On Monday, whilst wandering around Ooty we found a tourist information hut – Do you have any maps? No just the one in the window – you can take a picture of it 🙂
The helpful man also offered day tours around the area – including the wildlife sanctuary we had passed by on the bus. Funnily enough it looked just like the tour offered by our hotel, at a fraction of the cost – so we booked up. We will collect you from the hotel at 9:30 he said.
9.30 came and went and just before 10 a little minibus full of people turned up and off we set. First we went about 500 yards down the road where we stopped for a bit in a car park – I don’t know why. After that we set off and this time we stopped at a petrol station where we all got off and got on another small bus – apparently someone had a dodgy seat on our bus… Off we set again this time in earnest. We had a nice seat by the door, sorry that’s the open door 🙂 Good for the breeze but slightly alarming during sudden braking going downhill.
The bus was mostly full of Indians on holiday – apart from us two euros. Several families and small children, all crammed in. One consequence of this was that the driver needed to explain everything three times – Hindi, some sort of Tamil dialect I think, and English for us – sometimes we were forgotten – or maybe he just didn’t know the words. The first place we didn’t get an explanation about was the golf course – we stopped next to it for a bit and looked at it though.
After that we passed by a film factory “External views only” it said on the little itinerary and sure enough that’s what we got.
The following stop was much nicer – Tree Park – In order to preserve the forest in the Nilgiri Hills area, most of it is now closed to people, so this was a fenced off bit you could go into – about 500m square I guess – just enough to get into without the danger of missing the bus. Lots of monkeys running about too with babies dangling.
Nine Miles, was next – essentially a small hill – but so called because you could see a long way from the top in all directions – I’m just guessing but I would say possibly as much as 9 miles.
After that we stopped for a late lunch – it was about 2pm by now and the bus stopped by a row of eateries. We ventured into one – grimy would be a good word to describe it – and ordered a thali and some Paneer masala. What a delicious meal! We vowed to find a good Paneer Masala recipe when we get home.
The end point of this torrent of activities was to the wildlife park. As we got closer we saw more wild animals – deer and a family of Elephants crossing the road, we arrived at the visitor centre at about 4.30 and then took a park bus through the sanctuary, off road. Emma is convinced this trip was for the benefit of the animals to watch us behave as most of the passengers screamed and shouted every time they got a sniff of something moving. Aaahhhhhh a peacock, aaaaagggggghhhhhhh spotted deer, it got a bit boring but what animals we did see was fun. Especially the monkeys, they are always entertaining to watch.
9 hours in a confined space with lots of noisy people isn’t the best, so a quiet dinner in the hotel was the best end to a very busy day.