Travelling – day 93

Got up ridiculously early as there was no way that either of us were prepared to take another night bus and the only other option was to catch a bus to Chennai at 7.30am. Having side stepped and climbed over several member of staff asleep in the reception area of the hotel, we had to wake up one of them to check out. Turns out we woke up the wrong guy, who then proceeded to wake up every other staff member to get us checked out. Managed to walk past the security guard on the front door (who was snoring – very reassuring!) and started making our way to the private bus station. Left ourselves enough time to walk to 2.5km so that we didn’t have to rely on catching a TukTuk at that time in the morning. The early morning stroll was surprisingly nice, watching the city come to life. We walked past a beautiful Jain temple which wasn’t listed on any map or in the guide book. The sun rising over the temple gave it a gorgeous hue. Arrived at the bus station/shop and sat outside waiting for the bus to turn up, looking at different places that the bus company travel to – the best place. Somewhere north of Chennai called ‘Cumbum’… Jayne wouldn’t let me change our travel plans to visit it – the big meany!!! We grabbed a chai from the street vendor and tried to feed a stray dog my weird cheese crackers but even he refused to eat them!!  After a bit of confusion about which bus we were supposed to be on, we were on the right bus heading in the right direction. I had a quick power nap before being woken up for the first toilet stop of the journey. Back on the road, we pulled out the netbook and finally finished the Harry Potter film that we’ve been watching since New Years Eve!! Arrived in Chennai seven hours later and fell into the KFC next to the bus stand (oops!). After a totally delicious and indulgent lunch, we walked down the road to the public bus stand to catch a bus to Mamallapuram. Went to the tourist information desk to ask which bus stand we needed and the guy was more interested in finding out where we had been in India and where we were from rather than helping us!! Eventually found out where to go and managed to jump on the right bus just as it pulled out of the stand. A slightly bumpier and more squashed 2 hours later, we were walking down the road into Mamallapuram. Found our hostel, a very grubby and mosquito infested prison cell which was unfortunately amazingly located!! Dumped our bags and headed straight over the road to watch the Annual Indian Dance Festival – a highly regarded dance festival that show cases dances from all over India. We watched the dance in the open air stage in the shore temple complex. Was nice to sit on the grass watching and listening to the classical music performances.   After the final dance of the evening, we headed back to our hostel and had pizza for dinner before collapsing into bed by 9.30pm.  Friday 8th January 2016

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