Whilst on the subject of unusual animals; yesterday whilst in Pondicherry Botanical Gardens we saw a very large grey monkey. It looked similar to a Baboon but it was not. Unfortunately it moved too quick to photo. Shortly after this also in the gardens we saw a white rabbit nibbling the grass. What a strange combination we thought.
On our arrival yesterday in Pondicherry as we stepped out of the taxi we were pounced on by these two girls who were determined to sell Rae a cloth bag. They followed and hounded us all the way from the post office to the beach. They eventually spotted some more white women and went to sell to them. Talking of white people we were surprised at how few white people were around in town in general.
After the children stopped pestering us we walked along the sea front in search of a map of Pondi (as the locals call it). This took a while and we eventually tracked down a government tourist building and they happily gave us a map. The picture above is of Rae with guides and scouts and cubs on a day out. We assume it is leaders as there were no young people or children to be seen anyway. There must have been a hundred of these guys walking around Ghandi's monument and they were keen to be photographed with Rae in particular.
On a sad note if you double click on this picture you will notice that Rae's necklace is undone and hanging. It must of fallen off shortly after. Rae did not realise it was missing until we arrived back at Verite in the evening.
Pondi is quite an amazing place. It is mega busy and crossing the road requires careful timing as motor vehciles mainly bikes come at you from every direction. The general state of the pavements and roads is very, very poor. We will never ever complain about potholes and uneven pavements again. Seriously the UK roads are amazing by comparison!
We have never ever seen so many motor bikes, mainly small CC as in India. In pondi that is all you see parked. Hundreds lined up along the edge of the road or track, curb would be too generous a term to use.
Our favourite part of Pondi is the Bazar, the locals market. This is truely amazing. We were the only white people there and the produce was absolutely stunning. The smells of spices, flowers and fish from the fish bit which we missed. The flowers stalls run it seems for ever. These flowers come from other parts of India and are then hand tied onto thread and made into garlands. The colours are wonderful. I bought Rae a jasmine garland for her hair. Each peice is made of four flowers carefully tied on, the dexterity to do this is amazing. The smell intoxicating! In the market we also bought some fantstic Indian sweets which we enjoyed last night!!
In the pictures above you will see a photo of one of the many Hindu temples which are everywhere there must be at least twenty in Pondi. We also came across a Mosque. I was surprised at how many muslims are also here and importantly everyone seems to rub along together just fine.
We completed our day by visiting the Siri Arobindou Ashram area of Pondi. This is a special place and was very tranquil. We are not Hindi so much of what was going on is a mystery but quite a marvellous mystery.
Please feel free to comment on our blog. We are keen to hear what you are up to, and tell us what is going on in the world. We have no clue as to what is happening, so keep us posted. Oh, yep, Lyn and Adz, Rae is reading a book, The Life of Pi, which is set in Pondi. Thanks you Emma for this fab recommendation. We sit and read each evening so we are relaxing, honest.
Rae and Marc XX