Friday, March 27, 2009

Ooty & Conoor - Worthwhile though commercialized

It was getting too hot in Bangalore and hiking/trekking looked too strenuous in the heat, so this pure commercial trip to Ooty and Conoor. Inspite of the hatred I have for places swarming with tourists, I tried to enjoy this trip as much as I could. There is nothing much to write, so I'll mostly say it in pictures.

Day 1 (Reaching Ooty):
We started early around 4 in the morning from Bangalore. Crossed Mysore early in the morning, spending time to take some snaps around beautiful green fields adjacent to the roads.

From Mysore the road goes to Masinagudi through Nanjangud, Gundlupet, Bandipur, Mudumalai and Theppakadu. The road after Nanjangud was not that great. Enroute we stopped at the Pug Mark Restaurant to have breakfast. The quality of food there has gone down greatly. I must remember not to go there next time.

On the way through Bandipur - Masinagudi - Mudumalai we saw a legacy of the dot com era - a lodge named after that. :) 

Apart from the usual monkeys and spotted deers, we saw a couple of White Belied Wood Peckers busy pecking away the tree for worms. 

From Masinagudi there are two options to go to Ooty - first the longer (70 kms) route on flatter roads and the second shorter (36 kms) but much steeper route. We chose the shorter route, of 36 kms with 36 hairpin bends. The Swift engine groaned and coughed under the load of three people, dragging itself over the turns, but managed to get us up. 

We did stop midway for a short break at a place that had a coffee shop. The place mentioned some waterfall though none were there, I guess it was dried up in the summer. From there Ooty was another half hour including a refreshing break at the pine forests just before Ooty.

Once we reached Ooty we headed straight to the Boat club. Fooled around there with couple of rides and some photography before starting towards our hotel.

It was already 2pm in the noon and all of us were hungry. There was a hotel claiming to be a Punjabi dhaba and we entered that. The food was terrible but we gobbled it all up, not having the energy to search any further.

The LakeView cottages were nearby. We checked in to the hotel and checked out the rooms. The cottage was cute and clean, nice grass with flower beds all around the cottage, and ample parking by the side of the road.
After freshening up a bit in our rooms we set out for an evening walk at the Ooty rose garden. There are three levels of rose plantations out of which only one had flowers. The other two were getting re-planted. It had been drizling a bit and there was nice cool breeze all around. There were some beautiful flowers in the garden. And it was fun watching the sparrows in the garden.

We had food at a joint at Charing Cross. The night was cold but enjoyable as we tucked into the warm sheets. The plan for the next day was to get up early in time for the sunrise and visit the Ooty botanical garden before the regular crowd arrives.

1 comment:

Thank you. I'm all ears!