|Often, cows and bulls are depicted in Hindu temples.|
I really don’t know where to begin. After all these years of travel and our share of trials and tribulations, these past days have presented a series of events, unusual from anything we’ve ever experienced in the past.
|“Kapaleeshwarar Temple: Dedicated to one of the forms of Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati that is Arulmigu Kapleeswar and Karpagambal respectively, the temple should be on the top position of your list of temples to visit.|
We’re safe, basically quarantined by choice. With few guests in the hotel along with us, our risks of infection are relatively low, especially now that India is banning all international flights, incoming and outgoing beginning in the next 24 hours.
|This hall at the temple site is used for weddings, arranged marriage meetings, relaxation, and prayer.|
With most countries banning foreign nationals to cross their borders, there was no country that we could escape to. They suggested we return “home.” That doesn’t work for us based on our circumstances… We don’t have a home.
|A moonlit evening on the beach.|
Within moments of hearing this final result, we stopped for a few minutes to discuss our options. They were few. Staying in Mumbai, for now, made the most sense when no countries would accept us, except for the US where we didn’t want to go. We began to make our way, with the loaded trolley, a long distance to a taxi stand, and then, the worst part of the morning ensued.
|A variety of trinkets for sale.|
Miraculously, the determined driver loaded the heavy bags atop the vehicle onto a luggage rack. Now, we’d hope and pray nothing would fall off onto the roadway. The seat belts and air-con didn’t work and mosquitos were flying around our heads. I was bitten several times.
Then, in our exhausted state as a result of little sleep from getting up at 2:00 am, the driver got lost and couldn’t find our hotel. He spoke no English and when he stopped several times to ask his taxi cronies where the hotel was located, they shook their heads. They didn’t have a clue either.
|St. Thomas Church in Chennai.|
With the mosquito bites, our clothes sticking to us, being jerked around in the rickety vehicle, we had to focus on staying calm. I brought up “Maps” on my phone and attempted to teach the driver two words, “right” and “left.” After a highly stressful hour, we finally made it back to the hotel, hot, sweaty, bitten and tired.
|It was a cloudy day but we still enjoyed seeing the colorful sculptures.|
But now, situated in this lovely hotel on the ocean in Mumbai, we’ve resigned ourselves to a self-imposed quarantine and have decided to make the best of it. Pools and bars aren’t allowed to be open in India right now, nor can one swim in the dangerous waters of the Arabian Sea.
Instead, we’ll make ourselves comfortable, doing what everyone else is doing; reading books on our phones, watching movies and tv series, and in our case, and on the cooler days, walking on the beach. It’s hot here now.
|Although it wasn’t very crowded, there are always many visitors to the famous Chennai temples.|
I called Louise and sadly explained we won’t be arriving tomorrow. But, when things change and restrictions are removed, we hope to head to South Africa. Hopefully, at that time, we’ll have a pig photo to post and the dreaded virus will long have run its course.
No “final expenses” for India will be posted at this time. Expenses are not final yet and based on current circumstances will continue to accrue.
Take care, my friends.
Photo from one year ago today, March 20, 2019:
|The helmeted guinea-fowls have been gone a few months. Yesterday, they returned with many chicks in tow, teaching them how to “steal” pellets from warthogs. As annoying as they can be, it was delightful to see their offspring. For more photos, please click here.