Hampi is absolutely, unflinchingly incredible. Getting there might be a bit awkward (that’s India for you), but when you round the corner on the first hill overlooking the village nothing else really matters. It’s quite tricky to do it justice. There are ruins of course. Big tall ones with ornate carvings, but we’ve seen enough of them to fill a Dorling Kingsley book. In between the ruins though, are boulders. Tons of them, as far as the eye can see, piled up to create mountains, teetering over cliffs or just lying in the middle of fields, like a littering giant has been in the vicinity. In between all of these are palm trees, rivers and smiling locals who just want to shake your hand. Enough.
I regained some man-points and got on a moped to see it all. Last time I drove a moped was in Vietnam. I crashed it. And the next two. This time, there was no such calamity. Not even a wobble. I was Valentino Rossi on a 95cc power hog, blasting round corners and being overtaken by cows. Meanwhile Stin (or Bunder as I’ve taken to calling him as he is a Bumless Wonder – seriously he has no arse, it’s weird) got by on a bike that I think the Terminator rode. Every now and then we’d get off and scramble up boulders, high-five and scramble back down. At night we drank rum with some lovely English girls (I wasn’t aware there were so many lovely English girls) and ended up watching Eat, Pray, Love at the guesthouse. It is one of the most offensively awful films I have ever seen. To wit, we are meant to sympathize with Julia Roberts after she has screwed over two rather nice blokes then goes on a paid year-long vacation to Italy, India and Bali, before meeting Javier Bardem on a beach. It should have been called Shag, Mope, Cry.
So we’re heading south again, in the vague aim to meet up with spinks who has survived his epic mountain ordeal and is flying to Chennai on the 15th. Do we want to really meet up with him again? Will he cope in India on his own for a day or two? Will he realise that the hotel we recommended to him in Chennai is actually a 5 star boutique hotel? Only time (and this blog I suppose) will tell!