Tuesday, October 18, 2011

The Road to Pondicherry

While in India, one of our goals is to travel at least once a month.  There is always the risk that the plug gets pulled and we'll be on the next plane to Detroit.  We need to see India while we can,  So,  taking advantage of Danielle, our live-in guest, Becky and I left the kids at home and drove to Pondicherry.  (Technically, we rode since Javeed did the driving. )
Pondicherry is on India's East coast and a former French colony.   The city really plays up it's French heritage, so you expect to find New Orleans,  but it's really more Baton Rouge.
Since it was just the two us with Javeed along as a designated driver,  we decided this 8 hour road trip would be a first class.  We rented a couple movies,  packed a nice lunch and a cooler full of ice.  I pictured us in watching movies and sipping on G&T's while Javeed comfortable sped us onto Pondicherry.

India had other plans.

The road between Bangalore and Pondicherry runs through some old mountains and lots of mining.   The trucks hauling ore from the mines have turned the road into a rumble strip.  Instead of lunch,  I should have brought Dramamine and barf bags.  Becky would have also liked a port-a-potty.  7 hours driving, 5 of them riding atop a lasagna noodle, is a lot for the bladder. You can't just hit the bathroom before ordering your Big Mac at the next town.  Boys are better equipped for travel since the roads are all lined with drainage ditches.  There's no shortage of men showing how they're used either.

Once we arrived, we never wanted to leave.  A little because Pondicherry is a few blocks of French charm,  steak dinners and pastries,  but mostly because we dreaded the ride back.

Old World Charm
A dog having lunch from the hotel dumpster.
In the evening,  the cows come over for dinner. 

Becky and Javeed with the Bay of Bengal behind.

Becky and I

The Hotel L'Orient
If it wasn't for all the friendly people,
this block of Pondicherry could almost be Paris.  

Notre Dame Cathedral Indian Style

What's that bus doing in the middle of the road ? About 35 miles per hour.
Per local customs, he was just borrowing our side of the road until we really needed it.
  (We drive on the left here)

One of Mountains between Bangalore & Pondicherry

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