Having travelled in India before I know it as a country of wonderful food, sights, and rituals. But also as a country that tests a person almost everyday. Thus far I haven't been pushed to my limit on this trip... Until yesterday!
Hampi is a place with fantastic scenery, the accommodation not so much. A look at the photo here may explain to the reader why we put up with what we did for 3 days. This is the view off the porch swing of our deceptively cute bungalow. The boulders for climbing are literally a 3 minute walk off the porch.
When we checked in we noticed the bathrooms were not quite clean, but that's not unusual in India. We've become expert at going to the bathroom, showering, and doing laundry without touching anything. We discovered later that the toilet never really flushed. Don't get me started on Indian plumbing, but you can imagine what this situation amounted to after 3 days.
The first night of our stay we realized there were certain creatures living in the ceiling, probably mice. Oh well, the foam ceiling tiles look intact so, other than the occasional scurrying and chewing noises, we didn't really see that as a threat.
Eventually we started leaving the bathroom window open to air it out, and the bathroom door closed to the room. There were bars on the window so the monkeys wouldn't cause problems.
On the third morning I opened the door to the bathroom and sitting on the windowsill contemplating how he was going to get down was a rather large rat!
Ok that's it, I'm out of here!
I closed the door, left the bungalow and headed to town to find new digs.
A lot of things that we wouldn't tolerate in the states you find yourself just sort of saying, "oh it's not that bad", or "well we've dealt with worse", remember such and such a place. But after packing and moving to a new location in record time I sat and thought about what just happened. It's amazing how final and nonnegotiable the feeling is when you really do just hit your limit. There's no discussion or contemplation. It's like a switch flips and you just act.
Our new bungalow is great (I say that in the Indian sense of accommodation, it still has it's flaws, but they are within the realm of tolerable) and we are back bouldering and sight-seeing.
Last night we climbed 1000 steps to a Hanuman temple to watch a miraculous sunset over the vast landscape of boulders, rice paddies, and banana fields, that seemed to go on forever. It's like City of Rocks with palm trees!
Alison B. Sweeney
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