Travelling – It leaves you speechless, then turns you into a storyteller. – Ibn Battuta
For me apparently it’s time to tell another story after I didn’t update my blog for quite a while. Actually many things happened during the last weeks, all of them amazing in some way, but it would take too much time to write down everything. Instead, I want to start with last weekend, which we spent in Hampi – a quite unique place here in India, and number one spot to see according to Lonely Planet.
It took us 12 hours in a so-called sleeper bus (meaning a bus with beds/mattresses instead of seats) to overcome the 560km from Pune to Hampi, a village in northern Karnataka, India and once one of the richest and largest cities in the world. It is surrounded by ruins belonging to the UNESCO World Heritage Site and is still an important religious centre. For me personally it felt like the Rome of India, equally amazing as the Italian capital concerning its history and respective leftovers.
We were an evenly composed group consisting of two German girls and two Indian guys, which means that we (the girls) would constantly pretend not to belong to the others so that they would be able to bargain a good price for our rickshaws etc. 😉 Hampi itself truly made an impression on us – remarkable, besides the old temples, statues and other ruins, were especially the surrounding hills and their rock and stone formations, which seemed to be so artificial and unrealistic. Another highlight was the view one was rewarded with when climbing up any of them, especially those where one ended up at some remote place out of a sudden, completely alone, where reality felt like miles away.
As we spent two full days in Hampi, we had one day to explore the side of the river where you are actually allowed to go by scooter – which we did on our first day, two people sharing one each. The small mopeds we rented there really made our day – not having enough power to carry two people up the medium sized hills, we ended up more than once with the co-driver jumping from the suffering vehicle and pushing it from behind. 😀 Our second day was equally exhausting as for exploring the more historical side of the river we rented some bikes – which we first had to carry half of the way, as the roads were too bad and with too many stairs in between as that one could have ridden a bike somehow – and then because neither the gear nor the seat could really convince us of their functionality. Still, after living in India for nearly three months now, in which I’ve been quite restricted concerning outdoor sports, especially in the nature, it was an incredible experience to follow the more or less paved roads, stopping at some monuments and feeling the sun on my skin, the wind in my hair and… well, and my butt hurting like hell after a while. 😉
I touched an elephant (yay!), crossed the river in a boat that reminded me of a nutshell, crossed it again in a similar boat that was basically sinking while we were sitting inside during the complete darkness of the night, got thousands of bugs in my face while driving home on the moped in the dark, experienced the friendliness of a very kind bus driver who guided us girls to the washroom as the place was kind of hidden and scary, waiting for us and accompanying us back again to make sure that we’re fine, met new people, concluded my first journey in a (quite fancy) sleeper bus, created awesome memories with my friends, reached home Monday morning 6.30am, took a shower and went to office right away – and enjoyed every single second of it. I felt exhaustion, heat, pain as well as curiosity and eagerness to explore more, all at the same time. And I smiled, smiled, smiled… 🙂
India is an amazingly beautiful country. It is so easy to fall in love with it, especially on those days, where life treats me so well. ❤