The more road trips I have taken lately, the more I am convinced that my soul has always belonged to the Mountain valleys and this is where I always want to be. I am so glad that I went on this road trip with my roommate Devansh. We knew it would be a tough long journey and boy, I couldn’t be more right! Until the end of this trip, I had a sore back but it was worth it because any hill station is best watched only if one goes by car or a bike. The valley looked breathtakingly stunning and blissfully serene that we took the pleasure of halting whenever we wanted to which happens to be the most obvious perk of any road trip.
Ooty, like any other hill station nowadays, is pretty commercialized – especially the bazaar, but once you have figured your way around the place, it doesn’t take long to escape into quieter and greener stretches where thick and tall pine trees rise to kiss the clear blue sky. Ooty, the ‘Queen of Hill Stations’, has a tranquil aura with the quiet ripples of cool mountain breeze and the subtle aroma of magnificent tea plantations. Sadly, the true essence of the old Ooty remains unexplored by the tourists. When we arrived, the weather was pleasant with a temperature of about 15-20^c, which was a great relief after a long day of our adrenaline-surged bike ride.
With me always being my impulsive self, I ended up booking a homestay from Airbnb for the first time. I never thought it would be so secluded and away from the city and let me just say that when I checked the directions for the home-stay, we had to pretty much wreck our heads to get there.
Now here is a little warning: If any day you think of booking the same homestay, well, this is what you must keep in mind: First things first, you absolutely need to have your dinner supplies in advance, especially if you don’t come in your vehicle to the farm because walking on the mud road after 5:30 pm is quite dangerous owing to the wild elephants that sometimes decide to give a sudden visit.
When we reached, we were greeted with a spectacular stretch of earth. The view from the homestay was so pristine that if any regret had formed within me while struggling with the directions to reach here completely disappeared the very instant my eyes took in the awe-inspiring scenery. I savored every moment of our stay.
Our host llona who belonged to Finland has settled in Ooty whilst establishing an organization and a veterinary clinic where she takes care of a lot of animals! The huge barnyard surrounding the place was what kept our eyes glued for almost the entire day.
At night packs of animal growled in unison, which can be quite frightening for someone with a weak heart. That night we lit a bonfire and struck up a conversation with a few other fellow bikers staying in the home-stay who also made themselves comfortable around the bonfire. They told us that they often trekked in and around Bangalore. They also recommended ‘NatureWalkers’ as one of the best travel and trekking agency in Bangalore and that it has given them some of the most amazing experiences and memories. I made a mental note to look into NatureWalkers. Soon we drifted off to sleep and gave our spines some much-needed rest after the exhausting day.
The following day, we took off to Coonoor via Ooty. The entire journey covered 36 Hairpin bends. The temperature dropped as the journey progressed. Coonoor is more about its tea plantations and much less bustle. The scenery up here from the toy train is picturesque and only a few of my friends had the chance to witness this. The road was filled with scenic beauty and for a moment I felt like I was in Spiti Valley. At every moment had me wanting to halt and click pictures. If only I had a GoPro to shoot everything so I could look at them and relive those moments over and again! Instead of visiting the touristy places we decided to just stop and gaze at the splendid tea plantations. I could not help but envy those people who reside in this picturesque landscape. An urge to settle in this beautiful place someday in future formed in my mind.
It was time for us to return home and we started our journey back by eating a brunch at Coonoor. We also bought some home-made chocolates for which Nilgiri hills is famous for.
We made a quick visit to the famous Mysore palace as I knew that I would not be visiting this part of Karnataka anytime soon.
The entire time I was anticipating a little rain and it not only rained but we were faced with a hailstorm which caused all the cars and bikes to line up in the highway for quite a long time. Not a single vehicle moved an inch. I don’t know what to call the road trip back from Mysore if not adventurous and risky. By the time we reached home we were drenched from the rain. The rain had cooled our bodies as well as that of the bike after all the commendable work it had done for us during the trip.
So until next time, I’m going to be ruminating my memories of Ooty while sipping on some hot masala tea. What about you?!