That’s all for the school news for another year. If you are interested, after SB, we spent 5 days in Hampi, alternating days of very hot sightseeing with days of slothfulness and birdwatching at the Top Secret guesthouse perched above the river opposite the ruins.

Little-known Hampi was a booming international trade centre, home of the Vijayanagara kings from the 1300s. At one point it had a one million strong army and by 1500 AD Vijaynagar had about 500,000 inhabitants, making it the second largest city in the world after Peking-Beijing. In 1565 it was besieged and razed by a group of jealous sultans and never recovered. It is now a UNESCO World Heritage site. Like Angkor Wat, there are many ruins spread over a large area.

Here are some random photos of ruins, and us relaxing!

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Five bamboo huts make up the Top Secret Guesthouse. Best location in Hampi.

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Mosquito-proof bed inside our bamboo hut.

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Huts on the right, outdoor area on the left overlooking the river.

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Enjoying the view from the Top Secret Guesthouse outdoor area

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Our view across the river to historic Hampi

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Paul and Sue Reuvers add colour to the paid fields behind Top Secret guesthouse

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Three motorbikes joined us on the tiny passenger ferry across the river.

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After 5.30pm the ferry stops and the only way across the river is by coracle. Coracles are Welsh. We’ve found them in Vietnam and now in Hampi. Did they evolve independently or were they introduced. If so, who had them first?

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Temple elephant, Lakshmi, trundles down to the river for her daily bath.

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Lakshmi enjoys her daily pampering. She’s 69 years old.

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Stone roofed building in Hampi

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A man and woman prostrate themselves in the temple grounds to give thanks for something that they had prayed for that had come to pass. They traversed about 200 metres this way – alternatively standing and sliding along on their fronts. Family members wet the path in front of them.

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The family were very happy and supportive and there was a big feast afterwards.


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150 year-old Frangipani, in flower, in another 15th century temple grounds.

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Barney is taught to wear his lungi.

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Now for the short look for hot days.

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Elephant stables for the 11 royal elephants in the king’s army

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Buildings nestle next to boulders

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Building nestles around boulder

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Man kicks tyres on iconic Hampi stone chariot

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A break from sightseeing to contemplate life in the 15th century


We’ve spared you the photos of the dozens of palaces, temples, aqueducts, stone gateways, royal baths and other ruins spread over a huge area but if you like this taste of Hampi, you’ll just have to come and see it for yourselves. Over and out!