Croissants and Giant Crystals

Trip Start Aug 22, 2005
Trip End Feb 06, 2006

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Flag of India  ,
Wednesday, October 5, 2005

Pondicherry was just like my experience of the French; very charming! We had so far avoided arriving in towns at strange hours but failed miserably in Ponidcherry and had to wake people up at 2am to find somewhere to sleep. Our first choice wouldn't open up so we moved there in the morning and boy was it worth it! The sound of the waves crashing just beyond the balcony was so peaceful, and the room was only 4 pounds as well, bargain.

Marcus woke early on the first morning and came back with a surprise... two of the best croissants I've ever tasted! To explain; Pondicherry was the Indian capital to the French when they dabbled in colonial power during the 18th century. They totally 'Frenchified it' and the food was very good. The atmosphere was also very relaxed, just the ticket after three crazy days.

We went to visit the Ashram of two famous people in the yoga world; Sri Aurobindo and The Mother. Sounds a little cultish, but I suspended disbelief for long enough to buy half the bookshop. Their writings on the philosophy of yoga/meditation/life in general are actually very good! It's a bit trite to come to India to 'find yourself' but this is certainly the place to do it. Spirituality is almost mandatory and it's easy to immerse yourself in it for 50 years without anyone batting an eyelid. I haven't read all the material yet so I'll have to muse on them later, but suffice to say the sceptic has given in for a while!

In addition to our Ashram visit we also went to see The Mother's vision of a perfect society, Auroville. Hmm. Not sure if that one's working really, progress is a bit slow and 40 years on they still haven't finished the main meditation chamber, although it's expected to be a corker... They have the largest crystal in the world in the centre of the white carpeted room. When light hits the centrepiece the room 'basks in god's light' or something equally appealing. We cycled 12km to see it. It was closed. We cycled home, I was sick. Good time had by all! hehe!

On the whole I was sad to leave Pondicherry, it's chilled nature was a breath of fresh air to the very intense experience that is India!! Don't get me wrong, I do love the assualt on my senses but it's nice to take time out to regather thoughts and put them back in brain.
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