When we arrived in Havalock, Daphne & John were there to greet us! After welcoming exchanges and trading of stories we had to negotiate our "reserved" room situation at Crossbill Beach Resort where we (Bon, Tim, & Mari) had paid to have them hold 3 rooms for us thru the 4th and 5th.
Since Daphne and gang had to have a place to stay when they arrived, they settled at a place called Coco Beach for their entire time in Havalock. There they paid 800-2000 rupees per room vs the 3000 rupees we had reserved. Of course, the accommodations in each are very different...Crossbill - TV, ensuite bath with hot water, twice + the space, good overhead fans and virtually no mosquitoes, plus backup generator. Coco Beach - very basic bamboo huts, small cave like rooms, and no back up generator with power out most of each day. The only benefit at Coco was the price and breakfast was included.
After some discussion to appease the Crossbill owner we (Bon, Mari, & I) agreed to stay/keep 2 rooms one night - Mari would have her own room...she watched TV until 2 a.m., ha!
Although I searched for most of the next morning, I found no new digs for less $$$. Several said if I returned later or the next morning they might have a room for 300-500 rupees, no bath or shower or hot water, again very basic, even more so than where Daphne and crew were staying. We did find one - Shangrila - which had a room for 2600 r. but no hot water, no TV, and very dark. Bon was willing until they said no hot water. To change for our last 3 days and not save more than $20 US total was not worth it - I wholeheartedly agreed! Also, in a very considerate jesture, Daphne paid 3000 r. for the inconvenience and extra expense of having reserved the rooms in the first place and now having to cover a room which was not needed.
We had dinner with Daphne and gang at Anjou Coco Resto that eve to 'celebrate' our reuniting.
Mari moved to Coco Beach where Daphne + were staying and the obligatory 2 room conditions for a nite were met . She's paying 1800 r. but has her own room and bath which she prefers. Bon & I will be able to stretch our budget a bit given how close we are to her operation and not wanting any more chance of stressing her knee.
Today 7 hours at Bubbles and Ocean Tree Restro, Bon attempting to connect and make room bookings in Chennai, do LLCs, and emails...rain all day off and on, power off and on all day as well. In the eve our last dinner with the entire crew (John included), I again experienced a 'new' toilet adventure:
In India, I've found, just about every restroom experience is potentially a 'new' one. Here at Anjou Coco Resto the toilet is not only outside behind the restaurant but also, because we (customers) all remove our footwear at the door (a wonderful pile it is, too!), the restaurant provides footwear/flip flops out back to wear to the toilet. I, of course, walked right by the loaners thinking they belonged to the kitchen staff - the kitchen being out back as well, and all the loaners were different. Once I reached the rear exit where numerous rubber scraping mats covered the cement walkway I realized I saw no other footwear to use. An aside: I have a bit of difficulty walking bare footed on my left foot since my 'event' any time over all surfaces. Even before when my foot functioned fine I could never get used to flip flops - my big toe just would not tolerate the thong by it. So upon reaching the wet outside walkway, one of the workers noticed that I had no footwear and he tossed me a pair so I would not have to backtrack over the rubber mats. I got them on okay, but due to my previous incompetence with flip flops and now the added 'infirmity' I spent an inordinant amount of time hobbling/sliding my feet across the rear of the restaurant...again, over these egg carton-like rubber mats. Got to the door of the toilet and found it was a squatter AND no TP, just a bucket of dip and pour water! Usually (but naturally, not THIS time) I carry a supply of TP with me.
I lost all interest in the job I faced so I marched back the distance, leaving the flips (turns out they did have a pair of slide on sandals which might have proven more useful had I been more attentive) and back to our table, now hoping that we'd get the bill and leave soon.
As these things go in India, our bill did not come for over a half hour, meanwhile I tried to be sociable with chit chat and ignore the Elephant in my 'closet' so to speak!
I suppose it could happen anywhere but it just so happened where we're staying at Crossbill Resort in India. After a prolonged downpour of rain all night just about, I awoke to the sounds of dripping water from trees and roof and Bon opening the door to allow some fresh air into our otherwise sealed room. Within minutes what I expected to be the smell of damp but refreshingly clean air was smoke, cigarette smoke, drifting into our room at 5 a.m.! No doubt from an addicted breather of smoke now imposing his (because I've seen few women smokers and then only youthful ones still not totally hooked) dreadful habit on my relatively clean lungs! I am a confirmed reformed non-smoker so I'm particularly sensitive to the smell. To me it is one of the most obnoxious habits others impose upon non-addicts. The air should be free for all but it is not and in many parts of the developing world it is a luxury. Another sign of the increasingly collapsing environment which humans are polluting more and more each day!
I blame corporate greed and the inability of humans to control their own behaviour for the betterment of the whole. Selfishness and lack of individual responsibility thrive. Onward towards Near Term Human Extinction.
Rain, rain, rain - very unusual for so much to fall this time of year according to Crossbill owner. We were going to meet (Bon, Mare, & I) at Full Moon restaurant but down pour delayed departure. I went alone to get take away baked potatoes and boiled veggies. It rained much of the night...it was nice of the owner to install a flat screen TV in our room for our last night here. I read since there was little on I cared about other than one with Jennifer Aniston, ha!