Such was my first ever solo self-driven road trip of seven days, from Bangalore to Auroville to Pondicherry to Tiruvannamalai and back.
Now that I sit and write about it, the experience that I had is making me equally ecstatic as the trip itself. Solo trips can be very confusing in the beginning, especially if it is your first time. But do not worry, we do not just explore the place in this journey, but also new dimensions of our own self.
Mentioning below, how it all unfolded for me:
- Beginning early in the morning, stopping for coffee and breakfast on the beautifully done up highway, gave me a great start for the trip.
- I stayed at Auroville just for a night at the Centre Guest House. The stunning silence of the place awoke all my senses within. The comforting breeze at night, easy going attitude of the locals, palate pleasing food were a hit for me.
- The highlight for me in Auroville was the cycling I did for hours in the morning, roaming around the entire place and soaking it in. All I spotted around me were welcoming smiles.
- I booked ‘the Promenade’ right at Rock Beach in Pondicherry. While I was there, I wanted to listen to the sound of the waves when I sleep and get up seeing the sunrise from the horizon on the sea-surface. Promenade fulfilled it all for me. I dined at the hotel itself most of the time, as the food was great and the location to my liking.
- La Café on Rock beach itself also became one of my favorite places to dine.
- The visit to the Nataraja Shiva Pyramid temple on one of the mornings, and sitting there in silence while listening to the waves hitting the shore just beside it, was a very fulfilling experience.
- The groundbreaking highlight in Pondicherry for me, was the visit to the Mangrove forest in Pichavaram, Chidambaram. It was close to two and a half hours from the hotel and I chose to go there on a whim. The afternoon I spent there has been imprinted in my memory forever.
- Sri Aurobindo ashram was a soul fulfilling experience as well for me. The Ashram shop close by, had everything to my liking.
- Since I had already taken the boat ride to Paradise beach in my earlier visits, I did not choose to do it this time. Rather, I spent most of the evenings sitting at the Rock beach and observed how time did become an illusion.
- Going to Tiruvannamalai was a last minute decision. It falls between Pondicherry and Bangalore. I stayed at the Sparsa Eco resort for a night there. The food is completely, amazingly and relishing vegetarian.
- The highlight here was the spiritual high it gave me when I did the pradakshina of the mountain in the evening, and also while I meditated with peacocks all around me in the resort itself.
After this experience, it is getting difficult for me to plan any travel with other human beings. I think I am going to fly solo for a while now ;)