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Road trip to Hampi

sunny 30 °C


Eric and I began our journey at 7am from Kuddle Beach in Gokarna. As we drove our beast of a motorcycle through the monkey inhabited mountains of Karnataka, we came to appreciate the true beauty of the protected forests. We dodged families of monkeys as we drove for 2 hours through the twisty mountain roads and realized how rare it was that in an over populated country like India you can still find solitude. The mountains opened up and took us through 3 hours of dusty red farm lands. Plenty of smiles and waves greeted us from the men, woman and children of the lands. We drove over farmers crops that were scattered all over the road. Perhaps a new farming technique, we may never know. We drove by fields of corn, sugar cane, marigolds, sunflowers and chili peppers before the road brought us to a tremendously enchanting village called Hampi.

Dodging cows, no big deal

Hampi’s landscape is mystical with mountains full of world heritage monuments; ruins built in the 13th century and then abandoned and forgotten about for hundreds of years. The rice patties have been strategically placed among giant boulders formed from centuries of volcanic activity. The boulders teeter high and low, threatening the very existence of the small town if anything were to shift in the land underneath.

The holy Hampi river

Sunset view of Hampi's rocky hills

Our room was situated directly on the rice patties and we couldn’t help but spend the majority of our time marvelling at the beautiful sights and sounds of the natural landscape. Thousands of frogs would sing us to sleep night after night. But rice grows in stagnant water and stagnant water attracts bugs. Mosquitos, flies, beetles, worms, roaches, ants; more bugs then I have ever seen in any one place or time. They were everywhere, they were aggressive and we were in their territory! To say I had the hebejebes is an understatement.

Lakshmi the temple elephant

After being in India for a few weeks it becomes easy for me to relax my expectations for cleanliness. This is a big mistake, as it opens up many opportunities for food poisoning. I spent an entire day regretting my nonchalant attitude. This lesson I have been taught many times and have yet to learn!

I think this lady has Eric out tattooed

We made the 400km long journey back to Goa which took about nine hours. We found the experience of motorcycling to be nothing short of extraordinary. What we saw and experienced on the back roads of India will leave abundant memories that will last a lifetime. We returned to our ‘home town’ of Vagator. It is holiday time here in Goa and the province is jam packed with people from all over India. Many are celebrating the independence of India, and many are celebrating just for the sake of celebrating. We will stay here in Vagator for a few days, until the province clears out, then head to neighboring towns for a different scene of beach life.

Posted by H-Dizzle 01:09 Archived in India Tagged mountains sunset india monkey hampi rice_patty road_trip_hampi Comments (0)


sunny 35 °C

Busy Bali is always bustling with action. When we arrived late in the night we decided Kuta would be our best bet for guest houses that would still be open. Kuta is like a nightclub district on steroids. The sensory overload was overwhelming for me and I couldn't wait to leave. We stayed only a couple of days before heading to the Gili Islands.

Eric playing volleyball on Kuta Beach

Upon return to Bali we decided to stay in the more sophisticated, less offensive area of town called Seminyak. Although Seminyak is full of posh villas and luxury hotels it is still possible to find backpacker friendly accommodation. Bali is always busy but Seminyak is much more tolerable then Kuta.

Eric convinced me not to write Kuta off. We met another nice couple and went out for a night on the town. Kuta proved to be a good time for all. The clubs are radical and we didn't stop dancing until the wee hours of the morning. Kuta is also a great place for cheap shopping, but at the end of the day its nice to escape the chaos.

We rented a motor bike and traveled around the island. A couple hours away is a town called Ubud, also known as the spiritual capitol of Bali. We met some great people in this community of wellness. After eating delicious organic food and watching the local artisans paint, we ended the day with a rejuvenating Yoga class.

Ulawatu has beautiful beaches, temples and scenery.

This is what happens when tourist feed the monkeys. I didn't know Monkeys could be obese!

Temples at Tanalot

After almost 7 months of traveling Eric and I are excited to go home and see our loved ones. Asia has treated us well and has been an enlightening experience for both of us. Until next time. Om Shanti, Shanti. Namaste my friends.

Posted by H-Dizzle 23:04 Archived in Indonesia Tagged bali monkey seminyak kuta_bali Comments (0)


The animal kingdom

all seasons in one day 30 °C

Devastated by frequent natural disasters, and occasional terrorist attacks, the island of Sumatra has had a violent history. But tourism numbers are starting to register as the ecosystems rebuild and attract the nature enthusiasts. The locals are happy and hopeful for a brighter future.

Our flight arrived in the polluted capitol city of Medan late in the night. We were egar to get out as soon as we arrived there, especially after searching for what seamed like an eternity for a decent (ridiculously expensive) room to sleep in. Early the next morning we set out to find the islands most popular destination, Lake Toba. After a hot, sweaty, 6 hour smoke choked bus ride with the locals, we finally set eyes on the volcanic crater lake.


The volcanic eruption that created this crater lake is said to be the biggest in recorded history and actually altered the earths climate. The surrounding mountains are vibrant green and lush with fertility. They make a gorgeous back drop for the lake that is uncomprehendingly huge.

We stayed on Samosir Island in Lake Toba which was created by another volcanic eruption. For nearly two weeks we soaked in the fresh lake water and tremendous amounts of rain. We found a lovely family run restaurant Joe's Cafe just outside of Tuk Tuk. The husband Joe and wife Uli are amazing people and have the best food around.

Lush green rice patties surround the lake with the traditional Batik style houses.


Next we decided to head into the jungles of Bukit Lewang in search of Orang-Utans.


in recent years Bukit Lewang was victim to a horrific flood that wiped out the entire village and killed hundreds of people. The locals are still emotionally recovering as efforts are still underway to rebuild. Bukit Lewang is a beautiful river side village deep in the Sumatran jungle. It is home to rare wildlife including the Bohorok Orang-Utan.

We trekked through the jungle with a guide and were ecstatic to see the abundance of life. We visited cautiously with 200 pound Orang-Utans and photographed the beautiful Thomas Leaf monkeys. Around every corner was another surprise. The storm however, came with a warning of heart stopping thunder directly above and all around us. Rain in the jungle is merciless. I guess I shouldn't have sent my rain coat home.

Jungle peacock

Strange jungle bug

Thomas Leaf Monkey

After Bukit Lewang we took a cheap domestic flight to the north tip of Sumatra. Bande Ache, which you may recall, is the epicentre of the 2004 boxing day Tsunami that wiped out a large portion of Asia. We took a short boat ride from there to an island called Pulau Weh.
Pulau Weh sits at the meeting point for the Andaman Sea and Indian Ocean. This meeting point creates a unique abundance of sea life found no where else in the world and attracts many people eager to explore its waters.


The balcony of our bungalow stretched over the clear turquoise water. It was easy to spend hours just sitting in the hammock, watching the schools of colorful tropical fish swim underneath you. We spent days snorkeling and diving in these beautiful waters, following big octopus around, watching sea turtles and enormous tropical fish surrounding the colorful coral reefs.


We took day trips to Rubiah Island, which is a small Island adjacent to Pulau Weh, well known for its magnificent coral gardens. We met a good group of people from Erick's Green House and were able to get a few good volleyball games going.

Our time in Sumatra was well spent. To see how natural phenomenons flourish with beauty and diversity was a mind blowing experience. The people who have suffered come around smiling and help remind us not to hold on to the past. We decided to make a cheap VISA run to the Perhentian Islands in Malaysia ($20 return with AirAsia promo!) before heading back to Indonesia for another month. Stay tuned for the next update on another paradise island.

Posted by H-Dizzle 20:12 Archived in Indonesia Tagged animals monkey jungle sumatra pulau_weh lake_toba Comments (0)

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