Saturday, June 03, 2006

Travelogue - The bumpy ride to Ooty







The bumpy ride to Ooty wasn’t short of thrills and excitement. When we were tired of laughing at my uncle’s jokes we would look outside to see all the patterns the clouds would make in the blue sky. In the distance, the blue hills of Nilgiri gradually began to dominate the landscape giving us a foretaste of what was to come. The average ordinary trees began to be replaced by tall conifers and eucalyptus trees. Lurking in the greenery a pair of shiny eyes would suddenly manifest itself in the form of deer and nilgais. The odd wild elephant might also be found brushing its tusk against the tree bark as though this action were prescribed by a dentist! The big cats chose to stay hidden. The Bangalore-Ooty highway passes through the Bandipur and Mudumalai forest reserves. Although both boast of a decent tiger population there aren’t many who can claim to have seen any. One begins to wonder if this is all a hoax especially when one reads the rather suspicious message on the forest department website that cautions “Wild cat sightings are rare as they are masters of camouflage and prefer to stay hidden”.

The road crept into the mountain and silently curled round it like a woolen muffler. As if on cue, the weather began to feel nippy. And it was peak summer! Spells of light rain lashed against the car windshield but did little to deter us from our quest for a good holiday. Miles and miles of forest are an album of beautiful images, enough to content the photographer in our minds. Every now and then at forest checkposts and state borders, human settlements mushroom awkwardly like patches of weed in a little homely garden. This is where we stopped for tea, grown amply in the slopes of the Nilgiri hills.

At Gudalur two roads leave for Ooty. One of them passes through the sleepy hill station of Coonoor, the other through the unending grasslands of Pykara that carpet the hilly slopes of Nilgiri. We chose the latter. Standing on the slopes at Pykara, one unselfconsciously looks for golf clubs and 18th holes. The view is an endless array of blue-green mountains punctuated by lakes and hilly streams. As our car trundled along the grassy slopes of Pykara, clouds and darkness finally got the better of the sun. Silence, darkness and chilly mountain air put me to sleep until the spluttering engine woke me up finally. It was 10 pm and we were finally in Ooty.

(Update: Found time and added to my short story)

10 comments:

Vasu said...

Wow. You make me want to go there!

Chloe said...

your posts read like chapters from an exotic novel. and i saw you have another blog! xx

angel, jr. said...

What beautiful pictures and prose to go with it.

angel, jr. said...

What beautiful pictures and prose to go with it.

Tell me no more of enchanted days said...

saw them. very nice...i was thinking ooty is more commercialised n dirty..but it looks nice..espc the fog (i dream of foggy lands)... n i wasted my trip to kerala..shld hve at least gone to munnar :(
life..the fool..sound and fury..hmm shakespeare...

Maddy said...

Stunning photo's - i would love
to be there with my
camera!

Sarafina said...

Heavenly, heavenly pictures... sigh... xoS

erikku said...

Very green. I like green. ^_^

The top pic is the best.

How do we know said...

care to post a new one? please!

Wriju said...

How:
The next one's for you :-)