Ooty and aboot....
Trip Start Aug 04, 2009
26Trip End Oct 03, 2009
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The locals seem to make enough money to have a comfortable life and they are really friendly and helpful yet withoot being intrusive or rude...which i loved. It's incredible how much power and energy a smile can extrude.
So i mooched around the town one afternoon, through a local market, true to any other market selllng fruits, veg, meat (deal or alive), household stuff, flowers...etc. I was happy just wandering and taking photos as usual. There were a Botanic Gardens which was lovely for the pure fact that was actually no rubbish to be seen and there many Indian tourists with their families relaxing and enjoying.
Ooty and the area is great for trekking as their are tea plantations, and a few tribal areas. I was interested in the tribes. I had to hire a guide as it wasn't something i could find myself unfortunately. We took a 45 min bus ride and then strolled for a while, over rolling green hills (reminded me of england a wee bit). The view was grand, when the clouds cleared, as you could see many wee villages down below with soft green landscape.
I was shown a few homes of the Toda tribe. Only 1500 people remain of the Toda tribe today. The buffalo is scared to them. Their diet consists of rice, butter, honey, and fruit. The work in agricultural and also rent oot some of their land to others (5000 rupees for a year for a hectare). They were all ever so kind and let me peek in their modest homes. One home was 2 small rooms, with a simple but very useful kitchen as a baby was sleeping right next on the concrete bed. Then in another home an older lady wanted to make us tea and for us to stay a while but we declined. She had a bigger home with 3 bigger rooms, many pots and pans..she was also a grandmother though, had lived there for 35 lives. Her family lived their with her but they were at work in the fields as she has earned the luxury of staying home to 'relax' after many years of hard work. They typically wear Dotis over their clothes which is a like a blanket, hand woven with a lovely pattern on them and very warm. The women dont wear saris as typically with most Indian women. The men sometimes wear vestis and lungis still though as typical...which is bascially a nice sarong worn around the waist, long to the ground or wrapped up short to the knees.
Then there was another family, non-tribal, that showed us how to make Ecalyptus oil as there are ecalyptus
trees everywhere. For that matter, there are almost every kind of oil available to buy in Ooty, from citronella, almond, saffron, with ecalyptus being most popular. So it was a very enjoyable day....lovely scenery, laidback trekking, or walking really i would call it, friendly locals. I think it is sooo nice for the locals to let us to their homes, to spy sort of speak, as i know i certainly wasn't the first tourist in their home, they have many, everyday almost, they dont get any money nor do they want it by what it seemed...they just like the company and dont really mind. Of course i couldn't directly communicate with the ladies but again a smile goes a long way. It was lovely.
Then on the bus ride back to Ooty, it was jammed pack with locals....only standing room. And i loved it for some reason. It's the first time i have had to stand on a bus so cant complain there, it was only for 45 mins and i didn't have my huge backpack so no bother. I really felt like i was amongst everything as i was jammed (and kept getting more jammed in as the journey went on) in between a pole, , a short little man underneath me practically and a elderly woman sat behind me. The elderly woman gave up her whole seat to the bus man and then proceeded to sit on a quarter of a seat, crammed, and didn't seem to mind at all...as my ass was literaly in her face, i turned around and a she gave me a big smile. Smiles all around please.