Traffic: Light (except for the last 7km)
The day started as any other day, asking for directions out of town. Having thought ahead, I had our route writen out in Tamil so it was smooth sailing. Except for one thing, our Rough Guides map blows. Often incorrect and not detailed enough, we kept second guessing the directions that we were given. Luckily we also had an Indian Road Atlas produced by TTK’s Health division (I can’t figure that one out either).
The TTK map has been correct everytime and has much more detail, it is just hard to use. Never the less we arrived at our destination taking secondary highways the whole way, and it was great roads. Tanya and I must be in pretty good cycling shape by now because we finished 80km by noon.
On Feb 4th (the day the events in this post happened), there was a general strike by everyone in Tamil Nadu. Until 6pm, nothing was open, except for hotels and the odd shop. This came to us as a shock, mainly because we were hungry.
We couldn’t get lunch, luckily we keep a couple jars of peanut butter handy in case we can’t find food. We also found some bread (if you can call it bread). We went back to our hotel and ate our peanut butter sandwitches (yum yum). There is also a temple in this town, but since we have see so many temples lately we skipped it, they are all pretty much the same anyway.
Like clockwork, everything was open at 6pm. India usually comes alive after the sun goes down anyway, and today was no different. We were relieved because it meant we could eat some dinner.
There was no logical way to avoid a national highway, so we were stuck on it the whole way to Pondicherry. This was trying on our patients and made the day very difficult (especially for Tanya). Tanya even claimed this has the hardest day yet. We made it though and found a nice guest house, which was great value (A/C, free breakfast, free internet and a view of the ocean from their Cafe), all for Rs1200, which is a really good value.
After settling and showering we headed out to find some lunch. Pondicherry is known for its French Influence. This was a coloney back in the day and it is nice to have a change from the same Tamil Nadu flavors. Lunch was very tasty, but it wasn’t until dessert that we realized just how good the food was here. Chocolate cake, done better then back home. After that we stumbled upon a liquor store (called wine shops here, but have mostly whiskey and very little wine). It cost Rs45 for a 650ml beer (sweet). Across the street there was a store selling French Delicacies. We went in and had some cardamon chocolate truffles. After trying this we knew that we at a special place, some of the best chocolate we have every had and cheap beer. Life is good, I think we are going to enjoy the next couple of days enjoying the Franco-Indian cuisine.