I am now in a town called Tiruchirappalli, or Trichy as the locals and myself call it (it is a lot easier to pronounce!). It is another temple city, with one set upon a huge rock in the centre of town. From here I go to Madurai and continue to the west coast, then I want to head north which I hear is totally different in culture, religion, language, weather and landscape.

Rob at a temple in Southern India

Except for the first couple of days when there was some heavy rain, it has been hot and humid. I am getting a great suntan! The food has been sensational. I have been eating out in restaurants three times a day, which costs only about $1 per meal. After being a poor uni student for so many years, this is a luxury I am not used to. Fortunately, I have not been sick at all, with only a slight case of gastro the last day or so if you would like to know.

I have been staying in very basic accommodation, in single rooms rather than dorms as it is safer and more private, and only a little dearer. The rooms are very sparsely decked out – only a bed, fan and light. Sometimes they have a toilet and shower attached. The Lonely Planet guide has been a great resource for finding places to stay and for tourist information that is impossible to find locally.

Other highlights of the trip so far have been getting blessed with a tap on top of my head by an elephant (I hope the photo works out), bucket showers in the open with views of coconut trees in the distance, having a shave and haircut at the barbershop, including a face and neck massage and neck re-alignment for just over $1. I have also mastered the Indian toilet technique of using a bucket of water and my left hand. You are not getting any more details.


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