After an overnight train to Goa, I found myself a shady motorcycle rental guy on the corner and headed north to explore some beaches. My trek buddies suggested Anjuna and I only had a few days in Goa, so that seemed like a good start. Other than the shady hustler trying to scam money from me by attempting to convince me that my ears were really dirty (no joke, I saw a few people trying this scam…so bizarre), arriving in Anjuna was pretty amazing. When I got to the edge of the cliff, I just looked up and down the jagged coastline that carved out several beaches and rock formations. People were out exploring and sun bathing and enjoying the perfect weather. So I joined them.
And so did this guy. Did I mention cows are everywhere? They absolutely run the show.
After a few days of motorcycling and reading and sunshine and prawns, I jumped on a train (8 hour train in sleeper class = $4USD. Score.) and headed to Hampi to explore some ancient ruins. The main temple near the Hampi Bazaar is occupied by this big fellow named Lakshmi. Apparently he will bless you (tap you on the head) if you give him a rupee. I just took his picture. If you’re feeling adventurous, you can help bath Lakshmi in the river at 8am. I showed up late and snapped some photos, but didn’t get in and get my hands dirty.
Hampi has a ton of monkeys. They are everywhere just trying to steal a snack or a bottle of water or a camera…they’ll basically take anything they can get their paws on. This guy was hanging out in the temple and I was able to get up close and say hello. Tried to catch the sunrise over Hampi at the top of a temple, but it was cloudy both days so I just had a morning hang session with more monkeys. Watching monkeys does not get old.
The Queen’s Palace and the royal elephant stable are a major tourist attraction in Hampi. And after walking the grounds for a bit you might stumble across an overgrown field with lots of rock piles. Another cool aspect of India is that they don’t regulate too much (which also has its downsides), so even at a national park or tourist center, you can usually wander around and find interesting little spots that are slightly off the beaten path. That’s one of my favorite parts of traveling. So when I came across these rock piles amidst these ancient ruins, I decided to make a contribution to the future of India’s past. This was my first attempt at making a rock pile and I thought I did an OK job.
By: Will Noon