Sunday, March 29, 2009

Ooty & Conoor - Day 3 at Conoor & Back

Day 3 (Conoor):
We checked out of the hotel and started to drive towards Conoor. Conoor is around 30 kms from Ooty and the drive is pretty nice with lots of nice view points on the way.

We reached Conoor in half an hour and headed towards Sims park - a botanical park similar to Ooty boanical park, but a bit smaller. Sims park has nice flowers and a beautiful lake and is much less crowded. One can actually spend some nice quiet time in the park.

There is paid parking right outside Sims park for a very nominal charge of two rupee. I was trying to recollect when, if at all, I had paid such a low parking fee for my car.

There is no dearth of view points in Conoor. People create new view points to earn a living. It is sad to actually see people burn portions of the forest to create a view point so that they can attract tourists and set up their tea/medicinal oils shop there. 

A guy with a telescope or binocular and a person claiming to be a guide are also stationed there to grab their share from tourists.

One of the better view points is called the "Dolphin's Nose" there. In fact, I have been to Dolphin's Noses at almost all the hill stations I have visited till now. :) Anyway, here the tip of the hill is pointed in the shape of a Dolphin's nose. From there you can see a waterfall far away. There is a telescope point from where you can spy on tribal villages and the waterfalls.
We started back towards Ooty by noon 2 pm. We did not find any decent eating joint at Conoor and so decided to have lunch at Charing Cross. It was 3 pm by the time we had lunch and immediately after that we rushed back towards Bangalore. We took the same 36 hair-pin bends down and stopped mid way for some time to cool the brakes.

We reached Bandipur by evening and stopped there briefly to watch the elephants in the camp. After that we rushed back towards Mysore and Bangalore. We stopped again to enjoy the beautiful sunset for some time.

Had food at a dhaba on Mysore - Bangalore road and reached back Bangalore by 11 in the night. The new NICE corridor roads are really good and we didn't have to enter the dreaded Kanakpura road stretch on our way back. 

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