Ah, well, it had to happen...
Till now all the trips that we've been on in and around Bangalore, whether it's the friendly neighbourhood Nandi hill or the distant dungeon of debauchery Goa (ok, ok I just had to make an alliteration there, so shoot me) have gone very well. I mean,yes, there have been problems that every traveller faces, but never anything that would really be an impediment to enjoy the trip. whether we made it to the summit of our destination or enjoyed the vistas on the way, we never came back with a feeling of dissatisfaction, ever.
We decided to go to Hampi ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hampi ), a quaint historical town nestling softly on the banks of the river Tungabhadrain North Karnataka. The place is beautiful. Well laid out temple complexes, sunken ruins, underground Shiv temples. The reverberations from the past made even us, the self-proclaimed anti-ruins/temples/tombs/ museums adventurers into a bunch of hushed, reverential admirers of the beauty of the place. Ah, but i'm outpacing my tale.
We were seven people (isn't that supposed to be a lucky number?) distributed in two Ikons. We started of from Bangalore in the early light of Saturday 28th July 2007. RB, Punit and I in RBs car, and Jibi, Ashish, AB and AT in Jibi's.
All was well, the drive was picturesque. Though I really wouldn't know, I'd been awake all night and was asleep with my trusty eye mask for the first two hours. We managed to get a good hearty breakfast. Clearly, till then there was no sign of impeniding discomforts.
Now i'll have to fast forward a bit or this'll take all night. :)
So as we were nearing Hospet, some 20 kilometres from our planned destination we got a call from the Jibi's car. They had driven over a rock which some nincompoop must've left on the road. The rock disintegrated when it hit the chassis but unfortunately a piece dislodged itself only after it had punched palm-size hole in the engine casing. Now this casing is full of engine oil and is the playground where the power generating pistons transfer power to the cam shaft which in turn makes the car move. A hole here meant that the oil did not leak out, it spurted and gushed out. The car was rendered motionless some 50 kilometres from any kind of proper town. Its a surprise that cell phone signals were still there, thank God.
So now the next hour or so went in trying to find a means of getting the car fixed. It lead to a few hilarious situations as well. I was callin up to find a Ford service station in the vicinity. After a number of calls to Ford dealers we finally zeroed in on a breakdown service in Bellary, 50 km from the site where the car was stranded, only to be told very confidentally by the lady manning Ford customer service that there is NO service station in Bellary.
Anyway, eventually we got through to the service station and we were promised a rescue mission to beat all rescue missions.
So by this time we got some food packed for the stranded friends and turned our nose back to go to them. We reached and after examining the car a bit (and having a hasty lunch on the boots of the two cars.)
Hark! Whats that on the horizon? Ah, it is but our knight in shining armour, an old yet sturdy looking (little were we to know!) Mahindra jeep. The "experts" came and after a cursory examination gave us the bad news. It would have to be towed to Bellary. Well, there wasn't much we could do, the car was tied to the jeep and the towing was about to start. And then, we should've got a hint of worse things to come, when the jeep refused to start and had to be pushed to get the engine up and running.
Oh, oh, I forgot two things, it had started raining by now, and RBs car had got a puncture. Well minor issues, and we were on our way.
Obviously, we passed the towing vehicle and were well on our way to Bellary when we generally called the other car to see how they were doing. Turns out that their woes had not ended, but rather had been accentutated by the said Knight in shining armour. The ancient jeep stopped because it was out of diesel first. And when that was rectified it broke down due to some mechanical fault a bit later. Dreadful, dreadful rainy night wasn't helping either.
Anyway, we managed to find a good hotel in Bellary [After Punit and I waded through 3-4 inches of slush for a kilometre or so (yeah, yeah, the sacrifices I make...I tell you they should anoint me a saint)]
Well we had a nice loll around in the open air restaurant they had there (BTW the hotel was called "Pola Paradise" :D - but a nice place) till the others joined us after leaving the car at the service centre.
Had a nice party in the room, though it was rather short where everyone seemed to be in a bit of a hurry.
Anyway, we went to Hampi the next day, really nice place, but were too 'not-in-the-mood' by then to really explore. Of course the Mango tree restaurant is a must see there, though the food isn't all that great.
Anyway, we finally reached Bangalore on Sunday night, and I for one was glad to be back in the familiar environs of my home.
Have you had a trip that just didn't seem to go right at all?