Ian & Claire's Adventure
Roasting HOT (over 40deg) Hampi Bazaar, a now reinhabited ancient bazaar with people running stalls and living in the old stone structures that run up and down the main wide high street. At the busy end is the awsome site of the pyramid shaped Virupaksha temple. After avoiding the many offers of a hotel, we parked up at the recommended Rama Hotel, just a stones throw from the temple. After a quick lunch we crashed out until the evening. Its very humid in Hampi and apparently due to get much woirse so any restaurant with a cieling fan is an attraction. We ate at the popular Sri Venk cafe which became our haunt, just for its friendliness. Ou dinner was ok but we saw others eating the thali which looked great and an absolute bargain, its a selection of small dishes with rice nan and popadum for just 35R. On the way out that evening we saw an enormous monkey, different from the others, who, after posing for a photo, nicked a load of bananas from a nearby stall. We soon realised that the temple was swarming with monkeys and cows freely wandered the streets. After dark and shortly before everything shut down at 10pm we were treated to a procession where shopkeepers broke open coconuts and made an offering to a donkey shrine being carried down the street accompanied by some mad local drummers. We followed them into the temple and watched a ceremoiny involving swinging the shrine on a huge swing. We found out later that it was the full moon festival.