I skipped last week’s intense summer heat by going on chill vacation to Ooty and nature’s paradise Valparai. I was in need of a break from the routine, as well for a change (since a year I traveled anywhere long) and as an alternate route to keep away the misery haunted lifelong; the hot weather wants me to drive somewhere to keep sometime cool enough. Ooty wasn’t so cold and surprisingly it had a best climate I ever experienced there and the sun was shining so bright over the Blue Mountains, enhances the spirit rather being laze inside the clouded atmosphere.
First time I took a night travel to Ooty from Chennai and it is also the first time for me to take an overnight travel to any other destination. I hesitated when my parents decided to take night ride to avoid traveling in day hot weather and to adjust room rent, but later convinced to take since it is first time for me, I decided to experience it. I doesn't find any difficult during the journey and we traveled at limited speed covering Vellor, Krishnagiri, Mettur and Mettupalayam and the dawn was really enchanting with warm sunlight embracing the cold morning.
Even though it was comfort during the night journey, I felt fainting and sleepiest the whole day getting down in Ooty. Glad we haven’t planned anything that day, and stayed at the cottage and had delicious Biriyani and watching TV and cherished the pleasant cold weather. I was disappointed with few things anticipated over there and one among them was the cottage we stayed in. I looked for cottages in Ooty at Olx.com and few other websites related to Ooty and found a home which would be suitable for 12 of us to stay and esp. a ground floor for my convenience.
|Avalanche Lake (click pic for enlarge)|
Being a peak season time, getting a suite is also not easy and prices a lot. So we had no other option rather booking the cottage and what I saw on the net weren't we stayed, but it was another one somewhat compact and enough for only 8 members and others were stayed at another place, which they used only for sleeping at night. The cottage was little away from the city center, so it was calm to stay at somehow peace and even it was a little home, looked pretty neat and painted in vibrant yellow and green. Each room had a TV, which is nothing but the free TV sets distributed by govt.
Another disappointment came in different form and for that I can’t blame anybody rather myself, because I put it into a casual mode since I heard or those conveyed me made certain that we need no permission to visit Parson Valley. ‘Just making a note at the forest check post before entering is enough.’ We were close to the Parson Valley Lake or about 1.5 km from the site, the forest officers stopped us denied permitting inside and also warned that coming such long itself need permission. The road to the valley is quite rough and we traveled in two cars, and our SUV has no issue with such roads, but uncle’s Hyundai Accent with bad tyres made a great attempt surviving the road… it feels sad taking such a path with nothing to hold back.
Making it as a more special vacation, I met my dearest friend Andrew who was also on a trip to Ooty while we were. Couple of day before leaving, I casually asked him seeing his photos taken in Ooty at Facebook and he told he’s boarding flight tomorrow to reach there and I also conveyed my visit and we both felt happy and made sure meeting each other. He was staying at his friend’s place that was very close to where we accommodate, and he made a leisure walk to our cottage the next morning, making it more refreshing and cheerful day. He brought me warmth hug and sweet embrace making quite delight and I really enjoyed the moment even it was brief.
We spent just two days in Ooty and moved to Valparai. Since my uncle and aunt hadn’t been with us during our last two trips to Valparai, we decided to give them a chance to visit. We haven’t really planned to visit Valparai and it was a decision taken only after reaching Ooty and it wasn't the best time of the year to visit Valparai (I always want to be there only at post monsoon when the entire landscape shimmers in green and full-fledged water bodies). Being a month of summer, Valparai was little busy unlike ever, perhaps because both our early visits were during winter.
I have covered almost places in Valparai in my previous visits and this time just revisited few places where people usually go as tourist reaching Valparai. I hear few tourists saying there’s nothing to see in Valparai, but I only thought that they need to develop their mind to grasp the beauty of nature dumped over everywhere there. Valparai isn’t quite a tourist oriented place, but there’s a lot to perceive and it is a place that geographically significant and everyone need to travel with consciousness preserving the large biodiversity exhibits there.
Valparai is also an engineering marvel with number of water bodies interconnected through tunnels and contour canal, setting an example how rivers could be connected. We traveled to Sholayar Dam, Nirar and Balaji Temple, but I wasn't content with the sights this time except for the visible of wild elephants, Indian Gaurs, Lion-tailed macaque and barking deer. I was excited to encounter these wild animals and riding thought the winding Ghats of Valparai is quite another pleasure I enjoyed through the leisure drive this time. I had a wonderful time with my family at both the destinations, make quite lovely despite passing various phases of frustrate and surprise.