You know those moments where you just stop for a second and think either 'what the hell am I doing here?' or 'god I love my life!'...? Well it seems to happen about every 5 minutes here for me. Let me tell you about my last week or so.
We have a good little team here. Me and Dave down in the Goan Corner, Nick, Scott and Ellie up in Shanthi and Elka up the hill... apart from the locals and a small band of Israelis thats the whole population of Hampi Island at the minute. The monsoon floods cut us off from the rest of humanity and with constant rain, no electricity and food running out things were getting everyone down on our little inland island. But a little bouldering in between the rain and some good company keeps the smiles on our faces.
Then, mid floods, my friend Camille and her friend Sandy arrived on the other side of the river. After 2 days of their arrival and no communication being possible I sucked it up and escaped the island to the Hampi bazaar on the other side of the river... 1 coracle ride (A little round boat), 1 car rooftop ride and 2 buses later I got there and after bumping into Elka, also stranded now on the main side of the river, we found Camille and Sandy and had a nice night in the town. Next day Camille and Sandy were heading to Goa, so a short lived reunion but a nice one, then after meeting some nice new Israeli friends Elka and I changed our plans of trying to get back to the island and took up an offer of our local friend Kieran to come spend the night out at his house in the banana plantation.
About 10 of us all told headed out to the plantation, watched sunset from ontop of some huge boulders, ate a great dinner off banana leaves under the stars by candle light, played and sang music then slept under the stars. What an amazing night. I spent one more night in Hampi Bazaar with my friends Roni and Gal, sleeping again under the stars on a rooftop in the centre of town under a clear sky and full moon then I headed back to our island which was still flooded in requiring a 3 hour round trip to get to a place only 500 metres across the flooded river. Epic. One night in my own bed then last night we headed off to the Monkey Temple.
A week ago it was Ellie's birthday but she was sick and it was raining so the festivities were postponed. With nicer weather and the river finally down we all grabbed some gear and headed up to the Monkey Temple, a temple perched on boulders atop a mountain, to camp for the night under the stars. The Baba's told us we could stay in the boulders so we watched the sun go down across one of the most stunning views in the world then found a little niche between boulders to camp in. A little fire, some music and great company and we were all having a great time.
Then it rained. Rubbish.
The rain forced us all to seek shelter under the front of the hut the Baba's sleep in. The Baba's didn't seem to excited about their new guests but they didn't seem to mind too much once one that spoke english chatted with us. So an uncomfortable nights sleep being slightly damp and occasionally waking to find a half naked Baba standing over us watching us sleep which caused us all to wake terrified everytime someone opened their eyes, saw the watchful Baba and screamed in fear only for the Baba to chuckle, say sorry then amble off into the night time boulders leaning on his walking staff. So this morning we made it back to our once again accessible island ready for some rest and relaxation.
Stop. Hammock Time.