I have found a new interest in travel these days. It goes well with my other interests like reading and photography. I imagine of traveling to distant places with a book in hand, a camera around my neck and a bag at my shoulder all alone. I got this travel bite first when I was roaming around Scotland. The scenic beauty of Scotland had bought a change in me. Two days spent there, it was like heaven. I had this feeling when I was hiking through “Ben Navis” in Scotland all alone. I felt my mind was so relaxed and I was able to think of lot of things with a calm mind. This feeling I don’t know how to explain but it happens occasionally. At that moment I feel so high. I can’t explain that feeling in my words.
When returning back from Scotland all my friends were asleep and I had to be awake to keep company to the driver. It was so calm and traveling in the Scotland high roads was fucking awesome.
There are few places in earth which you feel you have some attachment with it. You have the long desire to visit this place. One such place for me is Hampi. I am not sure when I first fell in love with this place. But I wanted to visit this place for a long time. Just looking at its images in Internet and reading blogs about people who visited it always turned me on. I dreamt of a day when I would roam the streets in Hampi and click pictures. I was so desperate to visit Hampi. It was in my list of things to do before I die.
Now back to Hampi. First I had planned to visit this place after returning from UK along with a friend of mine who also had interest to visit Hampi. But it didn’t work out as planned. After shifting to Bangalore, I felt a step near to Hampi. I was asking my friends to accompany me. We planned a lot of times, and none of the plans worked.
Last weekend I had plans to travel to Mayiladuthurai in Tamil Nadu. But as always plans just don’t work. So I had yet another weekend ahead of me, with no trivial things to do. I was planning on thursday night what can be done this weekend. Few options popped up. One among that was to travel to Mumbai, drink a cup of tea in Taj and return in the next available train to Bangalore. Another option was to travel in random trains for the two days continuously and reach Bangalore by Monday morning. I also had plans of going to Hyderabad, Cochin, Chicmanaglur etc with no plans ahead. I checked the ticket availability and found only costly bus tickets to Hyderabad, Mumbai and Cochin. And traveling in random trains needed at least a little bit of planning or else I will end up in some corner of this vast country in Monday morning. I checked the ticket availability for Hampi, and bong it was available. So booked tickets and started to plan things. One thing I was afraid was rain. The forecast suggested it would rain for the whole next week. I found it only after I booked the tickets. If it rains, I will not be able to get out of the room tomorrow.
Friday night all set. I was feeling excited and a bit afraid. I am traveling alone for the first time. I don’t know the language. I don’t know Hindi as well as Kanada. It might rain the next day and I might not be able to do anything in Hampi. But excited in the same way that I am following my dream. Traveling all alone with my kindle in hand, camera around my neck and my bag at my shoulders.
Boarded the bus to Hospet from Bangalore KBS. Woke up in the morning and saw through the window. It had rained in the nights. The place was looking green and beautiful. I was expecting a place full of boulders with no green on them. But it was all green and a few boulders around. Reached hospet and was waiting for the bus to Hampi. I asked for the bus to board and waited for the bus and was watching the people around. The town looked similar to any Tamil Nadu town. Children in school uniforms on their way to schools and people going to work. Except the few foreign tourists around, it all looked the same.
I had inquired about the next bus to Hampi in the information desk. He shouted back at me 7.15. I didn’t feel like asking him in which platform and moved away from him. My best bet to get into the right bus was to follow the foreigners around. Did that and got into the bus.
As I like to do it everywhere took the last seat in the bus. When the bus stopped there were a bunch of guides and auto-wallas trying to get a customer. I asked a auto-rickshaw guy to take me to a place, I had read about this place in blogs. They had mentioned that it is the best place to stay and it is across the river. But the auto guy said the other way. He said to me that if there is a rise in water level the boats stop working and you will be struck in the other side of the river for days. So I followed his advice and asked him to take me to cheap guest house. He found me one and also helped me rent a motor bike for the days trip and departed.
I did get ready and then started moving without aim. I didn’t know were to start and where to look. I was just riding my bike when a bunch of school kids asked for a lift. I stopped and within a few seconds all three were in the bike and the fourth guy was trying to jump in. I asked them where they want to go and asked them to show me the way. They did and we reached Kamalapuram. On the way I had found few boards marking the places. So now I knew where to start. There started my journey. This is just a beginning. I will travel more in the days to come.