A Travellerspoint blog


Cruise Day Eleven - Chennai, India

Tuesday, 19 January 2016

View 2016 Indian Ocean on greynomadm's travel map.

Weather conditions this morning were pretty much a repeat of the past few days, grey sky and no perceivable horizon as we worked our way into the port. The city was previously more commonly call Madras and has a population of over 8 million people.

Our Shore Excursion today was a coach trip to the monuments at Mahabalipuram. These monuments date to the seventh century and are massive structures carved from the local granite. There were three separate sites, the Shore Temple constructed from separate carved blocks, the 'Five Rathas' each carved from a singe monolith and the massive Arjuna's Penance a bass relief carved across 88 feet of hillside.

Interesting as these monuments are, the real highlight is the almost two hours each way in the coach. The traffic is unimaginable and resembles a real life game of dodgem cars played out by vehicles ranging from scooters, tuk tuks, local buses of all sizes, luxury coaches and overloaded dump trucks. The speed was somewhat restricted due to extensive roadworks and the real game was played on the 'diversions' where there were just two lanes of normal traffic frequently occupied by three or four vehicle abreast.

The other attraction was the local ladies in their spectacular saris and the delightful young girls who took a fancy to me after I took some photos of them. At one point they were all lined up for a group photo, I stole a snap of the group but didn't go unnoticed. When they broke up they were all smiles and happy faces.

The overall air of the place is overcrowded, untidy and squalid. The worst was the fisherman's village. A collection of shanties along the beach built from salvaged timber and plastic sheets. Their original dwellings were wiped away by the tsunami that inflicted so much devastation to this low lying region. There is promised new accommodation but progress has been slow at best. Many of the fishermen and their families were relocated to other parts of the city after the catastrophe but over time they've drifted back to the beach and their traditional means of livelihood.
Despite the chaotic traffic we were back at the ship's side within an hour of the scheduled time. No small thanks to the ability of the driver of our coach. A memorable day of eye-opening experiences.

Back on board for a delicious meal in the dining room after which we retired to the cabin as we were both missing our afternoon nap.

I've used the image of those lovely ladies and young girls for today's offering, if you have time you can view it by following this link to the image for Today

Wishing you good health and safe travel.
Have a great day and stay well.
Cheers .. Tony

Posted by greynomadm 06:24 Archived in India Comments (1)

Cruise Day Ten - 8th Day @ Sea - Bay of Bengal

Monday, 18 January 2016

Arrived on Deck 14 to find that we were sailing in an envelope of grey. Despite this less than promising start, the sun put in a belated appearance and I managed to capture a slice of colour. Grabbed a quick breakfast and rejoined Jenny in the cabin. She's ordered a Room Service breakfast and was quite anxious at what she thought was a late delivery, turns out her watch was out by an hour.

Jenny reported to the Medical Centre at 10:00 and passed the health check, she's officially released from confinement. She still has a lingering cough but some cough mixture should take care of that.

Lyn Hurry talked about the further four Ages Of Man and shared her passion of poetry claiming that "if you can write good poetry you can write anything". While we were in the Theatre there was an announcement from the Front Desk which we heard but didn't understand. I suspected it was to do with the processing through Indian Immigration.

Our scheduled time was 13:30 and although it was only 11:30 we took a chance that we'd be allowed through. No queue so no questions asked. A Princess staff member checked that we had the requisite items of documentation. In front of two officials we handed over our passport with entry visa, the Indian Arrival card and the Shore Pass. Each document was duly stamped with two official stamps, the Shore Pass and the Passport returned to us. Next the passport was collected by Princess staff and a receipt issued. Another Indian Official to check that the Shore Pass had been correctly authorised and again stamped it. Finally our Cruise Card was scanned to record that we had been processed. It all proceeded quite smoothly and were through in less that 5 minutes.

Took Jenny up to Deck 14 and out onto the deck, her first taste of open air and view of the sea for the past two days. Had our lunch in the Horizon Court and returned to the cabin with the intention of taking in the Movie of the Day. Jenny decided she would rather take a nap so I went to the Theatre and sat through "An American in Paris" with Gene Kelly and Leslie Caron. It is no doubt a classic, great music, amazing dance routines, wonderful costumes and elaborate sets but it bored me to sleep. Amazing to think that people paid good money to see it in its heyday.
Back to the cabin to scribble these notes and prepare for the evening. I would like to see if there's a visible sunset and snatch a bite at the Horizon before heading off to the show.

As with plans generally, things have a habit of happening despite them. We didn't have the bite before the show. The Theatre was filling fast at least 45 minutes before the phenomenal Maggie Scott had us roaring with laughter. She cracks joke, she sings with volume and passion and displayed an unexpected dexterity on the keyboard. An amazing entertainer who richly deserved the standing ovation at the end of the show.
We finally made it to the Horizon Court for a belated meal. The food was less than spectacular and a few of the things I tried were disappointing. At least the soup was hot and tasty.

Chennai, India tomorrow, our first visit to India and looking forward to the experience. I've uploaded the best of this morning's sunrise images, if you have time you can view it by following this link to the image for Today

Wishing you good health and safe travel.
Have a great day and stay well.
Cheers .. Tony

Posted by greynomadm 07:17 Archived in India Comments (0)

Cruise Day Nine - 7th Day @ Sea - Bay of Bengal

Sunday, 17 January 2016

This morning's photographic opportunities were about zero. I snatched some snaps of a bit of light high in the sky but don't hold out much hope for a decent shot. Walked some laps and had my breakfast then returned to the cabin. Jenny has made up a list of what she'd like for breakfast and I assembled a tray for her. She's looking a bit better and will visit the Doctor again at 10:00. Fingers crossed, she'll be released from confinement.

Jenny's back from the Doctor, her temperature is back to normal and after a follow-up visit tomorrow she may be released from confinement. I was reading the ship's policy on medical confinement, a person who breaks the rule may be subject to forced disembarkation at the next port at their own expense.

Attended the session with Lyn Hurry who explored the first three of the Seven Ages Of Man and the poems and songs that have been written for each stage. Many poems were read by famous actors and illustrated her point that poetry should be read aloud.

Jenny explored the Room Service menu for her lunch and was well pleased with the toasted sandwich and french fries. I ducked up to the Horizon Court and ate a quick lunch before all the tables filled. Fortunately a sizable crowd was outside watching the Ice Carving demonstration.
Left Jenny in the cabin and went to the Theatre to watch "Driving Miss Daisy" staring Morgan Freeman and Jessica Tandy. A good sized crowd possibly because there's not much else happening and the weather is none too great for the sun bathers either. Half the passengers are being processed by Indian Immigration today, the other half, including us, will be put through tomorrow.

Chased the setting sun in the hope of achieving an acceptable image for today. The sea and the clouds met on the horizon where it was almost impossible to distinguish one from the other. While I was up on deck 14 I grabbed a quick dinner and assembled a plate for Jenny back in the cabin. We haven't made any effort to dress up for tonight's Formal Night, that makes two we've ignored.

The clock is set back 30 minutes tonight, that should be the last for a while although we continue on a generally Westerly course. I'll stay with Jenny to watch a movie on TV. "Saving Mr Banks" was an interesting film and relates the story - true or fiction - of how Walt Disney finally won the rights to make the film "Mary Poppins" after a 20 year battle with the author.

Nothing of photographic merit today, so today's image is from yesterday, if you have time you can view it by following this link to the image for Today

Wishing you good health and safe travel.
Have a great day and stay well.
Cheers .. Tony

Posted by greynomadm 07:19 Archived in India Comments (0)

(Entries 1 - 3 of 3) Page [1]