Hampi was eerily amazing. The main ruins on the tourist path were spectacular but just that: spectacular tourist ruins. When we started walking around we realized that the entire landscape was dotted with the remains of the city that once stood there. I saw it described as (in its heyday) larger than Rome and more beautiful than Lisboa and after a couple days there it's easy to imagine.
Which one is the monkey?
We'd tried to find access to the river the evening before but had only found some mosquito-infested restaurants perched above shrubby banks. But while sipping tea and swatting mosquitoes I'd seen a banked stone path leading out of town along the river that looked promising. As far as Tim was concerned it started off good: some tight passages between rocks with carvings inside and the birds weren't too boring. Kalani was most fascinated by the whirlpool warning near the calm waters and Kekai couldn't keep his eyes off the lapwings. The road dead-ended at an old temple that was still in use and a dirty little path continued along a narrow stretch between the temple and the river before widening out into a floodplain then more rocky outcrops (lots of rocks in this part of India). As we gazed at the rocks, one of the boys shouted, "hey! There's a ruin up there," and, sure enough, there was. Now we had a destination and took off across the boulders to see what was up with that ruin. Once we got going, we realized the rocks were strewn with old structures (mostly just stone, but a few with the mud tops still standing), carvings on the stone, large stone steps, and a few temples. We spent several magical hours exploring before returning for breakfast and an autorickshaw drive to the main structures of Hampi.