Out into the big wide world

A broken night’s sleep but up and away in good time for the station. On the way two enormous black water buffalo suddenly appear from a side road and are charging straight at us. Driver explains they have escaped from a nearby illegal fight in a field where thousands will be present. The winner is chasing off the loser. They swerve at the last minute and thunder past. They were both well over a ton I would imagine.

At 7.30am the station is a maelstrom of people parcels luggage children all to the sounds of bilingual blurred

announcements. The platform shows on the board so no problem. It pulls in a few minutes late but leaves bang on time. My seat is unoccupied on a bench of three. Not terribly comfortable but all I could book. A quick trip down the train shows no better in A/C 3. Finish the Dennis Lehane, stare out at the endless green and dusty landscape, watch a downloaded episode of “Outnumbered” for some cultural disorientation and occasionally stick the tablet by the window to check on GPS location signal.

The first hour has turned into four then five and then, about ten minutes late we pull into Hospet. Can’t say it was one of the all-time great train journeys. A lot of them were engrossed in phones and tablets, listening to pop music and dancing. One guy was doing repairs to a phone. Couldn’t avoid thinking most were semi-literate. Wondered why travelling. Work? It’s not expensive for them. Nearly all between 16 and 25.

The hotel is not far and reception efficient. The room is described as “cosy a/c” and located towards the back. Its a good size clean but basic. But the aircon works though the TV is an analog dinosaur. And I suspect few if any watchable channels.

My first task is to head out to buy a ticket for Bijapur on Wednesday. Finding the office is facilitated by the GPS on the tablet functioning offline. I can navigate just like the lost souls you see wandering through the streets of Venice.

Back at the hotel I arrange an all in package for Hampi on Monday.

Not having eaten since the veg sandwich from the resort I take the easy option and stay at the hotel to eat. It is well reported by T/Advisor. Called “Blue Mist” it lives up to this by having almost no lighting. Two veg and rice is more than enough, followed by a kulfi lollipop.

Need to set the alarm to make an early start for Hampi before it gets to hot.

And so to bed.

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