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Published: October 24th 2011
Madurai 13th /15th October
Well we left Kodai on a beautiful day!!! but it was good to see the place bathed in sunshine even if we were leaving!! At least it made the trip down the mountain a little more pleasant than it was on the way up! However it was quite cloudy as we got down onto the plain and stayed that way until the heavens opened later in the evening in Madurai.
Seems that Madurai isn't the best place for us as the hotel we had booked denied all knowledge and said they were full. As it happens it was quite a long way out anyway. Muthu managed to find us another hotel, no problems. We were also able to walk to the very impressive and huge Sri Meenkash Temple and saw the street markets etc. So OK!! Ann is finding the Indian shower bucket just the right size for doing the washing!! and it has got to be better than sending it to have the living daylights battered out of it then laid to dry on the grass!! I Joke not. In Madurai they take it to the nearly dried-up river and beat it!!
Madurai was unlucky, well next we were watching the TV News to find that Kingfisher Airlines (our preferred carrier to Bangalore on Sunday) is on the verge of going bust and had all it's flights out of Delhi grounded. On checking, we found out that all flights out of Madurai were cancelled til 18th (we were flying on 16th). Couldn't get another suitable flight to get us to Bangalore in time, trains full, couldn't even get a flight to Chennai in time unless we left straight away. Good old PLAN B
. We go back to
Mamallapuram with Muthu a day early on Saturday and he takes us to Chennai on Sunday.......sorted
. KF Airline eventually phoned us on Friday Night to tell us of the cancellation. Should get our money back and now have a flight at 17.40 on Sunday Chennai to Bangalore which hopefully gives us 3 hours to get from the airport to the train station for the over night train to Hospet (for Hampi)?????????
As for Madurai, well mad,mad, mad, busy, busy ,busy but probably the best temple complex of all ....so far. Even more humbling was the couple of hours we spent at the Ghandi museum. Just
a simple display of the history of the barbaric, British domination of India and the life and trials of Ghandi and his peaceful campaign of non-co-operation leading to the partition of India and the foundation of the independence of India. It is a wonder that Indians don't hate the Brits but it seems that ultimately all ended on friendly terms. English is still the common language across all states, which is why travel in this challenging country is all just a little bit easier then it might be. Finally if you ever come this way and want a driver you will do no better than to book our friend Muthu who has been professional, friendly, informative and so helpful. He is a business graduate from Madras university and has his own travel company. His English is good and he is a very careful driver. He can be contacted on 9840507239, or on firstname.lastname@example.org
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