I don't really know where to even begin with this post. We've been in India for over 40 days now, and it's actually still quite hard to describe how I am feeling. Jonah and I went to the Southern tip of India for a week, Kaniyakumari/Kanyakumari. So many things are spelled multiple ways here, it is hard to know what the correct way is. Maybe India has an innate aversion to correctness in spelling.
Kanyakumari was incredible. We had the best luck you could wish for, aside from the fact that all of our plans were initially turned upside down. We took the train from a town near to Amrithapuri called Karunagopolly(?) and headed south in AC 2 Tier, which is really the best way to go on the trains for the first time, since I can't figure out how else you would find your seat in the other 15 cars attached. Our window was fogged from the air conditioning, though we did hang our heads out the open doors and watch the goats, cows, and rice paddies waft by.
We arrived in Kanyakumari about midday, a 4 1/2 hour journey. We intended to stay at the Vivekananda Ashram which everyone had said we wouldn't need reservations for, since the place is huge! Alas, we should have had reservations! We finally arrived at Vivekananda after meandering the streets for a while, stopping in at a pretty and white Catholic church, and seeing the ocean. The lobby attendants asked us what kind of accommodations we were interested in, attached toilet, AC? We were debating on how much to spend when the woman behind the counter suddenly said that there was no room left. The man at the counter had given the rooms away on the phone that minute. We were pretty shocked, and at that point had no other plans, or idea of where to go or stay. Enter the Lonely Planet guide book! It may sound like an advertisement, but at that moment I was very VERY happy we were lugging the hefty South India book around with us. We ended up staying at a nice hotel, not so nice staff, tiny cockroaches, but with AC, AND a gorgeous balcony/view of the ocean and the magnificent sunrises sunsets.
That very night, we were walking to the sunset, and we saw a man dressed in orange, a Swami or renunciate. I felt like he would known a good place to watch the sunset so I told Jonah we should follow him. He ended up turning around and talking to Jonah, asking us to follow him, paying a couple rupees for us to go up onto a concrete tower used for watching the sky. We ended up being guided by him for the rest of the week to a sacred mountain with meditation caves, two orphanages, and a magickal temple. More to come later! Must get off the computer now!