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Read and rate Travel Journal Entries for Tamil Nadu, India

Dec 18, 2011 - Another busy week

Hello its been another busy week here in Chetpet, school as normal and then trying to organise my wee trip away in between christmas and new year, so finally managed to get all the hotels booked on Friday night and just need to keep my fingers crossed that they are ok when I get to them, it takes ages to look in the internet for hotels and reviews etc. Trying to see a bit of south India before I head to Goa, so that should be good. (will update you once I have been) At the school for christmas then head off on my little journey on the...

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Dec 13, 2011 - Where has the time gone.....

The last week has been so busy and I am sure the time is going quicker now than it did before. I still cant believe its Christmas in under two weeks, its just not cold enough haha. Although some of the wee shops do have Christmas stars and some decorations in - the christian/Catholic people in India put up a star outside their house at Christmas with a light inside it, they come in all colours and sizes and look very pretty. Last week was also a local festival and in the evening for 3 days all the houses put out their equivalent of little...

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Dec 8, 2011 - Aakriti farewell

A misty morning greets us as the sun tries to break through the valley opposite our villa. We drift across for the familiar breakfast, today supplemented with a form of Indian pancake, delicious. A trip to Sims Park, as the name suggests, a relic of British occupation. Now an arboretum with winding paths, steps, streams and a boating lake full of fat hungry carp. The trees are all spectacular and include the largest bamboo in the Nilgiris. It is home to a herd of bison, there are hoof prints a many but their owners are away grazing in the...

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India 2011

Dec 7, 2011 - Aakriti

Aakriti is without doubt the perfect place to come to wind down at the end of a holiday, good company, good food and beautiful scenery. So today starts again with mango jam, fruit, toast and Nilgiris tea. Followed by an expedition to Ooty to purchase presents for family and friends, to find a cash machine and try one last time for waistcoat. Renu and Rajat accompany us. A craft shop provides a greater part of Dorothy's presents list and a sweet shop something for my Friday friends. On to Ooty market with its amazing stalls and the last...

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India 2011

Dec 6, 2011 - Aakriti Homestay

We awake to the coldness of the Nilgiris mountain air, we are at 2150 metres above sea level, one of the Hill Stations used by the British Raj to avoid the Summer heat. Sadly Dorothy has a slight return of the bug, so stays in bed till mid morning. I walk across to the house and enjoy a relaxed breakfast of fruit and toast. Mango jam is to die for, washed down with their own tea, from the plantation which surrounds the house. Rajat's wife Mugda is just leaving for work and it is nice to catch up with her. Much talk and blog writing before...

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India 2011

Dec 6, 2011 - Beginning of Dec and Outing

First Christmas star goes up at the school this week, they put one up every week until Christmas. Helped with a few things the teachers had to do and classes as usual, been a bit lazy myself filling this in (I don't know where the time goes) anyway here I am, today is a Muslim holiday so no school. Sunday - took the teachers/staff on a wee trip, it was really good, we went to Gingee (the Kings Fort), Sathanoor Dam and then Tiruvannamalai (the temple and the ashram) So Gingee is a historical place where there are two forts (king and queen)...

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Dec 5, 2011 - Coimbature

Time is moving on and we have a train to catch. A brief visit to the foot of the Fort Mount and a quick snack before going to the station. Our local agent reappears, disappears and returns with our seat numbers. The carriage is 6 seats across, recliners, and we collapse into our allocated ones. The journey is long and largely a mystery. Windows so dark, no public announcements you could be anywhere. Fortunately I had ascertained our destination was a terminus, so just sit and wait and wait and.... Around us a sort of village life erupted,...

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India 2011

Dec 5, 2011 - Trichy

A nice late breakfast ensued after nice showers using solar heated water. Signing out was a joy, my debit card returned to life and small victory, they didn't charge us for useless wifi. We head of to Tiruchirappalli or Trichy as it is commonly known. A easy journey until the outskirts of Trichy where we encounter the mother of all traffic jams. A confrontation with a petrol tanker unnerved us all. Our driver giving us our first demonstration of Indian road rage, nothing more than a meaningful glare, slam of door and slow departure in...

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Dec 4, 2011 - Thanjavur

Again an Agent meets us with a driver and due to the lost time we meet with our guide and go straight to the 'Big Temple' Brihadeshwara. Since Agra we have seen a succession of impressive beautiful temples, at almost all we have been told, wait till you get to Thanjavur. Considered by some to be one of the most impressive, built by Rajaraja, king of kings, in 1011. Rajaraja was a mighty king ruling large chunks of South East Asia as well as South India. The huge temple is build on alluvial soil close to the river, not the best foundation...

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Dec 4, 2011 - Chennai

Up early to pack, pay the bill and have breakfast before 8 am train from Chennai Egmore Station. However a rather ineffectual front desk manager manages to block my debit card. Hotel Accord rapidly becomes Hotel Discord as I seriously lose my cool, his incompetence costs me £6 in changing some of our dollars to pay the bill. Perhaps it was the fact he was trying to deal with me, the phone, an errant mosquito and an Indian businessman all at the same time, sure as heck he knows the error of his ways now. We breakfast and leave with driver...

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Dec 3, 2011 - Mamallapuram

Again a fairly early start and a hearty breakfast before we leave at 7.30 am. This time we head to the office of our guide Aquila. From the windows of their conference room we listen and watch as an important lady politician returns to her house next door. The road has ten foot rosettes at each end, adorned with her face, and her gateway has an archway of flowers. Listen, because a drum corps is in full clatter, we record some to play back to our young family drum maestro. After the lady is safely back in the house I walk down to photo the...

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Dec 2, 2011 - Chennai

Today we have series of trails covering the whole day, included is breakfast and lunch! We cover our backs with a light breakfast in the hotel, our first paper dosa of the trip. Car at 0745 hrs and off to meet our lady guide Akila at the Hindu Temple at Mylapure. We get a goody bag and a briefing before handing in our shoes to the temple minder of shoes. Apparently he is nervous because he lost a 4000 rupee pair of shoes recently. A quick calculation and I realise mine are worth 5000 rupees! Bare foot we head into the temple. People...

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India 2011

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