nous sommes dans Pondicherry, la ville de Francais en India. Its a very strange place as most of the old colonial buildings from when the French were here are actually still here and in quite a good condition. Old villas with central courtyards (and very lush gardens) old colonial furniture and lots of fans and airconditioning. Which is a very good thing as it is bloody hot here and very humid. Pondicherry is on the coast of the Bay of Bengal and the local tourists flock here in the evenings when it gets a little cooler to sit on the rocks and get cooled by the sea water, or to just wander down the promenade (its a little like Blackpool in that respect).
We are staying at the Villa Helena which is a lovely colonial house with white pillars and a lovely wild garden. We had a little contretemps with the last hotel we stayed in as they wouldn't give us our money back as we stayed only one night so we have visited the very excellent tourist office this morning and we will be getting our dosh back tonight at 6 or else :-)
The rest of the time has been spent pretty much lazing around the place trying to keep cool and reading books which is the only thing you can do in the heat of the day. Tomorrow we will be going on a day tour to see the sights and visit Auroville. For those of you who have never heard of it (neither had we), it is a commune that was set up in the 1960s with people from all over the world, sort of a United Nations town. It has the largest man made crystal in the world, housed inside a weird dome thing. So if you don't hear from us again, please send the 'brain-washing police' to: Auroville, Tamil Nadu, India. Either that or just wait for us to come back with no hair and a glazed look ;-)
After that we will be back on the road again and heading towards Tajore for a couple of days (or maybe more) and then onto Trichy, Combaitore, Ooty and then into Kerala if all goes well.
One thing that we forgot to mention regarding our trip to the zoo in Darjeeling... there was a Mynah bird in the aviary that whistled the theme tune to the Godfather. Just thought that was interesting
Until next time....... x x x x x