Tagged with road trip

GalleryThe Great Road Trip of China is about to commen...

Oh, hello there. It's been quite a while, I know. We've been in China this whole time, I swear. There have been five weeks of Chinese language classes and three weeks of a whole-hell-of-a-lot-of errands in between us. Now, Chinese drivers' licenses in hand, car purchased, Chinese car insurance decoded, food, camping and survival items bought off of Taobao (in Chinese!) and stuffed into the car, and our brains fully saturated in survival Mandarin, we're doing the final route planning for The Great Road Trip of China. View Gallery »

GallerySouth India Road Trip - Thanjavur to Thiruvarur

View Gallery »

View Related Essay »

EssaySouth India Road Trip - The Indian Way

Lorry drivers

All signs in the small city of Thanjavur lead to the "Big Temple," the complex Brihadeeswara dedicated to Shiva. On day three we woke up early to visit its immense courtyard before the crowds had assembled. The mandir is a beautiful, golden example of Chola architecture dating back some 1,000 years. It has that dramatic pyramidic shape characteristic of Tamilian temples but without the splash of ... View Essay »

View Related Gallery »

GallerySouth India Road Trip - Karaikal to Thanjavur

View Gallery »

GallerySouth India Road Trip - Auroville to Karaikal

Matt looking at maps

The official start of our road trip we consider the morning of October 13, when we woke up in Auroville, got on the bike by 9am and really "hit the road." We were in sweltering traffic for an hour, then traveled along the breezy East Coast Road to the small city of Kairakal. The road meandered through small temple towns and villages built primarily of thatching. We followed the endless grids of rice paddies, few of them cultivating. But here and there would be a square patch of vibrant green in a expanse of overturned dirt. We met the people and conversed in the language of smiles and waves. Mostly, we felt foreign, like black Martians being propelled through these lands of rice and palm. Take a look. View Gallery »

Our sturdy shelter from the rain for half an hour. Soon to come were six Indians who also had the right idea. We huddled together and exchanged grunts of: "Rameshwaram?" "Rameshwaram!"

 

Pre-monsoon roadside PB&J between Thiruvarur and Rameshwaram. The rains are coming...

Coconut water by the road. They sell lots of things by the road for relaxing in the shade - coconut water, hammocks, bivisac-like mosquito netting, rocking chairs, grass mats.

In the countryside we've been surprised by the honesty of people. On busier roads though, people seem to throw out prices and then give us sideways glances to see if we'll notice how high they are. This opportunistic coconut man charged us 150 rupees for three coconuts, a price that would be steep even in Mumbai! We gave him our frowny faces and handed him 90 and he didn't object. Of course in this heat with all our gear on, $1/coconut is probably a fair asking price!

Woman's bathroom face

At the most southeasterly corner of India, on the beach of Kodiakkarai (Cape Calimere).