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Old 7th May 2009, 17:06   #31
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Places

En route there are quite a lot of tea/chocolate shops. We made a pit stop at one and had hot lemon tea. Refreshing. Apparently the coffee turns out to be from vending machines. Canít blame them since they claim "Finest Nilgiri Tea" only. Mental note to myself: gotta learn to read within the lines
Did the same mistake and from the snaps looks like the very same shop. Other BHPian's, please make note of this shop
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Old 8th May 2009, 13:59   #32
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Beautiful picture. D40/DSLR right?

And why not Kodai?
Boss, how did you guess it was a D40? Please enlighten us!!

and Skywalker...great looking snaps to go with your nice travelogue! But looking at your pictures, I noticed something which I couldn't resist asking you...Why have you masked the number plates of your car? I have also seen some of our fellow BHPians doing the same. Just curious to know and no other intentions, honestly!!!

Regards,
Sridhar
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Old 11th May 2009, 09:31   #33
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Awesome travelogue and amazing pictures. Ooty seems to be great place to be!. Surely waiting for rest.
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and Skywalker...great looking snaps to go with your nice travelogue!
thnaks guys. sorry for the break - i am on another trip right now and will be back in Bangalore on Wed only.

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Boss, how did you guess it was a D40? Please enlighten us!!
Sridhar - its relatively easy to do in an EXIF viewer. Actually you just need XP for that. Download the picture to your desktop run our cursor over it and it will tell you the pic was taken by a D40 in tooltips. An EXIF viewer will provide more data - whats the mode used, focal length, etc. Just google EXIF.


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But looking at your pictures, I noticed something which I couldn't resist asking you...Why have you masked the number plates of your car? I have also seen some of our fellow BHPians doing the same. Just curious to know and no other intentions, honestly!!!
dude, the difference between you and me is that you asked and i didnt ask but just followed. I do not see any specific reason for masking it, but since everyone did that, i followed suit.
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Old 11th May 2009, 09:43   #34
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thnaks guys. sorry for the break - i am on another trip right now and will be back in Bangalore on Wed only.
Great travelogue there Ron bhai! And another trip huh? ANHC affect?
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Old 11th May 2009, 10:01   #35
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Great travelogue there Ron bhai! And another trip huh? ANHC affect?
well, ANHC do give me the urge to find reason to go out much more than i did in past years, but this time i am to a place where i cant take my ANHC. I don't want to break the suspense, wait for my new travelogue, after i am done with this one.
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Old 13th May 2009, 19:10   #36
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The travelogue is a definite nice read.The Sigur ghats are one of the best roads that I have driven and ridden on and I still keep the tradition of hitting it as much as I can on the weekends even now.As iceman rightly puts it across I guess this is more tradition.
What follows after the ride is a deep sense of accomplishment, well mostly if it is a age old diesel that you need to ride on the same gear from bend 1 to 36 praying to all gods and hoping that it does not heat.
Next time round if any bhpian needs any assistance for stay feel free to get in touch I would be more than glad to help.
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Old 14th May 2009, 13:44   #37
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Default Back to Day 2...

Sorry for the long a break Ė just reached back from another trip. Back to day 2Ö.

Day 2

We decided we will not drive around in the city the next day after seeing the crazy traffic on day 1. Holidays are supposed to be enjoyed, not be spent agonizing in traffic jams. Tbhpian nnandi has given me a reference for a good driver and I call him. We talk Greek and Latin and that one didnít work out, so urge the hotel to get a driver for me for a day. In comes Narayanaswami, our savior. Itís been some time I have taken a ride in an Amby, and it feels good.
Ooty! - You gotta be kidding, Right?-1.jpg
Narayanaswami, our Knight with a cream Amby

First stop's the toy train ride to Coonoor. Again nanadi's tip of booking online helped. We had booked the tickets in advance online and are saved from the mad rush of people queuing up for tickets at the railway station. We have breakfast in the railway canteen and the dosa's are small, but tasty. The train arrives at 9 AM and people are busy taking snaps until the train starts about 15 mins later.
Ooty! - You gotta be kidding, Right?-2.jpg
Railway station or Photo station?

Soon enough, the ride starts and its beautiful experience. It stops at a few stations for a short while and chugs on. Lovedale is one of the famous stops. There's a strange ritual happening - people jump out at every stop, start taking snaps like crazy and then jump back in and chug along! After watching this for two stops, we too do the follow suit like zombies. The train passes through some tunnels and its pitch dark. The exuberant crowd (mostly young folks) inside starts howling every time it happens. Now, this is serious fun! I revive my college days and keep the company.
Ooty! - You gotta be kidding, Right?-3.jpg
The Hitchhiker?
Ooty! - You gotta be kidding, Right?-4.jpg
A Beautiful Path

Narayanwamy is ready in Coonor to pick us up. He's a good guide and keeps us entertained with anecdotes during the drive to Lambs Rock and Dolphins Nose. We are early and the place is relatively empty. Thank god for that. On the way he drops us into a large tea estate which he claims to be of the yesteryears Hindi actress, Mumtaz.
Ooty! - You gotta be kidding, Right?-5.jpg
The estates of Mumtaz?
Ooty! - You gotta be kidding, Right?-6.jpg
The climb to Lambs Rock

Climbing to Dolphins nose, my wife chickens out, she's afraid of heights. Heck, I know now why they say itís lonely at the top. Lots of monkey's here, some have sated themselves pretty comfortably on the seats at the top and donít want us to disturb their peace. A few snarls later and admitting their resolve, we back off.
Ooty! - You gotta be kidding, Right?-7.jpg
Dolphins Nose
Ooty! - You gotta be kidding, Right?-8.jpg
"Made it, Ma! Top of the World!"

The drive back to Ooty is again a great experience. Narayanaswamy takes us through the military training area (where Roja was shot) and takes time to explain lots of interesting tidbits. He's a good guide. Lots of carrot and potato fields on the way.
Ooty! - You gotta be kidding, Right?-9.jpg
Carrots & Potato Fields. Carrots on far right.

Post lunch in ďPlanters Punch - Glen somethingĒ. I am partial to Glen's - Glenfiddick, Glenmorangie, Glenlivet et al. But this Glen didnít live up to expectations - Its expensive, and not that great. We hit Ooty Lake post lunch. Bad decision, its warm, crowded, and looks more like a weekend bazaar! We hang around for an hour and make a hasty exit.
Ooty! - You gotta be kidding, Right?-10.jpg
One of the abandoned piers
Ooty! - You gotta be kidding, Right?-11.jpg
Sunny Days

Now we had had it with the crowd. We ask Narayanaswami to take us to a place where there's no crowd and he suggests a valley nearby. We take off there. Itís got some nice woods and some spooky tombstones. A good way to spend some time far from the madding crowd.
Ooty! - You gotta be kidding, Right?-12.jpg
Enchanted Woods
Ooty! - You gotta be kidding, Right?-13.jpg
I See Dead People!

Time went fast and soon we need to hot back the hotel. We hit charring cross for some shopping and that takes a few hours. Spend the next half an hour in Cafe Coffee Day sipping refreshing strawberry tea and some date-n-walnut cake. Back to the Hotel and we spent the evening enjoying the climate, basking in the serenity and admiring the Ooty valley night view.
Ooty! - You gotta be kidding, Right?-14.jpg
Night view of Ooty City from Sinclairís Meadows
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Old 14th May 2009, 14:04   #38
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That was a long break indeed mate ! Almost like a 2nd innings ! Was the new trip to some estates somewhere in God's Own Country by any chance ?
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Old 14th May 2009, 14:12   #39
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The travelogue is a definite nice read.The Sigur ghats are one of the best roads that I have driven and ridden on and I still keep the tradition of hitting it as much as I can on the weekends even now.As iceman rightly puts it across I guess this is more tradition.
What follows after the ride is a deep sense of accomplishment, well mostly if it is a age old diesel that you need to ride on the same gear from bend 1 to 36 praying to all gods and hoping that it does not heat.
interesting anecdote. It is still a bit scary and fun, i mean in a nice way

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Next time round if any bhpian needs any assistance for stay feel free to get in touch I would be more than glad to help.
will surely ping you next time i am around. If nothing else, it would be fun to catch up.

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That was a long break indeed mate ! Almost like a 2nd innings ! Was the new trip to some estates somewhere in God's Own Country by any chance ?
almost nailed it sir! Yes, back from God Own Country, but this time it wasn't on Terra Firma. Will keep the suspense for the next travelogue
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Old 14th May 2009, 14:17   #40
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Nice pics and great narration. Are you using any filters on your D40 or just the stock lens?
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Old 14th May 2009, 14:23   #41
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Nice pics and great narration. Are you using any filters on your D40 or just the stock lens?
Thanks Murali.

No filters - all snaps on kit lens on 18-55. Crop, levels done in Nikon capture NX2.
I am planning to go for a Nikkor 70-300 VR and a Sigma 10-20 in 2009. Planning to move to a D90 or better in 2010. Suggestions?

Last edited by SkyWalker : 14th May 2009 at 14:29.
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Old 14th May 2009, 14:39   #42
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Thanks Murali.

No filters - all snaps on kit lens on 18-55. Crop, levels done in Nikon capture NX2.
I am planning to go for a Nikkor 70-300 VR and a Sigma 10-20 in 2009. Planning to move to a D90 or better in 2010. Suggestions?
Great. Even I am planning to upgrade to Nikkor 70-300 VR for my D50 and if you are planning to upgrade the body, then why don't you look at Nikon D5000. I am reading some good reviews about it. Check Digital Camera Reviews and News: Digital Photography Review: Forums, Glossary, FAQ and KenRockwell.com. I base all my decision on the reviews I read in these two sites.
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Old 14th May 2009, 18:00   #43
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Default The 3rd Day

Day 3

Much as I complain about the hotel food, the view made up for it, mostly. Itís nice to pull up the shades in early morning and sip black tea fixing your eyes into those green pastures.

Ooty! - You gotta be kidding, Right?-1.jpg
Tea time!

We checkout and 8 AM and head towards the Ooty city. Found another nice veggie hotel for food on the way. I stick to my staple dosa (cheese dosa this time - I earned those extra calories J ), and my wife, exasperated at my dosa craze, switches over to Poori and Subji. We are back on the road in 30 minutes and driving towards Pykara. First stop - the Pine forests.

Ooty! - You gotta be kidding, Right?-2.jpg
Woods

The drive is mind-blowing - roads are narrow and winding but a hoot to drive nonetheless. We cruise, taking the morning breeze in and warming us up to the picturesque routes ahead. Next stop - 9th mile aka "Shooting Medu"

Ooty! - You gotta be kidding, Right?-3.jpg
Shooting Medu


Itís a drawn out climb to the top, but the landscape is worth it. 9th mile wasnít as crowded as the rest of Ooty. It also helped that we reached there early and beat the crowd to it. We squander around, admiring the view. Meet a bunch of IT from Bangalore guys, and one photography enthusiast among them has lots of questions on Nikon DSLRs and lenses. I humor him; he thinks I am an expert. He was also kind enough to take some snaps of us.

Ooty! - You gotta be kidding, Right?-4.jpg
9th mile - vast green meadows and valleys

Ooty! - You gotta be kidding, Right?-5.jpg
Us!

Ooty! - You gotta be kidding, Right?-6.jpg
In keeping with the location name, the shooting point is scenic and you can capture some nice snaps you can treasure.

And now, on we went to the last scheduled stop of Ooty, Pykara. Pykara Lake has a diversion from the main road and 1 Km stretch is pathetic at best. Itís disappointing that such a popular tourist spot donít get maintained well. The lake is beautiful. We took pedal boat and had a nice 30 mins round of the lake. A romantic way to end a trip marked for our 7th anniversary.

Ooty! - You gotta be kidding, Right?-7.jpg
The Boat Ride

And so ends the trip - we decide to head back to Bangalore via the scenic Gudalur route. Another great drive, the chill in air is is gradually decreasing and once you hit Bandipur, its gone altogether.

Coming up next Ė Ooty - A Reappraisal.
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Old 18th May 2009, 11:03   #44
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Coming up next Ė Ooty - A Reappraisal.
Another Ooty travelogue? When When? (Psst, I was in Ooty from May 14 to May 17. My travelogue, in a different style, will be posted soon. My first full length thread at TBHP).
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Old 18th May 2009, 11:20   #45
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Another good one Hari. Loved the blue sky in the first snap.
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