Using my offline map (maps.me app) and the travel apps I had downloaded, I planned a walking route to a monument at the beach and headed out. The desk clerk told me it was 5 km to the beach. Down the street from the hotel I passed the entrance to a Muslim girls’ school (meaning administered by Muslims but open to all.) The young women were arriving in groups wearing vibrantly colored clothes. I turned to walk down a main street and realized I would have to walk further for a detour due to extensive construction expanding the metro rail.As I walked alternating between sidewalk and street depending a) if there was a sidewalk or not and b) if there was a sidewalk if was free of trash, intact, or not a storage facility for motorcycles or goods from an adjacent shop. Walking in the street could be challenging a) requiring readjusted awareness since driving is on the left side of the street, b) in addition to cars there are many motorcycles and yellow auto rickshaws for which the idea of staying in a lane, driving straight, and not darting around each other is alien, and c) stoplights and crosswalks are few and far between.
After walking about 45 minutes I found myself on a Street with shops selling all sorts of things. One of a group of dogs under a bench appeared to be very engorged, and I thought she must have recently had some puppies nestled under the bench Aero puppies with many flies I am the mother dog came in and checked on them and then worked to be with the other dogs. Construction workers removing part of the sidewalk starts their work as I walked by and one posed to have his photo taken. I walked taking pictures of street life. Almost alway always people willingly post for photographs when asked, sometimes calling friends over to join in, and even requesting they be photographed. One man showed me a large trash-filled cart topped by large black birds around the corner which he thought would be a good subject for a photo. I passed one cow strolling down the street. In this area. Walking on the sidewalk was utterly impossible period in this area.At one point a motorcycle was coming directly at me and I hate you champ to avoid being here and my phone died in the largest most because I have done I have ever seen fortunately I primarily corporate the so nice and all but I was not happy person averment in the nearby shop so my dismay and handed me a small bucket of water to clean off my shoe.
I continued on my way and arrived at the promenade drive along the beach and one side of the street is the Raj University of Madras and across the street in monument to two former heads of state. The just dance to the across the beach to the ocean was quite far I want waiter that this protected the government buildings I'm on the road from the devastating effects of the 2004 Tsunami I what found the beach reported to be the longest stretch of beach in the world. Because it was a work day few people were at the beach.After walking a quarter of a mile, I could see ahead up me a long stretch of empty beach. I approached an auto rickshaw to drive me along the beach to the White House several miles away I bought a ticket and took the 9 story elevator up in the lighthouse and had a great view of the beach and Chennai. I could see some small boats on the beach where the beach narrowed just past the lighthouse. After I came down, I walked over to the fishing boats. Along the street adjacent to this part of the beach were many small encampments, tents and lean-tos, and women were sitting in front of them selling fish. Across the street was a block of apartment buildings which I later learned were built by the government to house some of these fishing people who had been greatly affected by the tsunami. The following day the OAT group I am travelling returned to this area and drove down the beach even further where there are many rows of homes constructed from corrugated metal and other miscellaneous materials. There were two permanent buildings along the street built and painted to look like boats that are the common bathrooms. The government plan to construct housing for all of the people living in this area who had been displaced by the 2004 tsunami never materialized, so the people continue to live in these squalid conditions. We walked on the beach amongst the boats, scattered piles of fishing nets, and birds. Liquor bottles were plentiful and scattered throughout the sand. Some men were playing cards for money, Several little puppies were climbing and falling on a pile of fishing nets, with no mother.in sight.
I hailed an auto rickshaw and took a Disneyland “E” ride back to the hotel. I refreshed and walked the 4 blocks to the complex housing the National Museum and National Art Gallery.After paying the 250 rupee (roughly $4), for the ticket to both museums, i entered The
complex consists of multiple buildings, most built in the Indo-Saracenic architectural style during the British colonial period. Combining traditional British architecture such as red brick buildings with elements of Hindu and Byzantine, there are scalloped arches, minarets,harem windows,and onion domes. The museum houses a collection of carved stone sculptures representing India’s various dynasties and a wonderful collection of bronze figures. The Art Gallery was a bit underwhelming with its floor to ceiling painting of the varios British military officers with oversight of the Indian territory The special exhibit on muSICAL instruments was cloed, and I chose not to go to the children’ museum. I stopped on the way out at an ice cream stand and ended up conversing wath a woman visiting the museum with her mother and two sons. She is a veterinariian who works for the government and is charge of the frozen insemination program for the cows!
Fatigue had caught up with me so I took a nap for several hours. I ate dinner at the hotel which has an overpriced buffet and sampled southern India food. After dinner back to my room I posted some pictures on Facebook and promptly fell asleep.