Well, I’ve been told India is a love hate relationship, I can see that, but right now, there is so much more love than hate. If I was a better word smith, I would dazzle you with my literary drawings of such a remarkable landscape. I would paint a picture in your mind so elaborate that just the thought of Hampi would make you drop everything and board that east bound plane. But I am not and you won’t, so instead, try to get your dirty fingers on a copy of Pilgrimage and watch the streaked blonde Sharma bounce from one mirco chip to the next. It’s real good action.
The beta here is to get out of Hampi downtown and go to the other side of the river, so quiet, so exotic, so beautiful. The locals more friendly and less invasive, the hussle and bussle is gone and the food is without compromise. The pad people rise early, hours before dawn and warm up as the sky turns a pale shade of orange. The boulders are very round, very perfect. It’s important to try your project before sunrise, because after it sees light, your trying effort will go up significantly. Even just one ray of vitamin D will spill over the entire boulder and make your starting hold feel like a wet fish.
By 10 am your tips hurt anyway, your smile hurts too and you return to base camp, slash paradise slash Goan Corner for a siesta and cup of tea, maybe even a good book, a smoke, or a bite to eat. Climbing resumes again around 4pm. It is the life for me, no doubt and I can’t seem to remember at all what -30 feels like, it’s all but a dream. My fear of germs is gone as well, I wash with local water, I eat whatever I want and I face the music, no matter what melody it brings. Like all world class climbing areas, we have met friends from all corners of the earth, charming, enchanting people, people with passion, stories and maybe a spot of hash.
I must get going, they are going to wash the elephant.