HAMPI: The city of stone / by Nogani Moore

The doors of our overnight bus open and we are flooded by a sea of tuk tuk drivers. Men with strange names like 'black widow' fight over us like fresh meat among a pack of vultures. It's 5am, I'm exhausted from staying awake all night & feel too disoriented to deal with this. Lucky I have Marley, she's ahead of Jake and I doing all the negotiations. She grabs me and leads me away before I get swallowed in the pit of bodies.

As we drive through a maze of palm trees, rice fields and Coca-Cola signs I tune in and out of listening to our driver, Shiva. His saying something about the type of tours he offers, there to places I've ever heard of nor care for. Right now I'm too fixated on feeling the wind hit my face, putting much needed life back into my body. 

In the distance I can see large alien like formations, I tune back in long enough to hear Shiva explain these are the mysterious balancing rocks Hampi is famous for. The sun is breaking over the horizon and spilling light over them, painting the stones in a warm ocean of hues. My eyes have locked onto the golden heat wave and I allow its hypnotic beauty to carry me away to a state of bliss. I already know that this memory will stick forever so I take a moment to savour it, I breath in natures perfection through all my senses. I get butterflies in the pit of my belly and immediately decide this place is special. 

By the time we find ourselves a place to rest it's around 7am and I can feel the heat slowly melting my excitement. By twelve, I'm completely depleted and decide the only way to stay cool is a mixture of drinking my body weight of icy water and cold showers. Neither of which help for very long. I start looking forward to nighttime, though it means being eaten alive by bugs its still favourable. 

After a few days of this I finally start to climatise and I'm able to revive the magic I felt apon arriving. This place has awoken something in me, I could be delusional from the heat but I feel the need to explore. We hire bikes and feel invincible as we ride through rocky deserts, finding fresh watering holes to swim in and small villages hidden away in shady valleys.

Each evening we find a new, even better, spot to smoke a little hash and watch the sun melt back under the horizon. Then spend our nights making friends to include in tomorrow's adventures. 

Eventually our body's fill with strength again and our creative juices start flowing. Over a few day period we can't contain our creative urges. I'm not sure what happened, but without speaking a word about it we start to make something we can keep forever. A collection of thoughts and ideas stream out of us. Our way to express all our feelings and show the magic of this place. The film evolves each day until we cant express any more, before we even know what we have done it's completed.

We finish filming and embrace each other, proud to have been able to share this experience with such beautiful souls. We decide on the name 'elemental'. High on life we spend our last night sitting high up on a temple, sipping beer, giggling uncontrollably and reflecting on the adventure we just shared and the magic that we captured.

Feeling a little buzzed the feeling hits me that this is exactly where I'm meant to be, with the people Im meant with. We made Elemental with love and for nothing else but love. Press play.