Day 3 – Part I
Day 3 started pretty early for both of us. We decided to leave early so we can finish the Ooty trip and then check out from the resort. We had asked for permission to check out as late as 2 pm so we could complete the trip in peace. The resort owners sweetly obliged.
We left the resort at 6:45 a.m. and the drive was indeed breathtakingly beautiful. The hairpin bends were indeed scary – they are actually known as the 36 Hairpin Bends to Heaven. I wanted to stand and stare – the bends looked lovely and there were very few ppl on the road. You do feel one with the clouds as you go around the hairpin bends. This particlar snap was taken frm one of the bends – I was standing atop the chuntu embankment and took this picture. The actual view is so beautiful that this snap does not do justice to the view.
The plan was to visit the Botanical gardens, first. I was not sure if it was even open at this time – it was 7:45 am and everything seemed closed. Also, it was republic day and so I was not sure if as a mark of respect – it may be closed?!! Its amazing wht we realize after reaching our destination!! We needn’t have worried.. the Botanical Gardens was open to public at 8 am – this information was gleaned from the local chai shop from where we had our first chai of the day. While we were discussing if we shd have breakfast and gulping down hot chai/coffee – the chai fella told us to get going to the Botanical gardens. Well, that decided things. 😀
I thought we wud be the first ones but wht do you know – there were so many ppl – most of them taking snaps. We saw this tree that looked oh-so-different that the arien happily took a picture. It was awfully cold and I was shivering inspite of the red jherkin that I was wearing. The sun was slowly making its appearance.
There were so many weird looking trees that totally caught our attention – I think I wanted to take snaps of all of them but the Arien was not interested. The trees were from all over the world – I saw one from Australia, and another from China, and they all looked so different and the garden had so many different varieties that I really wanted to stand and stare. This was another one of those trees that made me want to stand and stare – it was right next to the entrance and I was surprised we missed it wen we walked in 🙂
My fingers were numb and I think I was hungry b’cos I was slowly turning cranky as we walked around the garden. It was a lllooong walk and it almost seemed never-ending. The Arien wanted to climb a small hill and I told him to go on – I was really not interested in climbing that hill. It was no longer as cold but it was not warm either and I was hungry – the arien came down after a while saying he had no clue where the hill ended and he did not see any other way of coming down and so he returned – he was hungry as well – by then.
We had breakfast at a local saravana bhavan and going by the crowd of irritated ppl – we decided to order the fastest breakfast item namely, Idli Vada 🙂 True to popular notion the idli vada came by pretty quickly and soon we had finished eating and were ready to leave while folks who had come in before us were still sitting (im)patiently. As we walked out of the hotel, I saw this aquarium which had two huge fishes – that looked vaguely familiar. The Arien stated “What Bull – all tht 40k crap at KRS – and here this guy has two of them”. And thts when it hit me – of course, this was the same fish that we saw in Krishnaraja Sagar dam near Mysore, that supposedly cost the government 40k – and this guy had two of them!! I asked to take a snap of the amazing fish and he smilingly waved me on.. and so here is the pic.
The next stop for the day was the Rose Garden. This was where the Arien lost the temper ‘cos he was not allowed to park in a “Only Government Vehicles Parking allowed” area, by me. He was furious for a looong time 🙂 The rose garden is of course a garden full of amazing roses – you can smell them from a distance but they looked dry and care-worn. There was even a rose named after Jayalalitha. Some of the roses were huge, some were small and they were in so many different colours – so many ppl were posing with the roses tht it was really too much – the arien was of course fuming n so we walked our different ways until we met at the middle of the garden and then decided tht we had seen enuf of the rose garden 🙂 This rose is not the Jayalalitha one but was the biggest one we had seen in Ooty. MIL’s roses are almost always this size and look amazing as well 😀
I wanted to get a Toda Shawl for myself and my mil, and sil. We spent a lot of time, losing our way in the process, walking one way and then the other, to no avail. When we finally found the toda emporium – it was closed on account of Republic Day and I felt sorely cheated. We decided to have a second breakfast while we were at it – hehehehe 😀 I purchased tea for family junta – I mean – everybody who visits ooty buys tea n chocolates and while we saw quite a few chocolate vendors – we were told tht the best was King Star who opened at 11. So we waited till 11:15 and yes – it was obviously the most popular – I spent an amazing half an hour there before I realized tht I had come in to buy chocolates!!! After buying a lot of chocolates – I found that I did not have my purse :O I had to go out of the shop – get my purse frm the car – and then get the chocolates – if the Arien was fuming earlier – he turned furious 🙂
Our next and last visit was to Doddha Betta. I was completely bugged by then – I had no wish to go anywhere and so I sat at a bench that was thoughtfully provided ( I am sure it was for older folks and not for me) but who cares!
Suddenly, the place where I was sitting became xtremely popular because of a cute bird that was seen fluttering in mid-sky. It looked pretty weird – like it had had enough of being pushed arnd (pun unintended) and decided to stand and face the music. Everybody was pointing and staring and for a few awful minutes, I thot they were pointing at me and then I was staring too. The arien took this snap.
By then – I was ready to leave – seriously. There were so many ppl – it was a holiday and I was sure we were late and it was already 1 pm. We had chai and chilli bhajjis – as I was not too sure wen we wud have lunch and the arien has this tendency to become xtremely cranky if a meal is delayed or missed. After that we decided it was high time we left – because there was no way we wud even reach the resort by 2. When will we check out??!!… Grrr!!! I was worried tht they may charge us for another day – we had not planned for tht – I was totally tense!! The Arien refused to believe that may happen – he can b way to optimistic ’bout things which bugs me a lot!!