OOty & Nilgiri Hills

Trip Start Nov 18, 2007
Trip End Jan 31, 2008

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Friday, November 23, 2007

So we've travelled some mountain roads in our time but wow. Two things - I didn't realise you got 'mountains' in S India - we're 2200 metres up here and those mottos all over Indian roads 'Do Not overtake on curves ' do not work. That 2000 metres go almost spectacularly straight up and if you catch a local bus or a lorry you pass it wherever; the culture seems to be the guy coming the other way shrugs and gives way or you just stop/reverse. It only seems to work because everyone goes quite slow and there is no road rage. The best advice is not to look. So we arrive in the old British hill town of Ooty (fleeces back on by now) to stay in the former/current Army officers holiday home - well it's back to basics now and the first time I've literally 'pulled the chain' for many years. We also ended up at the local 'posh' hotel which was formally the governor's residence ( The Savoy!) - a little tired but with wood panelling , a pianist , and bow tied waiters - moved us up to GBP6 a head for 3 courses and a drink....
Friday took us on the 'toy' mountain train down to Coonor , a masterpiece of Victorian engineering rather quickly left behind by the car, the obligatory tea plantation/factory visit was then actually really interesting. Back to Ooty we've been to the Botanical Gardens (thank you the Raj) and as the only English we've been mobbed by English students - I now know where I come from.....this is an amazing place to survive in an otherwise manic and litter strewn country.
Food is better than the North so that's good. The British claim to have invented snooker here but the Officers Holiday Home sold the table and have a 'big' pool table - I suspect tonite may end up there so onward
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