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Old 15th July 2011, 18:21   #1
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Default ANHC Travelogue: Weekend getaway to Ooty - Kotagiri - Coonoor

Hello folks,

Atlast, found some time to pen down my 1st weekend getaway in my brand new ANHC. Apologies for the delay as I was really bugged with office stuff all the while.

Onward Route: Bangalore - Mysore - Nanjangud - Gundalpet - Bandipur - Masinagudi - Ooty - Kotagiri

Day1
Had already planned for this trip a week in advance by booking a deluxe cottage at Peak view cottages in Kotagiri. Thanks to TBHP travelogues for the route without which it would have been difficult to make a plan.
We specifically wanted to have a peaceful stay away from the Ooty crowd and decided to make Kotagiri as our point of stay. Ensured that we finished all basic packing the previous night itself. Got up at 4:30 AM in the morning, freshened up and started off from home (Marathhalli outer ring road) at 6.00 AM. Headed towards Kanakapura road and then on to NICE road to hit Mysore road in no time. My ANHC started getting better and better cruising on the highway at 110+ in the wee hours. I Could hardly hear the noise of the engine and kids fell asleep in no time.

8.00 AM, Stopped for breakfast at Vasudev Adigas in Mandya for about 45 mins. Not to mention that the food was no doubt very good served fresh and hot. Headed towards Mysore at 8:45AM as my intention was to get out of Mysore before office crowd hit the roads and as planned, was seen hitting the Gundlupet road within no time where I had to top up the fuel tank. As soon as we entered Bandipur forest range, we slowed down anticipating if we could bump into some wild life. We stopped at the Bandpur safari post to take a few interesting snaps of some local elephants that were being fed their morning breakfast. Soon we started off heading towards Masinagudi. On our way to Masinagudi, we spotted some wild elephants behind those wild bushes followed further by bunch of deers, bisons and those strange monkeys before reaching the fork where the road deviates towards Masinagudi and Gudalur. We turned left towards Masinagudi and started moving towards Ooty where on the way, we spotted a beautiful peacock taking its usual morning stroll right next to us and ready for the pose. My wife clicked some pics of this peacock before we set off. This was my 1st trip towards Ooty (you can say beyond Masinagudi) and I had read much about the 32 hairpin bends that were waiting for us but fortunately or unfortunately, we never felt anxious at any popint of our ascent. This may be because I am pretty used to hilly drives as I had made it to Kodaikanal and Munnar in my ex car (Ford IKon 1.6NXT ZXI). We reached the top of the hill (reached the top at 12:00PM) in no time, called up the cottage reception for directions to our homestay at Kotagiri. We also ordered lunch so that it would be ready when we reach there. It took 45mins drive into the valley to reach Kotagiri except for a brief 5-6 mins jam at the Doddabetta junction. Finally, we checked into our cottage at around 1.00PM and were glad to know that lunch was waiting for us.

The onward journey from BLR all the way to Kotagiri took 7Hrs including 45 mins break for morning breakfast and also with a few stop overs for some snaps here and there to cover 310 KMS which is 26 KMS further from Ooty.

The AVG mileage on my ANHC was showing 16.2 and boy I was really happy to see this.

More on Day1, Day2 Day3 and Day4 shortly.

Please take a look at the snaps that we had taken enroute to Kotagiri on Day1.

Bunch of domestic elephants having their morning breakfast at Bandipur (Checkout the smart boy to the left who is crossing his legs enjoying his meal)
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Old 16th July 2011, 18:03   #2
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Default re: ANHC Travelogue: Weekend getaway to Ooty - Kotagiri - Coonoor

Day 1 Contd..

After having lunch and taking rest for about 2.5hrs @ around 4:30PM, we started exploring in and around the tea estate that belonged to the cottage owner. The owner cautioned us not to venture too deep inside the estate as it was frequented by bisons but the scenery was so good that all of us (my 2 kids and wife) trekked all the way down to take a few snaps .
Later around 6PM, we had the opportunity to stroll across and visit the neighbouring tea factory after taking permission from its manager. Unfortunately, photography was not allowed there and hence I do not have any pics of it. They took us right inside the factory and showed us how the tea leaves were processed into its final state (powdered tea) of different grades ready to be exported. The weather at Kotagiri was already cool and was begining to get even more cooler (the climate was very true to being known as the Switzerland of India) before we headed back and finally retired for the day @10PM after having yummy home cooked dinner. I would like to mention that the menu here has very select items and that they are made to order which mean, we have to give our order well in advance so that they can procure the items and then prepare them fresh (Veg/Non-Veg).

Here are a few snaps of the tea estate that we had trekked into along with couple of pics of our cottage and my ANHC

Stay tuned folks as I will be posting the events of Day2 very soon.
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Old 16th July 2011, 23:23   #3
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Default re: ANHC Travelogue: Weekend getaway to Ooty - Kotagiri - Coonoor

Hey kirantp,

Good that you could spare some time for this write-up. I was eagerly searching this section and glad that your travelogue has materialised at last. Nice account.
Nice photos. Surprised to see that so many animals are available for photographing so closely.

A very intersting Day 1 ended promisingly. Waiting for day 2. Please continue.

Regards,charthom.
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Old 17th July 2011, 19:00   #4
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Default re: ANHC Travelogue: Weekend getaway to Ooty - Kotagiri - Coonoor

@Chartom: Thanks for checking on. Yep, we were lucky to have come across these animals as there was very little (i would say no traffic) when we were doing the Bandipur Masinagudi stretch. As I had mentioned in the travelogue, we stopped over to take these snaps so that we could get a clear view of them . Btw, I am currently penning down Day 2 and will be posting it later tonight.
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Old 17th July 2011, 21:13   #5
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Default re: ANHC Travelogue: Weekend getaway to Ooty - Kotagiri - Coonoor

Day 2 - Kotagiri - Ooty - Kotagiri

After a good night's sleep, we woke up to a cool and pleasant morning. Actually, my wifey woke me up to have a glimpse of the sunrise behind those beautiful hills which I did enjoy before hitting back to complete remainder of my sleep .

After having delicious breakfast, all of us started our planned outing for the day at 8.00AM sharp. We headed towards Ooty and on the way stopped over at Dodda Betta peak to have a look at the beautiful views of Ooty town, Wellington (Coonoor) and couple more of them from all the sides. It was surprisingly less crowded when we reached there at 9.00AM. There was this cool breeze that was blowing atop the DB peak which added more to the pleasant day. After taking a few snaps and breaking for a cup of hot coffee, we headed straignt to the Rose garden which is located in Ooty town.
The rose garden is a huge one with whole lot of veriety & colors of roses. We spent walking around the garden and captured as many roses as we could in our camera before we were out of the garden by 10:30AM.
Our next destination was to visit the Emerald lake and dam. The Emerald dam is located 26Kms from Ooty town on the Ooty-Avalanche road. We were really glad that we chose this our plan and man what a drive it was in the valley with those beautiful landscapes all around. We were forced to stop at many places on the way to capture the beauty when we finally reached a small bridge where we could see the Emerald dam towards our right.
We enquired with a local on the route to the top of the dam to which he showed us a narrow kaccha road with sharp U bends to reach there. I had 2nd thoughts as I was worried about how my ANHC would take it but then, having come all the way just to go back without even trying made me decide to take a shot and go for it. Trust me, this so called road (well I wonder if there was really one) was full of jelly stones and red mud popping out all the way and nowhere you could see a single dot of tar. It was as if someone had dug up the hill with those cranes to make such narrow path in order to reach the top that forced me to do the drive in just 1st and 2nd gear. We finally made it to the top and did not feel the bumpy uphill drive in our ANHC which beat our expectations. There was not a single soul to be seen far far away let alone the dam. We decided to take a quick walk for some pics and as soon as we reached it, we were welcomed with a beautiful stretch of clean blue water on the other side of the dam. Though the dam did not have water to its brim, the very sight of the huge stretch of water with nobody in the vicinity gave all of us a feeling that we were in some kind of a dreamland.
We immediately decided to venture out and treck down to the bottom of the dam to have a feel of this water. Man, this was it. It was like a typical landscape that they show in english movies where all of us had good fun near the water. We spent 30mins playing and gazing at the scenery before we started getting worried about our ANHC being parked in a nomans land. So, we climbed back on top of the dam and headed towards our car. We were glad we made this decision to visit the dam which otherwise we would have missed out on this hidden beauty considering that we do not get to go all the way down to the water if the dam was full or even half full. We headed back to our cottage and reached there around 2.00 PM where hot lunch was waiting for us.

After having good lunch, we started our journey towards Kodanad view point at 4.00 PM which is about 16KMS from Kotagiri town. Even though it was sunny, we never felt the heat as the temp never crossed 24C which made us enjoy the drive. Much had been written about Kodanad View point before and we thought that it would be just another steep view from the hill and nothing more than that. But when we reached there and had a look, we had to take our words back as this one is much more than just a view. It is a breath taking once in a lifetime MUST see place that I would request everybody to make a visit. We are humbled infront of mother nature at this very point and this will make us think or rather convince us that there is someone above all who indeed controls all of us and who is the wirepuller making things happen at the right place and right time. Hats off to the one above for giving us an opportunity to visit this place.
Kodanad view point provides a splendid view of the great Mysore Plateau to one side and the picturesque beauty called Thengumarahada, which seems like a green mosaic amidst the shrubland, lazily meandering this little village is the Moyar river on the other. We spent 45mins enjoying this view though it was little misty before heading back to our den and retiring for the day at 10.00PM as usual.

Here are some pics of Dodda Betta peak, Rose garden in Ooty, Landscapes enroute Emerald dam, Emerald lake and dam and finally Kodanad View point. Do let me know your views on the same and I encourage all of you to make it to this place atleast once.

Will be posting Day 3 soon.
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Last edited by kirantp : 17th July 2011 at 21:42. Reason: Adding some more snaps of Ooty Rose Garden
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Old 19th July 2011, 17:14   #6
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Default re: ANHC Travelogue: Weekend getaway to Ooty - Kotagiri - Coonoor

Hi Folks, I am back and please find the events of Day3 below.

Day 3: Kotagiri - Coonoor - Kotagiri

It was a Saturday and as usual, we got up early and were ready to start off after having our breaffast a 8.00AM

Our plan for the day was to drive to Coonoor which is around 40 KMS from Kotagiri, cover as many places as we could and on the way back, do some shopping for our friends and relatives back home.

We took the Kotagiri-Coonoor highway and we found the traffic not bad at all inspite of being a weekend. I guess the Ooty-Coonoor highway must have been real bad as I had heard from the locals over here at Kotagiri.

The drive in the valley was pleasant and the road was terrific where I could consistantly maintain 60-80KMPH. We reached Coonoor at 9:30AM and headed straight to Sims Park.

More on Sims Park: the park has a collection of over 1,000 plant species spread over 12ha.
We spent 1Hr in the park where we took some pics.The kids too enjoyed there runinng around enjoying the fresh air.
At 10:30AM, we headed towards Dolphin's nose view Point which is 10Kms from Coonoor. But, before going there, we drove towards Lamb's Rock which comes before Dolphin's nose where we have to take a steep right turn after doing about 51/2 Kms from Coonoor.

Now let me caution you that the drive to these two places is very dangerous and I would suggest you to hire a vehicle if you are not comfortable driving steep blind curves that are just wide enough to fit ONLY ONE vehicle and the rest have to follow the one infront. Offcourse this is a two way road and to your bad luck if you get stuck behind a minibus or if a bigger vehicle comming from the opposite side, then you remain stuck there for a minimum 2-3 mins per encounter. You need to have great control not only to ensure that you pass thru the other vehiche without scraping it but you also have to make sure you are not going overboard on your side that has no protection with railinbgs or whatsoever and this may be an open cliff to your side. Trust me, its a free fall all the way down except that if you are lucky to fall on a tea estate which would still be 10-20ft dive down. My wife and kids started to become worried and had 2nd thoughts of proceeding further. But having ventured almost halfway into this route, I decided to take a shot and drove all the way down 1st to Lamb's Rock where we reached there at 11:30AM. The view from Lamb's Rock was indeed very good with fantastic landscape and the tea and coffee plantations. We spent around 30 mins there before heading back to Dolphin's nose. I had a tough time turning my car around to head back as the road was not that wide to accomodate a smooth turn from the parking lot. Finally, we could turn back and head uphill again honking all the way to let the on-coming traffic know that someone is heading their way so that they can slow down and make way for us. Just before the deviation towards Lamb's Rock, there is an outlet that sells all kinds of oils, spices, tea and many more items. We stopped over there to do our shopping and then headed towards Dolphin's Nose view point where we finally reached there at 1:10PM.

The Dolphin's Nose view point provides a panoramic view of the vast expanse of the Nilgiri Hills from where we can also have a glimpse of Cathering Falls. We were all thirsty by the time we reached there and also beginning to feel hungry. So, we stopped by an ice cream shop to treat ourselves with some Sundaes. We spent around 30 Mins enjoying the view and taking snaps before heading back to Coonoor for lunch.
The locals there recommended 'Quality' Resturant for having lunch and we found the place very good too. They served hot Buffet reasonably charged at RS 150 per head. We enjoyed the lunch and then headed back to Kotagiri around 3:30 PM.

We reached Kotagiri town at 4.45PM where we came across this vegetable show. We stopped by to visit this show and found it very attractive where there were many counters mostly participated by varous horiculture units displaying their models of animals and other shapes made from various vegetables. This was a good time for us to be there as we could not have got an opportunity to see such a thing. We had a look at all the stuff over there and finally headed back to our cottage around 6:30 PM. It was already misty and cool and before it could get dark, I went to the Manager and asked him if I could borrow the hose pipe with which he was watering the garden to give my ANHC a good wash. He did oblige and I give her a good clean bath so that she will be fresh on Day 4 when we head back home to Bangalore.

Here are some pics of Sim's Park, Lamb's Rock, Catherine Falls viewed from Dolphin's Nose view point and the vegetable show.

Feedback,suggestions and comments are welcome

Will be posting on Day 4 along with our return journey soon.
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Old 19th July 2011, 17:33   #7
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Default re: ANHC Travelogue: Weekend getaway to Ooty - Kotagiri - Coonoor

Lovely pics there. Looks like we must have crossed our paths. I had made a detour to visit the Kotagiri Vegetable show while coming back to Chennai from Mudumalai. It was well worth the detour. Real hard work going into some of the exhibits. I loved the giant beet root and crocodile made out of bitter gourd.
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Old 19th July 2011, 18:30   #8
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Originally Posted by pypkmsrikanth View Post
Lovely pics there. Looks like we must have crossed our paths. I had made a detour to visit the Kotagiri Vegetable show while coming back to Chennai from Mudumalai. It was well worth the detour. Real hard work going into some of the exhibits. I loved the giant beet root and crocodile made out of bitter gourd.
Thanks dude. Yes, the veg show was really amazing and I agree with you on the Beetroot and the croc models. Lot of time and labour put in to get those things beautifully done.
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Old 20th July 2011, 12:39   #9
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Default re: ANHC Travelogue: Weekend getaway to Ooty - Kotagiri - Coonoor

Day 4 - Return Journey back Home

Route: Kotagiri-Ooty-Gudalur-Mudumalai-Bandipur-Gundalpet-Nanjangud-Mysore-Bangalore

The day of our return had arrived. All of us woke up with a frown on our face as it needed some time to sync in that we were on the last lap of our vacation when all of a sudden someone knocked at our door at 6.15AM. It was the owner of the cottage who had come to wake us up and said that the cottage had some visitors in the form of a bunch of wild Bisons that were gazing in the tea estate. We immediately grabbed our cam and ran out as fast as we could to capture them inside the lens. Whoa, what a sight it was to see a famliy of 8-10 Bisons of all sizes within a very short distance. They passed by the estate and wandered off somewhere deep down the slope in no time and all of us were back but this time we were all smiles and thanks to those Bisons for bringing us up to the mood and indirectly telling us to cheer up and face the reality

We were ready as usual and started our return journey @ 8:30AM after having our breakfast and thanking the manager, the friendly cooks and Manager's wife.

While we were heading out of Ooty, we purchased some local cabbages (purple colored), beetroots (deep red) and raddish (Pink) that were super fresh and very attractive.

We headed towards the Gudalur route so that we get a chance to visit some more places before we are really out of the forest range and into the expressway.

Stopped by for a quick shoot near the pine groove which resembles the one at Kodaikanal. We also purchased 2 bottles of honey for 150 bucks each after tasting a few samples that they had with them.

The weather was very cool with sun playing hide and seek between the trees and clouds passing over the hills that made for a pleasant and enjoyable drive. On the way while descending the Ooty hill, we stopped again at Needle Rock view point to trek down to the view point. It was worth a trek with steep pathways having intermittent railings for protection.

The view was splendid especially with the clouds passing thru the gap between the top of two huge rocks that looked like a Needle and hence the name.

We spent around 1Hr and 15 Mins there before starting off to hit Mudumalai forest range towards Gudalur where we spotted a wild elephant. The drive was very smooth backed by good roads all the way plus the comfy offered by ANHC made us feel as if we were flying rather than driving . We turned Left from the famous Gudalur-Masinagudi Junction towards Bandipur and after driving a little 4-5KMS, we hit a stream that was very beautiful and that forced me to stop the car to venture out down for some snaps and also to feel the water. I would not suggest anybody to do this as we are not supposed to stop the vehicle while inside the forest range.

All of us quickly got down and were near the stream in no time. There was an elephant a little far from us, domestic I guess that was drinking water from the stream. We also got to go near couple of white ducks that were playing in the water and managed to take some pics before quickly heading back to our car.

It was almost 12PM and all of us were beginning to get hungry. We had planned to stop at Pug Marks restaurant for lunch so we drove straight there and reached at 12:30PM. The chef said that the buffet will open only at 1.00PM which we did not mind as we were very hungry and not willing to move any inch further without having it. We got ourselves freshned up, ordered some soft drinks and finally the chef declared the lunch open. The food was quite good and reasonable charged at 120 bucks per head. All of us had a good one before heading for a non-stop drive to Bangalore. We reached BLR Kanakapura METRO at 5:30PM and it took us 1.5hrs from there to reach our home at Marathhalli due to the ongoing Metro work and all those flyover constructions where we finally reached our home at approx 7:15PM.

Trip summary:

Total KMS: 970

Fuel: 2 full tanks. More than 1/4 tank was remaining when we reached back home. Appox consumption - 56-60 Litres to do 970KMS

AVG Mileage reading: 16.1 (with intermittent A/C)

Roads: Pretty good all the way (including both Onward and return) except for minor negligible stretches towards Bandipur.

Cottage: It was reasonably good and the food was very homely (made to order). Good choice for anyone who want to stay away from crowd and spend time peacefully.

Please find the pics below of the visiting Bisons, Pine groove, Needle rock view point and the stream at Bandipur

Feedback, comments and suggestions are always welcome.

Cheers, KTP
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Old 22nd July 2011, 20:56   #10
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Default re: ANHC Travelogue: Weekend getaway to Ooty - Kotagiri - Coonoor

Great travelogues and pictures!

Can you share the name and rates of the Kotagiri resort? And did you see the Gaurs from the resort?
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Old 22nd July 2011, 23:04   #11
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Great travelogues and pictures!

Can you share the name and rates of the Kotagiri resort? And did you see the Gaurs from the resort?
Thanks Nilanjanray. By the way, it was not a resort where we stayed but a cottage (you can say a kind of homestay). This is supposed to be a huge bunglow constructed during the British regime which was later bought by ancestors of the current manager. There are 2 Deluxe rooms and 2 normal ones and all of them are neatly maintained. It has a redoxide flooring (typical of those days). Food is very good which is freshly made to order and you feel like as if you are at home.

This place is ideal for those who want to be away from the Ooty crowd and prefer to spend time in a quite and peaceful atmosphere. One can also make this place as their base and then plan their sight seeing trips to Coonoor & Ooty.

They have their own website where you can find all the information

Peak View Cottage, Kotagiri | Cottages Kotagiri, Kotagiri holidays, Kotagiri Resorts

Those Bisons were seen inside the tea estate that belongs to the owner. They said that they frequently come in heards and pass thru their land. It seems they had even entered the premises and destroyed some plants in their garden just a few days before our visit and hence they got the area fenced so that they can just pass thru the estate without entering into the residential place.

Do let me know if you need more info.

Cheers, KTP

Last edited by kirantp : 22nd July 2011 at 23:06.
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Old 23rd September 2011, 15:11   #12
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Default Travelogue -Weekend Getaway to Ooty-Kotagiri-Coonoor

Changed the title so that more people will be able to search the forum incase they need more information for their upcoming trip.
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Old 25th September 2011, 16:27   #13
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Default Re: ANHC Travelogue: Weekend getaway to Ooty - Kotagiri - Coonoor

Great t'log. Thanks for sharing.

Any idea what this building on top is? If it is a resort (which I doubt though), staying a night/two there will be fantastic. The car needs to chained down like a chopper, I would imagine.

BH.
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Old 25th September 2011, 22:50   #14
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Default Re: ANHC Travelogue: Weekend getaway to Ooty - Kotagiri - Coonoor

Quote:
Originally Posted by BurningHeart View Post
Great t'log. Thanks for sharing.

Any idea what this building on top is? If it is a resort (which I doubt though), staying a night/two there will be fantastic. The car needs to chained down like a chopper, I would imagine.
BH.
Hey this is not a resort (though I also wish it was ). This is a pic of the needle rock view point which was shot on the way leading to this place. You can also see few pics taken while treking to the view point in the post related to Day 4 - Return Journey back home (pics 4-12)
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Old 14th October 2011, 03:24   #15
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Default Re: ANHC Travelogue: Weekend getaway to Ooty - Kotagiri - Coonoor

Excellent travelogue, Kirantp. We too (wife, daughter and I) are planning a trip from Goa to Mysore-Ooty in October end and I read your travelogue with great interest. Kotagiri does seem a fascinating option away from Ooty. May I PM you for additional details regarding your visit?

Thanks in advance.
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