The urge to travel
It has been months of being at home and doing nothing but working on laptop, cooking, and eating. Initially, I used the COVID situation to learn cooking and I did in fact, cook some really delicious dishes. But slowly, I lost interest in cooking. I live with my mother so I am more concerned about her safety in this ongoing pandemic. I just kept having bouts of serious mental lows periodically, something that I hadn’t experienced before. I wanted to get out and be out for some time but was terrified that I may bring the virus home when I come back.
Now, there is a family event in Chennai that my mom wanted to attend. I was very afraid for her and didn’t want her to travel during this pandemic. So she wanted at least me to go on her behalf. After much thought, I decided to go. The event was only for half a day and it would be enough if I stay during that. time at my relative’s place.
Given that I am traveling, I was very tempted to go elsewhere and explore, not just attend the event and return. After a lot of thought, I zeroed upon Pondicherry.
Villa Shanti, a boutique hotel in White Town, had been on my travel list since long. I called them and accommodation was available despite the high season due to COVID situation. I made the reservations for room on their website and made advance payment for taxi to pick me up from the Chennai airport. After booking the flight tickets, I was very excited and looking forward to my trip to solo trip to Pondicherry, after a long time.
Flight to Chennai during cyclone burevi
Donning N95 mask and face shield, I headed to Chennai on an Indigo flight. It was time when cyclone Burevi was just 2-3 days aways from hitting the coast. The sky was full dark heavy clouds and it was raining continuously.
chennai to pondicherry – a scenic drive
Muthu, the driver from Villa Shanti, was promptly there at the Chennai airport to pick me up. The drive turned out to be very scenic. There were small hills with their tops shrouded in clouds. The rain, fresh humid air, and lush greenery around, felt so liberating; especially after months of being stuck at home. On the way, I had my first proper south Indian filter coffee at Manoj Bhavan. No need to say, but the feeling of sipping hot proper filter coffee in rain was exhilarating. This was the change I was looking forward to!
I have published a detailed review about Villa Shanti here. The accommodation is stunning and the food is delicious. I highly recommend this place when you are traveling to Pondicherry.
Due to the ongoing pandemic, Chunnambar boat house was closed and so, I couldn’t visit the popular Paradise beach. Auroville was also closed. Due to the cyclone, there were very few locals at other open places. I explored the places peacefully at my pace with no crowds around. I will publish a detailed blog about that soon.