Day 10 – 8 March 2009
We move to Pondicherry.
With all my relaxation yesterday four hours sleep was enough. I was up and about by 0600 enjoying the first part of the day. This hotel creaks more than the Chennai equivalent – tepid water only was available though my shower – which was invigorating – it could almost have been piped through from the swimming pool. Later I was told much to my embarrassment that there is a switch for constant hot water in my room … duh!
Breakfast was at 0730 which was as good as ever. I walk with two colleagues to the local Roman Catholic Church for Mass at 8.30 – and true to his word the Priest finishes the service in less than fifty minutes. Men and women are separated and the service was in Tamil. It seems the Priest has four services over the Sunday period – and he is responsible for twenty one sub stations. He gives us loads of information about the work of the parish which will be of interest to other Catholics back home. There was time for a swim on my return – many of my colleagues have gone on a fishing trip out to sea. The clean warm and calm water of the hotel’s swimming pool was just a dream. I fear that this will be my last swim in India – the next hotel does not have a swimming pool.
We have a good lunch before departing for Pondicherry. It is a long drive in our trusty old coach. We watch a terrible film en route – it was so loud I could hardly hear myself think. The journey lasts just over four hours and we arrive in Pondicherry late in the afternoon – it is still light and very warm. I unpack my luggage in a small but basic bedroom – sadly no Internet connect is available – except on a wireless connection in the hotel lobby. The room is clean and safe – I am well pleased and grateful to be not sharing it with others. Dinner is at 1930 and it was delicious. The hotel reflected the French influence of Pondicherry. I retired to my room for reflection and to write up my notes. Tonight I need to catch up on my sleep again!