Backpacking Pondy - Day-01

A week had gone by with me doing nothing but relaxing at home. At times, it was frustrating because despite me having so many hobbies to keep myself engaged, I wanted to do nothing but laze around. Life seemed like a never ending Fjaka. So, on Sunday, the 6th of May, I decided to go on an unplanned backpacking trip to Pondicherry and near by areas. I immediately booked an overnight bus to my planned destination. I am always guilty of overpacking when I travel. Hence, this time, I decided to go the Minimalist way. I tried to take only what was necessary and believe me, for someone like me, that is a very hard thing to do. 

I reached Pondi at around 5:30AM. I had planned on staying at the Youth hostel. So, I took an auto rickshaw till there. The place is almost in the outskirts of Pondy. Though the location was pleasant, the building looked like it was about to crumble down at any moment. I knocked at the front door which was locked. Nobody responded. At the beach, several fishermen had gathered to chat as they got ready to set out for the day. This whole place looked so sad that I decided almost immediately to not stay there. 

I walked back to the town centre which is about 2.5 kilometres from the Youth hostel. The walk was enjoyable as I observed the locals as they were slowly getting the day started. It seemed very relaxed. At 7:30 AM, there were no restaurants serving breakfast. That was strange!

I reached the promenade by the beach where many were beginning their day with a morning walk by the shore. 

I sat there for a while and booked Valentine’s hostel on Hostelworld App.  After having my breakfast at a local restaurant, I walked towards the hostel. Valentine’s hostel is very close to the railway station. It is a 3 Bedroom house turned into a hostel with each room having two or three beds. The owner, Mr Senthil lives close by and he was kind enough to let me in early. "There is only one other guest at the hostel", he said - A French national. He told me that currently it was off season and thus there were not many travellers around. He showed me around the facility before leaving. I got ready and decided to go for a walk around the town. 

Walking by the White town, I noticed the remains of the French colony. The beautiful architecture and colourful mansions constituted to an impressive sight. 

Except for the hot and humid weather, everything else seemed just perfect. I visited the Notre dame church and then took a walk to the park and passed via Vinayaka temple. 

To avoid the summer heat, I preferred to relax at a cosy restaurant called Surguru spot that serves excellent south indian vegetarian meal and of course the AC made the experience exceptionally enjoyable. 

After a good meal, I returned back to the hostel for a siesta. In the evening, I headed back to the promenade/beach. The ambience out there was great. Locals had gathered by the beach and were enjoying the evening breeze. I grabbed a croissant and Pain au Chocolat at the old and famous restaurant called Le CafĂ© and enjoyed the sea breeze. It felt like France!

It was lovely out there and it was a perfect place to feel lost. Feel 'peopled out'; feel Engentado!

From 5:30 PM to 9:30 PM, I sat by the beach, along with the locals, listening to music and enjoying the breeze. It was peaceful. Even though the locals seemed to tirelessly enjoy the evening, I decided to call it a day at around 9:30 PM and returned back to the hostel. It had been a long tiring day after all! 

Before going to bed, I had a short chat with the French traveller. Its always a great feeling to be able to speak the language with the natives. He is about to finish his exchange program in Delhi and would be soon returning to Paris. He had planned to take break and travel a bit in the South, before heading back. 

Continued Here 


  1. Seeing these pictures I am remembering my college tour. Thanks for sharing

  2. Your blog post, and the photos reminded me about my family trip to Pondicherry six years ago. A very nice. Would like to repeat the trip some time soon.
    - Pradeep | bpradeepnair.blogspot.in


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