Tuesday, 21 May 2013

Puducherry, Pondicherry, Pondi to Chennai - Day 18

This is the last day of my mini memories. As you can see, I was busy to the point of not having time to paint. Imagine!

Today's itinerary took us by coach from Pondicherry to Villupuram Junction where we boarded an express train to Chennai. I must admit even though our trip by train was interesting because of the very busy families we shared our coach with the experience itself is not one that I wish to repeat.  Travelling by train in India is something that every tourist who wishes to experience India should do. It is how India travels. Our train was very tired, the windows were too dirty to be able to see through so the trip which should have been interesting was very limited. I painted the chai cup, the chai canteen and the back of the chair in front of me. I was able to purchase a chai (not like what I get in Starbucks… much better) from the chai wallah. It was very much a positive to the time spent on the train. Next to me Sue opened a coke she had purchased before boarding and it exploded! A highlight of our journey was how she dealt with this, without a blink. Great traveller is our Sue.
Back in Chennai we returned to the Park (pleased with this chance to once again spend time at this hotel) for a special set dinner. The chef had outdone himself, (this is a quote from Marion’s journal):
“a westernized chicken and crunchy vegetables and…mashed potatoes. We were in heaven”.

Tonight we said goodbye to our travelling friends. Marion and I departed the hotel at 3:00 AM. We had to meet our transfer in the foyer of the hotel. With little sleep we exited the elevator on the main floor to be greeted by 100 male faces. We climbed over a floor covered with cables, cameras and crew. Bollywood had taken over the Park Hotel’s massive lobby. Disco music blared from ‘our’ bar!
Remember, the Park Hotel was once the favorite destination of Bollywood. I am hoping that it really was a movie and not that we had walked through a dream, or the ghosts of things past. It was exciting what ever it was and I will always remember the feeling as the door to the elevator opened.

The rest of our group left at different times during the night and early morning. Three headed for Agra to see the Taj Mahal. Two boarded their return flight to Toronto and Marion and I started a long trip (really the shortest distance) from Chennai to Pune where we spent four nights, visiting long time friends, enjoying Sangam, our accommodation at the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts, World Centre. We swam in the pool, swung on the garden swing, painted a little painting and talked about a future trip to Sangam as part of the 2015 Around Our World to all Four World Centres that I am planning.

On the 5th of March I once again said goodbye to India. Happily, I disembarked in Toronto to be met by my husband, my daughter and my beautiful granddaughters.

Home again. Planning!

Next time will you be Going Places Together with me?

1 comment:

  1. Really enjoyed this last post.! Made me feel like I was on the train with you. I forgot you went to Pune at the end. Sounds like it was the perfect 4 days at the end of a REALLY interesting travel experience in your well loved India. I shall miss your blogs and mini paintings which I have saved at each stop along the way. Love to you for sharing.:)