|Heading here today since it is Mother's Birthday (Feb 20th) in Pondy and everything is booked solid for the next week +, nothing available even for one night in Pondy. After Bon worked on the computer/internet for 3 hrs getting her end of the $$ transfer thing done for her operation, we headed for the bus station. Computers are strange beasties, sometimes there's no rhyme or reason for the way things go in them. Anyway, we headed out at 3:30 via state bus up East Coast road - very smooth 2 laner. Driver was a bit of a MTWRer (henceforth standing for 'Mr.Toad's Wild Ride), we averaged 50 km/hr the best we've done in India, and made the trip in 1.75 hrs. Altho the bus just dropped us on the road junction just on the outskirts and it cost us another 40 r. by tuk tuk - bus up the Coast road was just 39 r. each, ha - to Lakshmi Hotel where we ckd in. Bon insisted we should have waited for the express bus which supposedly would have taken us into town but my impatience got in the way of this idea, ha! As we drove up the coast, the inland side was dotted w/ smal villages - mostly thatched roofed - and agric big & small, rice, coco palm groves, casarina tree farms...and just after we left Pondy what looked like expansive salt production/evaporation ponds.
Mamallapuram - Mam henceforth - is known for ancient rock carvings dating from 630-68 &700-28 AD, Kings Narasimha Varman I & II.
We cruised around the streets and waited for over an hour in Siesta Restaurant for simple tomato soup and boiled vegies. While we waited we watched the power go off and on at least 3 times.
Today we investigated a number of other ON possibilities and ended up across the street from Lakshmi in Vinodhara Guest House where it is more breezy (2nd floor), cleaner, & generally more pleasant for only 100 r. more. We both feel the need for less stressful (read: 'not as economical') environment, w/ more amenities. India now is just in a holding pattern for us while we get med stuff handled...no longer tourists per se exactly, tho we may go out for excursions for diversionary sake, ha!
Found Gecko restaurant, upstair by the pond/lake/tank...nice people, reasonable $$ and away from the regular tourist streets.
2-21, 22, 23
Watched Slumdog take the awards this am...it's very hot & humid here so we lay low, read alot, and contemplate/meditate on the future.... Tomorrow we leave for Chennai and Bon checks in for surgery.