There will be always something new out there on the road, just go out with an open heart and mind and the journey will stay with you for long. Go with the idea of capturing the place more in your eyes than the camera rolls and also of living a few days in a different way, closer to the nature, a little cut out from all the hullabaloo. Seek the quiet to remove the disquiet within.
I recently biked from Chennai to Ooty traversing a very unique route to make riding fun. Especially my idea was to avoid repetition of the same road and more or less I was successful in the same. All in all I covered 1300km, 650km one way. The idea of this route is to take you through an ever-changing route. The ride from Chennai to Pondicherry is along the ECR, featured in most of the top roads to bike in the country. The ride from Pondicherry to Coimbatore is hot and flat. From Coimbatore, the weather and the scenery makes a 360 degree turn when one touches the Nilgiris. However the ride from Ooty to Bangalore is the best, for its ever changing scenery ranging from tea gardens, palm forest, mountains, lakes, wild life sanctuary to city. I will always remember the ride through Mudumalai and Kabini.
The picture below is on the ECR towards Pondicherry
The idea of this post is to educate a bit on how to travel or I must say how not to travel. These are few pointers that one must follow while travelling. You may differ to believe in what I suggest but the core of the idea is to live somewhat differently than what you usually do, to experience nature in the quiet, hear the birds sing and feel the cold of the wind, to cleanse your soul, to rejuvenate and feel a little more alive.
The picture below is clicked in the Mudumalai National Park on the way.
- Stay at good place, less people, good view, quiet
- Your own vehicle, gets you to unseen places off the road
- At least eat at one of the famous places
- Don’t follow the standard viewpoints, explore
- Every place has a thing not to be missed, do it
- Go for experiences; say a cup of coffee by the river, unique, new.
The picture below is of a dessert at The Culinarium on the Ooty Coonoor Road.
Places to eat on the way
- Le Café , Puducherry – Drive down straight to this place if you are doing this via the Chennai-Puducherry route
- Rama’s Café- On the way to Salem from Villupuram
- Hotel Anandhas, Coimbatore
- The culinare,Coonoor-ooty road
- Kebab Junction-Ooty
What to do in OOty ?
Nigiris train Ride: This should be in the top of your list. Would advise you to book in advance on IRCTC. This will help you get relatively better seats with good view. Take the ride from Coonoor to Ooty as this is less crowded and a train leaves at 4:30 pm which means you can spend that day in Coonoor and return in the evening taking the train back. I had parked my bike at the Ooty station and taken a bus to Coonoor, note that the bus stand is just next to the railway station
A visit to High Field tea estate- This should definitely be in your list for the beautiful tea garden and an opportunity to see how tea is manufactured. You also get the option of tea tasting.
Take the road to Lovedale and a rather secluded road from Thalakunda . The picture below is taken on the way to Lovedale
Try and visit the Pyakara Lake, though crowded, would suggest to be there first. Much more than the boating, the route on the way is worth enjoying.
Where to stay ?
Wyoming Heritage resort, Ooty
A great place with a good view, beautiful garden and great staff
Sagar holiday resort-not that great I would say as far as service goes but I stayed there for the private terrace and the awesome view. Below is the Nigiris train spotted from the hotel room.