Austria

My visa for India was finished at April three so this was the day I came back to Austria by airplane. Suryananda is waiting for me in Pushkar. There were elections in Myanmar so it might be possible to continue the journey in autumn and drive direction Australia. Anyway I have a ticket back to india in August so only short time to spend in the cold.
To read all the overlandjourney from Austria to india from the beginning go www.hariom.at/?m=201109

Jan 23 Shirpur – Pushkar

Km today: 700

[26°28´56”, 074°34´01.5”]

When I wake up before sunrise I have diarrhea – not nice! I don’t take breakfast and leave as soon as possible. The first 100km are done quickly on the perfect highway but then I have to take a shortcut to avoid a major detour. Road becomes a challenge but with diarrhea more a pain in the ass. What to do… Evening time I am still more than 300km away from Pushkar and I gets freezing cold. In chattigaur a car brakes very hard in front of me… I step very hard on the back brake forgetting it was all made new when the chain was changed, slip and fall. Knee protectors and helmet protect my body so I hardly have any scratch – only the drum skin is broken and one shock absorber is bend so the front wheel is not straight anymore. No major problem so I go on. It becomes colder and colder on the motorbike and I have to stop every 40km when I don’t feel my hands anymore. At 2 o clock I pass ajmer without recognizing because of a mess in the roadsign. I go 40km too far and leave the motorway much too late. On the way back there is a big constructionsite and as my light is not straight I miss the road once jumping in the middle of the constructionsite. I am lucky I don’t even fall… Slowly I have really enough of this nights ride as people seem to have sent me in a wrong direction on purpose twice too… Shortly after 3 o clock I arrive in Ajmer and 20 minutes later I am home in Pushkar. Sukha and all people are still awake as they have been waiting for me. Finally home. All of us have a lot to tell so we go to bed short before daylight is coming.


Jan 22. Solapur – Shirpur

Km today: 540

[24°35´09”, 074°44´44”]

Nothing really special today – an exhausting day on the road. I want to get close enough to Pushkar today so I will arrive tomorrow. Evening time I am again annoyed by too many drunk Indians. Probably because I stopped at two alcohol shops by mistake believing I get chai there. I pretend to speak neither any hindi nor english. Believing I don’t understand them people start joking about me because I am wearing a helmet when not even drinking…. Its late already and still there is no place that matches my criteria to sleep there – good chai and nice people. Very late – it is freezing cold already on the motorbike I find the perfect place. When I stop the chai wallah smiles at me asking “Ap kaise ho?” instead of the usual “Ap ka ha se hai?” (how are you instead of where are you from)! I already thought I was in a bad mood but it was just the stupid and impolite people everywhere. .. Suddenly I speak little hindi again. I get a place right at the fire to sit so I can defrost. A bed next to the bike and good food makes the place more than perfect! “No tension, Aramse(relax)!” people tell me!


Jan 21 Hampi – Solapur

Km today: 285

[17°24´24.5”, 075°50´43”]

I force I (just learning redemption song on guitar) to stand up early to meet Etienne at sunrise hill in Hampi to make yoga. The 2 australian guys are still sleeping – never mind I will make yoga with them later. When I arrive at the hill Etienne is already waiting for me. We quickly take the 800 steps to the hilltop and enjoy an amazing yogasession at this beautiful place while many tourists take pictures of us. Very relaxed we go down after and ride back to the hampi maze – it takes me always a few days to find my way here even though the village is really tiny! We have big breakfast at Tom and Jerry while the Australian guys wake up. I ask Mogli to tell them I wait for them at T&J.Meanwhile Etienne figures out a few more songs for me to learn to play on the guitar – I will have a lot to practice in the days to come. After breakfast we go back to my guesthouse to take some pictures of the two of us. Mogli tells me girls had been here to pick up the yoga guys – he told them I am waiting but they just went away without even telling me even though I was sitting less than 50m away. I believe their desire, attachment and expectation is probably just too much to start yoga yet. What to do?

In the last days I discovered a feeling of homesickness so I pack my stuff and leave direction home – Pushkar! I say goodbye to all the nice people I met here and leave Hampi around lunchtime. When I leave a guy stops me asking if I come or go. I tell him I don’t need or want any room, opium and charraz and smile. He replies his friend is enfield mechanic – why not 4 days ago? But at the moment all seems to be fine so I drive on. My Baby is great and sounds awesome! (Etienne told me he had heard me coming at the moment I started the engine at the guesthouse – I love).
When I come to Hospet (12km after Hampi) I am suddenly in neutral gear and not able to put a gear in. Fortunately I stop 100m before a mechanic. When I stop I notice the chain is broken… The backside gearwheel looks very bad too. The mechanic wallah fixes the chain and suggest to visit an enfield workshop to cange chain and gearwheel – Fortunately I know already where to go. It takes about two hours until Omtatsat is fixed and I spend the time making a walk, drinking chai and eating pakoda at street shops. Late afternoon we hit the road – two km further the foot handle breaks! I turn around and go back to the mechanic. He is smiling and tells me my own thoughts: ”Seems like you are not supposed to leave”. He is right, today Kali is working for me again… I already think about going back to hampi but the Capricorn in me is stronger.

At sunset Hospet lies 40km behind me. The streets are good and I bought a new helmet with a clear view so I don’t mind a nightride.
A lot of chai helps me to keep riding even though there are drunk guys bothering me at every chaishop. When I stop around midnight in Bijapur I feel like in Pakistan. As soon as I stop I am surrounded by police… At midnight the shops close and the police is waiting for me to repack the bike and leave (its coming cold). When I ask them whats the problem they tell me its dangerous area – pick pockets! I smile secretly and hurry up to move on. Some time later suddenly the speedometer doesn’t work anymore. I stop at the roadside to repair it. Before I can finish a car stops in front of me. Probably someone who wants to help, I think and quickly finish repairing. Suddenly they sound their horn and I notice the red flashlight on the car – police again: Where are you from – Austria, Where you come from now? Hampi, Where do you go? Solapur, Are you alone? Shiva always with me. What you have on your bike? My luggage(??), can we see your passport, are you married and so on…..
I explain I already fixed the problem I had and as soon as I have answered their never ending questions I drive on. Its already 2am so I stop at the next chaishop to take a little nap.

Jan 20 Hampi

Today I wake up as two Australian guys enter the rooftop. I welcome them and soon find out they want to do yoga. I decide to stay a little longer and enjoy the day. In the morning I do a little yoga at the rooftop restaurant opposite of the guesthouse and some tourists take pictures…. Thank you. I eat a lot for breakfast and then I am tired so I take a nap. In the afternoon they tell me they want to start the next day so I can focus completely on the guitar lesson with Etienne whom I met at the music shop yesterday. The lesson is awesome – I learn a lot and we have a lot of fun. His mother is with him so we have food together in the evening. I hope to see Etienne soon again – in france, Austria or india – we will see.

Jan 19 Hampi

Alarm wakes me up at 5.30 today. I quickly have chai and then drive to a nice hill for watching sunset. The couple from Switzerland doesn’t appear but there are many people I can ask to take pictures. It’s a little stress doing yoga because all is full of monkeys and I have to be careful all the time so they don’t steal my bag. Anyway yoga session is great and the sunrise awesome. I go back to have a full load of breakfast opposite my guesthouse (neverending muesli, veg sandwich and chocolate banana pancake – a perfect birthday breakfast). I am so full I can hardly move so I go to the rooftop to take a little rest. Within minutes I fall asleep and wake up not before afternoon.

After waking up I go Mango tree restaurant – its amazing river view there and I get some coffee and papaya salad to wake me up. Yesterday after the jam session I promised to visit the music shop so I make a stop there on the way back. Gali has a guitarlele at his shop and I cant control my desire. I show him circular breathing technique for didgeridoo and get it for a good price. During my negotiation my mother calls to tell me happy birthday. She is pretty nervous because she will come to visit me in 2 weeks and I try to calm her down. The guitarlele is my birthday present she says when I tell her about it. YEAH! Awesome birthday present. Gali invites me for jam session at durga restaurant in the evening. I come little late as I cant stop playing the guitarlele at the rooftop…. At durga restaurant we make amazing birthday party with a big variety of instruments, great musicians and an even better audience. I enjoy a lot.

Jan 18 Hampi

Sleeping long this morning I am too late for doing yoga. We quickly clean the room to check out and after sit on the rooftop with mogli and his father. I enjoy Chai and pay our bill while Adam goes downstairs. Later I only find a note at my luggage he went to the other side and will meet me there later. Mogli offered to me to sleep on their rooftop for free – of course I accept. In a way I am happy Adam disappeared so quickly. I go internet and after I have breakfast next I drive to hospet to a bullet wallah. On the way there which is 12km I take more hitchhikers with me than on all the way from Europe to india and all of them are very happy and say thank you many times. It is just an adjustment problem so its fixed quick and cheaply. I buy one more spark plug just in case and a new helmet. The old one has so many scratches that its impossible to see something at night. When I go back the engine sounds amazing again – I simply love this sound and now I am fully confident there will be no more problem for now.

When coming back to Hampi I take a little rest at the rooftop and finish my Chetan Bhagat book. After I go to the barber at the river. Its an amazing place for getting shaved. He asks 150 rupees for full shave which is more than twice as much as normal. I start bargaining in hindi and he is surprised enough to tell me I can pay whatever I like. I ask a couple from Switzerland to take some pictures and I am lucky she takes pictures like a professional – they are astonishing. I invite them for chai at our rooftop and after we have dinner together. We get food just in time so I can go to temple 10 minutes before closing to make bahjan again. I love this place and singing there in the evening. On the way back to the restaurant I hear some drums. I follow the sound and seconds later I see a couple of people making music. Several didgeridoos are lying on the floor so I just grab one of them and join in. We make some music together and then I go back to the restaurant. Mogli is there too and when I ask him for a book shop he introduces me to the owner of the book shop just around the corner who is at the restaurant too. He has Chetan Bhagat so I get a new book and give back the one I finished today – YEAH!

The couple from Switzerland wants to do yoga tomorrow so I make appointment for 6.30 at the rocks. I am curios if they will really come at that time of the day but I am happy for there might be somebody who will take awesome pictures at an amazing place.

Jan 17 Hampi

Waking up early I enjoy sunrise at the roof top. Adam doesn’t wake up until lunchtime so I check Internet, get breakfast and make a walk in the meantime. In front of the temple an old woman calls me “baba, baba come here”. I go to her and tell her if she calling me baba she has to give me donation. She looks at me like I am completely mad but I tell her again that I am not joking. She is totally confused and gives me two bananas for free. I give her blessing and walk away happy smiling. Actually I have a lot of fun here!

At lunchtime we take the boat to the other side. Here is hippieland again. Accommodation is much cheaper so we decide to move tomorrow. I find some awesome rocks for climbing and try a little. We find a guesthouse where we can sleep on the terrace for only 50 rupees a night. Awesome sunset included. We make little music there and then decide to go back as the last boat to the other side goes at 6.30.

We run down to catch the last boat. Boatwallah is aware of our situation being late so he charges 50 rupees each instead of 10. Adam is getting a little aggressive so I react completely calm. I hand 101 rupees including Brahmin baksheesh to the boatwallah. He throws the one rupee all across the boat telling me he is no beggar and Indian people full power blablabla – he even tells us we can go police if we like. In the middle of the river he says bad things about us to the other people on the boat in hindi. They look a little shocked, I understand what he is saying so I tell I have no problem in going police. He turns around the boat until the other people calm him down. 5 minutes later we reach the other side and most of Indian people give me an apologizing look. They seem to be pretty ashamed for what happened. I don’t care and we take a long walk in town. We come to main temple ten minutes before closing and go in. Temple is empty and amazing that time of the day. Around the center I meet some Brahmin people and when they see my drum they ask me to play. I agree but tell them I will chant a mantra first. I chant Om asatoma for 15 minutes in the center of the temple while they make pooja. Acoustic and power are amazing – I feel the power of the place – its awesome. When I am finished Brahmin people say thank you many time and I get prassat (holy food – gods gift). They invite me to come again next day.

Adam seems to be a little weird today. I suggest him to join morning yoga every morning but he doesn’t even though we share sleeping place the last days. Early afternoon he tries to pick up money but without success. He tells me his money is finished. I make several suggestions to solve the problem (like doing some yoga classes to get donation for him) but he refuses. What to do? Slowly he starts taking my power as he is focused on problems instead of solutions. Secretly I start hoping he will not come with me any further. Evening time he calls his girlfriend in Israel by internet and after he tells me he has to go back as fast as possible. This is more than ok with me!

I decide to stay one more day (my birthday) in hampi to do yoga and rock climbing on these amazing boulders all around the place.