My husband got her serviced for the trip. Yeah.. he calls his Fz16 ‘Juliet‘! The much awaited trip to the beautiful Nilgiris began. I was super excited as it was my first bike trip for 5 long days. The fact that it was the month of July ,the onset of Monsoons, made it more exciting. As it is said, for a traveller, journey is the destination, the most beautiful part of the trip was the entire journey than a particular place.
We started our journey on an early morning. The chapter of enjoyment began with the breakfast we had at a small roadside eatery enroute to the ‘Himavad Gopalaswamy Betta’. A warm welcome was set up by the smiling sunflower gardens on either sides of the road leading to the hill. It was a sunny day but as we rode up the hill, the going got tough because of low visibility caused by thick fog- true to the name of the hill. An unexpected shower made the road muddy and slippery and we had to return without making it to the top of the hill. However, the bright sun and the sunflowers were still the same when we came back!! Continuing our ride, we broke our journey at Gudalur and called it a day.
Gudalur was a hillock area surrounded by many mountain ranges. We started the day with a drive to Neelimala hill which offered a spectacular view. The road to the hill was amazing with tall nilgiri trees on either sides. They were so thick that light hardly entered the woods. The cool breeze and clouds embraced every guest visiting the hill. It was an awesome start to our day. We continued from there and headed to Coonoor enjoying every single view we encountered. We had to cross Ooty to reach Coonoor. As we entered Ooty the temperature suddenly dropped and it started raining. Each drop of rain that splashed on us chilled us to the bone. Drenched in pouring rain, as we rode through the gushing wind, our fingers were completely numb. Hardly had we realized that Juliet’s fuel tank was empty. As luck would have had it, the petrol bunk where we stopped for a refill had a coffee shop. Two steaming cups of coffee followed by a plate of hot samosas got us back our senses. As the rain stopped we resumed our journey to Coonoor.
The road that lead to our stay at Coonoor was abandoned and had no network connectivity. The narrow concrete road meandered through thick foliage. For a moment, we almost thought we were lost! But the ride was worth it as it took us to a new paradise. De Rock Jungle Resort was atop a hill covered by tea estate. A hot shower followed by yummy treat cooked by Mr Christopher after a adventurous ride was very refreshing. As we sat in the balcony enjoying the splendid view, the thick clouds caressed us. It was an experience beyond description.
After a pleasant stay and exploring places around Coonoor, it was time to head back to Ooty. We are greatly in debt to the resort owner for suggesting a least used road to Ooty which was via the Kattabettu-Kotagiri. The road of course made us feel like our journey should never end. The beautiful tea estates, the tiny villages, the kids enjoying their day at school playing amidst the yellow wild flower bushes and the grazing cattle- there was a rustic charm in the whole setting. It still brings smile on my face when I remember climbing the small hills to get a bunch of wild flowers. We reached Ooty after a having a ride to remember.
After roaming around the offbeat locations, the popular places in Ooty like Pykara lake, Doddabetta, botanical gardens felt like a lot of chaos. Not wanting to spend much time in Ooty we started exploring few other places around. The most unforgettable sights around Ooty were that of the toy train at Lovedale and the crystal clear lakes around Emerald city.
Emerald city had many lakes in its vicinity including the Emerald lake. The ride to reach one of them, the Avalanche lake, was a visual treat. Any picture taken there would qualify as a postcard. The sight of hills of tea estates all the way, fresh small ponds here and there, small huts with smoking chimneys along their banks, cattle enjoying their treat in the grasslands was enough to make anyone forget the actual destination. Avalanche lake is a very remote and secluded place maintained by the forest dept. Every soul there was held captive by the beautiful waterfall forming the serene lake. The next one was the sparking green Emerald lake and few more lakes around. Any amount of praise would fall short to describe these places. It was totally a Wow experience!
After this refreshing break, as I returned to the hustle bustle of the city, a part of me stayed back wandering in the Nilgiris. I wish the place remains the same-pristine and secluded as ever to welcome us back with a smile on our faces. I’m very much delighted to re-live those 5 days by writing down this article.