Friday, December 7

Happy in Hampi

My friend Parry strongly recommended visiting Hampi and I'm really glad I took his advice. It's a really interesting place, many ruins, and it's a smaller town with a slower pace. It seems there are more tourists here than locals, though sadhus still wander the streets. It might be a good place to spend a few days.

Ramon has already been to Hampi, so today we had a guide for free. On his suggestion, we rented bicycles and rode from ruin to ruin. There's hardly any traffic here so we had no problems getting used to staying on the left side of the road. Even better was that most of the ruins (and there are many) don't require any entrance fees. We are planning to spend a few days here, so we didn't feel rushed to see everything.

After an easy morning of sight seeing, we went for lunch and drinks. Ramon took us to a nice little restaurant perched on the bank of a river. Aside from all the mosquitoes (they're so vicious here), it was quite enjoyable.

My first day in Hampi ended with a river float in a funny round boat with my traveling companions. On the nearby cliffs a Bollywood movie was being made and it created some amusement as we took in the sun. This pace is starting to feel more like a vacation.

P.S. Did I mention I hate mosquitoes?

A monkey runs across the path of some local students:

Kim and Babette at their favorite sight:

Some intricate carvings on a ruined temple:

Columns made of black stone:

The gang, relaxing by the river:

Floating on the river in a strange raft:

Hyderabad to Hampi

Day two in Hyderabad was easier than the first. While Ramon played on the internet, Babette, Kim and I went to see the Golkonda fort. This fort is on a hill top and it was a hot day, so we (and by we I mean Babette) took many rests on the way up.

The fort was not as good as the many others I've seen already. Much of it was gated off. However, it did provide a nice view of the city.

The rest of the day we spent at the train station. Traveling by train seems to cost a day of sight seeing. I'm really starting to miss travel by private taxi.

To friends of Kim and Babette who may have received this link by e-mail: They want me to say only good things. I guess I won't mention how grumpy they are in the morning! Both Kim and Babette are really wonderful (really they're not making me say that). They've made my trip much more enjoyable.

To friends of Ramon: He complains that I only take pictures of the girls. It's true -- they're cuter.

Babette and Kim make their way up to the fort:

A mosque at the top of the fort:

The view from the top: