When the canoe-ish boat drops you off into this small hippie town, the contrast of the bright green rice fields and endless brown boulders filling the background is breathtaking.
In addition to it’s historical importance and beautiful landscapes, rock climbers from all over the world flock here to take advantage of the thousands of boulders. Andres was in heaven!
A typical day was to wake up at 6am before sunrise to climb at the optimal temperature. When the rocks got too hot by 9am we would explore the area with our scooter. This usually meant stopping by the many ruins, temples, and our favorite – swimming in the river or reservoir.
Obviously hoping to not get eaten by crocodiles.
Then head back to the rocks to see an amazing sunset and climb for a couple hours before a delicious curry dinner with our host family (we often try to avoid hotels in favor of staying with a local family).
Shivaratri & Sarees
The host family invited us to celebrate Shivaratri with them, a very important Hindu holiday. That evening they dressed us in local clothes and we made our way to the temple.
They packed food and sheets so we could spend the entire night “sleeping” on the temple floor. The place was packed with thousands of devoted Hampians. We loved the fact that they kept smiling at us (mostly at Suz) in full admiration, and saying “thank you.” We believe they were thanking us for being open to their customs. Then we wondered after that: How common is it for many of us to automatically be weary of anyone that is different from us within our circles.
Throughout the night people lit candles, offered food and flowers to their favorite gods, and watched dance performances. Sleeping on the rock-hard floor was not comfortable in the very least, but having the chance to celebrate something with our hosts, and feel like the guests of honor in a giant religious picnic of thousands was a once in a lifetime opportunity.
Up until now we had been very cautious with what we drank and ate. But I guess we let our guard down. Not sure if it was the water, our night of eating with our dirty hands at a temple, or just a bad meal but our sleepless night at the temple was followed by more than 36 grueling hours of stomach pains and fever. Oh well, no one escapes that in India!
That’s us, miserable on our sleeper bus on the way to Mumbai, ready to recover and collect some new fun stories