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Published: February 8th 2020
Finally we have arrived in Pondicherry where there are no planned days, only what we want to do. Our room last night was not the best so Nancy arranged to have us moved. Hooray! We have the most wonderful room now - view to the ocean, no musty smell and it’s bigger. Helen and I are happy!
After a huge buffet breakfast, meaning I ate huge, some of us went walking. Nancy has been here many times and knows the streets well. Pondicherry was a French settlement and the street names are all in French. Flowers abound everywhere, spilling over white walls, climbing through the trees. We watch women creating Rangoli on their doorsteps in beautiful artistic designs. This is to welcome you to their homes. Rangoli is fine sand that is dribbled through their fingers onto the doorstep in a thin line.
It is very humid here by the seaside so you don’t want to be out between 12 and 3 p.m. Good time for the pool. Right now Helen and I are lounging in our room, having a cold barley sandwich, with the french doors wide open to our little balcony listening to the street sounds, the
bird calls and the school children laughing as they go by. Each school has its own uniform colours that all the children wear. This group wore blue and grey.
At some point, if we get up the motivation we will go down to the pool. Yes, finally got in the at the pool, then a quick shower before going off in the tuk-tuks for a little shopping and then to the temple for the elephant blessing. I don't know what this temple is, but it is dedicated to Ganesha the elephant god. The temple opens at 4 pm for worshippers and tourists alike. About ten minutes later there is the sound of bells coming from outside. A very large elephant is coming in through the temple doors. She is huge! She stops briefly at a worship spot then proceeds In a circle around the temple. She is holy and everyone wants to touch her. She goes to one of the priests doing blessings and then back outside the temple doors for public blessings. You offer her money and then she blesses you with her trunk on the top of your head. Before she came into the temple she deposited
a few piles in the street. As we were leaving there was an older woman with a plastic bag picking up the dung - with her bare hands!! I guess if the elephant is holy then so is her poop!
Time for a couple of cold ones before gathering for supper. But first a drink at the outside bar which turned into two drinks. Supper was at the rooftop restaurant of the hotel and it was fantastic. The lights from the Promenade glowing in the darkness, breezes ruffling our hair and the palm fronds swishing around. Good company, good food - what more could you ask for?
One last walk to the end of the Promenade (really to the liquor store) and we are ready to call it a day.
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