After viewing the ruins in Hampi, we headed back to our hotel to plan our next day's journey. Since we were a bit behind most of the racers that were going straight up the coast, we knew we would have to make up time by driving all the entire next day. So... off to bed at what seems to be our normal bed time since we started this race, 8:30pm.
Waking up bright and early, it usually takes us about an hour to get packed up and our rickshaw loaded for the day. This morning, it was extra chilly so we thought it would be a great day to use our plastic siding. With a little ingenuity and suggestions from my father before we left, we had packed industrial-strength Velcro from USA. The Velcro, combined with the clear plastic sheeting that we found in a fabric shop in Kochi, made for perfect siding to block the cold wind, and possible rain, not to mention the amazing amount of dust that is in places I didn't even realize existed. We were initially planning on using a shower curtain, although now that we have been in India for over ten days it is apparent that the bathroom curtain is out of fashion here. The Indian bathroom shower style is consistently a shower head on the wall enabling you to use the entire room as a shower. This is very convenient if you would like to go pee, shave, and brush your teeth while not leaving the cold water shower that you are taking. The hot water lever is there and even at times is labeled as "hot", although we have found it is usually just there to tease.
Putting up the side curtain, we set off and made record distance for the day, almost 430 kilometers! It was truly a hard day of racing. Although, our curtain kept it warm and almost pleasant.
When we got into the town around 5 pm that evening, we decided it was a good place to rest. However, it was quickly apparent that we would never find lodging. It was a moderately poor area, and absolutely zero English was being used or spoken.
Two young boys on a motorcycle drove up next to us. I asked them if they knew of any place we could lodge and they asked us to follow them and they were off... Weaving through the streets for about seven minutes, we came to rest at a building that had no markings of a hotel but we assured by our two young new assistants that it was. Once we got inside you could tell that, not only was it a hotel, but probably the nicest one in town. We woke up the clerk that was asleep on the bench next to the desk and exchanged our info with the clerk. $17.00 later we all had a room with supposedly free internet (if it ever worked).
Quickly showering, we got ready to explore the town and at least find a bar that we could have birthday celebratory beer. Normally, it would be a vodka or gin & tonic, but, not wanting to test the ice situation after my last episode of Delhi belly, I am sticking to cold bottled drinks.
We grabbed a taxi rickshaw that, with some assistance from others, took us to a local garden bar where we were a bit leered at because we had a woman with us. The waiter was very nice and did a great job getting us through the menu with drinks. On the way home the same taxi driver came back to pick us. I was teasing him because before he dropped us off at the restaurant earlier, he had actually ran into a bicyclist and knocking him to the ground. Obviously this turned into 30-second verbal quarrel until the taxi driver got out of the rickshaw, pulled the man's bicycle from under the rickshaw and tossed it to the side. So, on the way home, I teased him to please not hit any more bicyclists, if he could prevent it. He replied with a huge grin, "My country, mycity!!"