India
Tamil Nadu

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  • Day29

    Indien Tag 2

    January 29 in India ⋅ ⛅ 29 °C

    Heute sind wir um viertel nach 5 aufgestanden, da uns Gautam, mit seinem Auto, um halb 6 abgeholt hat. Zuerst ging es, pünktlich zum Sonnenaufgang, an einen Strand außerhalb von Chennai. Anschließend sind wir Richtung Mahabalipuram gefahren. Auf ca. der Hälfte der Strecke haben wir eine Frühstückspause eingelegt. Es gab typisch indisches Frühstück. Scharf und deftig. Nach dem leckeren Frühstück ging es dann nach Mahabalipuram, wo wir uns eigentlich einen alten Tempel anschauen wollten. Da die Eintrittspreise mittlerweile aber recht hoch waren (18€) haben wir uns entschieden das Geld zu sparen (für Lokals hätte der Eintritt nur ca. 50ct gekostet) und weiter zu fahren. Es ging wieder zurück nach Chennai, wo wir die Fortsetzung unserer gestrigen Stadtrundfahrt bekommen haben. Nach einer Kaffee und Tee Pause ging es in ein großes Shoppingcenter, wo sich Gautam für eine Hochzeit einkleiden ließ. Nach der Shoppingtour ging die Stadtführung weiter und endete in einem Starbucks, in dem wir einen leckeren Schockkuchen und jeweils einen Café getrunken haben, natürlich zu überteuerten Preisen. Nach dem Kaffeekränzchen verabschiedeten wir uns von Gautam und gingen zurück zu unserem Hotel, wo wir unsere weitere Reise planten. Als uns jedoch gegen 16 Uhr der Hunger plagte, haben wir uns wieder auf Futtersuche begeben. Es ging durch ein paar Gassen mit soo vielen Ständen. Irgendwann fanden wir ein sehr besuchtes Restaurant und aßen dort jeweils zwei Chapati mit Dipps. Anschließend liefen wir noch etwas durch die Gassen und stießen auf ein Restaurant mit westlichen Gerichten. Wir gingen hinein, bestellten uns eine große Portion Pommes und eine Lasagne (beides sehr scharf). Ich hatte dort zwischenzeitlich nicht nur einen Vogel sondern zwei, dann gingen zurück zum Hotel. Gautam holte uns gegen 9 Uhr ab um noch ein Abschlussbier mit uns zu trinken. Es ging für uns in einen angesagten Club "The Lord of the Drinks", da wir darauf nicht eingestellt waren, war unsere Garderobe nicht ganz passend, wir durften aber trotzdem an den Türstehern vorbei. Der Club war super schick, dementsprechend sah auch unsere Rechnung am Ende aus. Für 2 Mojito, 1 Bier und eine Cola zahlten wir 1500 INR.
    Wir unterhielten uns bis ca. Halb 11 und machten uns dann auf den Rückweg. Wir machten eine Pipipause im Hyatt, zuvor mussten wir uns durchleuchten lassen, allein die Sanitäranlagen faszinierten mit purem Luxus. 😁😂 Um 11 Uhr waren wir wieder an unserer Unterkunft und verabschiedeten uns von Gautam. Unser Wecker war für 4:40 gestellt. Tag Ende.
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  • Day28

    Sri Lanka Tag 28/ Indien Tag 1

    January 28 in India ⋅ ⛅ 29 °C

    Heute ging es für uns um 6 Uhr los zum Flughafen. Nachdem wir einige Male an verschiedenen Stationen kontrolliert wurden konnten wir unser Gepäck abgeben und bekamen unsere Flugtickets.
    Ziel ➡️ Chennai
    Versehentlich gab ich der Frau am Schalter den falschen Pass, welcher nicht mit dem E- Visa für Indien übereinstimmte. Da ich ihr erklären konnte, dass meine Seiten mit einem Pass nicht ausreichen würden, wies sie mich lediglich darauf hin den Pass in Indien nicht vorzulegen, da dies nicht gerne gesehen wird. 😁🙈 Uppsala... Außerdem mussten wir nach der Gepäckabgabe unser E-Visa sowie unser Weiterreiseticket ausdrucken, da wir dies bis dato noch nicht erledigt hatten. Kosten 1 Dollar pro Seite🙈😁
    Nachdem wir noch ein kleines überteuertes Frühstück (Muffin und ekliges Bananen brot, da Zimt drinne...) hatten ging es für uns auch schon ans Gate.
    Um 8:30 war Boarding und so erreichten wir Chennei pünktlich um 10:50.
    Aufregend! Unser Abenteuer Indien beginnt!
    Da wir nicht mit dem Taxi zu unserer ersten Unterkunft wollten, nahmen wir den Zug.
    2 Personen 10 Indische Rupien, also ca. 13ct 😁
    Nach ca. 15 Minuten wie vollbepackte Sardinen im Zug waren wir an der Zielhaltestelle angekommen. Nach einem weiteren Kilometer Fußmarsch durch die belebte Stadt, erreichten wir (total ausgehungert und teilweise knatschig) um ca. 12:30 unsere Unterkunft.
    Als wir fertig eingecheckt und unser Zimmer bezogen hatten ging es für uns erstmal auf Essenssuche, zum Glück hatte Gautam (der Inder, den wir in Ella kennengelernt hatten) uns schon einige Restaurants empfohlen. Bei Sangeetha waren wir mit der Karte total überfordert, also bestellten wir uns mini lunsh und lunsh dishes. 😁
    So, for sure we got some Currys 😂 but with some other stuff😊
    Danach ging es für uns weiter zu einem Vodafone Store für eine SIM Karte, dies dauerte ca. eine halbe Stunde und dann waren wir ausgestattet mit dem besten Internet. Für 650 inr gibts 1,5Gb Datenvolumen pro Tag und unbegrenzte kostenlose Telefonate ins Indische Netz für 30 Tage. Da wir uns um halb 9 mit Gautam verabredet hatten und er sagte es könne spät werden, ruhten wir uns noch etwas im Zimmer aus. Außerdem klappte es mit der indischen Nummer endlich mit der Registrierung bei irctc (dem indischen Bahnunternehmen) 💪🏻😊, also wurde direkt der Bus von Bangalore nach Munnar gebucht. Den Zug von Chennai nach Bangalore hatte uns Gautam gebucht, da die Sitzplätze für Züge, sowie der Busse, anscheinend recht schnell ausgebucht sind.
    Wie versprochen wurden wir um halb 9 von Gautam eingesammelt und wir fuhren direkt in eins seiner Lieblingsrestaurants (eating circles). Dort lud er uns zum Essen ein, es gab alles mögliche aus Reis und einen super leckeren Kaffee für uns. Nach dem Essen ging es weiter mit unseren privaten Stadtrundfahrt. Gautam zeigte uns viele schöne Gebäude, die Häuser der Millionäre, den IT Expressway, einige Institutionen sowie berühmte Flyovers. Wir legten noch einen Kaffeestopp bei einer Shelltankstelle ein und weiter ging die Stadtführung. Außerdem stellte uns Gautam noch eine Freundin von ihm vor, diese wird die kommenden Monate, wie auch Gautam, nach Canada zum studieren, ziehen.
    Um ca. 1 Uhr nachts kamen wir in der Unterkunft an und es ging direkt ins Bett, da der Wecker für 5:15 gestellt wurde. Tag Ende.
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  • Day441

    Mit dem Zug nach Ostindien - Chennai

    December 16, 2019 in India ⋅ ⛅ 28 °C

    Nach sechs Stunden mit dem Zug erreichen wir Chennai. Von hier aus möchten wir in ein paar Tagen weiter zu den Andamanen, wo wir schon lange mal hinwollten. 🏝️🐟🦐🐠🐡🌞

    Die Fahrt ist sehr entspannt, bis auf das einem die Nase immer läuft. Glaube der Smog der letzten Tage möchte raus. 😂 Quatschen mit netten Indern und genießen die teils malerische grüne Landschaft. 🌳🌴 Immermal wieder kommt jemand vorbei der was verkauft. "Chai, Chai, Chai" für süßen Tee oder "Kopi, Kopi, Kopi" für Kaffee rufen sie laut durch den Zug. Auch Suppe, würziges Gebäck, Wasser und vielerlei andere Sachen kann man für ein paar Cents erstehen. Abends gibt's ganze Gerichte. Für jede Kleinigkeit kommt jemand anderes vorbei. 😄

    Chennai Bahnhof ist die Endstation des Zuges. Beißender Uringestank steigt einem direkt in die Nase, überall tummeln sich Menschen. Welcome to Chennai. 😄

    Da es bereits spät abends und dunkel ist, haben wir gestern schon eine Unterkunft vorgebucht, damit wir nachts nicht suchen müssen. Fahren immer weiter rein in die Slums. "Puh ist das dreckig. Hmm was haben wir uns ausgesucht?" 😂 Irgendwann kommen wir an und sind einfach froh unsere Bleibe erreicht zu haben. Vor der Tür liegt eine Kuh im Dreck, es riecht übel nach Fäkalien. Die Gegend macht einen sehr armen dreckigen Eindruck.

    Von einer lieben Inderin, die vor dem Haus auf uns wartet, werden wir freundlich empfangen. Sie zeigt uns unser klitzekleines Zimmer mit Fenster, wo gerade mal das Bett reinpasst. Zudem hat es im Flur ein kleines Bad mit Toilette, wo die Wände nicht bis nach oben gehen. 😄 Für heute sollte es passen, ab ins Bett und von der Reise erholen. Da das Fenster sich nicht schließen lässt und wir direkt zur Straßenseite schlafen, die sich mit lautem hupen, rasenden LKWs, muhenden Kühen und jaulenden Hunden bemerkbar macht, drückt Sven in der Nacht kein Auge zu. 🙈

    Essenssuche ist am nächsten Tag angesagt, was sich durch die Suche auf Google nach Restaurants mit guten Bewertungen normalerweise oft als recht leicht erweist. "Kein Risiko in so einer Gegend! Möchten nicht das es schlimm endet. 😂🙈" Zwei Stunden und vier nicht vorhandene Restaurants später, kaufen wir uns im Supermarkt Obst und Joghurts und kredenzen uns ein köstliches safes Essen selber. 😄 Da wo ein Restaurant stehen sollte, war sogar das Gebäude abgerissen.

    Die Unterkunft wird kurzerhand auch getauscht. Landen bei einem sehr netten Inder, der sich freut das wir bei ihm schlafen möchten. Die Wohnung ist ganz oben im Haus und hat alles was man braucht. Küche mit Kühlschrank, Bad mit warmen Wasser und eine riiiiesige Dachterrasse mit 360 Grad Blick über Chennai. Läuft! 😄👍 Um die Ecke gibt es einen kleinen "Supermarkt" und sogar zwei Restaurants, wo man sich es als Europäer wagen kann zu essen. ☺️ Einmal bestellen wir Essen vom Bringdienst. Für fünf Euro bekommen wir soviel köstliches indisches Essen, das es gleich für zwei Tage reicht. 😁

    Im Supermarkt sind wir die Attraktion und es werden viele Fotos mit uns gemacht. Touristen sehen wir nirgends in der Stadt auch nur einen einzigen. Alle Inder sind sehr nett und möchten mit einem reden. Manche können englisch, andere nehmen Hände und Füße. 😉 Zwei Tüten Obst und Gemüse für die nächsten Tage, kaufen wir für ein paar Cents in einem kleinen Laden, der aussieht wie ein kleiner Kiosk auf ein zwei Quadratmetern.

    Wenn es dunkel wird ist jeden Abend ein großes Feuerwerk, was wir von unserer Terrasse beobachten können. 🎇😊

    Spontan zu reisen hat absolut seine Vorzüge. Einfach machen worauf man gerade Lust hat und dort wo es einem gefällt so lange bleiben wie man möchte ist phantastisch. 🌈

    Ergattern die letzten beiden Plätze auf der Fähre nach Havelock, eine Insel die zu den Andamanen gehört. 😊 In ein paar Tagen geht es los und heute ist der letzte Tag, wo man die Fähre noch buchen kann. Zwei einzelne auf der Fähre verteilte Plätze sind unsere. 😄👍 Bisher hatten wir immer Glück und manchmal ist es echt sehr voll. 😅

    Nutzen die Zeit in Chennai um Fotos, Videos und Texte für euch auf den Blog und YouTube zu laden sowie eine Datensicherung zu machen, die beim reisen oft mehrere Tage und Nächte durchgängig dauert, wegen dem Highspeed Internet. 😉 Es gibt soviel zu erledigen das wir zwei Tage beide jeweils 10-12 Stunden daran sitzen. ☺️
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  • Day9

    Tea Highlands Tour

    December 13, 2018 in India ⋅ ☁️ 15 °C

    Augie and Nancy came down with separate illnesses overnight. Augie wasn't up for the day's activities and stayed behind in Conoor to rest. Nancy, Sophie, and I spent the morning touring the Highlands Tea Factory in nearby Wellington. The tour was good although it covered a lot of familiar ground. We learned that tea harvesting happens all year, but the main harvest is in June when the monsoon rains bring fast growth. The guide explained that they employ one hundred pickers year round and several thousand during the wet months. While there, we noticed that several of the workers in the factory were migrants from Southeast Asia. He also explained that a picker's quota of leaves for black or green tea is around 40 kilograms or 88 pounds per day. The same pickers quota of white tip tea picked is 100 grams or less than a quarter pound per day.

    In the afternoon we caught a toy train from Conoor to Ooti. A World Heritage experience. Both towns were Hill Stations and are tea centers. Quite a nice ride through some lovely country. Much like our epic train ride through the Highlands in Sri Lanka.

    Upon return we found Augie to be much improved and ready for tomorrow's safari in the Bandipur Tiger Reserve.
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  • Day54

    Ahh Crap...

    January 11, 2019 in India ⋅ ☀️ 23 °C

    By wearing all our clothes and not moving I was actually able to stay warm last night but wowzer was it cold in the morning in the room. Inside our room we wore all our layers, but as soon as we got outside we had to take it all off as it was actually warm outside. We went for breakfast at the same restaurant and just as we ordered my stomach went crazy. I had to run back to the hotel and it was not a good sight. Let's just say I had to also use a bucket when on the loo. If the room wasn't so cold I would have just got in bed and never got out. I was feeling so sorry for myself. I felt unbelievably drained, homesick and so sick of feeling ill. As I'd left Will at the restaurant and didn't have data I plucked up the courage to go back and I got so upset. Then when I asked for the bill the guy had put a few things that we didn't ask for on it. This can be quite common and they think that tourists will just pay. It was so stupid because we liked the food and would have been willing to come back everyday for breakfast but now he'd lost our trust. So I paid for what we actually had and walked out.

    I wasn't having a good day at all and I honestly just wished I was home. To top it off I was feeling so guilty because I was now ruining Will's day because I was so ill. He was amazing though and we just went back to the local bakery and he sat me there for a while. As I hadn't eaten he bought me some cookies water and some coca cola for my stomach. We sat for a while chatting and I slowly ate the food and got rehydrated again. At about 11am I was feeling a bit better so we decided to go on a little gander. We saw a church, a waterfall and then headed towards Mountain View. We stopped for lunch just before the hike down the valley and I had Smileys. Haha by this point the clouds in the valley had crept in and the view was absolutely covered in fog. We descended to the first view point and couldn't see a thing so sat for a while before deciding to abandon ship. We walked an alternative way back taking in a few more sights along the way and taking a lot of rests. After a while I started getting tired so we decided to try and hitchhike back. Hitch hiking seems to be pretty easy! I wish we'd done more of it. We soon got picked up by 3 teachers who brought us all the way back to town.

    For dinner Will had found a restaurant that had a fire so took me there for a mini and well needed date. I decided I was off Indian food for a couple of days and so I had a veggie burger with a runny egg and chips. I was in absolute heaven. A fire, a burger and my boy. What more could I have asked for. In the cafe they had a few books and I'd heard really good things about Who Moved My Cheese. As it was a short read we read it and as I'm attempting to get prepped for the real world again it was a fun insight back into the working world. I'd definitely recommend it. So even though the morning started off quite rough I'm glad I persevered and ended up having a really lovely day.
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  • Day9

    Journey the Nilgiri Tea Highlands

    December 13, 2018 in India ⋅ ⛅ 22 °C

    Our Intrepid Travel tour is made up of eight individuals, four of whom are well known. Two couples have joined the trip, one from New York, Ina and Anatole and the other from New Zealand, Suzanne and Scott. The guide is VJ from Rajasthan. Everyone is a veteran traveler. So far so good.

    Yesterday we left Kochi and headed up to the tea highlands by train. We rode in second class cars and were fortunate to have seats together. I got a little bored on the train and spent part of the time taking photos of all the methods concocted to keep trays latched. We had an amazing lunch at a roadside restaurant along the way. Thali trays of South Indian delights. One of our number, Suzanne, is a chef's consultant in Auckland and is really into the food end of things. This should be fun!

    Once we made it to the Tiger's Hill Inn in Conoor Nancy, Sophie, and I took off on a nice hike in the tea fields. The road snaked along the side of a steep mountain dipping in and out of dense forest. As dusk set in a gentleman came alongside on a scooter and urged us to turn back because 'animals are coming!' Up here that could mean any number of things, including lost big cats so we decided to grab the next rickshaw and hightail it back.
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  • Day53

    Kodaikanal - The "Lake"

    January 10, 2019 in India ⋅ ☀️ 23 °C

    We arrived at Kodaikanal at 7am and as I was woken to a guy yelling last stop I was very discombobulated when I got off. He kept hassling us for our hotel to which we didn't have one and then he kept saying oh I'll take you to one etc. I snapped... And said "I've literally just woken up, I don't even know where the hell we are and we need a couple of minutes to pack and get off the bus. Indians do not know how to leave you alone when they can see dollar signs in their eyes!! After a couple of minutes we were able to orientate ourselves and feel a bit more normal. We let the guy show us a hotel but we had to wait for a while to see the room. Huge crowds started pouring in and he said we should see a few other hotels, come back and then choose. So we did. We saw a few places but they were all pretty crap for the same price so we told the guy we would just go with the first one as it looked like a proper hotel. We filled in the guest form and when I said the agreed price was Rs 700 the owner said a flat no. He realised he could get a lot more customers for more expensive so he wasn't willing to bargain. Bear in mind we had been wandering round with our backpacks for about an hour now so I was not at all pleased. I found the guy who had supposedly negotiated this price and gave him a piece of my mind. It was an absolute waste of time so we walked off in search for ourselves. The guy kept following us and I as calmly and politely as I could told him to get lost haha He just wanted to gain commission and wasn't even showing us places within our given budget.

    We then sat on a step looked on line for a couple of options and decided to just go in and see if we could bargain. We went to a hotel called Jayaraj, we got the price down to 500 and then went to check out the room. It was freezing and very run down but meh. Just as I was about to say OK Will spotted mice droppings on the bed! So we quickly declined. He then showed us another room which was in a separate building. I must admit the room was knackered looking, but it didn't smell like damp like most of them, it wasn't really clean and it was even more of an icebox than the last, but it did have a hot water tank. We ummed and ahhed for ages and eventually just agreed as we were tired and in need of a shower.

    After a good freshen up and a few internal screams due to feeling so cold in the ice room we got out in search for breakfast. We had Pooris and lots of cải tổ warm us up while planning the day. The plan for the day is to attempt to find scooter hire for the next 2 days and just get our bearings around the lake.

    We went down to the lake and wow what a mess. Now to be fair Kodaikanal had been hit by a cyclone in November so it was very clear that they were still doing a lot of work to clear up the destruction, but our expectations of the "Lake" soon decreased. Sure it was a lake but it had tatty stalls all the way round, you couldn't actually sit down and enjoy the scenery because there was a huge fence around the lake. To be honest it was an absolute let down. We started walking around laughing at the situation when Will decided to turn it into even more of a comedy, by hiring a tandom bike. The tandom was definitely for kids and was hilarious. First Will was on the front and it went quite well. Then half way round we switched and I just couldn't steer properly. Will was so heavy on the bike and everytime he cycled he would bump his knee into my bum as he was too tall. I haven't laughed so hard in such a long time. All the locals were laughing at us along the way. It was great half an hour of fun.

    In the afternoon we went exploring up towards upper lake view and we sat drinking tea. We were having no luck with regards to getting a scooter and found out that the taxi union opposed scooter rental so once again the taxi mafia were able to do and charge what they like to tourists. We had quite a long walk back and decided to try hitch hiking. It worked! Some uni students in a jeep picked us up and brought us all the way back to town.

    We walked past the local bakery and it seemed super busy so we went in to see what was happening. Outside everyone was eating ice cream so obviously we had to try it too. The owners were soo sweet. They gave us overly generous tries of all the flavours, I must have had 2 scoops worth of tries, before I settled with a really yummy Pear ice cream. When paying they gave us a veg pastry on the house too. I'm obviously coming back tomorrow 😋

    We then went for dinner at a small cafe and had veggie burgers with nachos. To be honest it wasn't great but worth a try!
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  • Day55

    Let's see where we can get to!

    January 12, 2019 in India ⋅ ⛅ 23 °C

    Umm maybe we should have found somewhere new to stay... Last night I swear I slept in a freezer. No matter how many layers I wore or how little I moved I could not get warm. But... at least we have a warm shower! So no we didn't move...

    Today we decided to go to the bakery in the morning as I was still not risking Indian food. So I had a very healthy breakfast of a pizza slice, chutney sandwich and muffin 😊 We met some travellers outside and soon got nattering and lost track of time. When realising the time we got up and decided to see how far we could get today as I was feeling much better. We walked for a while and then was able to hitch hike to the next town along. We then walked to all the various view points along the way. Wow it was busy!!! When we arrived at Green Valley it was hilariously foggy again. You couldn't see past the metal fence! Two minutes back onto the road and it's glorious sunshine but in the valley it was freezing and foggy. It was quite the sight. As we had no particular aim in mind we carried on walking past Pillar Rock, Gunan Cave and finally to Pine Forest where we sat and chilled for a while munching on snacks.

    In the evening we had planned to meet a couch surfing host for a drink so just before 3pm we decided to begin the journey back in case we couldn't hitch a lift. If we had to walk back it would have taken about 2 hours, so we were quite keen to hitch a lift if possible. We got onto the road and within 1 minute we were picked up by a family from Chennai who were so sweet and took us the whole way back to Kodaikanal. We were back by 3:15pm! We had a few hours to kill so we went to the cafe with a fire, had a hot chocolate and some chips and sat chatting to some guys from Watford who had just started their travels. They were definitely lads lads haha it was good fun.

    At 5pm we went to meet Rudy at his house. When we got there we were greeted by his wife as Rudy was still out on a run. He actually didn't get back till very very late, he ended up running nearly 100km! Instead Sonny and his wife kept us company and we had a good old chat about our travels, their travels and how they ended up in Kodaikanal. People are so fascinating! Rudy and his wife were both travelling separately and met in India. Since then they have never returned to Switzerland and have a beautiful semi detached cottage with Sonny as their neighbours. I'm so overwhelmed by everyone's openness and hospitality to strangers.
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  • Day56

    Cafe Day

    January 13, 2019 in India ⋅ ☁️ 23 °C

    Today we had grand plans to go on an adventurous hitch hike and hike that Sonny told us about last night. But for once it was me that didn't want to get out of bed in the morning. Hats off to Will though, he got up and out for Sunrise! I'm a bit gutted I didn't now as for the days we have been here we've not had a very good view of the valley but he did this morning.

    As soon as he left I did get up and got ready thinking he would come back soon but he wanted to give me a lie in so stayed out. I wish we had 2 sims! I was inside our icebox waiting for hours. Ah well he had a nice morning hehe

    The rest of the day was spent eating and chilling in a cafe. The last picture is of a kid that got a mega paper dosa, zoom in, its huge!!

    We are both utterly exhausted now and the thought of coming home is now very high on our agenda. We can't wait to have a real bed, not feel constantly exhausted, not have a dicky tummy or the constant feeling of a cold. We probably sound like such ungrateful gits but let's just say travelling is not easy!

    At 6pm we picked up our bags and after 45 mins of not having a clue where the bus picks us up we eventually jumped on the bus and straight into our beds. Again we splashed out on the slightly more upmarket ones so we could get a good night sleep. Each bed had a TV and speakers and this time someone was actually using them to watch a crazy action packed bollywood film in the birth behind so that wasn't ideal for sleeping... It's now 3am and we all got woken up and kicked off onto a seated bus! 😭 Can someone let me sleep please...

    Tomorrow is going to be difficult.
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  • Day59

    Whistle Stop Tour of Chennai

    January 16, 2019 in India ⋅ ⛅ 29 °C

    In the morning we got up and packed for our final journey in India. We started the day with yummy Egg Dosa and then jumped on our train to Chennai where we met Matty and Anna again! The train was empty the whole way so we were able to take the window seat and chill for the 4 hours.

    When we arrived we went straight to our hotel, had a bit of a back and forth with the owner with regards to the cost of our booking due to added taxes but eventually we paid the amount we set out to pay. All four of us freshened up in our room for a while before heading out for lunch. As always we chose the most busy looking restaurant and just pointed until we got what we wanted 😂

    After dropping Matty and Anna off at their hotel we decided to split up and myself and Will headed on a local bus to Arulmigu Sri Parthasarathy perumal Temple Divyadesam and then to the beach. I must admit after being on the bus and the walk to the beach I was done with Chennai. Of what I had seen so far the city was really dirty, smelly and with huge piles of litter everywhere. Finally we got to the beach and wow it was huge!! It's actually the longest beach in the country with a distance of 3.7 miles and it was packed due to it being the festival of Pongal.

    At about 5:30pm we met up with Imran, a couch surfer host. He picked us up in his car and drove us first to the lighthouse to see the city view of Chennai, Santhome Church and then Usman Road which had the biggest jewellers I had ever seen, some buildings were 10 floors high!

    For dinner he took us to Murugan Idli shop where we tried Idli, Onion Oothappam Ghee Masala and finally filtered coffee. It was the best Idli we had in India! Super yummy.

    We then went on a little drive and listened to Tamil and Hindi music, including a tamil rock song! We drove to 10 Downing Street for a drink, but it was closed! I was gutted as Imran said it was free drinks for ladies on a Wed! Then we tried Bike and Barrel, which was also closed. We then realised there was a ban on alcohol for the festival. 😯 Ah well, instead we went to try Sweet Pan which is a local digestive and mouth freshener before he dropped us back at the hotel.

    I wish I'd known more about Couch Surfing before we came out, it's such a great way of meeting locals!!!
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You might also know this place by the following names:

State of Tamil Nādu, State of Tamil Nadu, Tamil Nadu, تاميل نادو, Тамілнад, Тамил Наду, तमिलनाडु, তামিলনাড়ু, ཏཱ་མིལ་ན་ཌུ།, তমিল নাড়ু, Tamilnádu, ޓެމިލް ނާޑޫ, Ταμίλ Ναντού, Tamilnado, تامیل نادو, તમિલનાડુ, טאמיל נאדו, तमिल नाडु, Tamilnadu, タミル・ナードゥ州, ტამილნადუ, ತಮಿಳುನಾಡು, 타밀나두 주, Coromandela, Tamilnadas, Tamilnāda, തമിഴ്‌നാട്, तमिळनाडू, ତାମିଲନାଡୁ, Тамилнад, ਤਮਿਲ਼ ਨਾਡੂ, تامل ناڈو, तमिळनाडुराज्यम्, தமிழ்நாடு, తమిళనాడు, Тамилноду, รัฐทมิฬนาฑู, Тамілнаду, 泰米尔纳德邦

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