Funny. The things that you think you will be writing about are quite often not the things that are interesting. For example I could talk about the golden beaches, the rolling waves of the Arabian sea crashing on the shoreline that stretches for miles and yeah, it’s nice, but it ain’t that interesting. In fact it probably alienates us a little because most of you buggers are in England and its cold already. So last night after our walk we came back Rachel wrote her blog I did the clothes washing in a bucket in the shower room and then strung bits of string up around the room – light fitting to window latch, television stand to door handle and hung it all out to drip and dry by the power of overhead fan on full and aircon on high. A bit like England on a wet and drizzly day but in our hotel room. It was so extreme we had to go out for a while. We went and had a meal in the vegetarian outside seating area. Now your Indian does everything by the book whilst employed by a hotel. If you go get a menu he will take it back and represent it. If you sit where he didn’t want you to he will try to move you. It is formulaic because otherwise it is chaos. That’s why there are usually an inordinate amount of junior managers to keep an eye on the workers. Last night there didn’t seem to be a manager so food order was taken eventually then ten minutes later it was retaken because it had been forgotten what was required. The beer came but not the lime soda. The lime soda came after a reminder but only one lime soda, the second following after another reminder. The dishes took about 40 minutes to arrive (most of them anyway) the remainder a further 5 minutes. Eventually our full mean arrived at 10.20 (about 50 minutes from when we arrived). At 10.30 the waiter came and told us that the restaurant was closing at 10.30 and sat at another table looking at us and waiting for us to finish. Unlike in Cochin and Kerala the food is not great and too hot. The highlight of the meal was a frog jumping from somewhere and landing on my shoulder where he stayed for a couple of minutes before hopping off to the cabinet by my side.
There was a disco at the hotel last night. It said so on the notice board. We thought it might be nice to have a bit of a dance. We investigated and found a large open fire made up in an open air fire pit in the middle of the food court to the side of the restaurant. There was no proper dj. More like a party where different people decide what music they want to hear irrespective of where in a song the music playing might be. There were no flashing lights, there was no dance floor, there was no alcohol and most importantly there were no women! But you know what. Never have we heard such exuberance and seen such wholehearted participation in dancing (like Rachels blog this is artistic licence since dancing would probably be defined as moving the body rhythmically in time to, or as an artistic interpretation of, the music. This was more along the lines of a physical illness). The whooping and unrestrained screams of joy, the shouting and cheering and clapping and brotherly encouragement went on and on…. till 10.30 on the dot when a whistle was blown and it was all done. Obviously the waiter looking after us held sway over the disco as well.
Got up this morning wanting to leave and a bit fed but we gave ourselves a stern talking to and decided that this was the definitely the road less travelled (not even a road really). We head off to Udupi town which is pretty big and vibrant with temples and shops and cars and madness and we are the only white people here. We have not actually seen any westerners for two days. That’s fine. Generally people are friendly and helpful some times they are not and are dismissive but I think most of the problem comes with cultural difference in communication. We are learning and that’s good. The temples were interesting and we queued with me having to remove my shirt as an act of piety. The queue was constantly replenishing and the line stretched in front of us and into the dark of a Sri Krishna temple. Eventually we reach the inner sanctum and are greeted with a profusion of smells and chants, The hindus crowded around the shrines and attempting genuflections as they are pushed on their way by crowd controlling monks. There are cows panting in alcoves and the ringing of bells. There offerings of oil being poured upon flaming receptacles. There is the anointing of heads and it is all so intense and quite wonderful and strange and overpowering.
After a meal we have headed back to our hotel and the joy of air conditioning and are now getting happily drunk on a bottle of hooch and coca cola followed by a walk on the beach and a brilliant storm which was very exciting.
See more pics of day in gallery