Bike ride to Auroville

Trip Start Jan 06, 2006
Trip End Mar 28, 2006

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Saturday, March 4, 2006

We didn't manage to make it to Auroville yesterday because there was heavy showers all day. Yes everyone, it actually rained! Even the locals said it is unheard of during this season.
Today was, by contrast, sunny and hot. We hired some bikes from Francois, this ancient indian man, for only 30 ruppees for 24 hours, and set off on our hour long journey north of Pondicherry to Auroville. The roads are very hazardous but after a while i got used to it and was ringing the bell as frequently as everyone else does! After going the long way round we arrived at the visitors centre in time for a cup of tea and cake absolutely exhausted! I can't remember the last time i rode a bike! Auroville, according to the leaflet, 'wants to be a universal town where men and women of all countries are able to live in peace and harmony, above all creeds, politics, and nationalities. The purpose of Auroville is to realise human unity.' So as a result it has a very international feel going towards more European. I think quite a high percentage of residents are French and German. After having a look around (there's a huge golden globe thing that they do meditation in), lunch and a browse around the shops, we head back still aching from the ride there!
Apart from that 1 day of exertion, we've been taken it quite easy. Pondicherry is very good for wandering about on foot. It's getting very hot here, and so by the afternoon it's too hot to be doing too much. We have been missing somewhere to swim and so managed to find a posh hotel just outside Pondicherry with a pool which gave us a days respite from the heat. We were going to go back there but Marika hasn't been well and i have been keeping an eye on her. She's much better today though.
The food is very French so i have been eating very well! We have a favourite restaurant just up the road from our guest house in the French Quarter which does just about everything so i have been eating quite alot of banana splits, chips and salads! Sometimes we go there twice a day! It sounds a bit silly eating French food in India, but i have been eating the same thing for over 2 months now and i don't know what the food is going to be like at the next places i'm going to, so i have to make the most of it.
The guest house is very good too. There are only 4 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms with a communal eating area and roof terrace. It has been decorated in a shabby/chic way which makes it feel very relaxed. We are the only ones staying there at the moment so we've been calling it our flat! The people who run it are lovely too.
Tomorrow i'm off to Mamalapuram for a few days.
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