An Alien in Spain - Visits India (Rameshwaram)

It is strange how when your travelling alone, one minute your heading for a well known destination on a map and the next you have spoken to people you've met along the way and all of a sudden you find yourself standing on a station platform at 6 am with a 35 Rupee (1/2 a euro) ticket clutched in your hand, heading off to a place 4 hours away. Which is how I ended up sharing a train ride with a wonderful lady called Dominique ( a real traveller who spends as much on a room for the night as I spend on a Tuk Tuk ride).

Rameshwaram is off the tourist track but right up there with the best of the locations for temples the pilgrims need to visit in the Hindu religion. The train ride was great no crowded carriages and a window seat for rafts of green fields and palm trees and eventually a ride out over the ocean to the final destination.

A short Tuk Tuk ride brought me to my hotel for the night which at 1350 Rupees (15€} was overlooking the beach / ferry / bathing area and 5 minutes to the Rameshwaram Temple.

After settling in and admiring the view I set off to see the temple and it was almost a replica of the one in Madurai but this was painted gold on the outside and no electronics allowed in side so sorry no pics - was that a sign of relief I heard?

After visiting the temples the pilgrims all head to the water overlooked by my hotel balcony, and as they hold all water sacred it is a big thing to bathe after a temple visit to wash away any sins, so they all go in with their clothes on and then dry out in the sun.

About 2 pm I met up with my friend from Denmark, Gitte, and we went to get me a ticket at the agents to take a rotten old government bus that is likely to break down on the rotten roads as I am joining her travelling tomorrow to a place in the middle of nowhere called Kanyakumari. Ha Ha, I'm loving it really.

Afterwards we went to grab a bite to eat and decided over lunch to take a boat ride which takes you out so you can see the coast of Sri Lanka and back, about 40 minutes in all.

The seas were relatively calm at this time although between here and our next port of call a few hundred fishermen and their boats were lost in the last storm that hit the coast earlier this year.

Our trip was made all the more enjoyable by the 20 or so Indian pilgrims who were mainly young men intent on having fun and we joined in with them taking lots of selfies as well as pictures of a lone man in a rowboat on the high seas and pictures of the temples from the boat.

On our return to shore we both headed for our respective hotels to shower and clean up and in my case grab an early night as another early start in the morning.

Just before I slipped into bed around 10 pm I was surprised to see the pilgrims still at the water bathing and the temple still lit up receiving them still - Apparently it goes on all night.

Up before first light 05.15, to be met by the sight from the balcony of scores of people down at the waters edge all getting bathed quite a sight so early in the day.

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