We came across our first eunuch of the trip on the train from Palolem to Gorkana, a very brightly coloured and overly made up "lady" parading down the train stopping at each booth clapping her hands and making a grab for the cheeks of her male victims demanding money, there were a couple of chaps who took exception to the unwanted attention so some shouting and further cheek grabbing ensued to the entertainment of the rest of the carriage, luckily for me "she" didn't bother with the westerners!
After a night in Gorkana town we made our way to nearby Om beach which provided us with a great base for the next few days where we continued beach life with the usual regime and the occasional game of cricket. Accommodation is cheap there, only Rs150 (£2) per night for a basic hut on the beach and we had a good crowd of much younger 20 something backpackers in our place.
We got a little off the beaten track during a walk through the jungle to the neighbouring Paradise beach where we came out down a very steep slope onto the roof of someone's beach hut, not the normal path but after jumping the last 5ft we were safely there.
We reluctantly left the beach behind and headed inland to the ancient ruins of Hampi. The landscape here is amazing with massive boulders piled up on one another and littered with the ruins of a once prosperous city from the 14th and 15th centuries. We did a lot of or sightseeing by foot to the rickshaw wallahs distress, crossing to the less visited side of the river by a small coracle boat along with 2 motorcycles, their drivers, a family of about 6 and a couple of boatmen. Despite the many leaks in our overloaded craft we made it safely to the other side!
Lakshmi the temple elephant was adorable, we received our blessing from her by handing out a Rs1 coin which she takes in her trunk and passes to the mahout, then lifts her trunk and touches you on the top of your head.
Hampi has been a very relaxing place and we could have stayed longer whiling away lazy afternoons under the big mango tree but time moves on and so must we so its onto Mysore next then the hill station of Ooty.