Thursday, January 6, 2011

Fail when you can

I should, at this exact moment, be sat on a night bus to Mumbai. Aimee and I have, however, been thwarted by a typically Indian cock-up. Our travel agent booked our ticket for the wrong day, we didn't double check, and so after a really fun rickshaw ride with a lovely Kiwi guy called Richie and the crazy driver ('Don't worry, chicken curry!' he cried as we swerved dangerously close to cows, buffalo, chickens and children) to Hospet, we were turned away. The same man drove us back and we are setting up camp in Hampi Bazaar for the night, then doing the yoga we have been meaning to try all week in the morning before getting on the 14hr bus tomorrow eve.

This morning we again hired (motorised) bikes and flew around the temples and ruins - though again I found myself more interested in the general experience of being on 2 wheels than looking listlessly at the ruins themselves, especially with the steep admission charges to what can only be described as a crumbling mess (perhaps a bit harsh, but it was very expensive).

I am love all this sort of stuff, but the Hampi ruins need a lot of TLC from UNESCO or the Indian Government or someone before they are going to hold my interest for longer than a bike. The signage was poor, and compared to Angkor Wat I found myself losing interest as I couldn't connect the story of the place with the ruins themselves. The landscape, however, did not fail to amaze, and I'd love to go rock climbing or bouldering around here, even though I know I am atrocious at it. I imagine that if you were to return here in ten to fifteen years later the adventure sports potential might become a real draw for tourists with bigger budgets than the predominantly backpacker crowd currently here, with luxury hotels and all the rest. Whether they'll be able to get around the beer ban is another matter...

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