Bay of Bengal
I arrived in Pondicherry yesterday – which is a totally different scene than Mamallapuram. For one thing, it is French. Well, it was once a french colony, and I am staying in the french area, so the streets are wide, the signs are in French (Rue de…) and the houses are all very beautiful and quaint. But – on the streets are auto-rickshaws, multiple lanes, motos, street-carts — in other words, it is still India! Another difference is there are no ruins here. In fact, there might be more churches than Hindu temples. Also, it is the location of a very well known ashram, the Sri Aurobindo Ashram – so people come from all over. In fact, the guest house i am staying at is run by the ashram, which is wonderful — set close to the rocky beach, a beautiful garden, clean and simple rooms.
The ‘beach’ side is a walkway set over a rocky coast. Last night it was amazing to walk up anddown it — it seems as if all of Pondicherry is out walking, eating, talking, flirting, visiting. It was GREAT! I loved just people watching (and people love watching me!) I had two little girls in beautiful dresses come up to me and shyly ask me my name. They were followed by two little boys who giggled over my name and then they all wanted to shake my hand goodbye.
Then, this morning, the rising sun woke me – so I went to walk out by the water — where, again, people were jogging, doing yoga, walking and getting all sorts of exercise. I cannot wait to go for a run tomorrow morning!
In any case, i found wifi — so here are some pictures from my travels — starting with Kolkata!
And here are pictures from Mamallapuram:
And a few from Pondicherry — mostly from the Ashram guesthouse:
Spent a while this morning, sitting at a cafe eating a delicious chocolate croissant and drinking great coffee (in the french quarter of town) — planning out the rest of my trip. I have less than a month to go in India and there are so many places I want to go — but do not want to spend all my time (and money) on trains and buses — so trying to be strategic about where I am going…..
But tomorrow afternoon, I will head back to Chennai by bus (3.5 hours) and then take an overnight train to Kochi – which is on the other side of the country — the west coast. It will be good to spend a couple of days over there — and then…. we shall see. Hampi? Goa? Mumbai? I don’t know yet…. My only goal is to get to Delhi on the 14th or 15th to visit a schoolthere that is affiliated with Expeditionary Learning before I fly out on the 18th. We shall see…..
I am guessing that I will have internet over in Kochi, but if not — have an amazing thanksgiving! I know i have much to be grateful for — but mostly the support and love of my friends and family who are very much in my heart and mind while I travel! much love to you all!