Leaving Hampi. A Lesson In Travel.
At 5:30am we awoke to begin our long day of travel. I had packed the night before so I helped Shawn search for items as he packed. The sun, not yet over the horizon, provided little light as we ventured out to look for our transportation. Our rickshaw was already waiting for us and we piled in with our luggage. The twenty-minute ride to Hospet took us through the lush, jungle like surroundings that lie on the outskirts of Hampi. The temperate breeze rushed over us as we sped past cows with brightly painted horns pulling large carts full of bamboo, crops and building supplies.
Revitalized by the fresh morning air, we arrived at the Hospet train station with plenty of time to spare. Half an hour later, our train rumbled into the station and we climbed on board the train that would take us to Hubli, a transfer station from which we would then catch a train to Mumbai.
Burnt into my memory are the beautiful rural scenes of that morning. It’s funny the details you remember and those you forget. For some reason that particular morning stuck with me, including a few travel lessons learnt that day. Here are a few good ones for early travel days:
1. Pack in advance. Pack everything you can the night before. Including a day pack or cross shoulder purse to keep important items safe and accessible.
2. Pre-plan your travel outfit. Lay out your clothing for the following morning and make sure they are comfortable if you have a long day of travel ahead of you.
3. Leave time for a ‘crisis’. Number’s 1 and 2, not only make sure that you are organized, but also gives you ample time for when your travel partner is not.
4. Arrange for transportation the night before. Many hotels in India will assist you in ordering a rickshaw or other modes of transportation. However, a number of rickshaw operators make backdoor deals with hotel owners to use their services exclusively, which means they may be more expensive than a rickshaw parked at a busy intersection. You can usually tell if this is the case because the same drivers will be routinely parked outside.
5. Bring a durable and pliable backpack. Fitting luggage into a rickshaw is an art… one you will have to learn fast.
6. Keep your camera ready at all times… I didn’t have mine out during the ride to Hospet and I am kicking myself as I write this post. There were so many amazing photo ops.
Until next time… Bon (or I should say Bourne) Voyage!