Monday, 28 January 2013

Monday 28th - Our first visit to Southern India.

Once the AC had been tamed we got a decent night's sleep, waking up after first light to a dead flat landscape of palm trees and rice fields. We are somewhere in Andhra Pradesh between Vizag and VijayawadaThere are plenty of birds to look at including a field of Storks.  The train appears to be running about 30minutes late - no big deal at all. We breakfast on bananas and sweet chai - definitely preferable to the unsweetened stuff.

We have plenty to keep us occupied as our train heads in a south westerly direction.Trains at a Glance, Samit Roychoudhury's Great indian Rail Atlas (2010 edition), a copy of Saturday's Times of India. What more could be required? The bird life becomes more exotic
as we progress. We see several medium sized ones with electric blue wing flashes. They might be rollers but of course the birdbook is locked away in the rucsac and we are too idle to dig it out.

Lunchtime soon comes around and we make a total mess of the floor, the table and ourselveswhilst eating the aforementioned vastly expensive pomegranate. It is very good andcomplements the glucose biscuits nicely.

The fun still isn't over as we have plenty of time to indulge in the time honoured pastime of putting shoes on the fan.  There are no notices anywhere in our compartment to prohibit this.

Eventually we roll into Chennai exactly on time. As mentioned in all of the guides andforums the Chennai taxi/auto drivers are a real pain. A young English woman on her way intothe station stopped us to suggest that we get the bus to wherever we were going as the taxis are such a rip off. The Pre-Paid taxi counter was closed so that was plan A out of the window. The taxi hustlers insisted on quoting a price per person. The first quote was 400 each and we had to settle for 350 for the pair us - much more than either Delhi or Kolkata prices. We did get quite a scenic ride to our hotel and the additional thrill of being pulled over by the police. There was something about the taxi's windows that thepoliceman did not approve of and he issued a ticket before letting us proceed.

The New Woodlands Hotel seems to be a thriving place although the layout is a bit eccentric. We have a room in an annexe away from the main road which is very pleasant, along with an ante room that R describes as looking like a dentist's waiting room. We settle in, shower and then head out for something to eat.  The hotel next door has a bar/diner that is fitted out like an 80's disco but the beer is cold and we decide to eat there. They have several Middle Eastern style dishes and we opt for some of these. As we eat the music is cranked up - 'The Full Monty' soundtrack album. Time to go home.


  1. Maman, you look super stylish in that photo!

    Glad you are having fun.


  2. I was about to say, Mum looks very glamorous here! xxx