I know it's been a long time so here's a little recap of last time adventures. I've been from Mumbai, lively city to the music school in the woods, Kalkeri Sangeet Vidyalaya for a Shoot to Help report and some refreshing time in a mud hut.
Getting there was not the simplest thing though, we had a rough and funny bus ride from the school to Dharwad and from there we had to walk for a while to get to the other bus stand to get a bus to Hubli, a bigger town to catch a rickhaw that would get us to the train station to board a train of 3hours and a half, fully packed and standing the whole time while trying to convince an old dirty man that no, my cell phone was not for sale, not even for 250 rupees (5 dollars for a Galaxy S4) to get to Hospet to get another rickshaw to arrive, finally, in Hampi.
Hampi is a small village in the state of Karnataka and its geological and ancestral settings are unique. It lies within the ruins of Vijayanagara, ancient capital of an extinct empire from the 1500s as well as being surrounded by hills and rivers covered by countless orange boulders. Boulders everywhere from small to huge ones make it a climber’s paradise and the presence of ruins amidst this geological anomaly also makes it a photographer’s paradise. As I have come to learn, there are festivals in India, many many festivals and it was lucky for us to arrive right in the middle of one. Lucky in the sense that it gave me some good photo opps but unlucky in the sense that the little town was very crowded, the sights as well and the guesthouse rooms double the usual price.
Hampi is also a much laid back and relax place even with all the tourists and the festival goers. It was still possible to visit the temples and ruins during the times of good lighting and work on images and on Shoot to Help stuff during the day, usually on a rooftop restaurant on a mat on the floor with a low table, chilling out, sipping chais and lassis (kind of liquid yoghurt) and enjoying the view while being productive, one of my favorite offices in India so far!
Leaving Hampi after a couple of relaxing day and one Shoot to Help report on Hampi’s Children Trust, Vince and I took one of the most uncomfortable non-ac semi-sleeper night bus ever. Not only was it old and full of snoring people but it also got excessively cold during the night, as cold as 10 degrees! I had my tuque, scarf and I was still shivering! Arriving in Hyderabad at 6h in the morning also brought me a very strange surprise in this 3 million people extremely busy city. Hyderabad in the next post!