Worst Possible TimingDecember 18, 2018 in India ⋅ ⛅ 16 °C
We spent the day in Mysore visiting the market. Sophie and I went to a government run silk factory where they make material for many of the gorgeous saris that this city is known for. They didn't allow cameras, so we left without photos. They wind 10 strands of silk into one thread then feed them through giant looms. Everything was mechanized, but there were hundreds of employees tending the machinery. The shuttles moved incredibly quickly back and forth across the loom. Couldn't really follow them with our eyes as they moved.
In the evening we had dinner at the home of a long time Intrepid Travel guide and his family. Chicken Birryani and an eggplant dish. The food was delicious.
We then boarded an Indian Railways overnight train for Chennai. Accommodations were a bit different than the last time I traveled on one of these trains 45 years ago. Porters bringing chai, making up the compartments, and seeing to every need. Now first class tickets have to be reserved months in advance. All other classes basically require a mad scramble with no guarantee that seats/berths will be together. Our second class berths were in an open compartment with eight others. At bedtime we folded the backrests up to form a middle of three berths per side. The seats at the passage end make up the seventh and eighth bunks. It is crowded.
The night didn't go so well. I thought it would be a good sleep from the gentle rocking of the train. The ride was much more jolting than I remembered or expected. Sleep was difficult what with people moving up and down out of the bunks, babies crying,, and Nancy's snoring exacerbated by her headcold. Then it got bad. I thought it was motion sickness from the movement of the train. By 3:00am I was scurrying to the squat toilet at the end of the car. I'll spare the details, but this sort of thing is not easy or sanitary on a train moving at 60 mph and jolting back and forth.
Sophie and I spent the last 24 hours sick and sleeping in our hotel rooms in Mamallapuram. Another of our crew experienced the same. All three of us had taken seconds of the aubergine dish the night before.
Nancy and Augie spent the day experiencing the charming city, going to the beach, and riding bicycles around the temple complex. Their report follows.Read more
Feel better soon...and carry vodka on you.