Avalanche (Avalanchi) — Second Visit but saw much more

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Trout Hatchery

This was one tourist spot that my SIL insisted on visiting. I was not so sure because we had come here before and they do not allow you beyond a particular point. Well, we started out late as usual. It was raining as well but surprisingly a lot had changed since our previous visit. One of the first things I noticed was that we could go beyond the point.

Eggs and Lil ones
Eggs and Lil ones

They had 1 number of tourist-friendly boards to let us know that we were entering the Reserve. We had to get tickets which turned out to be a big hassle. It was quite crowded and we didn’t know if we could go this trip or the next. There were so many vehicles and so many people and chaos reigned.

Because we were told that we would get the tickets after 1 hour, we proceeded to visit the trout hatchery that was close by and not as crowded.Well, we figured out why it was not crowded. The place had moss all over the place, was dinghy, and begged for maintenance. Instead of standing outside waiting for the ticket counter to open, we were inside an absolutely dark building that we all wanted to quickly get out of but we were taken all around and someone took the pains to explain the process while we listened (im)patiently.

Driven in a Tata Sumo
Driven in a Tata Sumo

When we got back, we found that chaos still reigned supreme and we doubted if we would visit the most talked about tourist spot in recent times. And all of us were hungry. We also noticed that folks who came after us were talking to some of the locals and getting their ride before us. That is when we realized that the trip may not happen and all our effort was for naught. SIL, who had left the whole trip in the hands of the men folk, jumped to action and in a few minutes we were off. Yes, that is exactly how it happened. The men folk were quite surprised.

Cold and Foggy Day
Cold and Foggy Day

The drive was in a Tata Sumo and we did not share the vehicle with anyone else. It was terribly cold and foggy. And the cold breeze all but threatened to kill us but we stayed warm in our sweaters and jackets. The guide who accompanied us, stopped at all the relevant places, a waterfall where we all did the obligatory pose – some snaps came out ok but most of the snaps had a bit of someone else who also wanted a photo – it got a bit irritating, of course.

Next to a waterfall
Next to a waterfall

It was a windy day so my hair was flying all over my face and most of my snaps have come out natural but hardly great 😀 The Arien was busy shooting pics irrespective of the state of my hair while I tried to control my hair. In fact, when I had my hair somewhat controlled, I found the Arien shooting some shrub 😦 Well, so no great snaps of me!

Apart from the regular snaps, the Arien was experimenting with Black and White pictures and so almost every one of the regular snap was also shot in black and white – except my snaps of course, to lend an effect to the snap. Well, it worked.. mostly 😀 The drive to the place was so interesting that we enjoyed the drive a lot though we were all shivering a bit. Winter had not officially started but there was quite a fog.

Bizzare Tree in BW
Bizarre Tree in BW

We also stopped near a bizarre looking tree opposite a temple. The Arien, of course, first shot a picture of the tree and then sauntered over to us. We were all on our way to the temple. Aunt refused to get off the Sumo so the rest of us decided to go. I am not a big fan of praying in public but for some reason I felt compelled to do so this time.

The temple was just another temple, it appeared at a turning and the Sumo was stopped after the turning. So, you kinda have to walk down to the temple and then climb a few steps to actually stand before the Sanctum Sanctorum.

The Temple
The Temple

Also, the guide and the driver both expected us to spend some time at this spot, praying or taking snaps and so they took a break. If my uncle was in the Sumo, he would have said “Aaah.. thats ok.. we have been to a lot of temples, Keep going.”

Anyway, those were some of the highlights of the travel to Avalanche. We all agreed that this trip was well worth the wait and thanked SIL profusely for pushing for this trip. Without her effort, we would have all headed back to the room for some eating and sleeping.

Nope, not over yet. One more post on Avalanchi with a few more pictures to follow. Also, since we went on this trip in 2012, it takes me a while to go over my meager notes, the pictures, and piece together a post.. be patient you all 🙂

 

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SIM’s Park – Coonoor

We decided to drive down to Coonoor and meet my Capri cousin at SIM’s park. We started a bit later than planned but we reached SIM’s park before my cousin didIMG_2573. This gave the Arien an opportunity to start shooting pics. The flowers looked so lovely, bright, and colorful that I could totally understand why I was not getting any response to whatever I was jabbering on about.  As I followed him and he followed the camera, or whatever was pulling him via the camera, we noticed a little sparrow that did not seem scared of us. It actually IMG_2579posed for pictures. Only two of them came out well. But, I could almost feel it saying – “Ok, you got some snaps – Now, can I go on with my work? Thank you.”

In all this, we almost missed my cousin and family walk in until they were almost upon us. After a bit of meet and greet and a few snaps of all of us together taken by the two male members via their camera or iphone, we started walking. As we walked, we came across this little boy selling these bubble makers. My niece wanted one. Soon, she was shooting bubbles in the air. Some of them did not come out too well and then my SIL showed her how to do it – it was fun. The Arien captured those moments too.

IMG_2629As we walked along, the Arien managed to take some really good shots of the flowers, of the bee atop a flower, etc. while I used the opportunity to chat with my SIL, my aunt, my niece, and of course, my cousin. After a bit, everyone was a bit tired of the walking, and we decided to move to the next touristy spot at Coonoor which was Dolphin’s Nose.

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Catherine Falls – seen from Dolphin’s Nose

It was crowded and did not feel like there was anything much to do except gawk at the awesome view. Gawk we did 🙂 We also took a few pictures of ourselves and the Catherine Falls as viewed from the Dolphin’s Nose. It was so far away that the snap does not do any justice to the view. The Arien took some amazing shots, yet again. All of us oohed and aaahed over the panorama shot he took of the Dolphin’s Nose.

My cousin was shifting to another hotel in Ooty that day and they were all packed and set. So, we stopped our touristy stuff for the day. After driving to Ooty, and saying Bye to my cousin and family, we drove back to Lovedale where we were put up. We were quite tired and it was good to hit the bed and forget everything. Nice day – not our hectic pace but enjoyable nevertheless.

We have done a number of trips to Ooty and so both of us were ok not to do our hectic touristy stuff and to just relax.

 

Happy New Year 2015 – I am Back!

Just when you thought I had shut shop and moved on.. I am back! And not with a vengeance- just trying to catch up with my travels. Luckily there have not been that many.

Happy New Year 2015 – I hope it is a good one!

2013 and 2014 have been eventful in my personal space and a lot has changed. But, hopefully not the number of trips that we take year after year.

First the good news, because some of my trips happened a while ago and I doubt I can remember things accurately, I am going to be writing small posts only. I can hear your sigh of relief 😦

The bad news, this is only for the trips where I cannot remember accurately 😀 A long post may slip in – you never know. Knowing me and my writing – most of you are probably going wink, wink, eye roll and “short post ha!!” – Well, wait n watch 😀

I wonder if my writing style has undergone any change. Well, you can tell me 😉

See ya soon.