Monday, March 10, 2008

Hampi day 1

Started the day with a visit to Hampi Bazaar's main temple, which I've forgotten the name of. A guide promptly offered his services, and I agreed to a tour. He demonstrated the 'musical' pillars, which despite being carved from solid granite, reverberate tunefully like a xylophone when tapped with the fingers. After poking around the various shrines and so forth, we went up to the roof to climb up the tower. He insisted on piggybacking me up two flights of stairs "because of the problem with the feet" (turns out there were mean bitey ants lying in wait there). Then he sold me on a guided walk to the nearby waterfalls.

Two huge monolithic Ganeshes, a fourth-incarnation Vishnu and an oversize Shiva lingam (er, bollard) later, we set out down a track through a banana plantation. The sandy path emerged at the river bank, and we clambered over the rocks to the 'waterfall'. What it lacks in stature it makes up for in enthusiasm, thundering over several large granite boulders. Guide blokey tried to persuade me to swim. It was around this point I remembered why I never take guides. They always try to be my friend, telling me their life story and enquiring about mine. This annoys me. If I'm paying you, I don't want to be your friend. If you're my friend, you'll guide me for free. On the plus side though, it was certainly handy to have someone to lug the camera bag around, carry the water, and take photos of me.

Me in my fabulous salwar kamiz.

We stopped for lunch on the way back to Hampi Bazaar, and he read my palm. Very accurately too: He correctly surmised that I had an ex-boyfriend, that I had plenty of money but don't always save it, and that my parents are interested me. Great, now tell me something that doesn't apply to every single mid-twenties western traveller who comes through India, and I'll be impressed. He did also say I would marry a foreigner, but since I'd already told him I work in Thailand (my standard response to the "what do you do" question), I don't think you need worry unduly about my future involvement with hepl-ful Asians. I lay back on the hessian-covered granite slab, trying to relax with my head on a sandbag pillow, and he told me mysteriously "what you are thinking, it will success". Which was welcome news, since I was hoping he would stop talking soon.


At 3:13 pm, Blogger scrapcomber said...

Charlotte it is great to be able to catch up with your travels via this Blog, you seem to be having as much fun in India as my daughter did this time last year. Those photos are fantastic too.


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