The hallway’s furnace.
We leave Kalpetta in Kerala around May 24th. Our route is heading north … and yes, we have our visas Paskistanais in hand, now is the time to climb slowly on the road back to Europe. Gently because the distance from Kalpetta to New Delhi is about 2500 kilometers. So at least 3000 up to the Pakistani s border without counting detours.
We will wonder a little while on which road to follow. The basic idea and desire was to go up west coast and make a stop in Goa. But at this time, the region of Goa is immersed in the monsoons, intensive rain all day long. That road, which some friends have taken a while earlier, is apparently quite bad in some places. We are also restricted by time. We must be out of India before July 21st due to expiring visa.
All these reasons make us think that we would rather go through the central corridor that goes from south to north. After reading the map, this seems to be the best option … Let s rock ‘n roll!!
Then too, it is a rather atypical itinerary for visitors to India. Few travelers pass through some of the areas we were going to cross.
So we hit the road, with a first big step in mind :Hampi in Karnataka.
Hampi, a unesco world heritage site, is mainly made up of the remains of the capital of the Vijayanagara empire, the last great Hindu kingdom, whose extremely rich princes built many temples and palaces which admired travelers between the fourteenth and sixteenth century. Conquered by the Islamic power of Decan in 1565, the city was plundered for 6 months and then abandoned.
We arrive by trucks near the site, we are immersed in a beautiful landscape and green despite the desert region.
More than 1600 vestiges remain in Hampi: temples, palaces, gates, stables, bazaars, commemorative monuments, … all spread over more than 4000 hectares.
We immediately find a large car park fitting perfectly for truckers. We decide to settle there before advancing further towards the center of Hampi and the river which is 4 kilometers away. This point deserves to be shared, we can only encourage you to discover this jewels: 15.311850,76.474655
The arrival to the center of Hampi really take the guts. The harmonious landscapes mixed with the constructions of another century make us feel the power and the beauty of this ancient civilization. It reigns a mystical atmosphere in this place where many Indians always come to peel.
The life around the river is exhilarating with the monkeys deambulating like acrobats.
It’s that kind of place that give you feeling of being unique, incomparable.
Initially planned to stay 3 days, we will spend a good week in Hampi as t to discover it. The heat begins to rise crescendo from day to day, we check the weather more and more oftently and we see that the regions in which we are going to go will sink in a wave of heat totally unusual for us … feelings at 48 degrees are announcements .…
The forecasts are coming true. Once the road is taken again, our daily life will turn around the management of this heat. Dogs has difficulty to adapt and driving hours are a pain for them. We reach 45 degrees in the day. The nights do not go down below 35 …. We reach up to 50 inside trucks.
We quickly understand that to be able to drive, we would have to start very early in the morning or to drive at night. Driving at night in India is really not comfortable and even dangerous. Spotlight straight into face, obstacles, holes in the road, cows are difficult to anticipate. We therefore opt for morning driving! Alarm clock 4h30, departure 5h! From 10 am the heat begins to become overwhelming, so we look for a spot in the shade to try to rest …. Bridges, trees, … we do not have difficulties!
Of course we feel the need to swim to cool down. We will try to reach rivers, small lakes on the map. They are dry. The landscapes are barren, rivers are nothing but land without life.
The water shortage is currently in Chenai in Tamil Nadu, affecting the poorest first … those who can not afford the precious liquid.
We are aware of the hardness of the thing, for us but also for the Indians, for animals, for nature. In such warmth, the brain and the body do not work as usual. Some of us will be hot, and yet we drink on average 6 to 8 liters of water per day per person. It takes time for our body to adapt.
So of course it’s summer in India right now and in any case it’s hot. Of course there is something else. Just talk with the locals to confirm our feelings. We are there and we had it brutally real while crossing these regions of India: the world warms up and water is scarce.
In this furnace we will be stumbling upon real oases. Which a pretty original onel! We stopped near Balkonda in the hope of having access to a lake. Not being able to park at the edge of the water, we established our camp at 2kilometres near crops. The village will not be long in coming around and we will spend a beautiful day with them. We note the presence of a water retention pond that is used for irrigation. The latter is empty and has all the criteria to look like a small pool once full! With the agreement of the farmer we fill the bottom of the basin and spend our afternoon to ask for fresh water! We will even have the surprise of a seller of ice cream moped that comes from nowhere offering us icecream with feet in the water. Incredible India … we can never say it enough.
Another oasis will have been this river, beautiful, clean and inesperately full. Ivarmada river near Baarman will have been a real gift on our journey. We will take advantage to visit a small village settled on the edge of this river where we will have meetings of sacred characters …
The water becomes somewhat obsessive during such heat. Being able to immerse yourself in fresh water all over your body is just as intense every time. What it procures as well being is of a simplicity and a force that such drought reminds you of. It seems obvious to us, or we live in Europe, but it is not in many parts of the world.
Our visions of things must change, expand to be able to measure things.
We will not change our trucks for camels, sharing our roads when we go back to the North.
We will make a big stop in Jaipur south of new delhi where we make the latest gifts and amplifiers in this city reputed for its silver jewelry and stones.
In a few days we will cross the border towards Pakistan.
What to say except that it’s a funny feeling after almost 6 months in India.
Probably we will realize when this theater of everyday life will be transformed into memories