Pt 31 – Carrots, SeeSaws & Monoliths

Sunday, January 24th, 2016

Nick was killed by one of the Golden Girls with a frying pan after we stopped at a truck stop for chai. This ended up being a murder-suicide because Nick was out to kill the same person. Not literally, of course. I’m referring the the “Murder Game” that we had been playing. It had come down to the two of them, Amelia and I. I knew Amelia was out to get me, and she knew I was out to get her, so we both chose to do nothing so we could stay in the game. We were just waiting for one another to fold.

Since the game was at a stand still, we were both given a new scenario and a new weapon with the murder-suicide rule exempt. I had to kill Amelia in a cave with a carrot. While we were taking a break, I decided to try a Bear Fruit which kind of tasted like a pear mixed with an apple. I was pondering where to get myself a carrot when Jules slipped one discreetly in my hand. Game on!

We were traveling to a different set of caves, the Ellora Caves. As we approached Hotel Kailas which we would be camping outside of, we passed by truck after truck hauling sugar cane.

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We started our walk passed the many vendors to get to the first cave. They were mostly selling jewelry and rocks. When one of the vendors started getting a little too pushy with Trevor while trying to sell him rocks, Trevor grabbed a pebble from the ground and gave his own salesmanship a whirl right back at him.

The moment we stepped inside the first cave, I shanked Amelia with my carrot right as she was reaching for hers. Apparently, we were both given the same weapon and scenario, it was only a matter of who killed off who first. I guess we looked a bit ridiculous frantically reaching for our carrots as I aggressively poked her with mine.

Everyone in our group was cracking up since they were in on it, while the other tourists were looking at us very, very confused. I’m sure they had many questions that would remain unanswered. That is unless they’re reading this right now. If that’s the case, mystery solved! Now you know. You’re welcome! We both may have tied in the box game championship, but I was the reigning champ of the murder game! This is just one of the things worth putting on my future resume.

After the carrot homicide incident, we entered Cave 5. It used to be a Buddhist monastery and was built sometime between 600-730 CE.

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It was large, but not as pretty as Cave 10 which had some good acoustics. The guide demonstrated this by singing a chant.

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We switched from Buddhist to Hindu art when we reached Cave 16, a monolithic rock-cut temple that was created from top-to-bottom, taking approximately 200 years to complete.

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It’s one of the largest monolithic structures in the world and was very impressive in size and detail.

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The guide showed us how the story of Shiva was carved into the structure and that part of the temple was cut into an unsupported part of the mountain. It was very nerve-racking walking underneath it.

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The caves were impressive, but a lot of us, including myself were distracted by our deep hunger. We all returned to the hotel where Rafik was cooking up one of his delicious meals. After eating, we pitched our tents as Nick struggled to remove one of the truck tires from the wheel. Trevor and Carmel tried to help by lending some muscle with little success.

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Usually a spectator’s two cents doesn’t count for much, but Ray suggested that they use the weight of the truck and a jack to add enough pressure to loosen the tire’s. It ended up being incredibly helpful advice which put an end to a two-hour long battle.

After kindly receiving a few cough drops from the woman at the hotel’s front desk and grabbing some ice cream in town to soothe my sore throat (thanks to India’s lovely air quality), we drank a couple Kingfisher beers by the truck and wrote notes of gratitude to Rafik who would be returning home tomorrow. We enjoyed some snacks that he made as we watched monkeys playing on our tents.

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Of course there were more no-shows to help prep food for dinner. These same people decided to dodge cleaning up afterwards too. We were feeling pretty fed up with the less harmonious and helpful people in the group. Over drinks, we decided to get up stupid early to pack our bags, put away our tents and make sure we could secure some nice truck seats for the long drive ahead of us the next morning. Silly? Perhaps. Worth it? You bet!


Jump Back to Part 30: Cave Art, Stretchers & Germ Swapping

Jump Ahead to Part 32: Bribery, Nadkins & Fuzzy Ducks

OR

Start from the Beginning at Part 1: Don’t Forget to Pack Your Anxiety

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