21.02.2015 - 25.02.2015 36 °C
Hampi – Scott author not Deb
After two weeks of R&R at the beach we decided to head inland to visit the temple ruins in Hampi which Lonely Planet states is a ‘must see’. While Hampi is about 250 kms from Palolem it took a 10 hour overnight sleeper bus trip to get there. This was our first sleeper bus trip so we crawled into our small double sleeper berth with some intrepidation. The trip was ok and we both managed a few hours sleep without throwing up unlike one other poor guy on the bus.
We arrived in Hampi at 7am on the Saturday morning and checked in to our accommodation. Now a point to note here is that normally Deb books the accommodation because I’m too lazy to do the research but in this case to show that I’m pulling my weight as part of a loving twosome (big deal – books one room out of the approximate 90 days we’ve been travelling so far says Deb), I had arranged our accommodation and what a disaster it turned out to be. Firstly, the Indian lady owner tried to say the room we had booked wasn’t available and that we would need to upgrade to the deluxe room. Once we pointed out that we had prepaid and we weren’t prepared to pay more our basic room suddenly became available. Our lovely basic room which was to become like a prison cell to us seemed on the surface ok but the bed was like a concrete block with pillows so flat that they were the thickness of a crepe. The shower only ran cold so we had to bucket hot water over ourselves plus the bathroom was so small we had to sit on the toilet as we were bucketing the water. Finally, there was no AC just a fan in temperatures that reached 35+ in the day and dropped down to a cool 23+ at night. I had booked a real doozie and I paid the ultimate price when struck down with a virus which meant I had to spend a day and a half stuck in the room.
Accommodation and sickness issues aside we decided to get our fitness mojo on and hired pedal bikes to bike around the 32 kms of temple ruins. This was a little ambitious as the temperatures were excessively hot and everyone else was doing the circuit in tuk tuks plus the bikes were Soviet era one speeds built from the remains of unsold Ladas so they weighed a tonne. We started off early to beat the heat and set off down a dirt road that soon turned into a boulder hop as we clammered with the bikes over huge boulders. Twenty minutes into this I had my first tantrum as dripping with sweat I found my locking mechanism was not working on the bike. Once I had calmed down we continued our bike/clammer and arrived at the main temple site right on 8.30am which was meant to be opening time. Twenty minutes later someone did turn up and allowed us in to the temple. This is where tantrum number two struck as with my sun glasses sliding down my nose and my shoulder bag getting in the way once again I couldn’t get the bike lock to open. Deb calmed me down yet again and we continued biking around the ruins as the temperatures got hotter and hotter and the hills got bigger.
By 2pm we had completed the circuit with only one more ruin to see when tantrum number three occurred. This time it was Deb who was so hot and tired that she refused to stop to see the last sight despite it looking really interesting but she pedaled off in to the distance towards home. The one redeeming feature was we knew that we had a lovely cool room awaiting us with a hot shower and a comfortable bed for our weary bodies to collapse into. Not!
Tantrums aside Hampi did have some good points. The scenery is incredible with massive granite hills that were covered with huge boulders. We discovered some great ruins that included fabulous Ramayana relief work and found the best fresh juice place around. We watched some very funny monkeys at play including one very cool and laid back monkey who joined us to watch the sun set. He sat on his own rock and watched the sun go down. Another cool animal moment involved watching the temple elephant taking its bath in the river and getting a good scrub behind its ears.
Admittedly, we were not too sorry to see the back of Hampi as we set off on our 10 hour bus journey back to Palolem.