• Day36

    Hampi by bicycle

    February 10, 2020 in India ⋅ ⛅ 27 °C

    I woke Tom up at 845, after we both had an amazing night sleep, probably getting 10 hours! We got ready and made our way to our favourite food place (I.e. the only food place we had tried in the area) and got a Masala Dosa for breakfast before returning to the hostel to take out some bicycles out. After our unnecessarily thorough induction by our host on how to ride a bike and how to lock one up, we were on the road. These bikes were much better than the last bikes we took out in Kalpitiya, so we were going much faster this time. We were passing through beautiful scenery, rivers and rice paddies to the left, and enormous boulder mountains to the right. We had pinned a few things on our map the day before to go visit.

    Our first stop was Kishkanda Temple. It was right on top of one of the boulder mountains so inevitably there were steps to climb - only 570 this time unlike Adams Peak. However, the heat was extreme so it felt like miles and miles to the top. Eventually we got there and were treated to a 360° view of the whole of Hampi. With it still being quite early in the day, the dust and heat hadn’t hazed up the air, so the view was clear and we could see miles. At the top there was a little ceremony happening with people gathering round a very old man with face paints on seemingly getting religious advice. Inside the temple, people were offering food to a man who then gave them oil and salt. They would then smear the oil on their face and hair and then sprinkle the salt over their heads. It was obviously quite a sacred place for a lot of people, so we just observed. After a while we headed down, with all these Indian people coming up calling out “Jai Sriyam” over and over again, obviously some prayer. When we were asked what country we were from they started chanting “Jai England”. No idea what it meant, but it was quite a nice chant. We hopped back on our bikes and headed to a couple of other temples, one of which was abandoned which looked cool but was a bit creepy. We messed around here for a bit, and drank the last of our was now getting boiling hot outside, at least 35° so we sought refuge at a little shop and bought some more water and some snacks.

    To get further out of the heat, we cycled to a little cafe which was overlooking the rice paddies and chilled out here for a bit. I wasn’t feeling too well as I think I’d caught a cold the previous day, so I just lay down as Tom read his book and we ordered a couple of cups of tea, one Mint and one Ginger Lemon. They took ages to arrive and then one did and looked all milky so Tom went to sort out the order and eventually we got them. We chilled here for a bit waiting for the heat to subside, and then hopped back on the bikes and took a back road towards the reservoir. We’d heard that there was a swimming spot and even a big boulder you could jump off into the lake. We took this back road and surprisingly there was nobody on it, busy rice paddies and little villages to the left and right. It was the best thing we’d seen so far in Hampi, and maybe even India. Eventually we got to where the two Hampi reservoirs were. We were so happy to see some water after being so hot all day and tried to find the swimming spot. We couldn’t find it!! So we thought it might be on the other side of the lake, we cycled down over a bridge and then I saw people round the corner to where we were swimming. We went straight back, locked the bikes up and went to the place.

    There were a group of Indians, a few British and a group of guys and girls from Sudan. There was some debate as to where was safe to jump in and if there were rocks. Tom went to be spotted in the water and dove down to see if there were rocks...there was one but it shouldn’t be in the jumping zone. We went to the top of the rock where there was a bunch of Indians and one of the group from he Sudan. Still nobody was sure really where to jump. I always try and jump high and far out in this situation, so I geared myself up and became a flying guinea pig with a running start of course. I hit the water and thankfully there were no rocks, good job Tom! This set the ball rolling for others and I was followed by the Sudanese guy, Tom and an Indian guy fully dressed. After a long day on the bikes, the water was amazing even though we’d read online and on signposts that the waters were infested with crocodiles, there wasn’t even a lizard in sight. We played around here for a bit and jumped a few more times.

    The brits who were at the lake were all the things I hate about travelling. They were at this beautiful lake, in the gorgeous sunshine and all they were doing was getting high...periodically checking if we wanted any. Of course we said no, but when offered chocolate biscuits we took the chance! After chilling here for a bit we went over to the Hippie Island where we’d seen a sunset spot on the maps. Eventually we got there down the bumpy roads and then had yet another boulder hill to climb. It wasn’t too difficult this time and we managed to get an amazing spot right on the edge. Both Tom and I FaceTimed home to catch up as this was the best signal we’d had in a couple of days. We enjoyed the sunset and cycled back to our place on the bikes and promptly went for dinner back to the same place where we both got our own thali as it was amazing and we were starving. As I wasn’t feeling too well, we went back to the hostel and I just rested up as Tom wrote some diary and read his book. It had been a long day out on the bikes and in the sun, but we’d seen loads of Hampi, time for a good sleep.
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    Robert Marsland

    Oh wow so stunning x

    Robert Marsland

    Peace perfect peace!

    Robert Marsland

    So worth it!

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