Intending to bicycle to some of the sights, I am tired from staying up late watching a movie so instead of getting going early (8 am) I don't even stir until 8. After brkfst Bon still wants to see the sights but now in tuk tuk on the way to Hospit & bus. Unfortunately, I am not very encouraging or supportive and besides the tuk tuk driver wants too much from the very start. With the entry costing $5 US alone and then he is asking another $8 US she becomes frustrated w/ the situation and dealing w/ haggling for a reasonable price. Angry at me because I do not sho interest in paying $5 to see the 3 sights, we go to Hospit by bus...
I have never seen as many bullock cars anywhere on our journey as I've seen here. It brings back memories of PC in the DR(Dominican Republic) where the bullock carts loaded w/ sugar cane were always heading for the mill from all about.
HOSPIT - ILKAL - BADAMI
Back on busy roadway by which we arrived only heading further N., no less traffic but this driver seems a bit more cautious. I've noticed that very few Indians men smoke and virtually no women, but the men do chew and this comes in little packets of many flavors.
Past Ilkal agric looks more orderly - fields bigger, actual piped overhead irrig sprinklers. However, the numerous bullock carts are just as likely if not more so, to have the huge spoked wooden wheels as the ordinary tires we've seen elsewhere.
Passed a dozen or more US style chicken 'manufacturing' outfits (1000s of birds in raised wire pens). Wouldn't be surprised if it's not a result of KFC influence. In this dryer area we see 'hedges' of a bright green, twiggy looking bush which later turns out to be something like the sensitive plants we have back home, where the leaves fold up where touched, but these are folded in the heat of the sun so from a distance it looks all twigs and no leaves. Plus lots of century plants used as fencing and here where there is so much granite rock they make/carve sq/rectangular, 5-6 foot long slabs for fence posts - couldn't ever find out how they attach the wire tho.
Once in Badami we walk across the street and check into Hotel Mookambika for 500 r. no qs asked, we're just glad to be here.
Bump into a Canadian couple (Michael & Shirley) looking for a place to eat...2 hours later we finally go to eat having chatted w/ these very familiar folks - in the sense that as it turns out later, they are in our 'age bracket' and travel much the same way we do, a rarity indeed!
Observations: See photo
From in front of the second cave looking down at 'lake' below, the echo of women pounding their wash on the multitude of steps leading into the water I wonder how many centuries scenerio has played out day in and out!
Mesmerized by the view I watch a pig wandering among the garbage piles below looking for breakfast, a cow strolling the streets for much the same. The hillside down to the lake is strewn w/ tourist litter, plastic bottles and chip bags of all colors, shapes, & sizes, bits and pieces of refuse in among the rocks and plants from the humans who have recently passed this way. I wonder what it looked like when this was an 'active' religious site some 600 to ??? (some say 2500) years ago? Once called Vatapi, capital of Chalukyan Empire (6th-8th cent AD), chosen for its natural beauty and easy defense, w/in 48 km of here during this time over 150 temples were built. There is writing which predates this period on rocks nearby from a Pallava peoples.
I have never seen so many pigs in one town anywhere on this or any other trip! I expect to see lots of feral dogs, India competes for first place in the world in this category, but never never expected to see pigs!
We meet Michael & Shirley at the caves and end up spending the day talking at Hotel Golden Caves Cuisine Restaurant in their garden area. Good breakfast, actually eggs, toast(4 pcs), and huge omelettes. Good dinner.
I find myself most thankful for our 'discussions' bring out many commonalities and enlightenments. Insights come to me at 4-5 am which tie together thoughts re: BE-HERE-NOW; Joseph Campbell & following our 'bliss'; the myth of control we seem to crave as well as addictions; numerological mysticism of 0,1,2,3,4 and the parallel universe of agony,ecstasy,terror,terrific; harking back to Seminary and man/woman seeking co-creation; the myth of union & sharing in an attempt to bypass the fear of being totally alone(Nietzsche & Death of God). Also, wrt addictions as a means of escaping the fear that we are alone and the evolution of endorphins which encourage our search for this high thru adrenalin boosters in the form of extreme sports, etc. My own proclivity to eat dessert first, search to free the endorphins trapped inside us, ha! More discussions reveal the communication myth - sensitive listeners & enthusiastic talkers: a long way from really connecting but far better than using a club. Still I wonder about sex between/among the genders and the future of males if humans survive into some 'enlightened' age?!
Late up to Golden Caves Cuisine, Michael & Shirley there...we eat and head for the bus stand after a second good bye only to find we missed the bus at 8 am(for once our spontaneity got the best of us) and decide to stay til tomor. Bon spends the afternoon attempting to buy our Mar 24th air tickets for return flight...first on line, then having to get our phone fixed to call 800 # for Brit Air in India, then after failing with this - no answer at any 800 # in India - she finds a US 800 # and gets thru, booking our flight in just a few minutes after 4 hours of tediously tracking every possible route to get thru,ha! That's India!
Go to dinner w/ Michael & Shirley, say good bye a 3rd time, and then cable TV bed time.
Shirley is an active artist in retirement. If you'd like to see some of her work check out her art in India Visit Shirley's Art in India
Or more of her art and bio: