It was my long time desire to visit Ooty. I went to my friend’s house at Coimbatore during summer and on a Saturday morning Arulganesh and I have started to Ooty by bike, in his Unicorn. We started from Saravanampatti which is at outskirts of Covai (Coimbatore). The road that we started was very calm and beautiful, as it was just 6 Am. There were peacock screams everywhere until we reached Mettuppalayam main road & it was very nice to hear it along the ride.
As highway construction was going on from that road junction, for atleast 5 kms the road was full of mud the air was polluted. I Covered my face with handkerchief and was expecting the endpoint of this road construction. I was saying to him that this is how Bangalore looks daily as many area in bangalore is dug for Metro, Flyover, Underpass and what so ever is there to do on a road!
Now that the ‘mighty endpoint’ of the road construction have come, I took away the hankie and enjoyed the breeze. Slowly we started feeling hungry as we’d nothing since we started from home. By now we’d reached Mettuppalayam. Exchanged saying that you keep looking at the right side and I’ll look at the other side to find a hotel to have breakfast, meanwhile look at the road as well
Just when the road to Ooty was about to start, we found a hotel and stopped there for breakfast. Had Idly, Vadai & Tea. Meanwhile we were eating, we were able to hear the awesome whistle that the Nilgiri Mountain Train was blowing. And then we said to each other that we should travel in this train next time. Done with breakfast now & It’s 7:30 when we started from the hotel. I was excited as I’m going to ooty for first time, arul ganesh too was excited as he is going to ride on those 36 hairpin bends. Now we are ready to move on, to witness the Queen’s beauty.
We’ve started from the hotel, a few kilometers away now we are at the foot of the hills. To a visible distance there were many cars & vans, when we reached nearby it was the Black Thunder at the right side of the road. As it was not in our plan just smiled at the Black thunder board & just uttered the famous BT ad dialogue ‘Once more polaama daddy ‘
He was riding bike very gently, not too fast or slow. As it was our first outing together in our 24 years we spoke about our school days. He then said about his first Ooty visit with his college friends that a sudden plan made them to ride at early morning 2 AM during a winter season to Ooty . When I was imagining how cold it would be and while he was explaining how cold it was during his visit; I started feeling the lovely climate! Yes, now we were somewhere 5 kms from the foot. Now many vehicles including bus, lorry were started coming from opposite side and many vehicles too following us. Some times needed to stop in the curves until the vehicles at opposite side have passed by. Arul ganesh managed to ride with ease.
We enjoyed the scenery and stopped at a place for few mins. The best part of traveling by bike is, you can stop anywhere, anytime. As it was my first visit there, the car parking at the Terrace of the houses looked strange to me. And for a while we tried to identify a building whether it was a Church or a bungalow that was usually shown in our movies. After some discussion assumed it a church & started from that place.
Reached Coonoor now and continued to ride. Looking at the houses, that are built step by step & a uniform red color that was sponsored by Vodafone added beauty to the greenish natural background. The railway track once again reminded us that we should travel by the Nilgiris Mountain Train. And on the we decided that we should have only fresh vegetables as our food for rest of the day.
Now the road that we were going on was so beautiful, tall trees at the right side and the top of trees at the left side. Ah! a vegetable stall! Fresh Carrots appeared to be waiting for our arrival. Stopped by and bought Carrots, went to the other side of road and enjoyed eating it. And the car, Maruthi 800 that was behind this Carrot seller was our topic. Is it his car, can we buy a car if we open a vegetable stall in Ooty and the discussion went on until we finished the Carrots and he bought a Radish that I have never seen, It looked red & like a beetroot. Tasted it with salt & it was so cool!
Time to proceed further, as this trip was not to cover spots and to enjoy time at anyplace we wanted to stop by. Rode for another few kilometers, stopped at a place, It’s Kamraj sagar reservoir and Dam, as there was less water, we spent a little time there & left the place shortly. Within some kilometers we’ve now reached the Queen of Hills. Wow! And the first thing we did after reaching Ooty was… Filled petrol
There were many police force deployed throughout Ooty as it was 116th Flower show & it was grand as it use to be always. Started further and took a steep down from a roundtana. We were looking at both the sides and I said, ‘Dei… Stop… Turn around, I think I was a Museum‘. He turned after slowing down and went back for 200 mts & yes, it was a Museum. Initially looked like a Lodge, but the doorways was at the side, paid 5 Rs as ticket and entered the place. It was a 3 BHK which had occupied all this museum items. I could see the things that use to be there in every museum the same old rod, the broken mud pot, Processed Tiger’s skin etc…
Started from there and now headed to Tree park. Which was around 10 kms from the Museum. Enjoyed the bike ride in the awesome climate. Now that the Plums on the road side shops were pricking my eyes and it’s one of my favorite fruit. But we didn’t stop and headed to Tree Park. Yes we reached the Tree park. It was full of Casuarina trees. Bought a carrots again and wandered there for a while and took some snaps. It was too calm and not much crowded. Spent some time and started from there.
Now, Cinema Medu. The peak is named as Cinema Peak, as a result of all those ‘lalala lala lalala’ group dance songs and many other shoots. We climbed with a hot groundnuts in hand. It was a green valley. Some people competed with us in climbing and we know every place there is going to be same and relaxed in the valley. Came down from the Medu and we could see that some Monkeys had scratched our bike seat We started from there now.
We could see hoardings that we are nearing Pykara Falls. On the way to pykara , we stopped for Plum & Radish. Hmm.. assume it as lunch While we were talking, I ate most of the Plum may be this is why elders say don’t speak while eating.
Now that we are very eager to reach Pykara. Rode for 5-6 kms from there & we reached Pykara falls. There was heavy traffic and luckily there was an organized bike parking. So went there and parked our bike, came out of parking and we could see Mariyamman Kovil (Temple) festival’s preparation was going on. We walked down from the checkpost and were able to hear the sound of the falls. The further chill climate made sure that we are close to the falls. And yes!! We reached the falls. Not too many crowd at one place, as it was distributed and prevention stakes were in place.
As soon as we reached I rushed to the water and this guy was still at the point where we witnessed the water flow. Entered the water, aaah! haaa!! Too cold, like an ice berg.. Yes, might be ice… Wow! I loved it! Called him to the water, haha… he was not ready to enter the cold water. He’d missed to enjoy it. Spent there enough time and went up to parking. Now that my another favorite shops were at our site. Yes, Chocolate shops
Bought 250 gms white chocolates and 250 gms brown chocolates and had it all within few minutes. Now time to move on. Just a few meters away was Ooty Lake. We were planning to take a boat, but it took 25 minutes to reach the lake as the narrow muddy road was jam packed with the tourist vehicles. We just reached the lake and admired the beauty of lake and started back as the queue was very crowded.
Now planning to visit Flower show at the Botanical Garden. Started back to town. On the way saw a raft of ducks and stopped by. Spent a short time there and rode back to Ooty. Enjoyed the bike ride again and enjoyed every sight. Reached town after an hour and parked bike in parking. As there were many counters there were not much crowd to buy entry tickets but it was crowded heavily inside. Now I saw the show that I use to see only on TV News all these years.
Moved along the queue and enjoyed witnessing varieties of flowers, vegetables. Dance by the native tribes were going on and they were cheered by the crowd. Not just for Cricket, but the dancers too were cheered by the crowds participation in dance from the place they were enjoying the event. Bell rang at stomach for evening snacks. Turned around and there were printouts with varieties food, but we were too late for that. There was just two items available and no other choice, we bought it & enjoyed eating. Overall the Botanical Garden visit was totally amazing!
Now it’s almost 6 & time to go back home. Started from there halfheartedly & went to bike. We took a different route to go down. This road was quiet and not crowded at all. Little scared as well as there were no vehicles at all for some kms. Oh! This road and scenery was awesome! He was talking about some tea factory that he visited when he was in college, wanted to eat the fresh veggies again and stopped for Carrots. Had the fresh carrots again and bought some for home as well. Managed to get it soon as a person nearby was filling his car with all the vegetables at the shop.
Went ahead for just 2 kms and this tea factory was there! Decided to go and went in to the factory, it was our luck that as we entered the main gate was closed for any new visitors as it was time to close for the day. Bought the entry tickets (5 Rs) and went in the queue to see the process of making tea. It was very nice as it was hot inside. At the end of the process we were provided with a cup of tea as well There were eucalyptus stall and chocolate stalls as well. Bought chocolates for home and left the place.
It was tough to ride down the hills. As I was counting the number of hairpin bends left, he was riding bike carefully. Slowly the dark started to cover the sky and it was dark within few minutes. Again stopped by some curves until the vehicles at the other end passed by and it was the same until we reached down. It took more time to reach down than the time it took to reach top.
Now reached Mettupalayam and stopped for a short break Started again and the next stop was at the shop where he usually have his dinner at Saravanampatti. After the whole day journey without covering my face I looked like a chinese to this shop keeper and I understood by the way he looked at me. Had dosai & Upma and reached home at 2230 hrs while the screams of Peacocks were still on.