Carving on a rock at the beach.
We parted with our scooters in Goa after a few days riding to nearby beaches and lounging, with me at one point sitting back and enjoying a manicure/pedicure while another gal used the threading technique to clean up my eyebrows. All that pampering cost me about 8 bucks - I felt guilty paying so little. Anjuna, more specifically the bar across from our guest house, exploded with people the Sunday before we left, promising a crazy party. The people watching was something to behold. Dreads, funky shoes, piercings and tattered clothes were being sported. Unfortunately the bar owners failed to pay off the cops enough, so the party got shut down and moved. We hit up the new location to do some dancing, but the 10 p.m. curfew came way too early for us.
My scooter for the day. I love riding them, especially through the obstacle courses of the Indian roads.
Our group finally tore itself away from the beach and headed to Hampi
. The town was surrounded by many-a-temple in ruins. The first day we set out to find a waterfall, but instead found a reservoir. We also managed to stumble across a beer man who brought us beers there. Hampi is dry except for a few pockets in places and you will find on some menus "special drinks" and are able to snag one if they still are in stock. After our swim in the lake, we caught a sunset up at Monkey Temple after climing 500+ steps. Boy I'm outta shape! We laughed and enjoyed the many monkeys up top and also entered the temple with our guides and were first dotted on the forehead, then made to fan smoke in our face and finally received sugar.
Threading my brows - this traveler needed some pampering!
The sunset was not as nice as Goa, but the scenery around was amazing, with the rice paddies and palms, a very wonderful experience. We had to cross a river to get to this place and we ended up missing the last ferry back. We were shouting across in the dark, asking for a boat, hearing responses back thinking they were coming to get us. We finally shouted, asking if they had a boat, and they replied, no, they had been waiting for us! We found our ferry captain who begged us to be quiet and wait 10 minutes for the cops to pass, after which we (about 7 of us at the time) boarded this round boat made out of reeds, and scooted across the river. We were so happy we missed the ferry because it was so fun, us all sitting in a circle in this boat, under the stars, crossing this channel.
Our breakfast spot in Goa had a little mascot.
We kept exclaiming about our good fortune until the captain begged us again to be silent, but then promptly answered his cell phone once it rang. After paying a hefty price for the return so that he could pay the police for breaking curfew on the boat, we headed to a wonderful Indian feast. Note, when I say hefty price, I'm talking about 50 rupees, which is really about $1.50, but I'm finally, after all these months, starting to think in terms of the local currency rather than dollars, and 50 rupees can get you a nice meal here.
Anyway, day two in Hampi I sorted out my next stops, hitting up some travel agents and figuring out later I got ripped off, but this time only by 10 bucks. At least the mighty Rupee means lots to the locals but not so much to my wallet.
Temple at Hampi
We then hit up some temples and ancient baths in sweltering heat. We had arranged for bus travel back toward Goa. Now the bus ride TO Hampi was an adventure in itself. We got sleepers, which are actually beds and luckily a gal shared my compartment. However, the roads are horrible, so aside from many, many speed bumps, there are patches where you just can't drive fast or smooth. At one point I caught about two feet of air after we hit a particularly bad patch. I had originally told my companions I didn't think it mattered if we paid extra for sleepers as I was sure no sleep would be had, and I was right about that, but it was an experience. The way back was much the same, but we ended up having a little party in one sleeper compartment, cramming about five of us in, having drinks and sharing conversation before the morning stop where Helen and Co.
High above at the Monkey Temple. We picked up some new people along the way after parting ways with a few in Goa.
along with Eoin would get off and begin heading south.
I have chosen to go no further south and instead head North. Next up Udaipur after another brief stop in Mumbai
. I didn't get to see too much of the city, so I'm glad for it, and getting excited about the north, but India is many worlds and the north will prove to be challenging. It it much more conservative. I will definitely have to stay covered up, and I will be solo for the first time here - really, the first time in over a month. I'm also looking forward to cooler temps as my body has been wondering, what happened to winter?