We had an easy, late start in the morning and completed our journey to Madras at a leisurely pace.
A short distance out of town we passed a bullock cart and saw a man sound asleep in a hammock slung between the axles. The gopuram on the temple at Kanchipuram rose far away in the dusty distance. It’s hard to believe all that we’ve seen and done since visiting there on the first day of our journey. We stopped for coffee and gave the boys pens and gum and a cap for the youngest waiter. An older man tried to take the cap in exchange for a pen, but we growled and told him ‘No!” We thanked Thulasi, for everything he had done for us. This seemed a better place to say our farewells, a little quieter, rather than at the last minute outside the hotel. We gave him the reference we had all helped write and extra money to invest for his son. He was really pleased with the reference and showed us a copy of another one from a German couple he'd driven for. An old man in the car park with a uniform and whistle, took our photo with Thulasi. If we’d gone to Chittoor the previous day, we wouldn't have been able to leave as everything had closed down for the State funeral. Buses were stranded, offices and shops all closed, not officially but by ‘antisocial’ elements according to the paper. We could have been stuck there for days and not made it back to Madras in time for our flight.
The Breeze Hotel when we arrived, looked very grand, more for Indian tourists and businessmen it seemed, but everything ran smoothly. After all this time, we finally struck a good hotel with no problems. One of the waiters looked very like Billy T. James. We stayed in all afternoon, slept, repacked and had a quiet dinner after a few drinks in the bar. It feels like the end, and I think it's been enough.