In the end, Bijapur turned out to be quite an interesting place, despite the mosquitos and coackroaches of our hotel room. We visited Ibrahim Rouza Mausoleum and the amazing Gomgulaz with its whispering gallery. In the latter, it was possible to climb to the very top and not only enjoy the amazing views, but also experience your voice being echoed ten times... and you can be sure that locals were making good use of this facility. They just seem to love being noise, no matter where or how sacred the place might be. However, the most impressive thing about Bijapur was, once again, its people. We were thristy like hell and approached what looked like an open-air terrace just to realise that it looked more like a private gathering and turned around ready to leave the place, when everybody started calling us and asking us in. Well, it turned out it was a funeral, but the whole thing was so festive that Toni was about to say 'nice party!'. Luckily, we were told about the death of a relative before we opened our mouths to say anything terribly out of place... They fed us with the most spicy food ever and stared at us (there were at least 200 of them and I'm not exagerating) while we ate, or tried to eat, with our hands. It was a big show for them. Women stared from behind a wall and apparently weren't allowed in, but smiled at us and showed us the dead woman's shrine and stamped one of their colourful dots between our eyebrows. You can imagine that the photos are quite funny, to say the least.
Our next day was devoted to taking buses again. It's becoming a habit and quite a peculiar one. Two trips are never alike. The first bus took six hours to get to Hospet and was the bumpiest trip we've experienced so far. Several times I had to second check my breast were still there. The funniest thing was this elderly lady who sat next to us chewing up coca leaves and cracking up in laughter with every bump on the road. She was so thin and tiny that they almost sent her flying from the back seat straight to the rear seat of the bus, but she was probably to high to realise the danger involved in the whole experience. The second bus trip was only one hour from Hospet to Hampi, but quite trip. I have mentioned before that buses tend to be crowded, but this one simply beated all. All seats were taken and we had to stand among hundreds of school children in the most beautiful of uniforms. The experience was nice, but we sweated like pigs and had to hold on to every possible gadget sticking out at our reach. We are now in Hampi, which is simply put, paradise itself!!!! The landscape has drastically changed from maize, sunflower and cotton fields to the greenest rice fields, palmtrees, the most gorgeous river ever and huge stones that make everything look like prehistoric ruins despite being just part of the natural landscape of this area of Karnataka. I can't describe how happy we are to be in Hampi. It's such a beautiful, peaceful, different little town. You just sit on a rooftop and the changing colours of the stones and the sky are enough to make your day complete. I think we will stay here for a few days, this place is too good to be real and there are so many things to see here. Just in fron of our hotel, right there, there is a 50 m.-high temple, Virupaksha Temple, so that's our view from the rooftop restaurant. Not bad, uh?
I want to send a big hug to Marta, Rikke, Simona, Yaroni & Tali, Melida and Vicky, because I haven't thanked for their sweet emails yet. I was very happy to hear from Rikke, who hardly ever writes and to hear that she's actually checking our website regularly. Thank you, Rikke, it really does mean a lot to me that we don't lose touch. Marta, that week in Japan must have been amazing!!!! Simona and Checco, please do consider joining us somewhere along the way, it could be so amazing!!! I miss you so much!
Okay, that's it for today. Hope you are all having a wonderful time wherever you are and all our love to our parents and family members, who suffer our happiness with joy. Thank you for being there! Daneowat! We might not write again till we get to Goa, which won't happen until the 15th of February, but you never know...
Idoia & Mikel.