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tappers’s Travel Diary

Tuesday, 23 May 2006

Location: Hampi, India

MapNamaste everyone, just a quick update to let you all know what is going on with my travels!

Since i last wrote to you i spent an extra few days in Goa - zooming around on my rented motorcycle. Got to check out some realy beautiful and secluded beaches aswell as an abandoned Portugese fort amongst other things! On one of the days i took the motorcycle in a drive through the Cotigao National Park in the hope of spotting some wildlife - only saw a few things such as lizards and butterflies until we were attacked my monkeys who pursued us through the trees, one handy tip though, a motorcycle can go a lot faster than a speeding monkey!!

From Goa we took a day trip to the holy village of Gokarana - this was a truly amazing experience because the village has been entirely untouched by the western world and thus remained the same for hundreds of years! All the houses are made from wood and the area is full of beautifully designed temples and places of worship. Gokarna had a really good vibe and it was truly strange to see women painting intricate designs onto the floor and doorways to ward off evil spirits! Gokarnas streets also contained huge wooden chariots which had been abandoned hundreds of years ago but still remain in perfect condition!

After Gokarana went to Panjim (Panaji) which is the capital city of Goa - the place has a Portugese influence with lots of rustic colonial mansions and huge catholic churches located at the mouth of the Mandovi river! From Panjim we daytripped to Old Goa which was once a great city which has faded in grandeur over the years - all that remains now are huge cathedrals and monastries all containing marvellous gold interiors and one contained the fully preserved body of St Francis Xavier!

From Old Goa took the bus to Hampi - the only avilable seat was on the local bus crammed with hundreds of Indian people and their luggage! The journey was probably the least enjoyable part of my trip so far - especially when 8 hours on the bus turned into 12! BUT despite this i got to see some fabulous mountain scenery and witness the traditional life and culture of the Indian people which is truly fascinating!

Have just spent teh previous three days in the town of Hampi which was a truly magical place - the land there is how you would imagine Mars to be with hundreds of precariously percghed boulders and rocky outcrops! Amongst this were over 2000 Hindu temples, palaces and markets - which are now in ruins but spectacular to walk around! hampi gave me the oppurtunity to completely chill out and dettach from everything! Especially climbing a mountain to visit the temple of Hanuman the monkey god which was infested with monkeys! Can't even describe Hampi in words - but i will try to upload some photos of it asap!

Last night the monsoon started - have never seen lightning and rain like it in my life! I am talking constant flashes every five seconds for the whole night! Houses and trees were blowing down - which wasn't good because we needed to catch an overnight bus to Bangalore - despite the stress and panic we managed to catch the bus!

Everyone we met has warned us not to visit Bangalore as there is nothing there - and i can confirm this as 100% true, it really is teh dullesty place on earth! We must have spent two hours there this morning before deciding to move onto our next destination. Am currently in Mysore but can tell you nothing about it as i have only just arrived - its better than Bangalore though...