Saturday, December 10, 2005

Humpy Hampi, Bed in Bangalore and (something beginning with K) Kerala

Well folks, I'm on my way down south to the end of the world, or so it seems.

Where to start? After Goa I trotted off to HAMPI which was full of tmples and boulders and the roads were very rough (hence 'humpy' - ok I know it's not overly inspired but i'm not after the Booker here). It was the kind of place one would want to spend ages in just hanging out. I took a day rickshaw ride with Mr Paul the rickshaw wallah, who, refreshingly, didn't mention ziggy ziggy or anything else, although he did tell his tragic tale of a romance with a french girl who promised to come back for him but never arrived when he went to meet her in the bangalore airport. this was last january and he's still waiting... it was very sad. So no humpy in hampi for him.

Then I moved off to Bangalore, and spent the day asleep in a hotel (2 night trains in a row are not good for sleep so the intervening day was the only chance). So I can't write much about bangalore. except they have good bookshops and it's very noisy.

Then off to KERALA for truncated touristy kathakali dance performances (6 hour epics reduced to an hour) which featured green and blue people leaping around on stage to tuneless drums and cymbals. Actually it was interesting enough, although I certainly suffer from the tourist disease commonly known as LAS (limited attention span) and don't know if I could have stuck it for 6 hours.

We also did the famed 'Backwater cruise' which was great, including traditional keralan food served up on a banana leaf, swimming in a lake, and visiting 'villages' (not at all put there just for tourists) to see rope making, cocunut alcohol drilling, fishing and other regional flavours. Again no ziggy ziggy.

Finally we went to Varkala, famous beach resort. The waves were very big and quite fun to ride, until hera, who can't swim, went out much further than us sensibles and had to be rescued, baywatch stylee, by the lifeguards (although I don't remember Pamela Anderson, David Hasselhoff and co. bargaining with victims over the cost of a rescue. Typical).

'4 beers or we no next time rescue '...

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