Saturday, August 30, 2014

Coast to Coast: Day 7


Unbelievably, the trip was to come to an end tonight. The very thought brought in mixed emotions. Aastha and I were determined to witness the last east coast sunrise (I was sure the next sunrise I see will not be in Bangalore). Google helped us with the time, and we were at the Gandhi beach at 6:00am. Pondicherry and the people felt way friendlier. I could see countless health freaks run, walk, jog along the beach. We also had another great mind like ours, present at the venue to click the sunrise. However, we did not bother to reciprocate to his smile and hello gesture! 

We accomplished mission 'Capture Sunrise' by 7:00am and felt rather enthusiastic. The thought of returning to the guest house vanished and we chose to explore the streets of Pondicherry all by ourselves.  It was going to be a Girls Day Out! The twist that no restaurants would open before 8:00am added to our misery.We crossed streets right, left and center to reach a venue for a healthy breakfast.We sat cross legged on the sofa at the restaurant waiting for the mini idli and cold coffee to calm our pounding stomach. While paying the bill, we realized that Aurbindo Ashram was just 0.5km down the road. We exchanged glances and gleamed with joy. We reached the Ashram before we could change our minds. The Ashram is a very quiet place. Personally, I felt that I could give myself the next 25 years before visiting the Ashram again. 

On the way back, I decided to fulfill my wish to visit a Church. I would have loved to do it on the New Year Eve but as someone said, it is never too late! Aastha was ON and we relied on Google Maps to reach the Church of Our Lady of Angels. It was sheer history & architecture ingrained at the very first sight and the experience got better as we stepped in. We were the only people and I could hear my breath echo. We went around reading history, trying to understand as much as we could and taking google help as required. We sat on a bench and prayed for a while: it was serenity!

It was 11:00am when we unlocked our guest room to hit the bed. I was mentally prepared to realize that the trip had come to an end. The guys woke up and were surprised to hear about our expedition in the morning. They were inspired and followed our itinerary too. In the meantime, we packed our belongings, freshened up to drive back to Bangalore.

The drive back was as chaotic as we had started on the first day! We discussed only vacation plans and places- hoping atleast one would materialize by the next new year.

Click to watch our C2C trip here
That was our Coast to Coast trip, as we traversed through land of coconuts, beautiful temples, exotic beaches with a spice of a bond called friendship! Life definitely was not going to mean the same again...


Coast to Coast: Day 6

As the clock struck 12, we wished each other 'Happy New Year 2014'...

The night had just begun and we could see the wilderness as we drove back to La Marina. A debrief of the day was enough a slot to put us to sleep.  

We woke up early (by New Year standards) and landed ourselves at Baker Street. It was just the right spot for a wake up brunch. We thoroughly spent time tasting each and every name on the menu. After a cold coffee, we walked through the streets and decided to go for the famous Pondicherry shopping. We passed shops, boutiques, designer cafe but it was all about going in with excitement and returning empty handed. I wondered how people even shopped here! Neither the street shopping, nor the yearning to buy anything help as we walked past the Governor's splendid bungalow. (The inability to buy was a function of lack of interesting collecting)

We came back, caught some sleep to balance the morning quota. We did not mind skipping lunch for an interesting evening agenda: it was the Auro beach followed by a dinner at The Promenade. Auro beach was the last beach of our trip. Aastha and I felt like heroines (not that we were dressed like one) as the crowd threw anxious glances at us. The guys decided to test their recently acquired swimming skills . It was fun to watch them wade through the water. My line of sight spotted another family having a gala time. The air echoed with their laughter and words that I dint seem to understand. The place also had the usual suspects: trying to make the most of even a grain of sand.

On the drive back, I was introduced to Auroshikha, a world of fragrance! I was never a huge fan of incense but this place got me to buy some for Mom. We nearly spent 90 minutes as the guys filled basket after basket to be billed. The next stop was the Hidesign cafe, I picked up a chrome yellow handbag after contemplating the need vs. cost aspect. It was a battle between the brain and the heart where the brain gave in! We also tried the 'second hand store' which failed to impress any of us. Some window shopping and we finally returned to La Marina to dress up for dinner. My happiness knew no bounds for I finally owned a Hidesign! 

The evening Promenade was spectacularly beautiful. The ambiance was as pleasant as the food. I did try something different (inline with my philosophy of 'Novelty Every Year'). It was midnight and we walked along the beach to hear the water crash on the rocks. The full moon, the cold breeze and a no man street was perfect to be called a New Year Eve. The walk to La Marina was adventurous as the dogs invited us to engage in a contest. (I was reminded of the scene from Breaking Dawn!) Aastha gathered the courage to scare all the dogs, it was surely the Promenade magic in action!

The night just felt longer. We were about to crash in our beds when the idea of a photo shoot struck us. After few hundreds, the guys joined us and it was a different aura all together. We laughed relentlessly till our stomach muscles could not take any more and managed to click this perfect family pic! A memory to be etched for the next xxxx years....