set off on my walk. Quite soon another guy approached me and suggested going on a walking tour which I agreed to. I am SO glad that I did as I learnt so much about Hampi and also took some stunning pictures as the sun was setting. That kind of local knowledge is priceless.
The best bit of advise and intention I set for myself was to do what was right for me. I’m learning that I like being shown around to get my bearings and then I spread my wings and explore. There is a fine balance of listening to other people’s opinions and responding in a way that is right for me. I’m not brilliant at making decisions at the best of times, I’m finding that if I check in with myself then the right answer will come.
The next day I went on a bicycle tour which was so much fun. It has been a long time since I’ve been on a bike! I learnt loads about Hampi! Over the past few years Hampi has experience quite a bit of change. The area has become a UNESCO world heritage site which is great as the area is looked after and they are constantly discovering new things there. The downside is that a large area of the Hampi bazaar was bulldozed to create space around the main temple area. People’s homes and business were destroyed over night. There is a case in the high court now deciding if more of the area will be demolished. I feel the heaviness when the local people and returning tourists talk about it. It’s very sad!
The next day I met up with Kedar another coachsurfer I had been chatting to before I left the UK. We went to the reservoir which was breathtaking, the picture doesn’t do it justice, it was so peaceful. Well apart from the rock that I thought was a crocodile about to eat me. After that we visited his friend and played some music together – beautiful.
Today I climbed the monkey temple mountain and felt an intense rush of amazingness – the landscape, just me being here on my own absolutely blew me away. I’m really doing this being on my own thing. I have so much more that I want to say….like how amazingly cute Indian kids are, that I saw an actual monkey eating an actual banana. Not being bothered that I’m woken up at 5am because the temple is playing music and that there are rats knawing at the walls in the guest house. Eating food off of banana leaves, having fish nip my body in the water, climbing rocks bare foot, finding approximately 30 mosi bites. The man playing the titanic theme tune on his flute every ten minutes. The fresh sugar cane juice, the cool breeze on my face as I cycle, sweating so much my t shirt gets drenched, tracing the outline of the landscape with my eyes from a rooftop cafe. Using the word Namaste without feeling like a dick. All so brilliantly awesome! I am so perfectly in love with Hampi.