As I write this .. it is 12 o’clock noontime on Friday .. February 10th .. and I am physically sitting in South West Tamil Nadu .. in the city of KODAIKANAL .. the map has its marker-pin placed showing where I am ..
Last Tuesday .. the 7th .. I checked out of Mothers Guest House in ‘Pondi’ and moved across town into a guest house close to Parveen Travel Office where at 11:25PM (a tad past the scheduled departure time of 11PM) I left Pondicherry on the east coast of India South of the large city of Chennai and .. by overnight bus .. travelled South and West across Tamil Nadu and I arrived into KODAIKANAL (KODAI is what they call it locally) pretty much on-time .. Wednesday Morning the 8th of February at about 7:30AM ..
As I was waiting in the office of Parveen Travel in ‘Pondi’ Tuesday evening .. I met the Branch Manager (Naresh) of Parveen Travels and was invited into his office .. when he learned that I was from Alaska .. he began to ask me many questions ..
I then did the following .. I went to his computer at his desk and I brought up the web site of Gullible (a friend of Patti and myself) and took him to her PHENOMENAL WEB SITE ..
And told Naresh .. THIS IS THE WEB SITE TO SEE PHOTOS OF ALASKA !
AND OFF WE TWO WENT ! I showed him my two web sites .. showed him FWIW.. 114.. in which I specifically mentioned his travel agency (Parveen Travels) .. he called his staff into his office to show them what I had written .. and it was a phenomenal visit ..
KNOWING there were buses loading and he was a busy man I excused myself BUT .. he asked me .. “Can I do anything to assist you ?” .. and I said yes there is .. “Can you recommend to me a hotel in KODAIKANAL and do they have tours of the city there ?” ..
If you want things done .. ask a busy man to do something .. in a flash he was on his cell phone and speaking with someone .. giving my name and some details in the Tamil Language ..
When he ended his call he turned to me and said .. “I have just spoken to a close associate in KODAI and he will meet you at the bus and he will take care of you .. his name is Babu !” ..
IF you go to my photo web site .. http://bobbacaps.blogspot.com .. and go to FWIW (KODAI).. 160.. February 10, 2012 .. you will see photos of Babu and of my hotel here in KODAI ..
My entire interaction with Parveen Travel has been OVER-THE- TOP PHENOMENAL !
The bus ride (as bus rides go which is NOT all that good) from Pondicherry to KODAIKANAL WAS PHENOMENAL .. I had a front row seat all to myself opposite side from the driver .. I could open the window wide for the wonderful cool night air .. the seats reclined very well (quite far back) .. for a long stretch we were on A FOUR LANE TOLL ROAD DIVIDED HIGHWAY which is MUCH SAFER than an ordinary two lane country road with suicide passing by all the drivers .. I had NO IDEA such a road existed in all of India ! .. we stopped four times for short breaks .. then the long climb from the plains to the 7,200 foot level in the mountains was at daybreak and took well over one hour .. and it was fun to watch as we climbed up and up and up !
A bus ride in India (road wise) could not be better .. and we did NOT need Air Conditioning which it did not have .. nor did it have a toilet which can be handy .. but all-in-all it was JUST GREAT ..
Then as I got down from the bus in KODAIKANAL .. there was Babu to meet me and take-me-under-his-wing !
I spent Wednesday getting myself sorted out here in KODAI .. and it was an all-day job !
KODAIKANAL is a city of hills and more hills .. a lot of rigorous walking .. I spent the day Wednesday exhausting myself .. and I could NOT find an Internet Cafe .. it was all I could do to find my way around .. few people speak fluent English here in KODAI .. BUT orient myself I successfully accomplished .. having been on the bus all night (Tuesday into Wednesday) and doing all the hilly walking .. I was out cold when I went to bed Wednesday evening ..
Babu set me up with a full-day tour (with lunch) yesterday (Thursday) .. and at 5:52PM last night .. I fell into bed and slept until 7:20AM this morning ..
BUT .. when I got onto my tour bus yesterday morning at my hotel Babu told the bus driver .. “Show him where the Internet Cafe is AND .. take him back to it when the tour is over !” .. and dutifully the driver did both .. so I am in business ..
KODAIKANAL IS ALL I WAS TOLD IT WOULD BE ..
FIRST .. It is blissfully COOL IN TEMPERATURE (low 70s days and probably low 60s at night .. just guessing..) and it feels WONDERFUL to SLEEP UNDER A BLANKET at night ..
SECOND .. it is BEAUTIFUL .. I don’t know if 7,200 feet (2,133 meters) is the mountains BUT it will do well as the mountains for me ..
BUT .. a slight bit-of-trouble IN Paradise .. ALL OF INDIA HAS POWER PROBLEMS ..but for power problems ..
KODAI tops everything I have seen in India .. the electrical power is OFF about eight (8) hours a day !
This translates into 9:30AM or so until 2PM or so and 3PM or so until 6PM or so .. AND intermittent power outages all during the night ..
SO WHAT ! YOU GIGGLE about all night on-and-off-and-on-and-off AT NIGHT ! .. who cares about all night power anyway ..
I have a C.P.A.P. breathing machine for SLEEP APNEA that is WHAT .. and when the power goes OFF so too does my C.P.A.P. and when it goes OFF it stops pushing air-into-me and I AWAKEN struggling for air ! .. THAT .. COUPLED with the 7,200 feet altitude .. kind-of-sort-of makes the night a .. TAD CHALLENGING ..
I am absolutely tickled to be here power-on or power-off..
This Internet Cafe has a generator and THAT-IS-THAT power outages ..
OK.. enough for now .. much joy and happiness .. love .. cap
- FEB 4, 12 .. PONDICHERRY LEADS ME TO KODAIKANAL
- FEB 11, 12 .. KODAIKANAL TO HONG KONG