Mon 11 Jan
Woken just after 4am by the very loud sound of the fishing boats heading out to sea. This was followed by loud local religious chanting/singing, which we subsequently found was common in South India at this hour. When the sun rose, it streamed straight through into our door from over the sea.
After a lovely breakfast in the open dining room, we headed back to Pondicherry. Along the way, we collected our guide for the day, Kamachi, who also happened to be a lawyer. She spoke very good English.
In the early morning light we took a delightful cycle rickshaw ride through the French quarter, noting the influence of the French in the architecture of the buildings with arched and wrought iron gateways. Afterwards, we drove around in our van visiting two wonderful Catholic churches and poked our nose into the Sri Aurobindo ashram and saw the ashrams’ paper-making centre. We then strolled through the absolutely delightful Pondicherry flower, fruit, veggie and fish market.
Lunch was taken at a French bakery, “Baker Street” with authentic French baking – we had a pizza and ham quiche – not exactly French but very tasty. Also tasted some delightful sweet morsels.
In the afternoon we visited Auroville and were impressed with the imposing matrimandir – a huge golden globe that is used as a meditation dwelling only by devout followers. Outsiders aren’t allowed in.
Returning to our village we relaxed with a cooling swim and dined at night in the restaurant.