A Hitchhiker’s Guide to India and Nepal – Part 2

Hey its me Murad again! So, if you remember, in the last article, you met Pavin Kumar and his family. Well, after my first day of hitchhiking, we woke the next day surprisingly well rested, despite having to sleep on the floor. Pavin offered to drive us back to towards Tiruvannamalai since it would be a bit difficult to catch a ride from his house. So we freshened up, brushing our teeth next to his cow while it sat there slowly chomping on grass. We said our goodbyes to his family and headed for his truck.  His neighbours were awake now and were pretty amused, watching a bunch of foreigners clumsily climb in and dump our bags at the back of his truck. They stood with his family, waving us off as we left.

The ride to Tiruvannamalai was short. We tried to explain to Pavin what we’d be doing and where we’d be going next. I’m not sure if he understood but he smiled and laughed nonetheless! He dropped us off near a guest house, we shook hands, and thanked him for everything he did for us. “No problem, you’re friend” he said. I took down his number with the intention of calling him every now and then, but I ended up falling in a river in Hampi later and unfortunately lost everything on my phone. I hope he’s doing well though. I met a lot of amazing people during my travels but there was something about Pavin Kumar that kinda stuck with me.

Tiruvannamalai with Arulmigu Arunachaleswarar Temple, Tamil Nadu

So we still had a bit of a problem though, we still didn’t have a place to stay at night. I mean the worst case scenario was that we end up at an expensive guest house. We spent an hour or so walking around Tiruvannamalai, as one of my friends was trying to find us a place to stay through couchsurfing. If you don’t know what that is, by the way, it’s basically people putting up their houses online and inviting people to stay for free. Of course you have to take certain precautions dealing with strangers, we had a couple of weird interactions with our hosts (the person whose house we were staying at), but again, I’ll get to that later.

After finding some shade at a tiny run down temple, we got a message, someone finally accepted us! Unfortunately I don’t remember our host’s name. It was a pretty strange experience,  I met the guy only once while he was fixing the plumbing in his bathroom. He showed us to our rooms, where to get drinking water from, and poof, never saw the guy again. But I mean he gave us a place to stay, so he’s alright in my book.

Mount Arunachala is believed to be a holy abode for the Indian god Shiva

Tiruvannamalai was a pretty impressive, like I mentioned in the previous article it’s a city pretty much known for its temples and big mountains. It was pretty much all we saw, and we were pretty tired by the end of the day having walked all over and spent about an hour or so climbing Arunachala mountain. I think I said “wait I’m pretty sure we’re almost at the top” about 15 times before we decided to called it quits and just admired the view of the city. I don’t remember much of what happened after, I mean we obviously made it back down but we were so tired I think I just showered and immediately passed out.

We’re off to Pondicherry and Auroville in the next article, so I’ll see you guys then.

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