NH 13 has a loooot of lorries on its roads. I mean, there are only lorries. We were wondering where the rest of the world was. Thankfully, a car passed us by, then another. Next comes the Arebailu Ghat, similar to every other ghat road I have been on, Shiradi... Satyamangala...Bisile ghat... The change of landscape is abrupt. The road winds on through dense forests and around the next turn the plains open up.
The northern parts of the state are upon us. The people look different, the air is hot with the smell of Byadagi chillies that is grown in these parts and dust from corn fields blow on my face. At infrequent intervals, I see carpets of chillies laid out to dry. We stop at Yellapura for lunch, not a very good one. Further on, we happen upon a village where the weekly market is in full swing. I see a lot of tribal women around wearing their sarees in a very elegant style. Their jewellery is fantastic. Ma and I are so amazed that we forget to read the name of the village.
Hubli is a large town, an important commercial centre. But it looks more like an over-sized village. We pass by the circle where Dr Raj Kumar, the Kannada matinee idol, shot his famous song "Huttidare Kannada Nadali Huttabeku". From there it is NH 218 towards Badami where the landscape, the people and the corn fields follow. Badami is a small place. We were worried we would not find a place to stay but finally found a good one, newly built with clean bathrooms (very important when I travel.)