# 4 – Yercaud and Beyond

When we planned the drive from Auroville to Mysore, it seemed like a good idea to spend the night in Yercaud, a vacation destination in the mountains we would have to cross. As we started up the mountain – you’ve heard about driving in India, right? – cars, trucks, buses – large buses, motorcycles, monkeys, cows etc, now add 32 hairpin turns. Oh god, I really did think I would vomit. Somehow we got onto the subject of divorce. Our driver, Sunil, married 2 years, Catholic, and a serious but funny young man, was aghast when Mallory explained that she is good friends with her X and the X’s new wife and kids. “No, no, no” he says, “divorced people are like the mongoose and snake”. When I told him my husband’s X wife had come to our wedding with her new husband, I thought he might have a stroke. The lively conversation did provide the diversion needed to keep my lunch down.

In the morning, after a comfortable night, as we are descending the mountain – 32 hairpin turns with motorcycles, cars, buses etc – it occurs to us that we haven’t crossed over, that we are in fact going down the way we came up. “Sunil”, I say, “wait, what about getting to the other side?” “Oh that’s a different road, later today” he says. Yup, you guessed it, but only 27 hairpins this time. How I hate mountain driving…

We do finally arrive in Mysore at the lovely Green Hotel, and after some negotiations with the front desk about acceptable rooms, we settle in, have a nice dinner in the great outdoors dining area and retire for the second good night’s sleep of the trip. Tomorrow the Mysore Palace, Chamundi Hill, and more shopping…

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