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Old 21st September 2018, 23:36   #1
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Default Ooty in a Honda Brio - The queen of the hills beckons

Hi there!

Since this is my first ever post on the forum, it would only be right if I introduce myself first. I'm Pranav Kiran, a 20 year old from Chennai who has been a car aficionado since forever. I'm a recent BHPian but have been an ardent follower for ages. I own a Honda Brio and I must admit that I spend a good amount of time obsessing over her. She's my first car and my one true source of happiness; nothing lightens up my day like a long drive in my Lemon, as i lovingly call her.
Before I continue boring you all with my PDA for my car, let me begin my post.

There is only one thing that comes close to my passion for cars; my love for travel. I dream of covering every nook and cranny of this country, by road. Being a fervent reader of Team BHP travelogues, I hope to write about my dream roadtrip to the Himalayas someday.

For now, I think this one would do

My trip to Ooty in my noble steed, the Brio was a short yet a memorable one. I've 'roadtripped' to quite a few places within the 1000km radius of Chennai but this was my most adventurous one of all. The journey began on the night of Saturday, 16th of August and ended on the 21th. It was 3 of us (mom, dad and myself) and my dog.

Here's a run-through of the entire trip.

Car: Honda Brio
Drivers: One (myself)
Passengers: Two + dog
Duration of Stay: 5 Days (4 Nights)
Total distance driven: 1292 km
Places visited: Pine Forest, Kamaraj Sagar Lake, The Golf Course, Mudumalai Reserve Forest, Pykara Falls, Shooting Point, Doddabetta Peak, Government Rose Garden, Government Botanical Garden, Ooty Lake Boat House.

Place of Stay: Snow Drops Homestay, Ooty
No. of times I scraped the underbody of my car: 23642376 times (thanks to the heavy rains that had wrecked the roads!)

On to the daily log.

Day 0 & Day 1: Heading to Ooty.

Right after coming back from college and having dinner, we began our drive at 9.00 PM. I took the Vellore route because it's a six lane highway and also because I'm awfully bored of the Trichy route, having driven that way a hundred times already. Took me 2 hours to reach Sriperumbudur and we stopped at McDonald's at 10.55 PM for a quick break, after which it was a continuous driving for 4 hrs. At 3.00 AM, we had a tea break and the next one was at 6.00 AM near Avinashi for a coffee. We reached Mettupalyam by 9.00 AM and after having breakfast, we headed to the ghats to reach Ooty. After reaching at 11.00 AM, we lost our way trying to look for the homestay and kept roaming around, asking for directions. This was the worst part as the roads were fully damaged by the recent deluge and the underbody of my car got scraped every meter of the way! After 35-40 mins of the agonizing drive, we finally found the place. Following the check-in, we ordered lunch from outside, which took us a while as most of the restaurants were closed due to the demise of former PM Vajpayee. And after the long drive and not having slept the whole night, I finally hit the bed! The day ended after an evening family time and cooking Maggi and Pasta for dinner.

Touched 50,000kms !
Ooty in a Honda Brio - The queen of the hills beckons-img_5392.jpg

Started to drive up from Mettupalyam
Ooty in a Honda Brio - The queen of the hills beckons-img_5442.jpg

View from Coonoor
Ooty in a Honda Brio - The queen of the hills beckons-img_5462.jpg

Ooty in a Honda Brio - The queen of the hills beckons-dsc_0025.jpg

Reached homestay and had lunch enjoying the beautiful weather
Ooty in a Honda Brio - The queen of the hills beckons-img_5493.jpg

Time to take rest
Ooty in a Honda Brio - The queen of the hills beckons-img_5826.jpg

Day 2.

We got at around 7.00 AM and booked a car for the sightseeing tour. (I didn't want to risk damage - by taking the car out). We left at 9.00 AM and visit at The Pine Forest, Kamaraj Sagar Lake, The Golf Course, The Pykara Falls and Dam, The Shooting Point, Raja Park and Doddabetta Peak. We came back to Snow Drop at 5.30 PM and staff there cooked as dinner.

The weather was nice and cloudy luckily no rains during our stay.
Ooty in a Honda Brio - The queen of the hills beckons-img_5913.jpg

First stop at Pine forest
Ooty in a Honda Brio - The queen of the hills beckons-img_5545.jpg

Model for the day
Ooty in a Honda Brio - The queen of the hills beckons-img_5548.jpg

Kamaraj Sagar Lake
Ooty in a Honda Brio - The queen of the hills beckons-img_5559.jpg

On the way to pykara falls
Ooty in a Honda Brio - The queen of the hills beckons-img_5594.jpg

Pykara Falls
Ooty in a Honda Brio - The queen of the hills beckons-img_5597.jpg

Ooty in a Honda Brio - The queen of the hills beckons-img_5599.jpg

Ooty in a Honda Brio - The queen of the hills beckons-img_5618.jpg

Shooting Point
Ooty in a Honda Brio - The queen of the hills beckons-img_5640.jpg

Doddabetta
Ooty in a Honda Brio - The queen of the hills beckons-p.jpg

Day 3.

Okay, no more cabs! The previous day's cab was pretty expensive, costed as Rs.3,000/- for one day. I mustered up my courage and took out the Brio. On our site seeing list for the day were the Rose Garden, the Botanical Garden, and Boating. After doing some shopping, we returned to our place of stay.

Time to take out the little girl
Ooty in a Honda Brio - The queen of the hills beckons-img_5924.jpg

Rose garden
Ooty in a Honda Brio - The queen of the hills beckons-img_5754.jpg

Strike a pose
Ooty in a Honda Brio - The queen of the hills beckons-img_5751.jpg

Boating @ Ooty lake
Ooty in a Honda Brio - The queen of the hills beckons-img_5773.jpg

Day 4.

We started our day a bit late, at 10.00 AM. We finished breakfast at A2B Restaurant. Our plan was to go to Avalanche but changed our mind and headed to Mudumalai Reserve Forest instead. As the people at A2B suggested, we take the Masinagudi route as it was shorter. But later known that only TN43 vehicles were allowed to take that route. So we had to take the longer route which goes via Gudalur. The road was covered with thick fog but trust me, the scenic views the road had to offer blew my mind! Such a meditative drive it was, through a forest of tall trees and small water falls in the middle. On reaching Mudumalai we got on the Jungle Safari were left disappointed as all we could spot were deers. We left Mudumalai at 5.00 PM at this time we took the short route (Masinagudi route) to Ooty. It was pretty steep road with 36 hairpin bends. We reached Ooty at 6.10 PM and after doing a bit of shopping, and return back to the home stay. Pizza for the dinner and good night sleep ended the tiring day on a happy note.

On the way to mudumalai
Ooty in a Honda Brio - The queen of the hills beckons-img_5841.jpg

Beautiful Roads !
Ooty in a Honda Brio - The queen of the hills beckons-img_5851.jpg

Reached mudumalai
Ooty in a Honda Brio - The queen of the hills beckons-img_5861.jpg

Ooty in a Honda Brio - The queen of the hills beckons-img_5872.jpg

Ooty in a Honda Brio - The queen of the hills beckons-.jpg

Return via Masinagudi
Ooty in a Honda Brio - The queen of the hills beckons-img_5897.jpg

Day 5: The Return Journey.

We checked out and left the place at 9.00 AM. On reaching Mettupalayam I stopped for some time to cool down the brakes. After resuming the drive, we reach Avinashi and took lunch at 2.00 PM. Coffee break was in Dharmapuri at 5.25 PM. And we reached Arcot just in time for dinner. Where we stopped at A2B at 9.20 PM. Then we drove on and finally reached home at 12.20 AM.

Reached Mettupalayam
Ooty in a Honda Brio - The queen of the hills beckons-img_5952.jpg

Bhavani River
Ooty in a Honda Brio - The queen of the hills beckons-img_5962.jpg

Tea break @ Sankari
Ooty in a Honda Brio - The queen of the hills beckons-img_5970.jpg

Crossing Krishnagiri
Ooty in a Honda Brio - The queen of the hills beckons-img_5980.jpg

Emma Chase said and I quote,
"Because the greatest part isn't arriving at the destination.
Its all the wild stuff that happens along the way".


My trip to Ooty was true to this quote. And I couldn't have asked for better car to drive this drive with then my faithful girl, my lemon. I hope to go on many, many more with her!

Hope you enjoyed the reading the travelogue!

Last edited by Gannu_1 : 24th September 2018 at 09:26. Reason: Removing additional smileys (2 per post as per rules) + spacing. Welcome aboard. :)
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Old 24th September 2018, 06:38   #2
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Default re: Ooty in a Honda Brio - The queen of the hills beckons

Nice little story you have! A question on the picture of the stream at Mudumali? Is it the Moyar? Or a random stream? Its looks quite big!
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Old 24th September 2018, 08:54   #3
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Default re: Ooty in a Honda Brio - The queen of the hills beckons

Nice travelogue. Love the doggie pics, put more up!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pranav_Kiran View Post
Our plan was to go to Avalanche but changed our mind and headed to Mudumalai Reserve Forest instead. As the people at A2B suggested, we take the Masinagudi route as it was shorter. But later known that only TN43 vehicles were allowed to take that route. So we had to take the longer route which goes via Gudalur. The road was covered with thick fog but trust me, the scenic views the road had to offer blew my mind! Such a meditative drive it was, through a forest of tall trees and small water falls in the middle. On reaching Mudumalai we got on the Jungle Safari were left disappointed as all we could spot were deers. We left Mudumalai at 5.00 PM at this time we took the short route (Masinagudi route) to Ooty. It was pretty steep road with 36 hairpin bends.
As someone born in Coonoor and who travels between B'lore and there, I have to say that the Masinagudi route is a bit overrated. Yes, it is shorter, and in the hands of any decent driver it poses no threat (a mix of engine braking & friction braking is key, as are sensible speeds). But that's it. It has aggressive hair pin bends which are interesting as a bit of a challenge for the first couple of drives.

I love the Gudalur route for the scenic appearance, the same as what you experienced. It doesn't have the aggressive nature of the Masinagudi route, takes a bit longer, but is probably worth it for someone who doesn't drive up/down frequently.

That said, I do wish they open the downward Masinagudi route for all white-board vehicles, not just the TN43s. From anecdotal evidence (reality might be different), most of the accidents on that route were out of state yellow boards trying to save time, and then trying to save further time by driving down faster than appropriate and then standing on the brakes.
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Old 24th September 2018, 09:10   #4
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Default re: Ooty in a Honda Brio - The queen of the hills beckons

Nice travelogue Pranav and a good start. Why don't you start an ownership thread on your Lemon. It will be interesting. Looking forward for more travelogue experience from you. Welcome aboard.
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Old 24th September 2018, 17:37   #5
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Default Re: Ooty in a Honda Brio - The queen of the hills beckons

Nice little travelogue. A good write-up with some amazing pictures.

The area around the Ooty has so much to offer - scenic views, a good deal of wildlife, great roads and wonderful homestays. The Gudalur route looks very scenic indeed.

It's been many years since I visited the place, but the entire area seems to have been kept green and clean compared to some other tourist places.

Lovely pics of your doggy!
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Old 25th September 2018, 13:06   #6
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Default Re: Ooty in a Honda Brio - The queen of the hills beckons

Quote:
Originally Posted by Flyer View Post
Nice travelogue Pranav and a good start. Why don't you start an ownership thread on your Lemon. It will be interesting. Looking forward for more travelogue experience from you. Welcome aboard.
Did I miss some discussion? when was the Brio declared a Lemon? I agree it did not do well, like the 1st gen Jazz. But a lemon??
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Old 25th September 2018, 13:14   #7
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Default Re: Ooty in a Honda Brio - The queen of the hills beckons

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Originally Posted by Ravi Parwan View Post
Did I miss some discussion? when was the Brio declared a Lemon? I agree it did not do well, like the 1st gen Jazz. But a lemon??
Yes you missed. Please do read the previous posts carefully before you post.

I didn't mean it about the car, but that's the given name for the car by its owner.
Quote:
She's my first car and my one true source of happiness; nothing lightens up my day like a long drive in my Lemon, as i lovingly call her.
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Old 25th September 2018, 15:52   #8
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Default Re: Ooty in a Honda Brio - The queen of the hills beckons

For some reason, my mental image of Ooty was the hilltop version of Times Square on New Year's! Its been many years since I visited the place (it was around 2003) and I had assumed that things would only have got worse. Your images say otherwise, and I loved the short travelogue.
Could you also share a few details on your four legged companion handled the trip? It would be fun to read.
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Old 25th September 2018, 16:45   #9
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Default Re: Ooty in a Honda Brio - The queen of the hills beckons

Good one, Pranav! Nice writeup and pics!
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Old 25th September 2018, 19:41   #10
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Default Re: Ooty in a Honda Brio - The queen of the hills beckons

Great narration of a great place. Ooty in and post monsoon simply glares all available shades of green. Loved the pictures of your doggie. Your first post in TeamBhp is a travel post ,looking forward to more such from you. Keep travelling and sharing such experiences.
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Old 25th September 2018, 21:55   #11
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You would not believe how much I can relate to you and your post. I have the same car (S MT Blue), and the same penchant for driving with my parents and my car to Ooty and all the great destinations from Bangalore. I am from Kolkata, but working in Bangalore and I so want to bring my Brio from Kolkata and drive my parents around. But cannot since that is the only car in my hometown and my parents need it. Also a big dog lover but parents saying to get a dog if I only shift back to my hometown.

Your post again gave me a renewed vigor to complete a dream which I had been planning for years. Thank you for this wonderful post and welcome to Team BHP!

Last edited by Avikbrio : 25th September 2018 at 21:57.
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Old 25th September 2018, 22:25   #12
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Default Re: Ooty in a Honda Brio - The queen of the hills beckons

A nice little travelogue. Good thing about travelling during off-seasons is the lesser crowd to worry about. You can have more of the place for yourself. Ooty looks beautiful as usual. Why did you skip Avalanche? It would be beautiful this time of the year. Did you return back via the Kotagiri route or the one via Conoor?
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Old 29th September 2018, 12:00   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ampere View Post
Nice little story you have! A question on the picture of the stream at Mudumali? Is it the Moyar? Or a random stream? Its looks quite big!
Thank you! It was just a random stream, can be viewed during the jungle safari!

Quote:
Originally Posted by arunphilip View Post
Nice travelogue. Love the doggie pics, put more up!

As someone born in Coonoor and who travels between B'lore and there, I have to say that the Masinagudi route is a bit overrated. Yes, it is shorter, and in the hands of any decent driver it poses no threat (a mix of engine braking & friction braking is key, as are sensible speeds). But that's it. It has aggressive hair pin bends which are interesting as a bit of a challenge for the first couple of drives.

I love the Gudalur route for the scenic appearance, the same as what you experienced. It doesn't have the aggressive nature of the Masinagudi route, takes a bit longer, but is probably worth it for someone who doesn't drive up/down frequently.

That said, I do wish they open the downward Masinagudi route for all white-board vehicles, not just the TN43s. From anecdotal evidence (reality might be different), most of the accidents on that route were out of state yellow boards trying to save time, and then trying to save further time by driving down faster than appropriate and then standing on the brakes.
Thank you so much! Sure, I'll put up more of her pictures
Yes, I do agree that the Masinagudi route is overrated but I came across so many people struggling to get through while I was driving back. I guess it is a bit of an ordeal for people who haven't driven through hairpin bends often.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Flyer View Post
Nice travelogue Pranav and a good start. Why don't you start an ownership thread on your Lemon. It will be interesting. Looking forward for more travelogue experience from you. Welcome aboard.
Thank you! Yes, I've been considering starting one. I'll do so in the near future!

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Last edited by Rudra Sen : 29th September 2018 at 12:46.
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Old 29th September 2018, 12:48   #14
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Default Re: Ooty in a Honda Brio - The queen of the hills beckons

Quote:
Originally Posted by Aditya View Post
Nice little travelogue. A good write-up with some amazing pictures.

The area around the Ooty has so much to offer - scenic views, a good deal of wildlife, great roads and wonderful homestays. The Gudalur route looks very scenic indeed.

It's been many years since I visited the place, but the entire area seems to have been kept green and clean compared to some other tourist places.

Lovely pics of your doggy!
Thank you so much! Agreed, Ooty is a great place. The recent downpour did make the place look a lot more cleaner and greener than usual. During the peak season, however, it's a very different scenario and litter can be found everywhere!
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Old 29th September 2018, 13:23   #15
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Default Re: Ooty in a Honda Brio - The queen of the hills beckons

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ravi Parwan View Post
Did I miss some discussion? when was the Brio declared a Lemon? I agree it did not do well, like the 1st gen Jazz. But a lemon??
Haha, I think you missed a lot of things in my post. That's what I lovingly call my car!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lone Ranger View Post
For some reason, my mental image of Ooty was the hilltop version of Times Square on New Year's! Its been many years since I visited the place (it was around 2003) and I had assumed that things would only have got worse. Your images say otherwise, and I loved the short travelogue.
Could you also share a few details on your four legged companion handled the trip? It would be fun to read.
Thank you! I went there during the off-season so that explains why the entire place looks so clean.
My six year old Dachshund, Ishu LOVES roadtrips! She's a very co-operative dog and seated herself comfortably on my mom's lap in the backseat, trying to spot monkeys and squirrels through the car window throughout the drive. We never leave our dog behind as she gets very depressed when she's not with her family. I've taken her on most of my roadtrips to places like Munnar, Kodaikanal, Yelagiri and Bangalore and she has thoroughly enjoyed all of these trips.
I packed enough sachets of Pedigree for her meals and she didn't have a problem with the cold climate as she had her blanket with her.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Durango Dude View Post
Good one, Pranav! Nice writeup and pics!
Thanks Uncle!

Quote:
Originally Posted by ARAY View Post
Great narration of a great place. Ooty in and post monsoon simply glares all available shades of green. Loved the pictures of your doggie. Your first post in TeamBhp is a travel post ,looking forward to more such from you. Keep travelling and sharing such experiences.
Thank you! I shall post more travelogues soon!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Avikbrio View Post
You would not believe how much I can relate to you and your post. I have the same car (S MT Blue), and the same penchant for driving with my parents and my car to Ooty and all the great destinations from Bangalore. I am from Kolkata, but working in Bangalore and I so want to bring my Brio from Kolkata and drive my parents around. But cannot since that is the only car in my hometown and my parents need it. Also a big dog lover but parents saying to get a dog if I only shift back to my hometown.

Your post again gave me a renewed vigor to complete a dream which I had been planning for years. Thank you for this wonderful post and welcome to Team BHP!
Thank you so much. So thrilled and honoured to hear this from you!
I can't tell you how much my life has changed since my dog, Ishu came into my life. If you get the chance, do get a dog!

Quote:
Originally Posted by vshankarhere View Post
A nice little travelogue. Good thing about travelling during off-seasons is the lesser crowd to worry about. You can have more of the place for yourself. Ooty looks beautiful as usual. Why did you skip Avalanche? It would be beautiful this time of the year. Did you return back via the Kotagiri route or the one via Conoor?
Thank you! I took the Conoor route while driving back. I had to skip Avalanche as we were short of time and had to pick between Mudumalai and Avalanche. I'll definitely not miss it the next time I go there.
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