Saturday, December 30, 2006

Day 3: First taste of the city - Chennai (Madras)

Parked in the Comfort Inn, Madras
We pulled into Madras tonight and got a real shock. After the relative quiet of the roads leading here, we were now surrounded almost exclusively by blind drivers, who don't use their mirrors or give way at all.

It's cramped, it's smoggy and it's mayhem. Traffic moves at wildly different speeds, the buses thundering through tiny gaps between slothlike bikes interspersed with pedestrians who have so little concern for their own survival they just cross without looking, leaving it to the will of fate and trusting in the divine powers to get them to the other side.

The city fromt he roof of the rickshaw

Everywhere you look, you see accelerations to make your head spin, drivers pulling these maneuvres that make you sick just watching and I've nearly lost my head to a good few flying engined-guilotines as I've looked looked out the side.

I think Nick had a real challenge takin this all in and at one point in the evening we had to stop and chill by the roadside just to get our bearings back. All our heads were spinning from the kaleidoscope effect of Madras traffic so we stopped, popped into a bakers to refuel and Ivan went out and bought a new floral wreath to replace our floral pimping, before we braved the road to the Comfort Inn to turn in for a well-deserved rest.


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