Bonjour one and all,
Hampi seems to be a distant speck in the past now so I am afraid I have some things to fill you in with.. so prepared to be filled!
Firstly with one exception there have been no hippies and the one I do recall wasnt much of a hippie either more a spiritulist which i suppose isnt really a hippie at all but somehow out here they are..especialy when they come over all meditation like and hum.. still someone must maintain the healing crystal trade here and why not them! Anyway readers read on...
So Hampi was hot and full of boulders and temples whihc to some, including me, is charming.. however having looked at temples for three days a change was very much needed by jove off we went! Let me first explain how we have so far achieved locomotion in this wonderful land.. bus... some bad some not so bad, none however good. The bus from Hampi to Mysore (our next port of call on this voyage)definitely falls into the worst category, it was a semi luxury governement bus which is to say in the Queens english..shit. whats worse is that there is a lower class bus, i imagine this bus doesnt have seats, just a big hole in the floor so you can push from inside flintstones style! The bus appeared to have been made using drawing pins and subsequenly rattled over the tiniest of bumps which when you consider that the roads here are more like the surface of the moon than say roads..is not good espeacially when the seats have been designed for imps and one has to bring ones luggage on board too.. so ten hours sitting in a tin can designed for dwarfs and one very sore arse we arrived in Mysore!
Mysore describes itself as a city... its more like a town but it does have a palace so kudos. The town itself is fairly unhappening, so one has to be creative with your time.. However as we were there for about 36 hours we managed to survive ok! It turned out that the night we got there happens to be Indian new year or whatnot so they lit up the palace with about 4000 bulbs.. impressive if not rather wasteful when you consider the likelyhood of a constant powersupply in India is about as rare as an honest rickshaw driver. (for those unaware of the reference.. rickshaw drivers no matter how much they proclaim there honesty and innocence are by there nature thieves!! they see you coming and size you up for how much your worth.. if you're me its about double! and if you ask for the meter they'll look at you as though you asked them to derive Einsteins theory of relativity... in Welsh!) Anyway the lights were very lovely and there was a holy hill one can climb to see a temple and a huge bull made of stone (nice).. we of course being British took the bus up the hill and joined the merry pilgrims on the arduous walk down the hill.. thats working smart not working hard.. anyway besides that we had pretty much a whole day to waste before the privillidge of another government bus to Kerala, so initially we attempted to eat our selves through the day (took about 3 hours and felt abit sick!).. then we decided to sit in thwe local park (found a plastic bag containing what seemed to be a deceased animal, we decided to move on after about half an hour and yes felt a bit sick!) Amusingly enough all this time we had been 'wasting' time we had missed the jewel in Mysores crown, that being its Zoo!
The zoo trip was notable for two reasons.. the first being a wooden flute seller who sold me a lovely specimen for about 10 rs! Splendid.. a bargin if i say so myself and my snake charming is coming along nicely.. not too nicely though no sign of snakes yet! Anyway the zoo.. ah well Mysore is the most stocked zoo in India boasting tigers, lions, rhinos and gorrilas to name but a few and not least a tapir! marvellous! What really makes Mysore zoo so special is its complete lack of regard for safety.. wheras say a zoo in Britain would use cages or fences to seperate beast from his lunch! Heree the use of a shallow trench appears to surfice.. fortunatley we came at feeding time and the most carnivorous of the beastys were happily disposed of already. The snakes were also amusingly kept in cages.. pity the designer ahd forgotten the nature of the snake to be a slippery beast capable of moving through small gaps, and surprisngly we couldnt see many in the cages.. I didnt bother to check the trees too hard.. I may be british through and through but I'm not entirely sure my british bowels would have held should a viper have made an airbourne attack... Anyway enoguh Mysore.. tis boring me soemwhat!
Pleasingly the bus to Kerala was a siginificant improvement on the previous one and some sleep was possible inspite of the starnge timetable the driver was keeping too.. 3.30am stop in hypullygamhhuhdnkncojnoknsvior anyone?! Wierder still is that the indiginous population were very much out and about! However better was to come.. at approximately 4.30am I was woken from a light slumber by the sound of drums.. on waking up I realsied the bus had been surrounded by numerous savages dressed only in tea towels and carrying either fire or drums and more alarminly there were war elephants!! They might not have been war elephants but they were certainly mightly dressed up (probably a bit to Liberace for war, unless it was a trick to make the otherside piss themselves)... I can only convey slightly how exciting it is to wake up in Indiana Jones and the temple of doom! it was with soem sadness however that I realised I did not posses any of the 5 egg/rock/glowy in the dark jobbys and therefore it was unlikely they were after me.. mores the pity i think i'd look god with a wip..and I already have the hat.. hmmmmmmmmmmmm.
Anyway enough of such whimsy and on with my tale.. another long one i'm afraid.. Kerala! yes indeed, well after departing the bus at a town known as Alleppey we proceeded to book a houseboat for the following night (in fact last night would you believe it), house boat booked (more of that in abit) we then began to take in the sights and delights of Alleppey........... yes and then we got on our houseboat.. crap town made worse by the fact that we saw a sign for a place called camera world ( I have the notion to buy a nice digi cam owing to the rate at which i take pics and the price it'll cost to get 300 35mm rolls of film developed!). Camera world was advertised on a huge hoarding with many cameras littering its mighty spread, so we thought game on and went looking for it.. we hired an autorickshaw for the job, the driver of which assured us he knew of it and would whisk us there for 20 rs.. deal I shouted and we were off.. however the driver didnt know where it was and instead drove to a mate to ask him about 5 mins up the road.. he didnt know either but thought it might be in that direction.. again we stopped and asked and this time were accurately dropped off outsdie camera world... two problems now arrised.. camera world was situated only about a mins walk from our starting destination however 20 rs seemed a small price to pay for the 20 mins the driver had spent locating it! The second problem is that camera world couldnt really be called a superstore... or even a shop.. more a room with 3 cameras and an optimist inside who assured me he could get whatever camera i wanted within a couple of weeks... A let down may be but I was cheered by his manner and bid him fairwell despie his tempting two week offer!
Ok people almost done now.. so the houseboat I mentioned earlier.. not like one of your english variety canal flavoured rosie and jim long boats driven by 60 year old swingers and often found parked in Godalming.. these babies were full on floating hotels.. pricey maybe but for the cash you get a slave/servant a cook and a driver and a fully furnished bedroom with ensuite and a sun deck and out door dining room.. its nice. And so we spent 24hrs cruising round Keralas back waters and living it up! One notable moment would be lunch on Sunday where we joined some locals who offered us rum ('yes thank you but only a little') and some grub.. they claimed to be actors and carpenters.. which sounds about right i suppose and proceeded to get hammered where upon one of them trid to climb a coconut tree (i'm still not sure why).. surprisingly enough he felloff.. twice! Good times i think.. anyway the only other notable occasion really was the appearance of a massive spider and i mean f***ing huge!!! He kept on doing leg dances which would normally be amusing but when its the size of your palm is more threatening than anything else! Thank god our hotel room was hermetically sealed! no bugs for us ah thankyou.. the cook didnt look that amused when I pointed out his potential bed fellow though.. still i lefta tip, that should have made up for it! Anyway tally ho and here we are today.. in fort cochin just up the road from the house boat and we're planning on staying here a little while.. this morning we bought tickets for the 4th one day cricket match here.. whioch should be good fun.. although we got the cheap seats so might actually not see much cricket! still.. all in the spirit of supporting the motherland!
Thats it for now.. if youre still reading congratulations, its that spirit that made Britian great, anyway toodle pip from me I'm off for some Chicken Tikka Masalla ... you take the brit our of Britain but you cant take the Britain out of the Brit... I salute you all.
God save the Queen