A Travellerspoint blog

Colours of South India - Epilogue

I am sure I will add more to this as the days go by and I sit and day dream about our trip to southern India, but here are some thoughts so far.

South India is totally different from the north.

Not as many animals on the road. In fact, hardly any at all. I can remember being gob smacked at the animals competing with the traffic in New Delhi, elephants, camels, donkeys etc, and in southern India, I only saw two elephants - one at the Meenakshi Temple in Madurai and one at the Spice Farm in Goa.

Not as much rubbish lying around, in fact, hardly any at all. Chennai was probably the worst and even that wasn't too bad.

We found it very hard to understand the language. I think it was because they spoke so quickly.

The power keeps going off, but thankfully only stays off for a couple of minutes.

Education is very important in the south and in Goa it is compulsory for children to attend school from the age of 5 to 16.

The traffic is a lot more orderly and they seem to obey the road rules, whatever they are!

There is a lot of head wobbling in the south and hardly any in the north.

The people seem a little more affluent and better educated. In fact, it was a pleasure to see the children going to school all dressed up in their uniforms, the girls with their hair plaited and tied up with ribbons. I seemed to notice that entire classes had the same coloured ribbons in their hair. It made it very easy to identify which class they belonged to.

The absence of palaces, as distinct from the north, which has palaces everywhere. The south has more historic mansions. However, we stayed in some magnificent places, ie the Radisson Blu Resort at Temple Bay, Mamallapuram; the Visalam at Kanadukathan in Chettinad; the Heritage Hotel in Madurai; the Hotel Spice Village at Periyar; the houseboat on the Kerala Backwater; the Brunton Boatyard at Kochi; the Grand Hyatt in Goa and best of all, the Taj Mahal Palace in Mumbai - just stunning.

The land in the south is a lot more fertile and very much greener than the north.

The south was a lot warmer than the north, which was to be expected.

The happy travellers - at the beginning in Chennai -

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And at the end in Mumbai - and no Delhi belly this time either!!

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Posted by gaddingabout 23:00 Archived in India Comments (0)

Sydney to Canberra - Saturday, 22 February 2014

Up at 7.00 am, quick shower and on the road by 8.00 am. Called into MacDonalds at Liverpool for breakfast and then continued on to Canberra. There is a medium amount of traffic but nothing much to worry about.

Arrived home at 11.30 am, put on a load of washing and then took the hire car back as the office shuts at 1.00pm.

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Unpacking mostly done, washing all done and grocery shopping done. Things are back to normal. It is almost like we haven't been away!

Posted by gaddingabout 22:31 Archived in Australia Comments (0)

Singapore to Sydney - Friday, 21 February 2014

A day of travel. Up at 5.45 am and down the front of the hotel at 6.45 am AND NOT A TAXI IN SIGHT! Not a bell boy, cleaning staff, PEOPLE - nothing! Usually the place is crawling with taxis. We were considering going back to the fifth floor where reception was located, when a taxi came ambling along, so we jumped in and proceeded to the airport. Not much traffic at that time of the morning and we arrived at Changi International Airport at 7.15 am. Easy check in. There is someone sitting between us but will ask them to swap places when we board.

Into the silver Kyrs lounge for breakfast. It was very busy but served the purpose. The flight was full and left on time and with the time difference between Singapore and Sydney was due to land at about 8.30 pm, which it did. An Indian girl was sitting in between us and happily moved to the window seat.

I slept a lot of the way. Now in wind down mode, at the end of the holiday. I did watch "Rush", the movie about the racing car drivers James Hunt and Niki Lauder. It was really good.

Landed on time in Sydney at 8.30 pm and cleared Immigration in about five minutes. As locals, we went through the electronic thingo and it worked brilliantly, once we worked out what to do! Collected our bags and cleared Customs. Because we had been in the Indian countryside, we had to stand on the "sniffing carpet" (my words, which had the Customs lady in hysterics) while the Customs dog sniffed our luggage. All good so we proceeded to pick up our hire car.

Phil, the guy behind the desk was there when we dropped the car off four weeks ago, so we had a nice chat. He was so excited because he was giving us a new car and he thought the colour was fabulous - gold. Personally, I thought it was pretty yukky and if I was buying a car, I certainly wouldn't choose that colour. See what I mean.

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Drove to the Airport Mecure Hotel, checked in, ordered room service and were in bed asleep by half past midnight. Long day but nice to be almost home, safe and sound.

Posted by gaddingabout 22:30 Archived in Singapore Comments (0)

Singapore - Thursday, 20 February 2014

overcast 30 °C

Had a very sleepless night. Phil snored ALL night and for the last couple of days, my piraformus muscle has been niggling and last night it was really sore. Had to get up in the middle of the night and take a pain killer. It is a little bit better today, but I can't walk as fast as I usually do.

We went to the computer shopping centre after breakfast and called in on George. He told us that he and his wife and son are coming to Australia in March for a week and we tried to encourage them to come to Canberra. At another shop I bought a new cover for my tablet. It is dark navy and fits the tablet a lot better than the old one. Came across this chap in the computer shopping centre.

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Phil bought two pairs of nice shoes.

We then wandered over to St Andrew's Cathedral and took a few photos. It is a lovely looking church and we overlook it from our room. This church was consecrated in 1862 and the spot for its location was chosen by Raffles himself. It is made of chunam which is a paste of shell lime, egg whites, and coarse sugar mixed with boiled coconut husks. The recipe was imported from British India and applied by Indian convict labour.

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Came back to our room and had a rest then at 3.00pm we caught a taxi over to China town to pick up my repaired ring. Yesterday I left them all there for a clean and polish as well as the sapphire and diamond one to be repaired. The jeweller seems to have done a good job and they all look so shiny and new. Time will tell re the workmanship but at this stage it looks pretty good. Phil bought a new watch band but it is not a Citizen and is a bit tight. We were then given the address of the Citizen Repair Centre which was not very far away so we caught a taxi over there, but they couldn't help either of us either. Back to our hotel and just inside the shopping centre, I was able to find a suitable watch band, plus got to keep my Citizen buckle.

We went up to the Sky Lounge on the 22nd floor to check out the menu for dinner and take a few shots.

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Now in our room, having a G&T and will have a meal in the hotel's restaurant later on.

Had a nice meal in the hotel's dining room of fish and chips and Norwegian salmon and toasted ourselves and our trip with a couple of glasses of white wine. Now finalising packing for the final leg, Singapore to Sydney tomorrow.

Posted by gaddingabout 05:37 Archived in Singapore Comments (0)

Mumbai to Singapore - Wednesday, 19 February 2014

Up VERY early this morning - 4.45 am, quick shower, cup of tea and breakfast box in our room, checked out and in the taxi on our way to the airport by 6.00 am.

Our taxi driver thought he was Jack Brabham and absolutely sped along the streets, weaving in and out of the traffic. It never ceases to amaze me how it all works out, I mean we were on a relatively new six lane highway, with no lanes marked and everyone just weaves in and out. Our driver even made a mobile phone call in the middle of trying to break the land speed record! Our trip into the hotel from Mumbai Airport took one and a half hours but driving in the evening peak was the cause of that. We were assured that early in the morning it should only take about 45 minutes, well we arrived in 30 minutes flat. Let me tell you, I had my seat belt on and was hanging on for grim death all the way! I have never been so glad to see an airport in all my life, even though it meant that our time in India was ending.

Checked in without a problem and our flight left for Singapore at about 9am for the five hour flight. The aircraft was only one third full, if that.

The new Mumbai International Airport has only been open for five days and is very nice.

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Phil watched Gravity (boring he said) and Rush and we both watched Last Vegas (very funny).

We arrived at the Peninsula Excelsior Hotel at about 5.45 pm, quickly checked in and then raced downstairs and caught a taxi over to Chinatown to drop off my sapphire ring for repairs, which we will collect tomorrow afternoon. Also left my other rings there for a clean and polish as well.

Back to Clarke Quay for dinner at Mulligans Irish Pub. Phil is horrified at the prices of food and grog in Singapore, especially the beer. I just reminded him, "You're not in India any more!"

It will be nice to have a sleep in tomorrow morning. Feeling sad - holiday is almost over.

Posted by gaddingabout 04:47 Archived in India Comments (0)

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