My first real disappointment of the trip so far has been to get to Madurai, only to discover that the entire Sri Meenakshi Sundareshwarar temple was covered in scaffolding, as it was being painted. My only reason for stopping in Madurai had been to visit this colouful temple as images I have seen in pictures (great towers covered in painted gods) are really iconic of southern India. This painting work only happens every few years and the temple is due to be ready again early March, so just unlucky with my timing.
After travelling 5 hours ina bus to get here and arriving late, I was a bit tired and because of my disappointment fell into a bit of a strop and my first anti-India mood. I stuggled to eat my veg thali that night as I wanted western food. I took the attitude that I should make the most of a bad situation and took a walk around the city. The temple was open, even if not it all it's glory. I found myself a friend for the day, another traveller from NZ, who was equally at a loss for things to do, so went for a chai and a good chat until my mood was fully restored and I had made my peace with India again.