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Old 19th May 2010, 17:33   #586
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Hi C_L,

i think your fans are indeed reading the thread.
you may verify the read counts after everypost.

Keep it coming, i am all eyes and ears
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Old 19th May 2010, 18:28   #587
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Hey C_L amazing! I just caught up with your latest trip. Wow you really love to drive around don't you? The pictures as usual are gorgeous. Keep it coming.
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Old 19th May 2010, 18:59   #588
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Thumbs up Emerald Lake.... First Sighting.....

We slowly trekked back to the check post after spending an hour at the lake. As we expected, the guard was standing near our car expecting something from us. We gave him a generous tip and soon left the place. The trout breeding centre was also nearby, but we decided to give it a miss because of paucity of time.

Our drive back to Emerald Dam was through the same treacherous jungle trail. But all our anger and frustration, at having to endure such roads evaporated in a second, when we saw the Emerald Lake for the first time! The view was nothing like we had ever seen before! It was a wonderful spectacle!

The lake deserves its name! It was as beautiful as a flawless 700-carat Emerald!!!

An incredible road trip to Velankanni, Kodaikanal and Ooty-1-emerald_lake.jpg
An incredible road trip to Velankanni, Kodaikanal and Ooty-2-emerald_lake.jpg
An incredible road trip to Velankanni, Kodaikanal and Ooty-3-emerald_lake_and_beautiful_hills.jpg
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An incredible road trip to Velankanni, Kodaikanal and Ooty-6-a_photo_from_the_tea_estate.jpg
An incredible road trip to Velankanni, Kodaikanal and Ooty-7-emerald-truly_brilliant.jpg

There were lush green tea estates all around us. We were captivated by its beauty! There were women working in the garden and we also saw a mother and her two children walking through the tea estate with water! The degree of adversity faced by these labourers was beyond imagination! We salute their indomitable spirit!

An incredible road trip to Velankanni, Kodaikanal and Ooty-8-tea_garden.jpg
An incredible road trip to Velankanni, Kodaikanal and Ooty-9-mother_and_children-so_cute.jpg
An incredible road trip to Velankanni, Kodaikanal and Ooty-11-women_at_work.jpg
An incredible road trip to Velankanni, Kodaikanal and Ooty-12-lush_green_tea_estate.jpg
An incredible road trip to Velankanni, Kodaikanal and Ooty-13-chevy_resting.jpg
An incredible road trip to Velankanni, Kodaikanal and Ooty-10-such_a_wonderful_scene.jpg

We saw lots of hills being converted to farms and cultivation of vegetables being done!

An incredible road trip to Velankanni, Kodaikanal and Ooty-14-cultivation_on_the_hillsides.jpg
An incredible road trip to Velankanni, Kodaikanal and Ooty-15-cultivation.jpg
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Old 19th May 2010, 21:16   #589
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Thanks for the feedback, Star, Raj and Aquarian. As Star said, I did not pay attention to the readership this thread was receiving.

@ Laluks, We did not want to go to the Trout hatchery. The road to Avalanche is still in a mess! But the trail to Avalanche lake is OK for 90% of the distance. The rest is horrible!

Coming up shortly, Avalanche Lake and the brilliant landscapes of Ooty!
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Old 20th May 2010, 00:32   #590
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Thumbs up Avalanche Lake... The Hidden Gem of Ooty!

Our drive through the dazzling countryside of Ooty was exhilarating!
An incredible road trip to Velankanni, Kodaikanal and Ooty-1-ooty_landscape.jpg
An incredible road trip to Velankanni, Kodaikanal and Ooty-2-ooty_landscape.jpg
An incredible road trip to Velankanni, Kodaikanal and Ooty-3-ooty_landscape.jpg
An incredible road trip to Velankanni, Kodaikanal and Ooty-4-ooty_landscape.jpg
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An incredible road trip to Velankanni, Kodaikanal and Ooty-9-temple_in_ooty.jpg
An incredible road trip to Velankanni, Kodaikanal and Ooty-10-ooty_landscape.jpg
An incredible road trip to Velankanni, Kodaikanal and Ooty-11-ooty_landscape.jpg

We reached the Emerald Dam soon, but did not stop there as entry was prohibited inside and there was a guard making rounds at the gate. He would have let us in if we had paid a bribe for it, but we weren’t too fascinated by a dam!!

We continued our drive to Avalanche Lake. The road was ok for some time, but soon turned into a horrible muddle. Some stretches were not tarred and one side of the road had totally sunk down. I slowed down completely and negotiated the crater sized potholes carefully. It is NOT advisable for cars with low chassis to attempt this stretch now. I hope they do some work on that stretch at least after the season! But it seems next to impossible!

We reached the Avalanche Lake soon. The natural beauty and serenity of the area was overwhelming! There were no infuriating crowds we had seen in the city of Ooty. There was no one to disturb the tranquil surroundings. We felt so much at peace with ourselves. We spent time there just gazing at the vista and soaking in the splendour!

Avalanche Lake is truly the hidden Gem of Ooty!

An incredible road trip to Velankanni, Kodaikanal and Ooty-12-avalanche_lake.jpg
An incredible road trip to Velankanni, Kodaikanal and Ooty-13-avalanche_lake.jpg
An incredible road trip to Velankanni, Kodaikanal and Ooty-14-avalanche_lake.jpg
An incredible road trip to Velankanni, Kodaikanal and Ooty-15-bridge_to_emerald.jpg
An incredible road trip to Velankanni, Kodaikanal and Ooty-16-forest_at_avalanche_lake.jpg
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An incredible road trip to Velankanni, Kodaikanal and Ooty-18-thats_us.jpg
An incredible road trip to Velankanni, Kodaikanal and Ooty-19-chevy_resting_near_avalanche_lake.jpg

We felt glad that it was not a well known spot and that it was inaccessible for big buses. I earnestly hope that Avalanche Lake remains the same for years to come!!!

Last edited by Chevy_lover : 20th May 2010 at 00:34.
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Old 20th May 2010, 09:12   #591
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aquarian20 View Post
Hey C_L amazing! I just caught up with your latest trip. Wow you really love to drive around don't you? The pictures as usual are gorgeous. Keep it coming.
Thank you, Aquarian. Nice to see you back. The pics have come out well, I guess!

I just love driving, my friend. Simply irresistible!!!
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Old 20th May 2010, 12:03   #592
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Yes I'm following this thread alright. Guess I'm getting a bit lazy to type in the feedback thse days. The photos as usual are excellent ! Keep them coming.
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Old 20th May 2010, 13:03   #593
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Dear C_L,

What to say! Some of the pics looks like areal shots! Though I know you might not have boarded any helicopter there! Saying speechless wont capture the feelings these pics have generated. I think, we got to discover or create new adjectives, which may later find entry (owing to their frequent usage in your travelogues here) into Dictionaries. What else is left when dictionary adjectives are not enough! . Continue..dear..
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Old 20th May 2010, 13:10   #594
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Quote:
Originally Posted by longhorn View Post
Yes I'm following this thread alright. Guess I'm getting a bit lazy to type in the feedback thse days. The photos as usual are excellent ! Keep them coming.
Thanks Longhorn. I guess my continuous experiments with my camera has given the desired results.

@Longdrivelover, thank you so much, my friend. You really made my day! I did not board a helicopter, buddy. When there is so much beauty all around, all I needed to do was just click, click and click.

Thank you once again for motivating me, to work harder and click even better pics in my future trips!

More pics of Ooty coming up!

Last edited by Chevy_lover : 20th May 2010 at 13:18.
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Old 20th May 2010, 13:30   #595
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CL - Which lens is doing duty?
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Old 20th May 2010, 14:17   #596
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Originally Posted by laluks View Post
CL - Which lens is doing duty?
Lalu, I am using the kit lens itself. 18 - 70.
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Old 20th May 2010, 17:19   #597
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Unhappy Back to the plains.....

We decided to return back to Ooty town soon. My sister’s family had to reach Coimbatore by evening and then go to Palghat to catch a train to Trivandrum. We did not waste any more time at Avalanche Lake and quickly drove back.

Soon we reached the main highway to Ooty and slowly climbed back uphill. We reached the Good Shepherd’s School by 12.15 pm. The school was really beautiful. I quickly clicked some snaps of the school.

An incredible road trip to Velankanni, Kodaikanal and Ooty-20-good_shepherd.jpg
An incredible road trip to Velankanni, Kodaikanal and Ooty-21-good_shepherd.jpg
An incredible road trip to Velankanni, Kodaikanal and Ooty-22-good_shepherd.jpg
An incredible road trip to Velankanni, Kodaikanal and Ooty-23-beautiful_flowers.jpg
An incredible road trip to Velankanni, Kodaikanal and Ooty-24-good_shepherds_security_guard_coming_for_a_fight.jpg

I also had a fight with the security guard there, who tried his best to prevent me clicking the school’s photos. I had a good verbal fight with him, which must have left him with a terrible ear ache! I got what I wanted!!!

We reached Ooty town by 12.45 pm and straight away went to my sister’s hotel and they checked out soon. We then went to our hotel and checked out and straightaway went to have lunch from Kabab House in Commercial Street.

We went to King Star Bakery and bought some more chocolates after our tasty lunch from Kabab House. We then refuelled from the HP pump near the main signal. My Chevy drank a total of 47 litres. Our mileage from Salem, with the entire ghat driving included, came to approximately 11.55 km per litre. We had used our triple AC when my sister’s family was with us. I was very happy with the tremendous average I was getting on a regular basis from Chevy Baby!

We started our drive back to the plains by 3.55 pm. My odometer read 87, 602 kms. We had driven a total of 122 kilometres in and around Ooty. We left Ooty behind us and started the descent towards Coonoor. We were infatuated by the beauty of Ooty and as always, we did not want to leave the place so soon! We made a promise to return to the Queen of the Nilgiris very soon! And knowing my insatiable desire to drive, that might happen sooner than later!!! ;-)

We reached the ghats in a short while. The descent was slow as my sister suffers from motion sickness and I made her comfortable and took the hairpin curves with ease. The ghat section was very beautiful.

An incredible road trip to Velankanni, Kodaikanal and Ooty-1-ooty_to_mettupalayam_highway.jpg
An incredible road trip to Velankanni, Kodaikanal and Ooty-2-ooty_to_mettupalayam_highway.jpg

We came across a gruesome sight en-route. A tempo traveller had burned down completely. I don’t know what might have caused an accident of that magnitude!

An incredible road trip to Velankanni, Kodaikanal and Ooty-3-a_burnt_vehicle.jpg
An incredible road trip to Velankanni, Kodaikanal and Ooty-4-burnt_vehicle.jpg

We descended the ghats effortlessly. We passed Coonoor by 4.30 pm and continued our drive towards Mettupalayam.

An incredible road trip to Velankanni, Kodaikanal and Ooty-5-ooty_to_mettupalayam_highway.jpg
An incredible road trip to Velankanni, Kodaikanal and Ooty-6-beautiful_tree.jpg
An incredible road trip to Velankanni, Kodaikanal and Ooty-7-hairpin_curve.jpg
An incredible road trip to Velankanni, Kodaikanal and Ooty-8-a_bus_needs_so_much_space_at_hairpins.jpg
An incredible road trip to Velankanni, Kodaikanal and Ooty-9-ooty_to_mettupalayam_highway.jpg

Shortly afterwards, we got stuck in a traffic jam in a hairpin curve.

An incredible road trip to Velankanni, Kodaikanal and Ooty-10-a_big_traffic_jam_at_a_hairpin_curve.jpg
An incredible road trip to Velankanni, Kodaikanal and Ooty-11-stuck_in_the_jam.jpg

Thankfully sanity prevailed and the jam was cleared in a short while. We had a schedule in mind and speeded up a bit.

We reached Mettupalayam by 5.40 pm. There was some road work going on in the city and we had to take a diversion. We probably lost at least ten minutes because of all the driving inside the city streets. We took a break after we exited the town by 6 pm and freshened up. We had covered 53 kilometres from Ooty in approximately two hour's time. We instantly felt very uncomfortable feeling the humidity in Mettupalayam. The climate in Ooty was so refreshing and cool. The humidity in the plains was stifling!

We restarted our drive by 6.15 pm. I stepped on the accelerator and was soon hurtling down the highway at 100 kmph. I had to make sure that they reach Coimbatore by 7.30 pm, which would allow them to reach Palghat in time to catch their train at 10.15 pm. I kept up very good speeds in stretches. There were always two wheelers and carrier autos which would block my path and I had to come down to 30 kmph and then again pick up speed.

Our intentions of reaching Coimbatore by 7.30 pm were dealt a severe body blow, when we ran into a HUGE traffic jam about ten kilometres before Coimbatore town.

My brother had arranged another taxi to take them from Coimbatore to Palghat and that car’s driver was getting panicky, when we did not turn up at the rendezvous point even by 7 pm. After receiving a few frantic calls from the driver and still not moving an inch from where we were stuck, we slowly realized that we might, in spite of all my daredevil driving, have to stay back in Coimbatore!!! We were really anxious!

Last edited by Chevy_lover : 20th May 2010 at 17:35.
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Old 20th May 2010, 17:37   #598
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Oh my god! what happened to that Tempo? It looks like it was bombed just like it is shown in movies. Hope you were able to find some solution to the traffic or was it a stay at Coimbatore?
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Old 20th May 2010, 18:25   #599
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The more I see, the more I like it! Beautiful lakes, beautiful places!
One can never get tired of this place.
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Old 20th May 2010, 18:37   #600
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C_L, I have been and am a silent viewer of possibly one of the best travelogue I have ever read in my life.
The Avalanche lake and emarald dam are dreamy and 'out of the galaxy' places. Well, I am planning for a Rendezvous with Ooty next month with my 2 wives. One will take us and the other will be my co-passenger. Now, I am kind of getting discouraged to take my 2nd wife through such terrible roads.
Query: Are there any transport or cabbie (trustable) operators available in Ooty, who could take us to these places? Is it advisable to take hire tour operators? Expert advise requested please.

Last edited by RajaTaurus : 20th May 2010 at 18:44.
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