01 February, 2009


Our last few days in Arambol, Goa were action packed and restful at the same time. Shira went paragliding off a cliff with a trained Ukrainian jumper! We hiked through the woods to a river where I covered myself in therapeutic mud, then we made our way to a mythic banyan tree that's said to have special powers. We sat in front of the tree, around a fire, with other tourists, and a mystic from Sweden who lives there, keeping the spirit alive. We left Goa feeling good that we stayed for longer than we originally planned, but also feeling like most of what surrounded us in Goa was there for tourists, so we left.

We've been in Hampi since Shabbat, and, unfortunately a lot of our time so far has been spent taking it very easy as Shira has been having really painful stomach aches and bouts of nausea. Worry not though, she's starting to feel a lot better and more like herself. We were blessed and lucky enough to have found an incredible place to stay here with an extremely caring and dedicated staff.

To get here we rode a "sleeper" bus 12-hours through the night from Goa. We heard the ride, with all the bumps and wind and noise was going to be treacherous, but luckily we slept for most of it, side by side, in beds (seats that reclined almost parallel to the ground). We pulled up to the bus station at around 10 a.m. and were instantly swarmed by young Indian men with promises of cheap guesthouse and cheap auto rickshaw. One of the salesman was wearing ear muffs in the 75 degree morning sun.

We had heard from our friend in Goa about a place to stay, "on the other side of the river" that sounded amazing and tranquil, but we didn't have directions so we figured we'd just find someplace else. Luckily though, as soon as we crossed the river we saw a sign for the place, "Whispering Rocks," and hired an auto rickshaw to take us there. We were soon headed out and away from the hustle bustle of touristville and towards an area that's is profoundly gorgeous and serene and mainly untouched by development.

On the way to our new digs we passed woman working and wading in the many rice paddy fields that make up the region, we saw grown men wearing dress shirts and traditional skirts as they rode their bikes down dirt roads, and there were roosters, and calves, and buffalo doing their own thing too. All this unfolding in front of us within a landscape covered in boulders and blue sky, and wooden shacks and not much else.

Whispering Rocks is not a guesthouse, or a hostel, per se. It's more like it's own little resort that, for the last few days, has only been open to Shira and I. There are about 10 little one room tepees, and 3 self-standing mini-houses, one of which is built into a cave. The whole layout sits inside a bouldered valley, with a lake on the other side of the rocks. We were amazed as we first saw the place and thought it might be out of our financial league. Again, Shira gritted her teeth and negotiated one of the mini-houses for 350 rupees a night (about 7 bucz). We seemed to have found ourselves in heaven, really. Then as the sun went dowm that first night, we learned that heaven involves many many creatures, namely mosquitoes, all up in our business. We deeted the hell out of ourselves, and lit a mosquito coil and soon adjusted to the swarms of them (Shira much better than me). At sunset we also witnessed a big family of black faced monkeys jumping infront of our house, from one set of boulders to the next.

Whispering Rocks is ran by a 50-something Muslim, 30-something Christian, and 50-something Hindu chef. When Shira got sick, they treated her almost like a daughter as they asked about her bowel movement variations and called her a doctor. Ah yes, they also helped secure a moped for us for the week that we've been riding into town to make phone calls and use internet.

We love you and miss you.


Blogger Rachmayl Hershel Binyamin ben Shlomo said...

Thanks for the update. Any pictures to post?


3:48 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What an adventure. We would love to see some photos of you so we can look at your mosquito bitten bodies. Glad Shira is better and you are continuing to enjoy your unique experience at Whispering Woods...
Miss you and love you

10:23 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Zak a doodle doo,
Love to you and Shira. It sounds as though you two are having an excellent adventure. Keep writing....it is a great read!

4:16 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

r'fuah sheleimah to Shira


6:39 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What a time!! Your descriptions always so vivid . . . Please take care of yourselves and I will send Shira's stomach a special blessing and also one to the mosquitos to stay away! Thank you for keeping us updated. Be safe you guys!

Aunte B.

6:44 PM  
Blogger NTriest said...

Hi Zak and Shira,
I love following your adventures.
I look forward to seeing some new pictures.
I hope the tummies are on the mend.

Much love,

The Auntie of HW

7:48 PM  
Anonymous Yoni said...

Tell the monkey that the scissors are overdue.. he'll know what it means.

1:37 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Whispering Rocks vs. Whispering Oak(s). That is the debate of 2009...Hope you are having a great time and I appreciate the frequent posts. Tally Ho!


7:43 PM  

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