Sunday, June 27, 2010
On the weekends we get to be tourists. Saturday morning we loaded up in the rising star buss and headed to Mahabalipuram. A beach town, Historic landmark, and tourism mecca. We saw everything from ancient ruins to stone carvers making their Hindu sculptures. “It has various historic monuments built largely between the 7th and the 9th centuries, and has been classified as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.”(Thanks Wikipedia) We walked through the jungle around ancient stone temples and a huge rock called the “butterball”. One of the temples is dedicated to the God Vishnu, and on one of the ball reliefs there is a man slowly turning into a cobra as he descends into the depths of the earth. I will figure out what it means someday. The city was packed full of shops and restaurants. I got some delicious chicken tikki masala bought some things then headed for the Ideal beach resort. I’m trying to get the complete India experience which wouldn’t be complete without an Ayurvedic massage. It began with warm spicy oil being poured onto my forehead and then massaged into my scalp. I would highly recommend it! Be aware that you will be pretty greased up by the end. I slid out of there, jumped into the pool and headed to the beach. The Bay of Bengal is beautiful. The gray-blue water is lined by white sandy beaches, palm trees and brightly painted boats. The water was the perfect temperature and if I wasn’t so scared of salt water crocs I would have dived right in. I took a stroll down the beach and saw a fisherman mending his net and some boys launching their boat out into the crashing waves. I took one last dip in the pool, took a picture of Dani doing a sweet back dive, enjoyed a real shower, and loaded up into the bus. I opted for the front passenger seat. By the way I keep trying to get in the driver’s side of the car and it confuses everyone, especially the driver. The whole way home it felt like I was in a video game that is somewhere between grand theft auto and cruising the world. Our driver, Veel, weaved in and out of motorcycles, rickshaws, cows, people, and buses loaded so full people were clinging to the outside of them. He stopped to show us a family of monkeys and baby pigs. I almost cried they were so cute. As we got near a village we could see the outline of a temple on the top of a tall green peak, Tirukalukundram is the name of the village and I am going to figure out how to get back and climb the thousands of steps to get to that temple that is so close to heaven. Then it started to rain. Buckets of rain! The streets turned into rivers, motorcycles clung together behind big trucks, rickshaws sputtered through the deep water. I have sore arms from clinging to my seat. I’m going to think twice before I sit in the front again. Oh we saw jackfruit on the side of the road. I have been told it is what juicy fruit was named after. Hopefully I will get to test that theory out soon.
Posted by McCall at 7:09 PM