Chennai

After our brief visit to Australia we were back at Chennai airport haggling with taxi drivers and wondering whether we would find Zoltan still waiting for us outside our hotel, after successfully negotiating a price that we were all happy with we were whisked back to the hotel we had been staying at before our wee trip and happily discovered Zoltan still sitting there! 🙂 We now had five days remaining in Chennai to get everything sorted out to ship Zoltan to Bangkok as our flights were already booked, having this final date looming over us put a little extra pressure on us to make sure everything was ran smoothly but it also gave us something to aim for which we were both pleased about.

Getting Zoltan shipped over to Bangkok wasn’t too painful, we decided to go through a company called G. M. Govias & Sons (Catholic Centre Annexe, 108 Armenian Street, Chennai) as recomended on our overlanding bible, the HUBB. There were a few things that were a bit odd though, the price, even though while we were at the office trying to sort it out (with no other than the main man himself), always seemed to be a little fuzzy. I’m not sure exactly why as we had had it broken down into it’s constitutional parts but even then we weren’t completely sure what it was we were paying for. 😯 Either way the day came that we were to pack Zoltan up in a crate ready for shipment, we had asked about this a few times and had told them each time that we both wanted to be there but for some unknown reason this never seemed to get through and on the day one of the guys turned up and explained that he would get on the back of the bike and direct me to the warehouse meaning Kadri would have to stay at the hotel and miss out on all the excitement.

Zoltan Sliding PuzzleOnce we got to the warehouse it was blatantly obvious the 7500Rps (roughly a third of the total shipping cost) price for crating up our bike was a ‘special’ price for us tourists. For starters there was about five people there to help make this box and secondly the wood that was being used was easily identifiable as wood that they had taken from other crates that they had shipped in, all a bit odd. Nevertheless everyone sort of mustered in and after undressing Zoltan a little (removing the front wheel, windscreen and mirrors) and moving everything that was supposed to be getting put in the crate around a little (a lah the sliding puzzle game) we were done and it had only taken about two hours!

Local Indian BusNext came what I thought would have been a simple thing, getting back into town. Now when we had paid for our shipping we had foolishly thought that if we had had to go out and get Zoltan all crated up at their warehouse that they would have organised someway for us to get back to our hotel ….. well in a way I guess they had, in order for us to get back we were to catch a bus back into the city and to add insult to injury I had to pay not only for my ticket but for the guy from Govias & Sons too!!! 😀 The journey was quite entertaining though, I think it was actually my first real bus ride in India and believe me it was the real deal, no other tourists just locals all jumping on and off our moving charriot as is the way!!

Unfortunately after Zoltan was all packed up we didn’t really get up to too much apart from patiently waiting for our bill of lading which meant we probably missed out on some good local attractions but by this time I think we were both a bit tired of India and were just counting down the days till our flight to Bangkok 😐

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