Saturday, 23 April 2016 – Day 9: Chennai, India (12°58′56″N – 80°9′49″E)
Svaagat he…Welcome to India…and Chennai. We arrived here after a four flight from Singapore.
There are three seasons here: hot, hotter and hottest. And we are close to the hottest. Our cab driver said it approached 50 yesterday and today it is 40, but feels like 47 according to anyone running around doing scavenges. That is 116 degrees folks!
We gained 2.5 hours from Singapore time…so we built in time to be productive with our layover here and hence the 6-Hour Chennai Layover Challenge.
The real challenge for this cat herder was getting everyone through the official rules and procedures at Chennai International Airport (MAA) Chennai International Airport (MAA), located at Tirusulam, that is around 8 kilometers south of the city center. We all had e-visas but they needed to process. Then customs. Then money-changing. Then sending our bags back to be on the flight. And then, and then, and then…more time than I or anyone wanted to spend at MAA.
Old Business first…the urban, albeit a potentially 3-country swing through the Singapore area and Par 3 leg results are in following Road Official inquiries, assessments and penalties. The official scoring went like this:
In 9th place went to NOLA Second Line.
In 8th place went to Girls Gone World.
In 7th place went to T3.
There was a tie for 5th place between the Traveling Tridents and the SOCA Warriors, who both earned 635 points.
Then things got interesting atop the leg leader board:
In 4th place were 2 Global Junkies the only team to complete the infamous SIJORI travel trifecta by completing at least one scavenge in the three countries of the region: Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia. They earned 650 points because they took all day traveling to and fro those destinations in a gutsy gambit that almost paid off.
In 3rd place we had Perfect Strangers 31 scavenges and earning themselves 815 points.
In 2nd place SLO Folks rose to the occasion and picked up steam completing 32 scavenges earning 872.5 points.
And in 1st place, congratulations to the reunited Lawyers without Borders who earned a whopping 1205 points in completing 41 scavenges on the second Par 3 leg.
Great job all…you had fun, worked hard and it paid off.
But that means that there are changes to the leader board now after three fully completed legs (par 8/24 completed)…with the 3 top overall event leaders being:
3. SLO Folks = 31
2. Traveling Tridents = 25
1. SOCA Warriors = 24
Again, congrats to all and you can click here to view the updated 2016 – Leader Board. Just think, two-weeks from today we crown the 2016 edition of The World’s Greatest Travelers in Wasgington D.C.
Okay…on to new business and the Layover Challenge here in Chennai…
We have a short 7-Hour Layover between our flight between Singapore and Muscat, Oman…and the event has never been here before, but been in other destinations of India many times. India is always the great equalizer: the most humbling, amazing and flabbergasting place in the world to travel in my humble opinion.
So, we arrived at 10:30AM this morning from Singapore and we leave at 7:30PM this evening to Oman. It will be an introduction for some to India. They have optional sight-doing scavenges assigned them–but they can only do 5 and NOT MISS their flights onwards–the whole point of a layover.
But it is a busy Saturday and it is hot as I mentioned.
Chennai (formerly Madras) is the capital of the South Indian state of Tamil Nadu and situated on the Bay of Bengal, and is one of the largest cities in the world. It is said to be the cultural capital of India but there are also historic sites, including: the Kapaleeswarar Temple, built in the name of the Hindu god Shiva; and the gambit of old British colonial architecture, tranquil gardens and a long sandy beach…and soon their shinny new Metro will open. Soon, but not today.
Sadly, while the teams scoured the area for scavenges in markets, eateries and temples, we Road Officials had to secure a room to get online to deal with event bumps in the road. We missed the city and shopping…
A special shout out to our local food expert Kavita Chesetty here in Chennai. Thank you Kavita!