On our last day in Pondicherry Dean made plans to take us to 'Paradise Beach' with promises of dolphins ands sea turtles and opportunities for water sports. I couldn't wait. Unfortunately, when we arrived at the beach it was practically deserted...not a sea turtle in sight.
Dean pointed to signs of life about two miles down the shore. "That must be it," he says. so we set off walking. It started out as a pleasant journey. White sands. Crisp waves crashing against the shore. Clear blue waters. We kicked off our shoes and splashed in the waves.
At some point on our journey we became aware of lots of dead fish which appeared to have been washed up and littered the coastline for about a mile. As we ventured further, the numbers of fish increased dramatically until we found ourselves surrounded by a blanket of thousands of dead fish piled along the shore for as far as the eye could see (We later discovered that this is part of the cooking process). The smell was unbearable. We heaved, retched and covered our faces with towels to escape the stench as we ran for 'Paradise'.
Next were the crabs - huge great things guarding our path and sea urchins dotted along the shore. Further along, a man sqatting for a poo in the sea. My paddling expedition stopped then and there and the shoes were quickly replaced. We suddenly relised that our 'crisp blue waves' were washing up all sorts of nicities; crabs, poo, dead fish and animal carcases. It all became too much when we spotted a huge dead rat with its organs spilling along the shore and what can only be described as a pig carcas. We began our (quick) retreat along the shore. It became like an episode of the krypton factor, racing through the obstacles to get to safety - Over the deceased rat (watch out for the brain), pass the squatting man (dodge the poo) avoid the crabs and bypass the stinking fish...
Paradise beach indeed...I don't think i'll ever eat seafood again.