One of my favorite things to do here in Hampi is to go to a restaurant, not talk, just observe and see if I can determine what country each and every person comes from by thier accents. Not very successfully mind you, but who ever said you gotta be good at something to have fun.  You see, here in Hampi there are more westerners than there are locals sometimes, or so it seems – which is both good and bad.  Good if you want to relax in a chair with toast, jam a sprite or a thin crust pizza, bad if you want spicy dal or idli or you want to be starred at by 50 or so strange men and women while kids are pulling on your arms for school pens or spare change.  But, when you finally get sick of seeing too many white people, you can just go to some small town five miles away and it's like you just stepped into India all over again.  So, with all that being said, English is without question the most talked language here.  Everyone from Isreal to Norway, Germany to South Africa and Brazil to Japan, we all speak english as a common bond.  Therefore, it's fun to listen to different accents and determine what country they come from.  "hey tom, do you think that guy is from France or Belgium?"

"hmm – maybe Switzerland?" 

Turns out he's from Halifax and speaks a sort of Arcadian dialect.  You can always tell the Brits or the Americans becasue well, you just can, and the Spanish have a certain way about them as well, specially the women if you know what I mean?

So, some bad news and good news.  For some strange reason everyone has been getting sick, I had it last week and still haven't fully kicked it, (I read 'a walk into the woods' in about two and half days, a record for me) because I was sort of bed ridden.  Paul has it now, Danny and Pete got it again, Juan and Kenny are sick to their stomachs and Tom is still going strong, maybe it's the rum and beer he's sucking back each night that keeps him clear.  Whatever it is, he's pulling down.  The good news ias that it's not been as hot, the air quality is still thick, the sun is pounding down, but the wind is super strong, keeping the day to day activities quite pleasant.  The climbing is nothing to bitch about either, if we could only just ditch these colds and start squeezing to pull potential.

Last night I tried "middle way"  it's also known as the Pilgrimage Cover Boulder. Known the world over as the boulder on the front cover of the Pilgrimage DVD, also on the poster and one of the wildest looking climbs in the world.  It's the Mandala of India only it goes at V11, not V12.  Goddam Sharma is strong.  WHat's with that anyway.  The dude just gets stronger every day,  he's always getting stronger, I think he regenerates his cells at warp speed, like Wolverine, ever noticew that sharma can shave his head and then about three weeks later he has nappy dread locks down to his ass?  The dude grows at a neck breaking pace.  Me, not as much, I couldn't stick the dyno at the end, ARGH!  One more try tomorrow night with fresh tips.

So, here are some pictures frmo the last little while.  I promised my buddy Willy that I'd send pictures of the Elephant washing, so here's a few I got, hope they work.



YOu can tell by the look on his face, that he absolutely loves getting washed.  If it was up to him, he'd never leave the river, I'm sure.  Would you? 


I wans't quite sure what I had captured here with these two, scary, dirty looking monkeys, but it seems to be a mother looking over her offspring, an offspring with a face that only a mother could love.  If you look closely you may see through the black a grill of razor sharp finger severing teeth. 


No, this is not a needle (seringe), it's a school pen, the last one I had in my bag, the kid took it and since he had no pockets, decidedly put the thing in his mouth, but hey, it made for an interesting picture. 


My friend Tom snapped this picture at the last second, and damn if it didn't turn out strong, er so I think anyway.  SOme people in India are here in search of the perfect beach, not us, we are in search of the perfect boulder.  This is a delectably choice line with painless crimps, a good landing and an easy top out, hmmmm, I think we found a contender… 


Life is not easy for professional photographers. PB taking it easy after a morning session on the rocks.  He's been climbing super well, for a guy who hates bouldering and loves his offwidths, he's making us proud.  And still, he gets the shot that the rest of wish we got, how he does it I'll never know.  Look for Paul's pictures upon his return, a peek through his lens makes Hampi look pretty much like the coolest place in the world.  

OKay, I should get going, the powr is about to shut off and my compoooter time is up.


  • tim m

    Great pictures and great stories. helps me get through these harsh new england winters. Your focus on the totality of the experience is refreshing. Climbing as a part of the bigger picture.Thanks for the humble and humerous descriptions of a trip far more reaching than just the next hand hold.

    be well

  • Eric

    Great pictures…sounds like India is amazing. Anyway, I read A Walk in the Woods and enjoyed it too. After that I read Shantaram by Gregory David Roberts. It is a story set in India and it is quite a good read. While you are in India it might be even better. Have fun!