India - Aurangabad - Ellora - and the hospital
It was a difficult route we had chosen. Going with public transport from Bijapur to Aurangabad is not common (needless to say that a Lonely Planet not even thinks about such an option). But we finally found a solution. Especially bad is such a long overnight trip, when exactly that day we both started with a light "colon clense".
So all we hoped was that it did not turn worse. By train we left Bijapur around sunset. It was a 3 hour drive to Solapur. Solarpur seems to be a rich industrial city in Maharashtra. Suddenly houses looked much nicer and shops looked more expensive. We took a rickshaw to the private bus stand and first went to a nearby restaurant. We had 2 more hours to kill before our night bus left. Markus had a nice dinner (his stomach had settled in the meantime), Nina preferred just some lime juice. Better stay safe for a night on the bus. Then it was time to board our first sleeper bus. It left Sholapur at 10.30pm. After 3 shaking hours there was a short toilet stop (which we thankfully did not need!) in the middle of nowhere and in the morning at 5am we arrived in Aurangabad. We immediately went to our hotel, the Krishna Inn. They were very polite and welcoming but unfortunately were fully booked so they did not have a free room at that time of the day (for later yes, we had prebooked one). But we could use a bathroom and leave our luggage at the reception. We hang around the lobby till daylight came out and then we went to see the "poor man's Taj" or better the Bibi-qa-Maqbara. It is a mausoleum, as well, and resembles its bigger brother. We were the first ones who entered the grounds. No school classes, no other people. Just the beautiful building, the gardens, surrounding hills and us. It was perfect and we really loved it. It is not so very well maintained as the Taj Mahal but still some effort is put into the gardens and the building. We walked around the grounds for 1 hour and enjoyed it very much.
Although we were really tired of the night with only a few hours of light sleep in a shaky bus (these speed bumps in India are simply horrible), but we started to enjoy travelling in India again. We were welcomed warmly in a promising hotel, we went to an amazing sight - so we felt like celebrating the day and went to the nice Lemon Tree Hotel where we had the most amazing buffet breakfast. Nina's stomach was still a bit upset but much better and Markus was feeling well. So we had a whale of a time trying all the goodies for breakfast.
Later we checked in in our amazing room at Krishna Inn. Live in India was good for us again. Furthermore, we really liked Aurangabad. We went into town and to the Central Market - and we did quite some shopping. No tourist hassle, fixed and fair prices and really great shops. We ended this perfect day with a nice dinner in the Vrindavan Restaurant which is in the Krishna Inn and has excellent vegetarian treats.
After a wonderful night in a clean bed and a quiet room we had breakfast in our room (strange for us but popular in India - and it was included and really tasty). And then it was time for another highlight. We took a local bus (that was the oldest and shabbiest bus we had ever taken so far) to Ellora. It took around 45 minutes till we arrived in Ellora which is situated in the hills surrounding Aurangabad. The landscape there is really beautiful. OK - 37 cave temples were waiting to be explored. But first we had a nice chai tea before we startet with the oldest temples, which are the Buddhist temples. They were really impressive. It is unbelievable what these artists did at that time without many tools! They only used hammers and chisels.
Also the Hindu temples left us speeless sometimes. Especially the famous Kailash Temple is a masterpiece of architecture. It is an engineering marvel. This rock-cut temple was executed straight from the head with zero margin for error. Wooooow! We went as far as the latests Jain Temples which were also beautiful but did not have the details of the other temples. We must admit we were really tired that evening and both fell asleep on the bus back to Aurangabad.
We had a nice dinner and suddenly, Nina started again with a diarrhea. It had been better for 2 days but it came back. Markus, as well, started after a while but it was not so bad. With Nina it went so bad that she got dehydrated and she finally decided to go to a hospital at 11 pm. Thankfully, a private hospital was just a 10 minutes walk away. The doctor was competent but she made it very clear that Nina had to stay for the night. It was a bacterial food infection and Nina would have antibiotics to take via infusion. Markus would have to stay with her beacause they do not have any personal helping the patients. So we settled in for a horrible night in an indian hospital. We got a private room with our own bathroom. But in the bathroom there were coakroaches, the sheets were filthy and we both were just scared to pick up any other diseases. But ok, Nina got infusions with new and sterile needles and everything went smooth. The next morning, although not sleeping much, Nina felt better and finally, at 10 am we were allowed to leave hospital. We were really happy. In the meantime, every patient of the hospital who could still walk, had visited us. They did not enter the room. They were standing behind the door and starring at us through a window in the door. We felt like animals in a zoo - no privacy, just a constant starring of some random people. When the doctor finally came and told us to leave, Nina was crying because she was so relieved. Exactly at that moment, the door of our room was opened and the manager of the hotel came in. He just wanted to see, how we were and if we need something. This was so very nice. He even offered us to stay longer. The hotel was fully booked but he promised us to keep our room - he would find a solution. This is India - one moment you are angry about the people and how they behave and the next moment you turn around and someone is exactly finding the right words in the right moment. Amazing!
But another struggle was to finally get the medicine. After a while and with the help of the hotel manager we figured out which stores are farmacies. But one farmacy does not have all the medicine. As Nina was feeling week, poor Markus had to run from one farmacy to the next till he got all the drugs. But after a nice hot shower, some more sleep and some hydrating fresh lime juice with sugar and salt and coconut water, Nina was feeling much better. Anyway, we stayed in the hotel lobby and reorganised our trip. Markus was also still having some troubles but it looked like for him the ayurvedic medicine was perfect. We had decided to stay 2 more nights in Aurangabad to have enough time to recover. We were tired. Our enthusiasm had just come back and now this - we needed a break. And the Krishna Inn in Aurangabad was such a lovely hotel - we felt at home here. So we cancelled more destinations (we had planned to go to Matheran in the hills for 2 nights for hiking and we skipped Ajanta). The following day we still took it very easy. We went to the market in Aurangabad one more time and visited a lovely Shiva Temple. The resting was good for us. After 4 "eventful" days and nights in Aurangabad it was finally time to leave. Again we thank the Krishna Inn for the great support!
Another local bus brought us to our next destination....