Day 3 of this trip involved a visit to the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya museum, which was nice to walk around - it’s a gorgeous building.
Day 4 involved barfing and mostly staying in bed (rite of passage). No picture necessary.
But I’m skipping ahead to Day 5, where we flew to a town called Hubli and then hired a car to take us to Hampi, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and was once the center of the Hindu Empire in South India.
Hampi is a mere 140 kilometers from Hubli, roughly 87 miles. It took us four hours, bouncing over a state highway that is only partially completed, taking detours through giant mud puddles and alternating between dirt road and fresh new pavement. If you want a good investment, may I suggest buying stock in the company that sells shocks for cars?
Driving here (or riding in a car) is not for the faint of heart or weak of stomach. It’s like Mario Kart meets Frogger meets Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride. You zip through traffic, constantly beeping your horn and those beeps have all kinds of meanings: I’m on your left, I’m on your right, I’m behind you, I’m turning, I’m stopping, I’m annoyed with how slow you’re going, hello! Mumbai is constant beeping - it’s impossible to get away from. It’s a little less honky in smaller towns, but only because there aren’t as many people on the road. And while you are beeping your horn, you are slaloming through some pretty interesting traffic. Here’s what I saw on the drive from Hubli to Hampi:
Motorcycles - sometimes with three or four people
Tractors blaring Bollywood
Tractors with twenty people riding in the back
Giant brightly painted trucks
Herds of goat
But we’re here, safe and sound, and only a little worse for wear. And no one barfed. I have a video of the driving that I’ll add to this post once we have a better internet connection.
Addendum (Nov. 19): Apparently, drivers here think that using your lights drains your battery, so they don’t turn them on until it is almost completely dark. Best just to close your eyes and not look.