It's been a little while since I've posted, and that is because it has been nonstop. Yesterday (Saturday) we got some sleep after leaving the office at about 3:00AM, and then went sightseeing.
Our first stop was Dakshina Chitra which contains recreations of different types of ancient houses in India. We saw houses from different parts of India. One thing that struck me was how cool they were. Even though it was close to 100 degrees outside, they are constructed in a way where strong breezes pass through most rooms. We saw a potter make a vase and a cup, and I had a Parrot reading done. A parrot reading is where a parrot picks a card for me, and someone can interpret my future based on what card it picks. According to my reading, I have withstood demonic forces which means that I am impervious to accident, will live a long life finally succumbing to natural causes. Also, the last five years have been tough, but that this period has ended (as of February), and I will now enjoy a period of prosperity. Lastly, in October, I am to take a risk on a venture that will be profitable for me.
After that, we left to drive south along the coast to Mahabalipuram. On the way, we saw several refugee camps from the tsunami. Once there, we disembarked, and walked the ruins of ancient Hindu temples that are carved directly into the enormous rocks and hills. The structures are amazing, and to think that they were all carved by hand in about 650 AD. After walking and climbing (and sweating), we stopped into a local stone carver shop and haggled our way to some bargains. (I'll post some pictures as soon as I receive them from our hosts).
On the way back, we tried get a couple of beers to replenish from the hot day, but all bars were closed (and alcohol sales prohibited) because Monday is election day. Apparently, Indians get passionate about their politics, and to reduce the conflict that can come about, India prohibits alcohol sales during and before any election.
Once I got back to the hotel, I cracked open a large Kingfisher lager. It was yummy.