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Old 1st December 2010, 21:49   #31
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awesome write up... and regarding the starving horse, one of my friend who is from ooty used to tell that most of the horses are brought to ooty for racing and if the horses run too slow then the owners abandon them ooty itself. thats why so many horses roam around in ooty.
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Old 1st December 2010, 22:38   #32
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The placed which I really loved to visit were the great lakes! (Avalanche/Emerald) and the train ride from Ooty to Conoor.
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Old 2nd December 2010, 09:25   #33
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Man, your kind heart touched me. The Horse is giving goose humps. What a sad story of reality. He (or she) must once have been busy earning money for somebody on the lakeside and now left aloof on his/her own.!
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Old 2nd December 2010, 12:18   #34
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Quote:
Originally Posted by leylander View Post
awesome write up... and regarding the starving horse, one of my friend who is from ooty used to tell that most of the horses are brought to ooty for racing and if the horses run too slow then the owners abandon them ooty itself. thats why so many horses roam around in ooty.
Thanks leylander. If that is the case, it's really sad about the horses.

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Originally Posted by ampere View Post
The placed which I really loved to visit were the great lakes! (Avalanche/Emerald) and the train ride from Ooty to Conoor.
Yup ampere, they're coming up.

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Originally Posted by RajaTaurus View Post
Man, your kind heart touched me. The Horse is giving goose humps. What a sad story of reality. He (or she) must once have been busy earning money for somebody on the lakeside and now left aloof on his/her own.!
RajaTaurus, as much as I would like to disbelieve that theory I know that it is probably the truth. A really sad state.
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Old 2nd December 2010, 13:47   #35
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Thumbs up Day 2 – Ooty

Driving down from Fernhill towards the bus stand, we pass a place where I’ve had a lot of fun as a kid. I had to stop there, the memories were just too much. It’s nothing special, just a rail track by the road. So I stop the car, jump out and get down from the road onto the tracks. Calvin follows close behind me. Susann is a little apprehensive and stays in the car.

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Real joy in his face

I tell Calvin stories about how we used to walk along the track by the side of the lake and the park and all the way up to the station, on how we used to play train over here, on how we used to wave at the train as it went by and us trying to race it and so on. And Calvin finds his own form of entertainment. He’s having fun with the stones on the track.

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Susann soon joins in. I think it was because Calvin and I were spending so much time there and she was getting bored or she thought that we were having too much fun without her. And I click one of my favorite pictures I’ve clicked so far. We’ve seen this being done on the road (ramkya comes to mind) – now it’s there on the track too.

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The view from the other side. You’ve got to admit that it’s not as enticing.

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Calvin’s found a new game. He takes two stones in his hands, spreads them out wide (like a tightrope walker holding his balancing stick) and walks along a single rail. “I bet you can’t beat me at this Appa.”

“No, I can’t.” “Show me Appa – bet you can’t beat me”. So I take two stones and walk. And no I can’t beat him. I don’t even want to try – these memories are good enough for me.

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The BMW-Williams balancing man.

He is really having fun, the way only a child can. I can see the happiness in his face and that makes me happy. And so is Susann. It’s time to leave. No we don’t have to but we decide to. There is another place that I would like to check out too, a place that I always visit while in Ooty.

Back on the road, I give Calvin his educational lesson for the day. I show him an Eucalyptus tree and tell him that the oil is made from its leaves. He knows that it’s medicinal and that it’s good for health as we use it when he has a cold. I take one from the ground, scratch it and ask him to smell it. “Ummmm… nice”. He now wants a few to keep in the car for our health – to help us in the “freezing cold” as he calls it. He doesn’t want the ones on the ground as they’re dirty. So then father and son go trekking looking for a tree from which we can pluck it (they’re all too tall).

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And eureka, we have it.

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We walk back to the car and I’m just about to get in when I see this.

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A herd of horses running towards us. Stampede...
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Old 2nd December 2010, 15:15   #36
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That railway track is amazing! Even I sat there. And with that weather it was too good!
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Old 2nd December 2010, 17:48   #37
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Nice narration and pics, brings back a lot of memories of our various trips to Ooty ! Can't wait to see and read more, bring it on !
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Old 5th December 2010, 13:36   #38
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Default Day 2 – Ooty:

From there we drive past the bus stand, past the railway station, up the road and take the left towards the golf course / hpf factory. This is on the Mysore road. We’re soon away from the crowd and across a group of golfers going out for a Sunday morning game. We soon reach our destination.


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Calvin and I climb up. Susann as always is the last.

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The black beauty with the golf course in the back ground.

Calvin picks up two sticks from the ground. “Come on Appa, stick fight”. “What are the rules?” “You just pick a stick and fight.” So, he gives me a stick too and the fight starts.

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The little guy is brutal and soon has me retreating into the woods. I soon give up and start posing for the photographer.

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“OK. That’s enough pictures with your lousy jacket on. Take that off”. “It’s chilly”. “That’s okay, it’s just for a few pictures”. And you know who won.

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Calvin in the meantime has been with the sticks again. “Come on Appa, one more fight”. “Please Calvin”. “Please Appa”. “Go fight with Amma”. “Come Amma, let’s fight”. “Fight with Appa”. And as always you know who won! And Calvin this time has taken a longer and fatter stick – clever brat.

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See, no jacket and I’m fighting. And they say I’m the “man wearing pants” in the house!!

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The “lady in pants” decides to pose for some pictures.

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And of course with a stick. No they are not fighting – just posing.

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We spend some more time over there. It really is very quiet and peaceful there. Mother Nature in all her glory can do wonders to you.

And as is always the case we have to leave. We don’t want to but hunger can be a very motivating factor.

As we reach the railway station, we see the train there. Good bye hunger – the train first.

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Will these parents of mine never learn?

And then the customary snaps with the train starts. The last time that we were here, they told us that the steam engine only runs o the Mettupalayam – Conoor stretch after which it is a diesel engine. That was disappointing news but this all the bogies were also new. I though the older ones had more charm.

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And presenting to you Ladies and Gentlemen, the Mettupalayam – Udagamandalam passenger.
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It’s time for the train to leave and the green flags come out.

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Notice that each coach has a guard.

The train pulls out.


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And out

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Around the curve and out of sight.

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Father and son are back to their old games.

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Where do you want to have lunch at? “Club Mahindra” says Calvin. “A thali” says Susann. Well Calvin is pretty cranky as he’s hungry so he wins. We take the family package at CM – Rs.1800 for two adults and a kid for all three meals.
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Old 5th December 2010, 16:52   #39
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Once after a long day at Ooty we returned back by 3 and then I decided its time for a walk! I let wife and kid have their sleep and went walked from Savoy to the railway station and back! It was chilly and it was great.

Just when I reached back, it started raining, But it was a quite a walk to the station.
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Old 8th December 2010, 19:46   #40
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Fantastic write up did i see the mountain train being pulled by a Diesel engine?
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Old 9th December 2010, 12:52   #41
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Amazing writeup and photos there SafeDrive.

The father-son duo on stickfight, and walk on railway tracks are the moments of a lifetime. Very small things but cherished always. Your son when grows up will always cherish his childhood memories and make his growing up that much more fun.

One of the photos was your son trying to push / topple the toy train? Or was he unhappy not to get a ride in that?

Now move fast on next day.
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Old 10th December 2010, 11:09   #42
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Thanks Laki. And yes that is a diesel engine - the steam one is only on the Conoor to Mettupalayam route. The train has lost quite a bit of it's charm with the new engine and the new wagons.

Thanks advaitlele. Progress on this is slow as I fractured my hand last week and it's in a cast.
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Old 10th December 2010, 11:26   #43
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Default Day 2 – Ooty:

There is a problem with having food at CM. It’s a buffet and “paisa vasool” for a buffet is hogging till your innards burst. If Maruthi were a customer in a buffet, it's tag line “kitna dete hai” would probably be replaced by “kitna kha sakte hai”. We fell into the trap too and by 03:00 p.m. all of us were groaning. Back to the room and into the bed – our family’s cure for over eating. So we slept and woke up around 05:30 p.m. but decided against going out as “paisa vasool” for a buffet also translates into spending the maximum time in there. So we wanted to be in there from 07:30 to 10:00 p.m., at least that was the plan.

We made our way to the game room and Calvin takes to the Wii. Susann settles down with some books and I’m watching Calvin while reading the newspaper. CM had a magic show organized for 07:00 p.m. but as is always the case it starts only at 07:30 p.m. It’s pretty good and ends only around 09:00 p.m. – so much for “paisa vasool”. We gorge out again and there is nothing much we can do after that but go to bed. I go to sleep watching a movie. Goodnight world.
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Old 10th December 2010, 14:19   #44
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Awesome narration and very nicely captured memories in your snaps. The father-son and mother-son moments are amazing and you will cherish them for a long time to come.

PS: Wish you speedy recovery from the fracture.
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Old 10th December 2010, 15:09   #45
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Talking Day 3 – Ooty:

Day three dawns in clear and bright – our best morning weather in Ooty so far. There is no fog and visibility is very good.

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Clear to the left

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Clear to the centre


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Clear to the right.

We’ve got the last of the CM family meals pending and that’s breakfast. So we trudge on to the dining room, I grab a news paper and start the slow process of “paisa vasool”. And finally we get to spend around two hours in the dining room – and what do we eat? Practically nothing!!! I sit there with the paper and have around two idli, one vada, a toast and coffee, Calvin has egg, bread and butter and Susann tries a little bit of everything.

Me: “Hey, wanna go somewhere?”
Together: “No”
M: “But you didn’t even ask me where!”
S: “Doesn’t matter”
C: “How far is it?”
M: “A couple of hour’s maybe”
C: “No, thank you”
S: “Definitely not”

I’m beaten. “Well how about the lake? That’s not far.” This gets Calvin interested. “Can we go in a boat?” “Yes.” “Can I row?” “Well, they don’t allow you to row and you’re too small for that.” “oohh.” I could feel the hope disappearing. “But you can pedal.” “Really?” “Yes.” “Yipee let’s go.” And finally I was in the majority group – Calvin and I vs. Sue. Score one for the men.

And so it was that we went to the lake. But not before we went back to the room, took our warm clothing and our books. Yesterday Calvin had made us buy some caps as his ears were cold (ours too). So the stuff that we’re lugging around is increasing. So we reach the lake and there is the guy at the gate stopping cars. There’s a Rs.10 parking fee – oh well. Stand in line for the entry ticket and then look for the gate. We showed our pass at the gate and the guy asks “video camera?” “Nope, regular”. He gives me the look that says that I’m cheating him – how do I tell him SLRs are this big!!

A pedal boat costs Rs.125 for half an hour and there is another Rs.125 deposit. I pay the money, take the ticket and walk towards the landing. That is when I realize that they have now divided the lake into two parts, on the left towards the children’s park is for row boats and pedal boats and on the right towards the dhobi ghat side it’s for the motor boats – bummer.

We spend around 10 minutes waiting for a guy to get us our boat. Now there is a very specific science to the way that we boat in our family – at least until now. We hire a boat, pedal around 20 meters from the shore, stop, open our books and read and then pedal back when the time’s up. We did it last time, the time before that and the … well you get the flow. Which is why Susann and I had stopped by our room to get our books before coming to the lake. Who knew that this time it would be different!!

We get into the boat – Calvin and I on one side and Susann on the other. If you were looking at it pedal wise, they had one pedal and I had the other. And the journey started. “Appa pedal as fast as you can.” “Hold on Calvin, we first need to get out of the docking.” “Appa pedal, Appa turn, faster Appa, turn Appa……” And we were not even a meter from where we entered the boat!! It’s a miracle that we actually got out of there. Pedal, pedal to the middle of the lake and I’m ready to bring out the book. “Apppaaaaaa…” – this can be heard all over the lake. “Pedal Appa, pedal. Pedal as fast as you can to the other end of the lake.” The little tyke has now got so excited that he’s standing on the pedal. Susann has a smug look on her face which says “told ya.”


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Calvin standing on the pedal.

We reach the other side of the lake. We glide by a nice shady spot and Susann says “Let’s stop here by the shade.” Oopps, too late we’re already out of it. So the captain gets into action again. “Pedal Appa, pedal. Turn. Pedal..”

I soon realize two things: 1. that the captain is now aiming for a shade which is on the other bank and 2. I am the only person pedaling.

In between all this pedaling this is the only other living thing that we saw.

4 days in Ooty – drive from Chennai-dsc_0476.jpg

And a picture of some hidden beauties.

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Anyway after peddling this side and that and then this side and that again, our time is up – finally.

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We dock the boat, collect the deposit and get the hell out of there. Just as we are coming out, Calvin spots a guy selling toys and he buys a bubble blower. This will now be the beginning of what happens during the rest of the trip.
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