. OnHiatus.com > Journal 1 > Day Index > Journal Entry: February 18, 2001

Sunday, February 18, 2001
Port Blair, South Andaman to Chennai, India
India's Flag

Map
Chennai, India:
Latitude: 13° 3' 48" North
Longitude: 80° 15' 40" East
Altitude: 5 feet
From Seattle: 9733 miles
Lodging: Hotel - Harissons Hotel

Map
Today's Travel:
Country: India
Regions: Andaman Islands, Tamil Nadu
Route: Indian Airlines flight 7550: Port Blair - Chennai
Path:Port Blair, South Andaman - Chennai, India
Linear:843 miles
Weather: Overcast

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Map
Trip Stats to Date:
Day: 1410
Linear Dist: 272735
Countries Visited: 74
Regions Visited: 280
More stats...
Hotels: 548
Friends / Family: 338
Camping: 130
Hostels: 262
Transit: 88
Other Lodging: 13
Beers: 4534
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Journal Entry:
In the morning I had a no hassle rickshaw ride to the airport. At the airport there was the usual (for India) bureaucracy with check-in and security (be there to hours early, but can't check in until 45 minutes before the flight, search the bags multiple times, identify luggage after checking it in, etc.). But it all went smooth - luckily I'd remembered to pack all extra batteries in my checked bag. At the final security point the guard went though my stuff until found a camera (one of three) which he made me take a picture of the floor (it's a security violation to take a photo on anything else at the airport), once he's found a camera he didn't bother looking through the rest of the bags?!

In Chennai I caught a prepaid taxi to hotel without any great hassle. My first opinion of the city wasn't good - it's hot, muggy, crowded, mosquito infested, and everyone has their hand out. I had to tip four people at the hotel and I carried my own bag! I stopped answering the door once I had towels, soap, and toilet paper. After settling in I checked out an internet cafe (fast and cheap - well worth the price just for the AC).

After what I'd seen and reading the guide book there was nothing in Chennai that interested me. I needed to find an ATM to refresh my cash, so I decided to use that as a way to make me go for a walk. I got directions to from the hotel manager and set off. I took me a little over an hour to get to Citibank and the only hassles were the constant barrage of the rickshaw drivers (free! Anywhere you want to go) - my opinion of the city went up a little. After using the ATM I wandered around the ritzy shopping area before heading back to the hotel. I'd planned on getting a taxi back, but the all either wanted three times what was fair, or wanted to take me for free - I walked. I walked back a different way from the way I'd come, and I was able to get to the right area, but I could not find the hotel. There were two intersections a twenty minute walk apart that showed up on the map - and the hotel was on the street between them. I walked the stretch three times before getting incredibly frustrated. I went for pizza totally fed up with the city and not wanting to be in India. Dinner was pretty good and helped me calm down a bit, a not bad late at a coffee place helped further. Finally I decided to find the river and work back from there. Less than a five minute walk from where I'd been searching I found the hotel - it's marked wrong on my map! My bank trip had only taken me six hours! But the city did redeem itself a little bit - the hassles weren't to bad and the presence of pizza and decent coffee were a bonus.


Related Sites:
XTide: Current tides and sunrise / sunset times for Chennai (Madras)
CNN: Current Weather in Chennai (Madras)
US State Department Consular Information Sheets: India
CIA - The World Factbook: India

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