1st SOLO TRIP
7th – 9th AUGUST, 2017
* LATE POST *
Pondicherry often colloquially called as Pondy is a union territory situated in Tamil Nadu. The place has stayed famous for it has a cultural blend of the French and Tamils. The city is small, well kept, green and not densely populated compared to other cities of India.
I had booked a hotel with Fabhotel Esparan Heritage. The hotel had an antique, old house, fresh wood smell to it. What I loved about this particular hotel were the vibes. Before I share my travel updates, I want to share a misadventure I had at the beginning of my trip (which I conveniently chose not to share with my parents in Bangalore).
Yeah, I started from Bangalore late evening at around 9:30 – ish. I was supposed to reach Pondicherry before sunrise probably at 4 or 5. The thing with me and buses is that I get uncontrollably sleepy and disoriented when I am on them. Early morning at around the same time that I was to reach Pondicherry the driver passes down the bus aisle and yelled “PONDICHERRY” in a thick Tamil accent. I woke up a bit startled wondering where I was when I realized the driver must have howled a few minutes back and that the bus had started moving again. I picked my luggage, rushed to where the driver was seated. I informed him that I had to get down at the Pondicherry bus stop and if he could take me there. Only to find he couldn’t understand a word of Hindi I was speaking.
I tried, again and again, telling him to stop the bus and take me back to the city in vain; he, on the other hand, was so adamant! He drove fast on the highway and dropped me a good two kilometers at the outskirts. At that hour early in the morning, I felt weirdly uneasy and extremely insecure. I did locate an autorickshaw nearby but felt skeptical to board it.
It took all my courage to ask the autorickshaw driver to take me to my hotel and just like the bus driver he didn’t understand Hindi or English! He looked cooperative though. Which helped me clear my mind off apprehensiveness. Racked my drowsy brain to come up with a solution through which I could get him to understand where I wanted to go.
I CALLED THE HOTEL. They didn’t pick up. I tried four times in vain. They picked up eventually. The hotel operator thankfully understood English! Aaargh! He explained the autorickshaw driver in Tamil where to take me! AND I finally reached my destination.
According to my plan, I stayed for two days one night at my hotel. The places I visited are:
MANAKULA VINAYAGAR TEMPLE
SACRED HEARTS CHURCH
LADY OF ANGELS CHURCH
As this was my first solo trip to any given place, I went well-researched. The first events of my trip left me vigilant for the entire trip. I visited most sightseeing places (according to the print-out given by my very cordial hotel operator) on the first day.
According to the natives of Pondicherry, the climate was ‘pleasant’. Although, I felt nothing close to pleasant till evening on both days. It was humid and sticky. Unlike, other tourists I didn’t go to Auroville. I am one of those people who are not fond of meditation centers and spiritual theories, to say the least.
Pondicherry has a relaxed, retired vibe to it. It gives solo writers what they crave the most – solitude from the noise and a fast-paced lifestyle. I had a ball of a time eating alone, observing people and the streets.
PLACES I VISITED TO GRAB A BITE
Pondicherry has many stores and shops that sell antique and craft goods. Most of my second day went shopping for trinkets and souvenirs. I bought mini books of quotes from SABDA, fragrances, candles, and incenses from AUROSHIKHA, paper goods from an Auroville community-managed store. Also, JANAKI sells environmentally friendly goods. I purchased a smart bag from there.
I rented out a bike in Pondicherry as I love riding. It gave me the freedom to explore most of Pondicherry on road. Will I visit Pondicherry again? Probably no. Oh yes, but just for the beaches. Some might ask why I didn’t indulge in any water activities or sports activities. Well, I experienced all of it in Andamans (read the blog) in July.
That is a wrap. I hope you liked reading about my travel experience. If you wish to know more, let me know in the comments below. Follow my social media to get updates on content writing and blogs I update not so frequently. LOL. Ok but seriously, follow.
Bye for now.