Flight to Chennai
Went to the airport early so we could get good seat assignments towards the front of the plane. Bon quite opportunistically asked a fellow in the ticket window for Jet Air about it and he went ahead and assigned us our seats even though we would still have to wait another 2 hours to check in! Mare and I played cards while Bon read. It ended up being a half hour late at departure...seemed to me that SpiceJet had some preference, looked like a lot of group travellers taking SpiceJet.
The flight was only 2 + hours yet they served us a nice warm meal at about 3 p.m.. Very good flight fully packed, ha!
In Chennai the SIMS hospital had a fellow waiting to pick us up. It was rush hour traffic late afternoon so we did not get to what we thought was our hotel where the driver dropped us off. Turned out there is a Metro Park Residency where he dropped us, but our hotel booking was for Metro Park Hotel. A very nice room as far as space and bed arrangement but it turned out to have a lot of mosquitoes! The worst for mosquitoes on our whole trip so far, even worse than Breakwater which had a huge breeding 'pond' nearby! All of us got bitten partly because we could not agree on whether to have the AC or the fans on and partly because Bonnie suffers from headaches if there is no fresh air so having outside air come in might have contributed some. I really think the mosquitoes were there from the start under the beds - dark, moist, no air movement! At any rate we were only too glad that we had just 2 nights there before moving into the hospital!
We caught a tuk tuk to the .....bus station where we got the bus to Mamalapuram. We were told at the hotel that because it was Sunday there might not be many buses but once again, ask, and ask again because at the bus station we jumped aboard an almost empty govt. bus thinking we'd have to wait a long time for it to leave but in fact, it pulled out within minutes (it being 9:30 a.m.) and gradually filled to standing room only as we took nearly an hour and a half to get out of Chennai. In Mamalapuram at noon...lots of changes along the route from Chennai and in Mamalapuram itself from 8 years ago! The place we stayed then still there and we booked rooms from the 18th until the day before we leave on the 8th. Went to the now jammed beach and Mari went to the temple which had been free last time now is 500 r. to enter and tons of Indian tourists cramming the place. Glad we were here back then to see the sights.
Bus back from the same spot we were dropped off just outside town on the highway (was not here 8 years ago either)...out of tuk tuk and onto the bus, no wait, plus it took less than 2 hours to get back to our hotel. We went to Maple Tree Bar and Restaurant just a block from our hotel and had a very nice dinner...boiled veggies, pasta, and ice cream!
Bon & I move to the hospital where we are met by Mohan who shows us to our home for the next week. He also helps us locate and book a room at a resort for 2 days of recuperation near Mamalapuram...16th & 17th. Mohan says that these resorts which once only catered to tourists, now are often booked out for weddings which have 3 theme days of entertainment for all the guests and frequently cost the parents of the wedding couple a MILLION dollars, US DOLLARS! Unbelieveable! Bon gets all her tests done as well.
Operation at 7...