|Decided we needed another 'soft landing' into India so splurged on a taxi pickup from the airport to help ease our early morning arrival (so thankful as it was pouring rain when we arrived at 5am). Nearly 4 hours later, we arrived in the former French colony of Pondicherry.
A smallish city of 221,000, it feels a world apart from the rest of India. Noticeably cleaner, sidewalks aplenty, well preserved French colonial architecture and full of Indians and tourists speaking French, it was an interesting place. We stayed in the Muslim quarter and spent our time here wandering through the streets of the French and Muslim Quarters, walking along the seaside and frequenting the excellent French-style bakeries - best croissant since Vietnam.
Christy bravely tried an ayurvedic massage which involved being completely nude (this was unexpected), laying on a wood table (not unlike what you’d imagine an embalming table would be like), getting dripped with oil and massaged by two ladies chanting! Hard to relax when you’re so exposed! And what were they chanting ('omg, do you see the farmer tan on this girl!')? After the massage, you sit in a sauna box, are then accompanied into the shower by a lady who helps wash you. Very odd, but I guess it’s been working for Indians for thousands of years, just not my thing!