The Wheels on the Bus…

…don’t have rims. And they don’t run directly to the places you need them to. Surprise! It’s India. But it’s always an adventure. This past weekend, the three American Musketeers (James, John, and Austin) and Rahmat (our Afghani friend who lives in the Foreign Students Hostel) and I escaped Pondy for bigger & better things, including buses. Here is a list of where we went, how many buses it took to get there, and the precarious timing of it all:

Thursday night:
Kalapet, where the university is, to Pondy’s New Bus Stand: 9.10pm departure, arrived at 9.55pm. Our difficult-to-find bus was supposed to depart at 10PM.

Pondy to Trichy: 10.05pm to 3am. We stumbled off the bus only to have a random conductor approach us, saying Kodaikanal? Kodaikanal? Yes, yes, we said, forking over 250 rupees.

Trichy to Kodaikanal: 3.05am to 8am. We arrive, cold and slightly confused that it is cold.

Kodaikanal to Dindigal, because of course you can’t go directly to Trichy: 2.30pm to 5pm. (The bus was supposed to leave at 1.30).

Dindigal to Trichy: 6pm to 8pm.

And here is where the madness begins!
Trichy to Kumbokanam, as we try to get to Thanjavur, where there is yet another big temple to see: 1pm to 2.45pm.

An intercity bus from the bus stand to the temple in Thanjavur, which takes 15 minutes each way.

Thanjavur to Chidambaram: 6ish to 8ish.

Chidambaram to Cuddalore: 8ish to 10pm

Cuddalore to Pondy: 10.15pm to 11pm.

Exhaustion ensues.