Eli and I finally made it to Chidumbarum. This is a location that I rated high on my priority list as it is home to the major Shiva Natarj temple in India. Paul, my teacher in the year-long study of the Shiva Sutras, etc., talks about it a lot. I think it's his favorite place on earth.
We decided to travel the 70 km. south to Chidumbarum by motorbike. We took off before dawn, thinking to beat the traffic and the heat. Well, we didn't beat the traffic and now I wonder if there is ever any time when there's not a massive amount of traffic on the roads here. We did beat the heat. In fact, the temperature was 72 degrees F. We got so cold that I had four shawls wrapped around my head and neck, and I was holding Eli's hood onto his head since the wind kept blowing it off. We were not just refreshingly cool but actually REALLY COLD for the first time in 2 months. (I think I'll just have to live in multiple layers of wool for awhile when I get back to the beautiful & chilly Pacific Northwest).
I am so glad I did all this motor biking with Eli. He is tremendously competent and responsible and his reflexes are amazingly sharp. As for myself, being in India makes it easier than ever to say "well, if today is the day I'm supposed to die - then I will. and if it's not, then I won't". Eli's skill and my surrender make a good motorbike team. AND, I'm glad we are done with the motor bike part of things. I need to rest my nervous system. About every 5 minutes something crazy would happen - like a bus blasting past, passing (on a curve) a bullock cart loaded with branches, both vehicles as wide as the whole road. Somehow they move past each other with no casualties. Meanwhile Eli manages to get us out of the way. (We now officially hate Indian Bus driving habits, Mosquito Feeding habits and Nazi political habits).
Arriving in Chidumbarum was a chaotic sort of good. We got intermixed in a tangle of pilgrimage and wedding traffic. Finally we found a great Indian restaurant and sat down - sort of shell-shocked - to Masala Dosai and Idly and Milk coffee. Yum. Hallelujah - we were in Chidumbarum.
So! Chidumbarum deserves it's own blog post. It is good - really amazing. And although it is not my favorite place on earth, I have a lot I'd like to describe about it. I will have to do all that in a separate post as I'm out of time at the moment. It might be a few days until I post anything due to our travel schedule. So.....stay tuned.