Since we lost our Skoda Yeti in the Chennai floods in December 2015, we had to leave behind some of our travel related stuff back in Chennai. For us to do the Kerala ShikshaDaan Yatra we needed those things and so we made a quick two day trip to Chennai on June 7th and 8th.
We started off comfortably at 6 am and again the roads are familiar so they seem shorter. We crossed the Ramoji film city easily before 7 am and we stopped around 9 am to eat a pack of “Top Tip” Bhelpuri for breakfast.
We also stopped at the Jersey parlour to have some cold flavoured milk. You know that you are in Andhra/Telengana the minute you see Hanuman statues on the sides of the highway. Looks like my Andhra and Telangana friends are Hanuman Bhakts and since I am born to one I feel right at home 🙂
After Addanki, just an hour later there is this massive Hanuman statue.
There is a third massive Hanuman statue near Ongole. I did take a picture so that Amma could enjoy seeing Hanuman :).
The string of shops selling mangoes from the orchards started after 35 kms from Ongole and just after Tungturu. We stopped and bought some for us to eat and for Amma and Nachi and family. Mostly the “banganapalli” and “rasalu” varieties of mangoes is sold here. We didn’t take pictures while going towards Chennai but got lots of pictures while coming back to Hyderabad. These shops start just after the Tungturu toll plaza called N5 toll plaza.
We had a late lunch at Hotel Amravati which is just after Gudur. The food was outstanding as always and interestingly Krishnan had “tiffin” while I ordered “meals”. I cant resist the Andhra Pappu podi and gonkura pickle and they taste awesome only with rice.
We reached Chennai by 5 pm and collected our stuff from home. Met Urvi there but missed meeting Ayushi. People must learn from Goonj and this young lady Ayushi on how to keep your premises clean – our house looks cleaner than when we were using it. We then went over to Nachi’s place and the skies opened up just as we neared Virugambakkam. For an hour we stood half a kilometer away from Nachi’s place as the street turned into a flowing stream …. While standing there the spectacle of a drunken man falling down in the middle of the street and refusing to move away showed the impact of the state run Tasmac bars :(. Anyway will talk about that separately. We reached Nachi’s place by 9 pm and had a good cup of coffee before sleeping off.
The next day we met with Mr. Venkatesh Narasimhan, the MD of Co-optex and discussed how ShikshaDaan can partner with the weaver’s families to support higher education for their children.
Spent the rest of the entire day of June 8th getting documents ready for ShikshaDaan. We got back to Hyderabad on the 9th and on the way bought some more mangoes :). We had breakfast at Amravati, flavoured milk at the Jersey parlour and reached home for a late lunch.
Here are the pictures of the Mango sellers near Tungturu –
The following pic is by Krishnan, a panoramic shot and it looks like my long plaited hair is falling over my face :):). When Krishnan met me for the first time, I did have really long hair so he has managed to recreate it photographically !