We all crowded in our friend's minivan yesterday and traveled 50 kilometers down the coast to Ideal Beach, in Mahabalipuram. Mahabalipuram is a 7th century port city, located in the Kanchipuram district of Tamil Nadu. It's flanked by a number of historical monuments of yore, with the Shore Temple as its main attraction. There is a lot to see and do here, which we will have to save for future road trips. Yesterday was devoted to the beach.
Ideal Beach is a private beach resort that offers day use for both the beach and swimming pool. There are two others in the area where the expats vacation; Turtle Bay to the south and Fisherman's Cove to the north. However, neither of those offer day passes. Though we have our own beaches in Chennai, they are so disgustingly polluted that they're virtually useless for recreation.
In our 3 overseas posts we've had, we've managed to always live on the coast, thus our girls have grown up with a beach. Yesterday's venture brought us to a new body of water... the Bay of Bengal, situated just along the southeast coast of India. The water there was lukewarm, with much less debris and garbage both in the water and on the sand than we had on occasion in Israel.
Our drive to Ideal Beach took over an hour, though we made a pit stop AT The Pit Stop, a little racing themed cafe, Indian style, about half-way there. We grabbed some lunch and then crammed back in the car for the rest of our journey.
There's not much to say about spending the day at a beach resort basking in the overcast sun... the kids got sufficiently sandy at the beach, swam until their fingers and toes were good and pruney, they noshed, they whined, they passed out. Sadly, I sat on the sidelines all day as I still didn't have a bathing suit. Darn lost luggage!
The driver met us after 5pm, and drove us to another beach resort, Fisherman's Cove, for dinner. We finally made it home by 9:30 pm, with sleeping kids in tow.
Another successful road trip.