We stayed in the lovely Sloth Bear Jungle Lodge in Hampi. A state-owned/operated facility (!) that was one of the cleanest, nicest options in either Hampi or the closest city, Hospet. (Trust us, we did our due diligence and looked at several hotel rooms before selecting this one.) Here’s me in front of my cottage


It really was wonderful: an incredible location, balconies from each cottage, with crisp clean linens, (surprisingly) good mattresses, fluffy towels, excellent service (from everyone from the porters and driver, to the naturalist, cook and manager!) and terrific food. I would happily stay there again. But it is not without its quirks. Please chalk the following story up to a mere quirk and don’t let it stop you from visiting.

As we were getting ready to leave for sight seeing, I plugged my cell into the charger in the car. I realised I left my hat, so I went back to the cottage to get it. I had to jar the door a little to open it from the outside: the humidity made the door swell (happens everywhere -not a big deal, hardly noticed). While I found my hat, a stiff breeze slammed the door shut. Again, no big deal. Found the hat, went to the door and pulled the handle to open the door. The handle came clean off the door into my hand! (Okay, I did notice the top screw was a little loose earlier. But I’d thought “no big deal.” Hum…)

No worries, I was sure I could jiggle the door open using the deadbolts… Not. The humidity & wind-fueled slam sealed the door in TIGHT!! The deadbolts hardly gave me any leverage. Plus, now that I was inside, I had to pull open the door inwards, which was harder than just putting my shoulder to it to barge in from outside.

Maybe if I just rattled the door someone would hear? Did I mention each cottage is located some distance from the others and situated to try to ensure clear lines of sight? In other words, each is somewhat remote from the others. So, no: that didn’t work.

I could phone someone! But there were no phones in the room. My cell was in the car.

Balcony! It had to be done. I climbed out the balcony (granted it wasn’t THAT high) to escape my wrongful imprisonment. I didn’t see any monkeys during my stay — but I am sure if any were watching my escape, they’d have been proud of me!

As politely as possible, I dropped off the door handle with the manager and asked him to have it repaired whilst we toured Hampi. He did so and all was well upon my return. Whew.

All through the rest of the trip, when I was lollygagging on my way to meet my entirely supportive would-be rescuer traveling companions (ahem…) they would text me, “Are you trapped in your cottage AGAIN?” Thanks ladies. With friends like you. I’ll always make sure I have a climbable balcony and/or cell!

Here’s me on the balcony/emergency escape


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