Tag Archives: Lovedale

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.

1-IMG_2644
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 ūüôā 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.

 

Udhagamandalam (Ooty) — Yet another holiday there

My capri cousin planned a holiday to Ooty with his family and asked us to join him. If it was left to us, we would Spotted Deernot have taken a holiday at Ooty, that was for sure. We have been there dozens of times and had the Arien suggested Ooty one more time, a fight would have definitely ensued! We were not keen, considering it was Ooty and also because bookings are always messy when you plan at the last possible minute. But, we got ourselves a nice deal very close to the day of travel and so the plan was on. The Capri cousin was sure that I was calling to say that we were not coming when we shocked him with the good news (Yes, we were going!).

The drive as always was good though we took longer than usual to reach. The weather was great. Though we cribbed that any other place would have been better, we needed that break.

IMG_2441The drive as always is via the forest area and the Arien managed some nice shots of spotted deers and elephants. He got a particularly nice shot of the amazing horns that one of the deers had, which I am sharing here. The elephants looked kinda skinny – skinny for an elephant, i.e :)I am sharing a pic of the baby elephant whose ribs are sticking out.

This time we were staying at Lovedale (a small distance away from Ooty) and Capri cousin had planned a day at Conoor and was staying at Ooty for the rest of the holiday.

I recall that during our train ride, one of the stations that Resortwe passed was Lovedale. Well, here we were, going to actually stay at Lovedale. It is a nice place.

It was evening when we reached our resort, and after a number of wrong turns, we finally found the resort. We were not sure if we should visit my cousin at Coonor. My aunt said that she did not want to spend the evening worrying and wondering if we reached our resort safely after the visit. We agreed.

Our resort was picturesque and the Arien had some nice photo-ops. Our room was not all that great. The outside looked a lot better than the inside.The Arien took nice pictures and we had a nice lazy day at Lovedale.

RestaurantAfter a nice snack of Pakodas which we had not indulged in in a while, we felt even better. The restaurant at the resort was nice – bright and warm. Especially, considering the slight fog outside – it seemed absolutely cozy. It even had a fake fireplace ūüôā Dinner at the resort was yummy, served hot, and we spent a relaxed evening at the restaurant.

There were not too many people when we went and so the service was efficient. The group which came after us gave the restaurant folks a tough time.

Udhagamandalam – Coonoor Passenger

It was nearly time to check out of the resort. As we we stood at the Reception, paying the bill,¬†we asked¬†’bout the Passenger train to Coonoor. We still had not found the Railway station though we had driven around the city a zillion times.¬†The guy at the Reception was pretty friendly and gave us clear directions.¬†After dumping all our luggage in the car, we¬†followed his directions and¬†made it in time only to see hazaar folks standing in a queue waiting to buy tickets for the train ride. Obviously, it was a popular entertainment option. While the Arien stood in the queue, I plonked myself inside the train reserving a place for us.¬† (This is strictly against the rules but we were leaving Ooty today and so the scant disregard for the rules). The Arien came waving the tickets as if he had won the lottery.¬†

Soon we were off.¬† I had somehow romanticised this whole journey so much that I believed¬†this train was like the Palace on Wheels kinda train. Beeg mistake. It was a local train travelling between¬†Ooty and Coonoor. The seats were nothing to talk ’bout –¬†you cud call it a¬†toy train¬†for adults ūüė¶¬† But, the view was fantabulous.¬†People were shooting pictures left, right, and center and the train was¬†chugging along slooowly. The train stopped at¬†a few stations and¬†very few people got¬†on or off. ¬†The train¬†was a major tourist attraction and¬†the locals watched us as if we were crazy¬†kooks.¬†¬†We stopped at Lovedale and then at Keti. Keti was known as the place where Shahrukh shot for the song “Chaiyya Chaiyya” – almost every guide/person at any tourist spot threw this information at you.

In 1 and a half hour, we reached Coonoor. Because our car was parked at the Ooty Rlwy station, we had to get on the¬†same train as soon as it was ready to leave Coonoor. Good plan but a shocker awaited us. First of all, the crowd at Coonoor station had us zapped. And then when the train stopped, all of us were asked to get off by policemen because the folks who purchased tickets at the Coonoor station had¬†the first preference. Both¬†of us were pretty zapped at this. The policeman’s job was to ensure that all of us got off. The Arien disappeared¬†into the ticket counter while I looked around for a chance to reserve (Gasp!) a seat.¬†I joined the folks who were (im)patiently waiting to get on the train (I know – I am totally ashamed :O). The Arien, meanwhile, had given up hope¬†and was walking around searching for me — wen he saw me¬†sitting at a window seat franctically waving to him.¬†His face screamed “how did you get on?” while I¬†tried hard to stop him from asking tht question. By then, almost everyone who had a ticket, was given a seat and so I was feeling a little less guilty. The Arien had to shoot this pic of the policeman staring at the foreigner as she stood with her video camera and took pictures of her companion who was inside the train. I was glad when the train finally left Coonoor station.

The return journey was a tad boring. We had already finished with the Ooohing and Aaahing and so the Arien decided to shoot some nice pictures. He managed to take some very interesting shots and soon we resumed our Ooh(s) and Aah(s). This shot was taken by the Arien without viewing the display.

There were a big group of North Indian folks in our compartment and they chattered nineteen to a dozen and all the kids were so noisy that we were really waiting to get off at Ooty when the train stopped at Wellington. The name seems so out-of-place in our Udhagamandalam that I had to take a shot of the station. As usual, I managed to get a bit of the bar in the pciture and the Arien wanted to delete the pic but I persisted and here goes.

When we finally reached Ooty, I was glad that the car was not broken into. It was a relief. The Arien was very sure something wud have hpnd to the car while we were travelling back and forth to Coonoor. We drove via the market and purchased the famous Ooty carrots, and a whole lot of other vegetables that looked very fresh. I laughingly informed the Arien that this is the first holiday where we have gone grocery shopping but I was silenced by the sheer quantity of stuff tht we were buying. After buying almost 2 bags-ful of veggies, I was very impressed when the shop-keeper whipped out a cloth bag (flourescent green) and packed it all in tht bag. No plastic Рvery very impressive.