Hampi is 100% my new favorite place in India. It really surprised me that of all the places we’ve been this, at first glance, in-the-middle-of-nowhere-dusty-village would turn out so wonderful. Hampi has really renewed my energy and passion for exploring and I can’t wait to soon be off to South East Asia.
Anyway, after checking in at hotel Clark’s Inn we went for breakfast at hotel Varsha which was really nice. By now the temperature had reached around 41 degrees Celsius and so we relaxed in our rooms until 3 pm, waiting for it to cool down slightly.
At 3 pm we set out on a long tuk-tuk ride in absolutely beautiful surroundings. The Hampi area was all fields, rocky landscape and small villages. We even drove past a couple of gypsy villages.
Picture: roadblock in the form of goats
On our way we stopped by an excavation point where they were gathering granite and by the beautiful river,
before settling down by a scenic lake. It was a tranquil spot and we ended up sitting in the shade of a boulder for a good while, enjoying the peacefulness and beauty. I think it was already by this point that I knew Hampi was something special.
We walked a little further over a dam, standing aside to a let a car pass. But right when it reached me, instead of continuing straight on it went right for me, centimeters from actually hitting me. I don’t know why they did it, if it was a dumb joke or because of alcohol, but Chandra was absolutely furious. He sprinted after the car, yelling and throwing his bottle, but unfortunately (or maybe fortunately) they got away before he had a chance to punch the driver. Nevertheless, nothing happened to me and we continued on in tuk-tuks, stopping in a village for cola.
We reached the monkey temple, birthplace of the God Hanuman, shortly after. Or rather we reached the foot of the hill it was sat on and proceeded to walk up the 600+ steps to the temple at the top. I mostly used my right leg to get up, trying to spare my left knee, but I actually made it. I actually climbed all the way up in spite of my knee and I was so proud of myself. I never actually thought I would be able to do a thing like that again.
And the view was completely worth it: it was breathtaking and there really were monkeys everywhere, both on the way up and at the temple, but as long as you didn't have any food or bottles (and didn't make eye contact) they wouldn't bother you.
I met the absolute sweetest family at the top, all wanting to give me a handshake and take photos. I held the youngest for a little while and talked to the children (even though they didn't understand me), before they all gave me kisses on the cheek for goodbye. They were so sweet.
We climbed out onto the boulders to watch the sunset, taking photos with a group of giggling women before sitting down.
I spotted John far far out on a stone and joined him for the sunset on the edge. It was magnificent.
A guy from Kerala, studying in Germany, took this picture of us before sitting down to chat for a while.
He was really nice and we would’ve stayed, but we decided to brave the uneven steps down before dark.
Back on even ground we celebrated with coconut water and bananas before driving all the way back to the restaurant at hotel Varsha for dinner.
The next morning we had packed our bags and stood ready in the lobby at 6 am to get the most out of the day before the heat kicked in. We met up with Banu, our local guide, and off we were in the tuk-tuks for our archeological day.
Our first stop was the old temple area, where we walked 1.5 kilometers through the earlier marketplace to the ruins of the Vittala Temple.
It was an incredibly interest place and we walked around for a bit before taking the tuk-tuks to the palace grounds. Banu took us to the most important of the spread out ruins, including the king’s office, a stepping well, the queen’s palace and the elephant stables.
It was all beautiful places and we met lots of sweet Indian tourists who wanted photos. I’ve held so many babies in Hampi, I feel like the president.
We drove to the old bazaar and temple, where they used to sell diamonds by the liter, and made our way into the tiny village of Hampi for breakfast at the infamous Mango Tree restaurant.
It was a delicious place and we were soon on our feet again, visiting the temple by the bazaar.
We visited two different sculptures and the queen’s bathing hall before going back to the hotel.
It had been a tiresome morning and I took a quick rest at the hotel (my knee being a bit wobbly from the climb the day prior) before heading down the road to the ATM with Richard. On our way back we grapped a drink at Tree Line restaurant and sat talking for a while.
Back at the hotel Theresa, Analyn and I crossed the street to the Archeological Museum and took a quick look around at the statues, artefacts, pictures and models.
It was really interesting but we were exhausted and hot, so we soon headed back to the hotel for a rest.
At 3 pm John and Chandra met up with us and we walked to hotel Varsha for lunch.
At 5.30 pm we all packed into a private vehicle for a 3.5-hour very bumpy drive on dirt roads to the train station.
At the train station the train didn't leave until 11.30 pm, so I found a spot on the platform and laid down using my bag as a pillow (as I had seen all the locals do). I almost fell asleep too as the train kept getting delayed.
We were all bored out of our minds and tired when it finally arrived a good while past midnight, and we were quick to fall asleep once we had gotten our sheets and chained up our bags for the night.
The next morning the train was delayed by two hours and so we reached Goa train station at 8.30 am, from there driving about an hour and a half by car to hotel Dona Julia. This would be our last destination and our last evening together as a group.