I got up at a reasonable time (i.e. skipped the sunrise) and had breakfast - still warm chocolate banana cake - yum. It was already getting hot so I was headed out to see some more ruins before it got too hot - yesterday was too much. When I passed the local temple and observed the frenzy of preparations for tomorrow's festival I decided to postpone leaving an extra day so I could attend. While trying to delay my ticket I realized that I had made a mistake - my ticket to Londa was for this morning - I'd already missed it! I'd been so careful in Mysore because the overnight trains always confuse me. But at the train station when I went to buy my tickets I had to change my plan to an early morning train and I didn't change the day. I went to a couple travel agents, consulted my train schedule, tried to figure out a way to get a refund (if I'd realized mistake 30 minutes earlier it would have been possible), and finally decided to take the direct train on Tuesday. The advantage is that it goes directly to Madgaon on the coast so I won't have to deal with the long bus from Londa. The disadvantage is that it costs me three days instead of one - two more days here, then a day wasted on the train (my original plan had been to leave very early in the morning so I'd be in Londa just after noon). By the time I got this all worked out it was after eleven and very hot. Now that I had two more days in Hampi I wasn't as motivated to face the heat so settled down in the cool to work on my journal. When I got caught up I hit the internet cafe again - still slow, but quick enough to get up yesterdays photos.
Spent the rest of the afternoon at the Mango Tree restaurant - a short hike through the banana trees near the river. It has a gorgeous view over river and some ruins and an even more gorgeous breeze. The seating area is a series of ledges cut in to the steep bluff near the top - absolutely delightful. I'd gone for lunch and ended up spending four or five hours there! Besides a delicious lunch, I finished my book, and talked with other travelers and some of the local kids. Basically I just relaxed. I'd planned on going to some of the other ruins once it started to cool down, but it never did so it was well after dark when I stumbled down the narrow raised path - kind of scary in the dark - luckily there was a full moon.
Back in the village I went to the temple and somehow got sucked into the puja (ritual offering / blessing) line. I was wandering around the temple enjoying the rarified atmosphere as everyone was ringing bells and blowing horns and just in general scampering about to get ready for the festival tomorrow. I was handed a scoop of sugar with some coconut flakes in it and told to eat it. Next thing I'm in a procession through the inner temple and being blessed with water - and having the proper motions mimed to me (accept scoop of water, drink, rub remains over head). Nearly everyone put a coin or two down as an offering, except the man in front of me who seemed to be offering melted butter (the priest gave him a jar to pour most of it in, and the remainder he added to the lamp that was burning), and another man who seemed to be offering some kind of spice. I think there are a lot of people in from outlying villages - the temple grounds are packed with people sleeping on the pavement. It's a weird experience to be involved in a ritual where everyone else is going through specific movements and you are the only one that doesn't have a clue what is going on - it's also kind of neat as I was the only foreigner present. Back at the lodge I sat up on the roof and played cards with a couple other travelers - the full moon had a circular rainbow around it - I've never seen it so clearly like that.