2-3-2012 - Trivandrum to Madurai
Our train to Madurai left at 4.20 pm so we had a bit of time to continue exploring Trivandrum before we left - also, we had to check out of the Hotel by 3.30 pm.
We went to the SMSM Emporium, a fixed price enterprise selling handicrafts, silk, wooden objects etc. I bought a new glasses case as my old one has taken a beating during our travels in Vietnam and Nepal.
Back out on the road still looking for the elusive Internet connection - no luck though.
In the arvo we went back to the Railway station to catch our train to Madurai - a 6 hour trip that would get us there at around 11.00 pm. The Hotel guy in Trivandrum had kindly booked a Hotel (of our choosing) in Madurai for us - one that had a 24 hour check-in.
The train was a 3 tier sleeper but was not air-conditioned as we had expected - it turned out OK though as the locals we were sharing with were all fine and the breeze through the windows kept things if not cool then at least not hot.
On the trip was saw a very large wind farm with all the wind turbine things whirring away on both sides of the trains - there were hundreds of them. Behind them were a collection of hills & mountains that were very scenic. It was too late in the day to take any still photo's but some of the video may come out OK (I haven't checked it yet).
Desley's back started to play up early in the journey so she spent much of the time stretched out on the upper bunk. Probably lucky it was available.
Arrived in Madurai and paid an Auto Rickshaw driver 30 rupees to drive us what turned out to be only a couple of blocks to our Hotel, the Madurai Residency, which is much more up-market than the ones at which we usually stay. Despite it being so, it turned out that hot water is only available between 5.00 and 9.00 am. It's so hot outside it doesn't really matter and hey, this is India!
After our "included in the price of the room" breakfast (very nice too) we went out and found an Internet cafe so we could update the travel blog. If we thought it was hot outside it was much hotter inside, plus we had the added pleasure of a diesel generator running right near the front door. Managed to send and read some emails & update the blog before we had to escape back to the hotel for some air-con therapy.
After lunch at the nearby British Bakery we went back to the Railway Station and organised our tickets for the next leg of our journey to Trichy (full name Tiruchirappalli). We will leave here on Monday the 5th at 11.10 am.
Our plan for tomorrow is to see the local Temples and visit the Ghandi Museum located here - we'll see how we go as trying to see a plan though here is not so easy.