Monday, January 16, 2012

Exploring South India - Part 4: Ooty

Although we wanted to spend more days in Kochi, it was time for us to start heading back up north. The next destination we planned was Ooty. By then, we knew the 5 hr estimate given by Google Maps would not be doable and were expecting to arrive at Ooty late. We left Kochi around 10am, went over the rough road up to Coimbatore, and headed north to Ooty. The road to Ooty was a mountain road, winding right to left, up and down, and every time we got stuck behind a truck, the driver struggled to pass it, which was not too fun as a driver myself who know actually how to drive. It was not a very comfortable ride for sure.

We were nowhere close to Ooty after 5 hrs. The scenery changed quite a bit.  I could tell we were at high altitude, as my ears started to pop once in a while (yes, my ears are ultra-sensitive). We saw villages built along the slope of mountains here and there. It looked like an artistic mosaic on the mountainside, as the houses were small and cluttered but very colorful. The clothes people were wearing changed, too, as the temperature was significantly colder.  Unlike in Kochi where people wore half-sleeve shirts and flip-flops, I started to see people with heavy jackets, shawls, and hats. They looked more like people from the Himalayas.

Around 5pm, we passed a decent size town (maybe Coonoor?).  All of us including gG were very tired by then. We took a quick break (well, gG and I stayed in the car, as it was cold, and I knew I would not be lucky enough to find a decent toilet ^^;). It said Ooty was 20km away. Whew!  Another 20km on the mountain road... I expected not to arrive to Ooty before 6pm.

It was a bit after 6:30 when we checked in to our hotel. Yep, 8hrs and 30 mins later, we were in Ooty so exhausted (not to mention about the poor driver who drove that long!). The only good thing was that I could see a beautiful sunset right around the time we were heading to our hotel. We had a quick bite and just tossed ourselves into bed.

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