Pondicherry…

11 Dec

Only because I like the name better. They officially changed their name last October (2006) to Puducherry, but hey Pondicherry sounds so much better.

We’re staying in one of the Sri Aurobindo Ashram’s Guest Houses called Park Guest House. It is fantastic! Totally quiet, spotlessly clean, and RIGHT on the beach. The waves of the Bay of Bengal are breaking literally 500 meters from our balcony. There is a beautiful garden area with flowers and grass and it is very calm. There are a couple of rules, like you need to be in by 10:30 or the gate is locked, you can’t drink alcohol or do drugs, but those are easy. And if you abide by these rules, you can stay in probably the calmest place in Pondicherry and all for 600 Rs- about $15 USD.  Where are you going to get a beach front hotel for $15 anywhere?
We have been walking around for over a week now on wide, paved, clean streets, taking in the French influenced architecture and enjoying the Promenade that runs along the Sea. There are real bakeries here too, with croissants, brioche, real French bread, yummy! It’s amazing the food you miss when you’re on the road, but this has been nice.

The other day as we passed the courthouse, directly on the Promenade, a police officer came out and stopped us. He looked incredibly gruff and for a moment, I thought we had done something wrong. He reached out to shake my hand and asked where we were from. “The US.” we told him waiting for the ticket book to come out or something. He smiled from beneath his huge bushy mustache (huge mustaches are the norm inTamil Nadu) and asked if we had a camera. I didn’t bring it on that trip so he asked us to come by the next day and take a picture with him. We said we would. The next day we arrived and he told all of his friends that we came back to take a picture, so with rifles in hand, we all took a picture with him. He asked me to email him the pictures when we could. Now every time we pass the courthouse he waves to us!

We head off to Auroville, about 10km away in the next couple of days. I don’t know how much Internet access we will have but I’ll try to post as much as possible.

Cheers!

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4 Responses to “Pondicherry…”

  1. Adriana December 12, 2007 at 5:06 pm #

    I like Pondicherry much better too. In fact, Pondy, is my favourite.

    Park Guest House is one of Pondy’s best kept secrets… or not so much of a secret.

    Btw, you will certainly find a couple of internet cafes in Auroville. My favourite is upstairs from the Solar Kitchen. Try the capuccino in the cafe itself.

    🙂

  2. Indy December 13, 2007 at 11:24 am #

    I’m travelling to Pondicherry to spend the New year.. will arrive on the 29th.. and wonder if we’d be able to catch up!

    Indy

  3. indiatraveller December 16, 2007 at 12:06 pm #

    Indy, we’ll be down near the southern tip of India at that time. Enjoy Pondy, it is really relaxing. Try to get out to Auroville if you can.

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