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Thursday, November 04, 2010

Dussehra Vacation at Ooty

I am not a vacation planner by nature - we decided to take a Club Mahindra membership a few years back - and this forces us to use up those vacation days once or twice a year or else they could just lapse - always better to have "I have paid money for this!" looming over your head to make good use of something :).

So this time our Dussehra vacation was to Ooty which is a popular hill station in Tamilnadu. Coming from a "non-vacation" family myself (We visited relatives during vacations as my dad was in the Railways and usually living away from the south), I was one of not so many South Indians who have never been to Ooty so I was really looking forward to this. I called ahead to check about the rooms, the weather (yes I have got better at this stuff with every vacation ;) ) and was told it was cold and raining most evenings. "Sounds like Bangalore" I said nonchalantly and took jackets and woollens for the children but decided just shawls would do for myself.

But Brrrrr - the first night caught me by surprize, the chill that the rain brought with it just completely floored me. To go to my parent's room which was 10 ft away I became a shivering mess! Maybe it was the tiredness of the journey combined with the weather, but I am definitely wiser about underestimating the weather anywhere now! And of course a learning for all parents - don't forget yourselves by just focussing on the children - you have to be in the best of health first in order to look after them well !

Okay this post is getting longer and longer so let me just give a recap of each day:

29th Oct (Friday) - We drove down from Bangalore. Left home in the morning by 7:30am and reached Derby Green, Ooty at 4 pm. Relaxed for a while and children played in the park right next to our rooms. Before we knew it, the rain came (refer above!) and just going to the restaurant which was 100 m away from the rooms for dinner was quite an ordeal.

30th Oct (Saturday) - This was designated the main sightseeing day. The resort arranged a car for us and we went to
  • the Ooty lake where we were rowed on the lake by a very nice boatman who'd been doing his job for the last 35 years! He was of course an expert at taking the "Family picture".
  • Doddabetta which is the highest peak - felt like we were in the clouds at some parts of the drive!
  • the Botanical Garden which had so many flowers and plants in all their glory - this part was unfortunately cut short as it started raining :(.
  • We also managed to fit in some shopping - where a sweater was one of my necesary purchases :).
31st Oct (Sunday) - We wanted to take the train (popularly called the Toy Train) to Connoor which left Ooty by 9:15am. Unfortunately we didn't anticipate the crowd as well as some last minute holdups with getting into the station and so didn't make it. Instead took the car to Connoor where we visited some family friends. They live in a quaint and wonderful house surrounded by plants and plonk in the middle of a tea estate. For the first time I saw and touched and smelt plants like Lavender and Elderberries and so on which I earlier had only virtual exposure to on Farmville!! I know it's a joke to compare the virtual game of growing these crops in a few hours to tending them in reality - the friends we visited had been working on this land for the last 7 years and boy it showed!! Once again by the time we left here it was raining so we suspended any sightseeing plans in Connoor and got back to Ooty and the resort to our heater warmed rooms!

Okay there's no hope of keeping this short so no more apologies on this! We spent both evenings in the warmth of our rooms or playing with the children in the Activity room of the resort as we didn't want to expose the kids or my parents who spent the vacation with us to the chill of the evening weather. Left early on Monday (1st Nov) and got back to Bangalore by 3 pm or so after extended stops for breakfast, lunch as well as shopping at our standard handicrafts shop in Channapatna (near Indradhanush restaurant).


  1. Heyyy
    What a lovely vacation! Ooty does freeze, according to me, even in summer. Heehehe ...i had swollen glands in my throat when i vacationed there in April!
    Your daughter has the sweetest smile man, touch wood.
    Mahindra has lovely properties I must say -- do go to their Coorg one. And yes, take your sweater and shawls there too.
    Welcome back :-)

  2. Hey there Forever Mother - thanks for reading :).

    I have been to their Coorg property and it is indeed a lovely one - it's sort of a benchmark for us to compare all Mahindra properties by - the Ooty one is nicely done but service wise they haven't reached there yet. When I went to Coorg, I was 7 months pregnant with my son, and when I thought about it later I came up with the theory that it was due to the roads getting to Coorg that he was born a month early ;).