Packing up even after two nights is an effort. My advice is always stay somewhere at least two nights. You need that time to scratch the surface of a new place.
Some of us managed a walk down to the seafront. It is rustic and somewhat dirty. There are dogs and cows but no cats. We even saw a monkey run across some wires.
Leaving the hotel at around 9 we drove south towards Pondicherry. Our driver stopped for photos along the way and when we came to the salt fields he insisted we get out and check it out.
We crossed the road and walk along a sandy track toward to the salt pans with piles of salt drying for collection.
Being curious and wandering on I took one step too far and …….
I couldn’t move. I was scared of sinking further. The girls – when they stopped laughing formed a human chain and managed to pull me out.
A few local men nearby saw my dilemma and came to my rescue. I had a man washing my legs, my shoes and socks without so much as a glimmer of a laugh.
It took many minutes – which gave the girls plenty of time to take photos and laugh!
Finally a bit cleaned up and back into bistro continue onto Pondicherry. We kept laughing and I was thankful I hadn’t fallen in further, that my phone was lost in the mud, that I wasn’t warring white pants!
We arrived at our hotel the Anantha Heritage.
It’s a restored Tamil House in the northern part of the Historic centre. Quite beautiful. We sorted rooms and decided they were big enough for 3 in a room. Our rooms open onto a lovely verandah overlooked the temple, and a breakfast terrace.
Leaving bags to unpack later we left with our guide for a tour of the city. Our driver phoned his friend, a policeman who became our escort. With roads blocked he became our entry into streets.
Down a wide crowded street we rounded the corner to the open seafront and beach. It’s several kilometres long , well paved and well used by walkers not swimmers. At night it’s closed to traffic and becomes a promenade for the locals to have their evening passagiatta.
By now starving, we made for Villa Shanti in the French Quarter. A restored French style villa it’s an oasis of quiet and comfort. And the food was delicious. There were Indian and French dishes and I had chicken ( yes I was warned to stay vegetarian in India) cooked so well with cauliflower two ways. Beautiful.
After lunch we called into Anokhi a shop recommended by a friend. The fabrics were wonderful. We all pottered around buying bits and piece. No clothes but homewares, note cards, handkerchiefs etc.
With our escort leading we went to the paper production business. Once a big industry it was shut down when the British took over. Now making a comeback the handmade papers made here are stunning.
A few of us walked back to our hotel for G& Ts on the verandah before heading off for a walk to the beach. The beach breeze was so fresh and reviving. The weather has been kind. Warm days but cooler evenings. As we head inland the weather will heat up.
Feeling peckish we wandered into a local food market. Lots of little stalls with people sitting around on plastic chairs munching on a variety of popular Indian foods. We decided on hot charred corn on the cob. The lady running the stall wasn’t too friendly to start but loosened up as we smiled, had photos and thanked her for the beautiful corn.
By now tired a walk through the gardens and a tuk tuk ride home finished our day.
It was a day of high mud drama but all was good in the end. I soaked my stinky shoes and scrubbed them leaving them on the verandah hoping with tomorrow’s sun they would be wearable.