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November 5th 2009
Published: November 17th 2009
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As usual, when traveling in India, waking up at the crack of dawn to beat the city traffic is a must. Early (very early) Wednesday morning, we joined our friends Kashmira and Dadi for a much needed getaway trip to Pondicherry and Kodaikanal. Kodaikanal is one of those honeymoon-destination type places in India so I was intrigued to see what all the fuss was about. It was set up in 1901 by an American (the only hill station in India to be built by an American) as a retreat from the heat of the nearby towns.

After leaving Chennai, we stopped for a day in Pondicherry to enjoy the fabulous Western food 😊 then on to Kodai. The winding roads through the mist-covered mountains were beautiful. This time of the year is off-season (because of the monsoons) so there was hardly any traffic. We were able to linger and really enjoy the scenery. At least the first 2 days were nice … until the rain set in. After that, we couldn’t do much. Instead of bike rides and hikes through the lush valley, the rain forced us to stay indoors for most of our trip. Luckily, the first day was nice so we were able to rent bikes and have a bit of activity. I really would have enjoyed hiking, but it wasn’t meant to be. The torrential rains flooded the entire city - everything was under water, fallen trees blocked the roads, shops were closed, the lake was nearly to the point of overflowing…all we could do was stay indoors and listen to the sound of rain all around us.

However, the incessant rains meant that waterfalls were gushing at every turn! On the last day, we saw stunning waterfalls cascading through the hills that were non-existent 2 days before. Thanks to those Americans for deciding to build a retreat high in the mountains!

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