The Hills Have Eyes (Brown ones..)
18.10.2014 - 20.02.2015 33 °C
Well the trip to Hampi was somewhat hampered by a rather horrifying bout of delhi belly on the overnight bus. This was further accentuated by the lack of suspension during the journey which ultimately required me to spend the whole fateful duration clenching my ass shut . Something that concerned me greatly was the fact that I was also sharing a 'berth' (small double bed on board) with Yvette, who I did not really want to soil.
When we finally arrived in Hampi around 5:30 in the morning, we were confronted by the lariest bunch of local papparazzos I've ever had the displeasure of being assaulted by. We hadnt even exited the bus and already we had pictures, leaflets, pamphlets of all sorts being rammed in our faces. This, coupled with the overwhelming sense of dread that I would soon be enduring an episode of mortal delhi belly, was enough to make anyone lose their rag. We eventually located the young gentleman from the Hotel we had booked, and confusingly discovered I had booked the wrong dates and we were supposed to arrive the day before. Just get us to the hotel please kind sir! Just 20 minutes in his rickshaw and we were fixed up with a big room, and a functioning toilet so I was happy (ish).
We had a couple of hours sleep and awoke at a more reasonable hour, had some breakfast and booked a day sightseeing tour of all the ruins and temples the area was famous for. I was still feeling pretty rough, and Yvette wasnt right either but we braved it and had an amazing day being taken around all the ruins in the baking heat. Our guide was really funny, albeit a bit of a psycho, and made us meditate under a tree for 10 minutes. The ruins themselves were out of this world and some of the most vast I had ever seen; Hampi is after all a city built on top of another city. After 4 hours, we were still going and had to ask the guide to take us back as things were getting bad again.
Back at the hotel, Yvette and I had a nice lunch which was followed by another stomach lurching episode. Thats when things got started. I had to go to bed and slept fitfully all afternoon. Yvette, knowing that she couldn't do anything for me, went for a walk, saw some temples, and got blessed by an elephant (yknow, the usual) before returning to find a very sick, pale and sweaty looking Kirsty (ass and bog seat now one entity). One look at me and she reckoned I needed a doctor. She kindly arranged this with our hotel boy and by 6pm we were being driven in another ass-clenching rickshaw to a doctors surgery.
Having spent a lot of time in India, I knew it was likely to be someone's house, a barn perhaps, or maybe just a man on a stool on the pavement. I wasnt far off. It was basically some guys house next to a lane where feral stinking pigs were roaming around. The front porch was occupied by around 15 Indian people of varying ages, all amidst a mushroom cloud of mosquitos. Great. I couldn't even stand and had to sit down and just deal with the mass eye-balling we were getting from everyone. Even then though, Yvette and I saw the funny side and laughed like a pair of loons at the bemused folk around us, and the horrible situation we had yet again found ourselves in. Things got even more ridiculous when I was called inside and made to lie on a cold steel filing cabinet. Of course. I was given the once over (no anal probes) and told I had a stomach bug and throat infection which he would treat with 4 different types of pills, all of which were given to me individually. Of course. I couldn't feel any worse I supposed. We said goodbye to our fans outside and hopped back into the rickshaw. Inexplicably we were joined by a strange young girl who's family bundled her in with us and told us to look after her. Confused, we did nothing to stop this as weren't exactly given a choice...I never thought I would have a daughter and during the ride back wondered how I would get her back to the Isle of Man. We all sat in confused silence on the way back, however once at the hotel, my problem solved itself when the girl promptly deserted us. I ate some porridge with my meds and took a book to bed.
A couple of hours later however, I had a spectacular bout of barfing and threw up all the porridge and probably the medicine too. Yvette was my little angel, fetching me water, making me take more pills etc but unfortunately I just deteriorated and got worse and worse. I was intermittently spewing and shitting every couple of hours. The worst point of the night came during the wee hours of the morning. I stumbled out of bed and into the bath room, and sat on the toilet. My body was rapidly overheating causing my head to spin. I grabbed a nearby bucket and started barfing into it (simultaneously causing more insufferable pooping). My vision started to go black and in sheer panic, I stood up from the toilet (pants still around my ankles), and proceeded to collapse through the open door, hitting my head and landing in a crumpled semi-naked shitty heap on the floor next to Yvette who was in bed. She helped me back into bed where I spent the next half hour going in and out of consciousness. At the time, I will admit I was very worried and just wanted it all to go away. But looking back on it, it was typical...things like this could only happen to me.
The following morning, I was still not looking too good but the worst of it seemed to have passed. I still couldnt bring myself to leave the safety of the hotel room until later that day when Yvette and I went to a nice cafe for some lunch. As both of us were still not feeling 100% we went for some nice plain baked spuds, washed down with lassis. We were supposed to be leaving that day but ended up booking an extra night as the thought of having to endure another long trek on public transport was enough to induce more vomiting.
The following day we checked out of the hotel and went for a walk around the main temple where we were each blessed by a goddam elephant - her name was Laksmi and she was pretty
By this time I was feeling much better, almost spritely actually, and we decided to kill some time catching up with folk in an Internet cafe. We hadnt been there more than 10 minutes when I saw that all familiar uneasy look of doom cross Yvettes face. In that moment, I knew. And she knew. Without saying a word, she looked at me, nodded and dashed to the nearest toilet. When she returned, she simply said 'Ravi's is now out of bounds'. That was unfortunate. Ravi's was a restaurant recommended by Lonely Planet, and where we were due to have dinner later. I dont know what exactly happened that afternoon in that toilet, but one thing was sure, Yvette would not be stepping foot in the place again.
The obscene amount of pooping that occurred the rest of the morning was enough for us to know we needed to check back into our room and pay a day rate. When we went to enquire about this option, we both noticed an unmissable look of apprehension cross the hotel owners faces...almost as though they were considering denying us the room. Thankfully they agreed and we were shown back to our room, which was in the process of being 'aired out'. I was mostly embarrassed recalling the horrendous amount of shitty, pissy bog roll we left overflowing in the toilet bucket when we checked out of the room. By the time we checked out again later that evening, that loo bin was full to the brim again.
Right before we made our way to the bus that night, I stepped into Ravi's for a takeaway bottle of their finest special lassi (naughty marijuana drink). It was a bit of a gamble as I was still recovering really, but I was determined to enjoy a special lassi during my trip and who knew if I would find one again. I drank over half of it, but not all of it...striving for the perfect balance of sleepy/happy... The rickshaw ride to the bus station was absolutely magical. And the bus was out of this world. I thoroughly enjoyed every minute of it...dodging people, passing cows, near collisions with other vehicles and all manner of obstacles. It was most satisfying and I would even go as far to recommend it.
By morning(6am), we had reached Mysore and checked into the local asylum...the only decent looking affordable hotel, which later turned out to resemble some kind of medical facility from the victorian era. It was most strange. Each room had a doorbell, a broken telly, and a couple of randomly placed benches. And beyond the bathroom next to the bog was a door which could only have opened directly 2 stories above the street below.
It wasn't just the hotel that was confusing. Having been carrying a rancid sack of disgusting dirty clothes around with us we were eager to stick them in laundry. We enquired about this at the front desk, which was occupied by around 7 assholes. They understood what we were asking, that much was clear, but they obviously just wanted to f**k with us and started telling us all manner of bullshit. They could only do our laundry later that night and it wouldnt be dry blah blah blah. W*nkers!! Anyway we caught a couple of hours shuteye and set off at 11am to find a laundry place. We were given many conflicting directions from various people, again all set out to f**k with us, and just could not find a place ANYWHERE.
Mysore was looking pretty shitty on first appearances, walking around there wasn't much attractive about it. We ducked into a canteen for what would be one of the best thali's we would have. This thali was served on a massive leaf, with around small dishes of sauces and curries, and no utensils at all. Looking around, everyone was eating with their hands, faces and fingers covered in mucky looking gunk. It was great and Yvette and I immersed ourselves in it. It also cost 50p. After leaving here, we took a rickshaw to the zoo, which Lonely Planet described as being one of the better ones in India. They weren't wrong really, the zoo itself was pretty good with nice big open enclosures for many of the animals. It was the people that were the problem. Throwing animals food, screaming at the animals, taunting the animals, poking the animals. DICKHEADS. ALL OF THEM. Unbelievably there were actually signs asking people not to do these things 'do not tease the animals' etc...what a ridiculous nation. It was becoming infuriating and when people started staring at us and asking us for pictures of us, I really wasn't in the mood. My death-stare got plenty of practice that day.
As we were leaving the zoo, it started shitting down. We tried desperately to cross a road for about 10mins and were almost killed in the process. Eventually we hailed a rickshaw to take us to beer. Lonely Planet told us to go to the Pelican Pub which was a fantastic shout. Lovely surrounds, lovely people, lovely western toilets complete with lovely boll roll.
After a couple of beers, we realised we had left it awfully late to go to Mysore Palace (the reason we were in Mysore at all) as it closed at 5pm. Hailing another rickshaw, we got our asses there as soon as we could and thankfully made it in time. The palace was absolutely stunning; some of the most incredible intricate detail I have ever seen and well worth the trip. We had to walk around it in bare feet, and were to keep moving at all times - no stopping - and no pictures. The place was just so amazing, I'm not even going to try and put it into words. We had just collected our shoes and were on our way out of the palace when I felt a sharp tug. I spun around to confront 2 pretty Indian ladies caressing and cooing over my greasy, smelly, dank, but apparently beautiful amazing long blonde hair. It was something of wonder to them, yet to me it looked like shit. I smiled at them which caused them to laugh uncontrollably at my ridiculous face. Let's go.
After the palace, we decided to hit up the railway station to check trains to Kerala. The only thing we achieved however was more merciless fannying. The trains were a nightmare, none of them going directly, and all of them at ass-hole times. We were advised to get a bus, however were told no sleeper buses, only upright seats. Well jesus shitting christ. This was bad news. The trip was going to be a good 16 hours.
Back in town, we shopped around and were eventually led to a corner shop by a bungling idiot who after making us wait for 30mins for his uncle to come and use a laptop to book our tickets, then charged us an inexplicable amount to get to Kerala. Having already been given an obscene amount of bullshit information, advice and directions (all wrong) over the past couple of days, I could see Yvette was about to lose her rag with the guy so once we got the tickets, we well and truly stomped off back to the asylum for what would unfortunately be an asshole of a night.
We got into bed and started having a read but around 9pm were interrupted by some absolute dickhole in the corridor shouting his head off for about 10mins on the phone to someone. I swear, everyone in this country is obsessed with talking on the phone. whenever they can they will! Forget text, facebook and other apps..they are all about the phone calls. Noisy ones too. Well we let it go on for about 10 minutes then Yvette went out into the corridor and gave him the good old stare down. The man didnt even flinch but eventually did shut the hell up. Ahhh silence....
About an hour later however, we were rudely awoken by the unmistakable sound of furniture being moved around. This noise was then joined by another noise. Drilling. It was 10:30pm. What the actual f**k was this shit? It was so unfathomable- like everything in India - and so stupid. I mean, they just do not use logic in this country. Why would this even be happening at this hour? Yvette, sensing I was on the verge of another breakdown, promptly got up, opened the door, and silenced the idiots with a harrowing bird-like squawk.
Managing to sleep after this fiasco, we were then woken at 6am by very very loud Indian music being played somewhere outside. Yep. Because that's just hot they roll.