Kristina takes a bash on the crazy roads of India & Hippy Hampi…

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On route to Hampi a government-public bus crashes into us! I was asleep with music on my iPhone…so when it happened I was lurched forward, the earphones yanked out and I made a stupid gasping for breath sound…it was such a shock! Everyone was fine. It was not our fault. No surprise there- the Indian drivers are just crazy!
They decided to overtake us on a blind bend and when another truck approached he basically just banged into us to move over and practically ran us off the road! He was worse off though ( check out my pics) we had the wheel trim knocked off and the wing mirror was already smashed so it wasn’t too bad for us.
No insurance details swap hands because no one has insurance here, everyone’s cars are just bashed to bits until they have to get a new one. They are definitely the craziest roads I’ve ever been on and Jenny & Martin have the patience of saints!
After we finally get going Jenny tells us about a few other incidents and how the group witnessed a truck bursting into flames a few weeks ago. This wasn’t because of the crash that had just happened there…it was because a truck driver had crashed into a motorcyclist and he was killed. It didn’t matter that it was probably the motorbikes fault but if you kill someone it is the unwritten rule that YOU will be killed. Apparently the driver had just ran off leaving his truck behind as he knew what was coming…then they set the truck alight…scary stuff…
At lunch time we stop in a large town called Hibli. It’s been 5 days since we’ve been in a busy city so it takes me a while to get ready to brave crossing the road. This is always fun…you basically just have to put your hand up at the drivers and hope they dodge you! It’s easier when you are in a group as you all walk out in a group so they have no choice but to stop!
We go in search of food…that’s food that I want to eat…fruit is normally a good option and I find a little fruit market. A young boy, maybe about 12 runs over to me” Can I help you Mam?” the people everywhere are so keen to speak to you, practise their English and chat, it’s lovely. I doubt many westerners stop in towns like Hibli.
After this I need to make a toilet stop before getting back on the truck ( yes toilets again…) now…another lesson was learnt on this particular afternoon…if there is a toilet outside and it’s not labelled men/ women and it’s not locked…ALWAYS knock…otherwise you could swing open this door to find a little Indian man squatting over the hole in the floor toilet! Yeap…that’s what I did! I screamed and we all left…after that no one wanted to use that particular toilet.
Now of course we are in India and we should ‘ do as they do’ but I’ve got to say when it comes to using the bathroom all of us on the truck are always on the look out for the ‘ western version.’
Hampi has a totally different landscape to any I’ve seen before. Its an ancient city surrounded by giant rock boulders with a river running through it. The giant rocks just look like they have been thrown there or have landed there by mistake.We all love the vibe of the place straight away. It’s a hippy town, a real chilled out vibe.
We stay in little round houses with thatched roofs and on the porches there is a swing bed for chilling out. On one side there are paddy fields ( hence why I got lots of bites here!) and we have gardens and coconut tress around us.
Our toilet ( yes toilet again…ha ha) had an unusual habit too- when you flushed it, it squirted water out of the top and hit you! It’s amazing what you get used to and after our 3 days there, I got just used to dodging this shower!
Lots of animals surround us to… Frogs jumping on the paths, geckos in our room ( which I quite like as they eat the nasty bugs) monkeys jumping on the roof and unfortunately sitting in a cafe one evening after walking around Hampi all day, a load of horrible ants got into my walking socks and ate my feet so much it looked like I had chicken pox socks on! Well they can’t all be nice…
Hampi was a lovely place to explore. To get to the old city we had to cross the river by boat and on the other side we saw an elephant having a bath.
We travelled around the city exploring in tuk tuks. The boulders of Hampi are amongst some beautiful temples and our guide does highlight that a lot of the boulders are purposely phallic symbols!…
For lunch we stop at a restaurant with a fantastic view across the river. The layout means that everyone has a great view as we all sit along terraces, on the floor. I order a dish that for me is quite spicy and I offer for others to taste it. When they say ‘phew that’s hot’ I’m so impressed with myself…I can eat spicy food…food that others think is hot too!I’m practically a local….errr…maybe not…

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