We had a good flight on Malaysian Airlines from Denpasar
to Kuala Lumpur (2 1/2hours) and stayed at a very convenient hotel 5minutes from their lovely new airport. We left again early the next morning and had a coffee at “Harrods” at the airport before flying on to Chennai (a 3 1/2hour flight). We were collected by a lovely man from the hotel complete with cap and white gloves who kept on calling us “Sir” and “Ma’am”. He told us that in Tamil Nadu they have outlawed window tinting as there were too many murders!
There was a student demonstration for we don’t know what but which was holding up the traffic and the driver told us that the traffic was “slightly moving” so it took us a long time to get to our hotel the “GRT Grand”. Again a lovely hotel with excellent staff.
We took a tuk tuk to “Express Avenue” Chennai’s newest mall of which they are very proud. We found a good little Olympus camera with worldwide warranty for a fraction of the price we would pay at home.
I have only been using my mobile phone for the last few years but have decided that I would like to be able to use a good zoom function. It even takes 3D photos which you can view with 3D glasses that they supply with the camera. What will they think of next!
We ate at the hotel’s “Copper Pot” restaurant which was superb, delicious food and great service. We both felt as though we had a bit of a cold so took it easy and had a good sleep. In the morning I lashed out and had a wonderful “Masala Dosa” for breakfast. I’m addicted to Indian food.
Chennai is very different from the very populous cities of Delhi and Mumbai in the north. It has many more low rise buildings and seems very spread out. The beach area has a very broad sandy area with very poor people living along it’s road and on the beach. Fish seems plentiful and we passed many fish markets which exuded a very strong odour from our open tuk tuk. There are some tuk tuks on LPG gas but many also that are not which makes long journeys in them a bit uncomfortable. We visited the interesting Kapaleeshwar temple and then the San Thom basilica – one of only three in the world that have the remains of one of the disciples. This one being St Thomas who lived her in 52AD. The only other two are St Peter’s Basilica in Rome and St James in Campostelo de Santiago.
We walked a fair distance and were asked a few times where we came from and the answer seemed to please the people who all welcomed us to India. We waited at a large intersection with a flashing little red man sign opposite. I asked the policeman standing next to me if the light ever went green to which he replied ” I am the traffic manager” and he proceeded to show me the switch in his hand which he pressed to turn the light green. “Come along” he said, so we did and crossed by the green light!
I found a taxi company online to take us to Pondicherry, a 2hr 30minute taxi ride away.
We departed the next morning the 20th March about 10am and there was not a lot to see along the way. A few low hills and small settlements and a lot of arid land. It reminded us a bit of the north west of Western Australia.

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