Thats the board that we saw when entering ooty... so in that one minute i decided to name my post 36 hairpin bends... there are actually that many.. and they help you count too... at every hairpin you will find a board...35/36...8/36 (8 more to go i.e... as we were climbing up)!!! So highlights of the trip... not mentioned in any particular order..
1) The drive down to Ooty is nice, post you hit Bandipur... we started late.. so we reached Bandipur in the evening.. and these days its dark by around 6pm! But its beautiful.. bandipur, mudulamai national sanctuary is quite beautiful in the night.. hurtling down the (not kidding.. we were hurtling coz we didnt want to take these roads so late) road listening to Ghajini / Abba, windows rolled down.. fantastic!!!!.. Coming across a herd of deer.. their eyes twinkling in the night.. priceless (thats the mastercard ad, lol)
2) Cold in Ooty ... well, my husband liked it.. i am a sunshine person.. but chasing sunshine during winters is fun.. धुप सेंकना and keep changing your position as per the setting sun.. and in the end you will be standing ine remote corner and or almost one step of the cliff face!!!!
3) Having hot hot soup in cold cold winter... mmmmm
4) Fireplace in the room.... ecstasy!!!! But it does die down in 2 hours.. but so what!!!!! The effect is amazing.. i have a feeling thats why the hotel ppl (we stayed at a place called Sherlock) deliberately ensure that the rooms are cold!!! Did you know fire actually cackles.. its not a book thing!!!! Heavenly. That cackling sound itself is so warm and pleasant.
5) Sherlock - nice place.. an old colonial bungalow converted into a hotel.. has about 9 rooms.. food was not that great.. breakfast was horrible.. not just horrible.. it was cold!!! But charming place nevertheless.. all the rooms named after, you guessed it, Sherlock Holmes novels!!! We were at Baskerville!!! The view from the hotel.. breathtaking.. really makes it worth the while staying there!!!
6) Ooty in itself is extremely commercial... we went to rose garden.. more people less roses.. we visited Ooty lake.. boating in the lake was fine.. but to get to the boat you need to fight your way through 1000s of people!! Also picked up home made chocolates.. here i need to mention we went by outlook traveler's recommendations and went to the address listed in the book.. we reached their residence.. so embarassing!!!!
7) A honeymooners haven.. you will find them everywhere.. and i really mean everywhere...a girl with chamkeela sweater.. chamkeela suit... shining sandals , with heels which also have glitter, shining clip.. shining everything basically.. trying to eat candy.. romantically (both husband and wife nibbling on one candy stick!!!).. and of course getting such phtotographs taken!!! Uff ... so irritating!!!!
8) Going to the washroom in winters.. tough (i had forgotten how hard this could be...even though i am from delhi)
9) Toy train to Coonoor... loads of people.. with kids!!! Beware!!!! People clicking anything and everything they can possibly click.. hanging from the doors (no wonder the hinges were coming out).. taking snaps on the tracks , from the tracks.. of the kids.. of the train.. approaching train, standing train... b****y tiresome!!! We had window seats.. the seats are not very comfy..and we also had a kid for company ..a yelling kid who first wanted the window seat.. NO WAY I AM GOING TO GIVE UP MY WINDOW SEAT is what i thought to myself!!! So i said with a smirk the door is unwieldy which it was.. thankfully then the parents took over... and then i opened my pack of biscuits.. and the kid wanted it all.. our entire breakfast!!!!!!!!!! Much yelling, shouting and a slap later (i didnt hit the kid, the mom did) we got the pack back!!! Lol... btu didnt feel hungry after that.. i was busy trying not to feel cold!
BTW, we were sitting at the wrong windows.. not much views from there!!!!!
10) Drive to Dolphin's nose was amazing.. the site itself is not exciting.. because of so many people again.. but the drive is beautiful!!! Sims park.. peaceful.. nice place.. Indian travelers though are horrid.. throw stuff everywhere.. will write my next post on this!!!
11) Needlepoint, a shop, sells embroidery work.. the shop is located in a house.. beautiful beautiful place!!!!
12) Lunch at Taj Retreat Coonoor.. awesome..
13) Journey back by toy train.. more kids!!! And we got the wrong window seats again!!!! Damn!!!
14) Dinner at Savoy. not good.. but company (my husband i.e.) brilliant!!! Good conversations next to a fireplace.. what more fo you need
15) Rooms at Savoy - awesome.. you dont really think that much about the food!!! Fireplace too!!! And a room heater!!!
16) Chatting with random people was fun.. we chatted with a Brit couple.. and then another family who we bumped into at least 3-4 times.. 1st time at rose garden where they got my husband to take their pic...4th time at conoor when finally they came over and chatted.. they were from mumbai too and were terribly excited at seeing our mumbai car!!!! :)
17) And finally the fight between Hindi and Tamil music stations ..fighting for our time .. to be heard :)... the signal was strange.. so we would hear one line from a Jodha Akbar song , rest all would be Tamil. Anyway I got a hear a mallu song which i actually recognised!!! That was quite exciting for me!
18) Ghajini and Abba - we were carrying only 2 Cds.. and because we couldnt listen to the local FM channel.. we heard these 2 CDs turn by turn... actually we heard Ghajini at least 20 times if not more!!! The music is good!!!!
19) Lots of monkeys on the way... which if you stop, come near actually hold a paper plate up for food!!!!!
20) A traffic jam in the hills (i dont mean in the city... but when going up or coming down)... its an experience to see how bus people maneuver themselves out fo the jam.. this bus reversed quite a way bit.. and that too reversed uphill!!!
So all in all... an awesome trip!!!! Will try to post some pics this weekend!!!