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19/06/2009

19/06/09... et au gré du vent les voyages vous transportent...

P1110137 [800x600].jpg18h24 - Heure de Saigon. Retour de mes 4 jours,  isolée du bruit et de tout à Phu Quoc. 4 jours nécessaires pour commencer à prendre du recul et digérer tout ce qui a déjà été vécu... 4 jours pour faire un point sur ce que va être la suite de mon voyage jusqu'à mon retour...  4 jours pour prendre des décisions et choix cornéliens... 4 jours où j'ai du demander conseil à quelques uns de mes proches... Et finalement les décisions tombent.

J'ai donc décidé de ne pas aller en Amérique Latine, privilégiant le fait de rester à Saïgon pour poursuivre l'approfondissement de ma culture d'origine, de la langue. Choix cornélien entre continuer à découvrir d'autres cultures (comme l'Amérique latine) et se "limiter" à l'Asie. Un tour du monde qui se limitera à l'Est, l'Ouest ça sera pour une autre fois. Parfois... Parfois il faut adapter son voyage en fonction des circonstances... Et de me souvenir d'une phrase de Sara me disant que si je me sentais bien à un endroit il ne fallait pas hésiter à y rester.. ou sinon partir.

Ce que j'ai fait globalement depuis le début de mon périple. La raison est simple, matériellement parlant, je n'aurais pas le temps de poursuivre du côté ouest, il a fallu trancher. Et de décider que je resterai fidèle à une règle que je m'étais fixée, ne pas courir, ne pas agir quantitativement mais plutôt qualitativement... De fait je reste au Vietnam jusqu'à fin juillet. Deux mois dans ce pays au lieu des 10 jours initiaux... Ainsi va la vie. Je préfère apprendre la langue de mes ancêtres (enfin commencer à la baragouiner) plutôt que de poursuivre plus loin mes découvertes. 1 mois et demi à Saigon, puis je remonterai vers Hanoi, d'où je prendrai l'avion pour retourner à Tokyo.. Tokyo à nouveau... ça avait du sens aussi.

Cloturer l'Asie avec Tokyo, cette ville qui m'a tant marquée, fêter mon anniversaire là-bas par la même occasion, retrouver ceux/celles que j'ai laissé(e)s là-bas et d'où je suis partie avec un sentiment d'inachevé. J'y resterai jusqu'à début Août, puis j'irais rejoindre Nanie en Australie... soit jusqu'à mon retour à Paris, soit toujours au gré du vent, une escapade ailleurs si le coeur m'en dit à ce moment là. Au final l'Inde, la Chine, le Japon, le Vietnam et l'Australie + une inconnue encore. 5 pays en 5 mois et demi, ça donne le temps d'approfondir... Ce qui m'intéressait plus que de sautiller de lieux en lieux. Je repartirai en voyage.. à travers les continents... Si ce voyage m'a recadrée à bien des niveaux, il ne m'a pas oté le goût d'ailleurs, voire a exacerbé cette envie...

L'Asie m'aura décidément happée... et finalement ça a du sens aussi .... :) ... Je confirme les dates dès que j'aurais démêlé toutes mes histoires de billets avec British Airways/Finnair... je sens que ça va être encore simple cette histoire (déjà au Japon j'ai du changer 3 fois !)

31/05/2009

Jeudi 2 Avril - 17ème jour - Hampi

P1060650.JPG(If you want the first note, click HERE - I write in english for Alex and Elly // please native english speakers correct the grammar/Syntax/Vocabularies in the comments if you read that).

I woke up very early this morning around 7 am, because I knew that visiting Hampi after noon would be very hard, according to the high temperatures. And I wanted to have a chance to catch Alex and Elly at their hostels as well. I am now in Tokyo, writing this note, we are May 25th, 1.30 am, and I still remember this morning as if it was yesterday. Plenitude, well-being, the silence…

As I love Paris by night between 3 and 5 am, during the week, when the city is suddenly out of activity, I loved this wonderful morning seing the ricefield in front of me, appreciating the fresh morning air, and no one already awoken. I would love to be in Hampi again precisely at this time now. India… Seeing India from Tokyo is amazing, and I hardly can believe I was there less than two months ago… I miss India in fact. This country. Once you know it, you can not forget it. Either you like, either you don’t like it, but going to India make your regard on life change for sure.

So after a cold shower (even if it was very early, was already hot), I moved on to the boat, directly to Elly & Alex’s hostel. Was there approximately around 8.30 am, but the man told me they were already gone (in fact they were not but I will know it later). So I tried P1060673.JPGto find somewhere in order to recharge my sim card, but of course there was nothing in the only main street of Hampi. After having turning around for a while and impossible to call Alex neither Elly, I decided that I will go visit on my own until their calls. By chance a riskshaw is approaching me and asking me if I want to visit. My first reaction is to say no (I thought I could do it by walk, in fact that would have been a mistake according to the temperatures), then he tells me :

“- You’r the girl from yesterday …

- Mmm ?

- I drove you up from Hospet Station. Three girls, you were with me on the front…”

P1060767.JPGLooking at him closely I do recognize him, so amazing. As he has recognized me, I decided to go with him . Good Choice, he was very nice, quite honest though. His name is Raju, he was the same age like us (approximately) has already children. If you’re going to Hospet you can call him on : 09 48 016 7337 (his father). Tell him you had his phone number from a french/asian girl and you can take him for all day and driving you from Hospet to Hampi and the return as well. He is honest, even if you will have to negotiate of course a little bit according to the local prices, but honest.

As I has the temple’s map (you can by the little guide they sell for 15 ruppies or 10 I don’t remember, it is very useful for the map), we following the map. Hampi is full of incredible old temples. I loved that. I can not describe every temples I saw, especially now that it is already quite far, but the elephant stable temple was a great souvenir and the Vitthala Temple. Those millions of details of architecture, ornements. A real pleasure. Around 10 am it was already very very hot, so the private rickshaw was really a great idea.

Now in my souvenirs remains a sort of anachronical impression... Climate, environment, all those temples. Time stops in Hampi, and this is probably why I fall in love with this marvelous place. I loved taking my time in each place to see the numerous details, taking them thinking of Lita, or my other friends… For example, any times I saw an elephant made me think of Nicaw. Well… Hampi is magic.

 

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Around 11.30 am, suddenly a short instant message from Alex, telling me they were at the mango tree having breakfast. So I decided to make a pause in my trip, asked Raju to go up there, where we could stop for an hour then we will finish the trip. I think he was quite happy in fact to have this “break” time. Meeting was at 1.30 pm. I found Alex and Elly again. So nice to see them. They did some meditations on the morning in fact, but were still in bed when I came to the hostel. Alex felt better this day, but not completely. We agreed to go all three to visit the end of the temple and then go all three again back to Hospet. I remembered part of one of our discussion talking about destinies. Of course in India one could say this is because of India’s environment make you start thinking like that. But I don’t think so. I had always believed in some unexplained force somewhere... As Alex said, it can not be totally a chance if we met up. My entirely life is made of meetings and probably my life would not be the same if I had not meet up some persons at one’s time being.

 

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Elly met Minh in Vietnam few days ago, because I put them in contact. How fun is life isn’t ? I might see Elly again in Vietnam, and I met Margot who is Alex’s friend when I was in Beijing…. Life is a sum of lot or circles… But Alex would probably talk better than me about Karmas.

I have a lucky Karma, and I keep on thinking it every days now. And I can’t understand why all those good things happens to me, but they are, so I must recognize that somewhere there is a lucky star beyond my head, and I am so grateful to the heaven for this (even if I have no religion). Dark and bright. I knew both. But remembering this movie A Star is born,(1954) when the grandmother tells the young actress that as she has a life more excited than most lives, she must accept that she will perhaps have more suffers than most of people. I dont' say at all that I have suffered, but I just say that you rarely have only the bright side.

 

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After a good lunch/breakfast again we were on the road all three to end the temple trip. We accorded ourselves to say that we were lazy, and seeing some people walking under the sun made us suffering for them. Finishing visiting the surrounding temples (in fact to visit all the area you would need at least 2 more days), we decided – lazy girls – to go back to our favorite place to have a last drink before going back to Hospet.

This is real vacations... loosing time. This is probably one of my beloved occupation once finishing to visit the “touristic” things, is to watch the activity of my environment. It is very relaxing to see the people in their daily life while you are doing nothing. Very often when I am in Paris, I envy the tourists or students who can just spend some entire afternoons at the terrace of the cafés. Having time to read a book, or just taking a nap. Luxury.

 

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So we stayed approximately one hour and a half before Raju came back to pick us up and drive us to Hospet. The Bus Station for the girls who were going to Goa after, and the train station for me to come back to Bungalore before going to Kochi. The weather of the end of the day was perfect and on our rickshaw a great liberty sensation... The luminosity was awesome. And now I am very far from those disorganised streets in Tokyo. Funny.

 

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Arriving in Hospet, I left the girls, hoping to meet Elly in Vietnam perhaps, or Alex in Phily, anyway, we will see one another one day... Then I tried to find a shop to fulfill my phone card... and the big surprise is that when – for example – you buy a phone card in Delhi, you can not fulfill it in the South ! You have to buy another sim card, another number... So I called Baldir, to ask him to fulfill my phone card again, promising that Ludal or Patrice will give hime back the money. (200 ruppies). He’s so nice, that he is doing that for me. So helpfull. It is amazing.

 

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Raju left me at the train station and I paid him the day (girls in fact we were right he asked for a little bit more as we were 3, but do not worry it was ok, with the money you gave me), and promised to send him my “old” phone when I will not need it again, because he wasn't able to buy one. I am one hour in advance so I just sat somewhere, finishing my books, until there was an electricity cutdown that made me go inside the train station again. I met there a couple from Holland who were doing a 4 month trip as well in India.

 

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Since I have beginning my trip I meet a lot of travelers (specially in India) who are making a tour, so at the end, it seems quite “normal” to travel for a such long time between us.

Familiar to the train, after my first trip, I got up in my car. I had a bed close to the windows this time. Very soon I fall asleep and woke up only arriving in Bungalore around 6 am in the morning. Just having time to go back with a rickshaw (this time I have the plan) to Antoine et Linda’s appartment, taking breakfast with them before leaving at 8 am to the airport to take my plane to Kochi. Tonio has organised my taxi, so everything was great ! The short breakfast with them was really nice. I left some more luggages only took the necessary to go to my other trip : Kochi and Munnar....

21:24 Publié dans Carnet de Bord, Inde | Lien permanent | Commentaires (0) | Tags : hampi

09/05/2009

Mercredi 1 Avril -16ème jour - Hampi

P1060439 [800x600].JPGI am going to write this note and some of the next ones in English (at least try to) as I am going to talk about Alex and Ellie, both of them speaking english, even if Alex can understand French. Be indulgent with my written english. (I would appreciate the English or American natives to correct within the commentaries the grammar or vocabulary mistakes).

Waking up in the train few minutes before arriving at Hospet Station. My first reflex is to go again in direction of the train’s doors to enjoy the fresh air and the landscape without any windows. It is so different from the north. There are some palm trees, the climate is hot and dry already. It is very pleasant to be able to see the horizon in the countryside without to many buildings.

The Hospet’s train station is very small. As we were going out of course some rickshaw were approaching us. I was going straight, and P1060443 [800x600].JPGwas wondering which rickshaw I was going to take, when a girl (Alex), asked me whether I was going to Hampi. This time I was quite organized (which is not usual during that trip for the details), I had noted all the indications that Shanti’s guest house were providing and know that a rickshaw to Hampi mustn’t cost more thant 100 rupees, then take after a little boat to cross the river which cost 10 rupees.

“ – Do you speak French ?”, I asked Alex in order to talk about the prices without the Rickshaw understanding.

“ – Oui, je peux comprendre un peu.

- Cool, je vais à Hampi au Shanti Guest House et vous ?

- Nous aussi !

- j’ai lu que ça ne devait pas coûter plus de 100 roupies, si vous voulez on y va à 3 »

After having negotiated with the Rickshaw for 90 rupees, and we all three going up on it ! As Ellie and Alex have huge luggage, I am going in front of the rickshaw close to the driver, hanging up to the richshaw, this is funny. It takes approximately a 40 minutes to reach Hampi, and the road is wonderful, I feel like being in vacations, which is quite funny as I am in fact in vacations. But you know, the palm trees, the great weather, the atmosphere, being far from cities.

P1060450 [800x600].JPGDiscussing with Alex and Elly. Alex is from Switzerland, it has been almost two months that P1060475 [800x600].JPGshe was in India, studying/working at .... (Alex I have forgotten the name where you were ?). She met Elly through, if my memory is good, her ex flatmate, or something like that. (Please correct me girls if this is wrong ;)). She will leave soon back home after her trip in Hampi and Goa. Elly is Irish and doing also a one-year round world trip, and traveling alone as well !

Hampi Village is only almost a main street, what they call Hampi Bazar. Compared to Delhi, this bazaar is for me a peaceful village ! Our rickshaw left us and we had to walk a little bit on the right (5 minutes) before arriving at the Shanti Guest House. I am quite surprise. It doesn’t look like the description, as I was supposed to take a boat. Elly asked the receptionist for the booking. He found their rooms but not mine. We have the explanation. I am at the other Shanti Guest House, across the river.

So we decide to meet for lunch later, they will call me when ready. I am going on my way to the river (5 more minutes walking). Easy to find, the “boat” is a little one, and there are some backpackers down here already. Hampi is very touristic as Stéphanie from Agra told me, but it doesn’t matter, because Hampi is such as a little paradise (as she told me also). It is not already 10 am, and it is already very very hot. It takes only 1 minute to cross the “river”, and then we have to go up a little bit. Once being upstairs, I have to turn right and walk approximately 10 minutes to reach my place. Naturally some Indians try to make me check in into their guesthouses. But it’s ok, I think that after Delhi, everything seems quiet and peace.

 

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I am appreciating this far from everything’s place. My guesthouse is a sort of tiny paradise. I have my own bungalow in front of the paddy fields, with a hammockk. He did not find me as well, but gave me this room. It’s expensive for India (800 ruppies), but it is the good price. My room is really clean, the bathroom as well. There is mosquito net, and … the place is so quiet. I will come back for sure in this place but with books, and for one month if I can. It is the perfect place for a retreat and being on your own. But come when it’s not the touristic season (so April) even if it is the hottest. In fact, in Hampi you see lot of sort of original people who seem to don’t belong to our century anymore. In my guesthouse, there were one guy who was in Hampi for months… If you stay there for such a period, coming back to reality must be quite a strange exercise, I think. I don’t know Goa or all the other wonderful places of course, but I loved the Hampi’s atmosphere.

 

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Arriving in my bungalow, I try to reach the girls but our mobiles don’t work well (which in a way contribute to the fact you feel out of P1060567 [800x600].JPGnowhere). SMS sent, I only have to wait now on my hamac (how hard it is ;) ) that they’re calling meP1060573 [800x600].JPG back, after having taken a good cold shower !!! Around 10/11 am I think, Alex sent me an sms to tell me they were at the Mango Tree Restaurant for the brunch/lunch. The only good restaurant of Hampi, where you can eat or stay all the afternoon just having coffee/tea, and enjoying the place… Of course it is a sort of westerns’ meeting point as it is in all guides, but it’s not a problem. The place is really relaxing.

I took my boat again to cross the river because to the restaurant is on the other side and while waiting I am discussing with a very nice Indian from Cashmere who is working in tourism. He has just finished the touristic season in Hampi, will go back for couple of month in his native region, before coming back to Hampi. He told me that now everything was closed or almost in Hampi and warned me to be aware of snakes while walking.

I found Alex and Elly already eating their meals (Alex loved what she took but I don’t remember the name of it). I ordered as well something quite good (but forgot the name of my dishes also). Lying on the floor, we discussing about lot of things : the reason of Elly’s travel, Alex’s future reconversion as a sex therapist, what they have done before.. I really like this side of my trip, meeting lot of international people, it is as interesting as living with the locals or the expatriates.

The big surprise of this brunch was the NUTELLA’s crêpe ! I didn’t believe it when reading on the menu… but it was a real, so f… good nutella’s French crêpe. So amazing to find this sort of food in the middle of nowhere in India. So good too !

 

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But Alex suddenly didn’t feel well. She was becoming red in some part of her body, and a real pain. At the beginning we thought it was nothing only a sort of insect’s bite. In fact it was a caterpillar’s bite that Elly found on her clothes (that’s it, girls ?). And the people told her she had the symptoms: fever, cold, not cold. She went rapidly back to her room. Elly and I were finishing our meals, then went back on our way as well. We had decided to have an afternoon free, just enjoying the place without visiting. We stopped in a little shop, where I was able to buy some local sarwal (in a light tissue) because mine from Delhi were really too hot down here. For 500 ruppies, 2 sarwals, 3 little tops. Quite a good deal.

 

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As we splat, we decided to meet again for dinner, or the day after. Told Elly that I would try to come to pick them around 9, otherwise would be too hot after to visit. Back in my little paradise, I was so happy to enjoy my afternoon with books on the hammoc It was though so hot, that I was every ten/fifteen minutes under my cold shower. But it was a perfect afternoon. I loved Hampi. Probably one of my best souvenir, even if it is quite hard to compare it to the cities given that it is not the same thing.

 

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At the end of the day, I tried to send an sms with my Indian mobile, but I didn’t have any more credits, and my French mobile for an unknow reason didn’t work neither. Suddenly I received an sms from Alex telling me if I wanted to join them at another restaurant. But I couldn’t not call her back. Moreover there was no boat anymore for me to cross the river. I would see them tomorrow.

 

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Close to my bungalow there was an English couple. They decided to come here, because their daughter had made a round world trip before and suggested them to come to this place. I stayed quite long on my hammoc until the night came. Sometimes there were electricity cuts, so I was lighted with candles. The silent was amazing. And being able to see all the wonderful stars, listening to the night’s noises was so…. Undescriptible well-being. Just the night, the silent, the soft wind, the insects and lot of unidentified animals, my candle, my pens, scratch book and books (this night I was finishing the Traité sur l’immensité du monde from Sylvain Tesson & Aden Paradis from Paul Nizan). Paradise and Serenity. I wish time could stop in Hampi.

I’m sure that I didn’t go to be late, there you fell asleep very late and I had to wake up early the day after…. World disconnection.