Don’t worry, be Hampi. A long, uncomfortable overnight sleeperbus ride from Palolem to Hampi (in another state) and I arrived early in the morning. Like, 6am in utter darkness. Not really knowing where to go, except “across the river”, I went to a little stall next to the bus station, for some masala chai. It seems like these little stalls are just open 24/7, there were some Indians as well. Maybe on their way home from work, or the other way around of course.
Me and Tom turned out to be quite the attraction at this little stall. Some children came to say “Hi”, only to quickly run off, giggling. They came back with their tiny shotglass of chai, and I taught them to clink the glasses together and say “Cheers!”. They loved it, came back a couple more times to cheers our tea. And then the sun rose over the landscape. Wow. It seemed otherworldly. Boulders, rocks, in amazing shapes everywhere. These rocks have eroded, and it seems like they really should be falling down at any time now.
Time to get the little ferry across the river. Prices have gone up in the high season, with the arrival of more travellers. But I still found a cheap, little hut to stay in.
The second day we went for some exploring around the temples. I got blessed by a cleaning lady of a tiny Hanuman temple (that’s the Monkey God) and we kept exploring. It felt a little bit like walking around the Devil’s Marbles in Australia(click here for that story), but without the tourists, me and Tom had the place to ourselves. Some temples and loads of monkeys later, we even went into the town’s temple that had a pet elephant. She blesses you for some coins, but since I was already blessed, I felt I’d had enough for one day.
The Israelis were around as well, so the next day we did some more music playing and exchanging stories. Some of them have Royal Enfields to travel around by motorbike and I am SO jealous. I had a little test ride on one of them and it was great, such power! I want one… Now to find a way to make that happen… I took them around some other temples as well, which were pretty beautiful. I learnt about the concept of Indian Giving. As we were walking around some gardens, a guard told us that there was a secret chamber, where the king used to do all his secret meetings and decision making. He could show us. And without thinking, I followed him around and he was telling stories. He showed us the secret chamber, which was pretty secret. Underground and dark, not something I would have found by myself, but not something I really NEEDED to see. But alright, this guy is telling these stories and after showing us the chamber, he turns to me and asks if I don’t have a gift for him. Like the cleaning lady in the temple, they figured, I’m giving you a gift (a red powdered dot for a blessing, a story about ancient times and a secret chamber), so now you give me a gift in the form of money. That’s Indian Giving explained for you!
I didn’t stay that long in Hampi. Three nights and I felt that was enough. Now to get on a train to Bangalore and then Mysore.