28 Feb 2011

more pics from stunning Hampi

Lovely Severine and I the day we rented a bike with Cosimo

Local man with interesting boat

Hampi, palm trees and lots of monkeys!

Hampi is just made or rocks that look arranged by a giant
Beautiful Ganesh

Rocks everywhere

Clothes drying on rocks

Birds hanging out on the rocks.... where else otherwise?


Hampi village

Cutest kid ever, Cosimo gave him 5Rs and he wouldn't stop saying hello to us.

Detail of rocks just leaning on each other

Inside shiva temple...lots of water and BATS!

Our personal driver Cosimo. You've got to love the fact you can ride on a bike in 3 people in India

Monkey story and old friends

It's been a long time I know. Thanks for all the messages I got to which I didn't reply and sorry for not replying. Internet is just not my thing nowadays.
I would love to reply to all emails but I just don't have the time.

I left Omkareshwar to come down south to Hampi, to meet up with an old friend who used to live in London and whom I hadn't seen in 2 years. Lucia. It was SO great to see her again. Unfortunately I got very sick (stomach related) the morning after I arrived, so spent the day throwing up violently and having the worst diarrea ever in history! Thank God Lucia was there. I don't know what I would have done without her.
The story gets even worse....the day after, we woke up early and I was feeling full of energy so we went to visit the Hanuman Temple by scooter to see the sunrise. It takes 500 steps up a steep hill to reach the temple and we were amazed at the stunning views as we went up. We got up there and after a little while I decided to sit on top of the roof to meditate. I was feeling so good after having been so sick the previous day that I thought meditation would really help start my day. So I sat and placed my camera next to me and started meditating. I was so deep in my meditation when I heard a little noise... so I opened my eyes and saw a monkey holding my camera! I was immediately shocked and scared but tried to play it cool so I just looked at the monkey and said 'no'. As I went to take my camera from her and stood up the silly bi**h jumped on my leg and bit me... she wouldn't let go off my leg. Moments of total panic... I don't remember much as I am still in shock when I try to remember but basically I kept on moving and screaming while the monkey was attached to my leg with her mouth, legs and arms. At one point I happened to look behind me and some tourists told me to be careful as I was about to fall off the roof!That would have turned out in tragedy as there was nothing below. I had no idea....so I got even more scared and I guess I screamed more. Then a French guy somehow distracted the monkey and got my camera back... the monkey finally let go off my leg and I sat on the floor in total shock. I lifted my trousers and saw blood and the exact shape of her teeth imprinted on my left leg.
The temple's guru kindly medicated the wound for me and calmed me down. What an experience!!! Attached below is a picture that Lucia took whilst in my meditation, before the little monster attacked me. Look at the stunning view.

Meditating in front of a beautiful sunrise and stunning panorama

I calmed down and despite the marks on my leg we decided to go visit an Italian renunciate who has been living in the area for the past 25 years under a tree and then on top of a rock. He has now built a super lovely ashram in the middle of amazing rocks and next to a river. His name is Cesare and he is sooooo sweet. Lucia and I stayed the night there and to our astonishment he made pesto with his own basil that he grows in his garden and caponata! can you imagine? In the middle of nowhere... in India.... an Italian renunciate made us pesto, caponata AND a real espresso with a REAL coffee machine. We had no words! It was a really great experience to say the least and not for the food but for the atmosphere and energy around him. We woke up at 4am the next day and cleaned the ashram with him and Jose, a lovely guy from Spain who is staying there for some time. Then we showered with the hot water that they heated on wood fire and then we had the morning Shiva puja (prayer). It felt like we were in another world really. It was sooooo funny at the same time. Lucia and I couldn't stop laughing and repeating to each other how bizarre it was to meet there after 2 years we hadn't see each other.
Unfortunately we had to leave the next day as I was sick again.... this time it was even worse. We had to stop the scooter on the street for me to vomit and all the rest. I was in serious stomach pain. Again, thank God Lucia was there to take care of me. I seriously don't know how I would have even called a doctor as I couldn't do anything for so much pain.
I spent the 4 following days completey sick. I didn't eat and as soon as I had something I would vomit. It was terrible. Lucia went back to Italy in the meantime and I rented a scooter and went to get anti rabies shots for that silly monkey.  Then another old Italian friend who used to live in London arrived to Hampi as well. Cosimo! How bizarre to meet both in Hampi, really.
So I stayed a few more days and we had a great time with some other very nice people we met there. A few pics attached.
Cesare Baba

Nacho jumping into the lake from a massive rock

Happy Lucia after 500 steps and beautiful sunrise


Natural tramploline     
The other very nice highlights of my trip to Hampi are meeting the Italian consul (console italiano) from the Italian Embassy in Mumbai, with his beautiful wife and daughter (they were visiting Cesare too) and Folco Terzani! He was visiting Cesare because he has just finished writing his biography and was in the middle of deciding the book's title with him. How great to meet him in person! He is so easy going and relaxed. The funny thing is that I discovered Tiziano Terzani (Folco's father who sadly passed away recently) through a book called A Fortune Teller Told Me (Un indovino mi disse), given to me as a birthday present by Lucia 3 years ago the night before I flew to India the first time. How amazing to then end up in the same place as his son with Lucia after 3 years. Life is really surprising.
I am now in Mysore, a place where I have been wanting to go for the last 5 years as this is where the founder of the yoga I practise is from. I am currently meeting all the yoga teachers around here to then decide where I will do my teacher training. So far I absolutely love Mysore and would definitely see myself living here for a few months.
Good night to all. kiss kiss