One of the things Ooty is famous for is the mountain railway – 100 years old and still going strong – the little train of 4 carriages goes up and down the mountain every day from Mettapalayam (at the bottom) to Ooty and then back again.
We had managed to book some tickets online for Wed afternoon, so we spent our last morning in Ooty uploading pics and getting our tickets printed at the internet place. A bit of last minute shopping and then off to the station.
After a couple of thalis at the station cafe, we waited on the platform for the train.
In it trundled and off rattled the passengers. On we got, we had a little compartment in first class – fit for about 8 people and we were joined by a family of three German travellers.
The train pulled out of Ooty at 2pm and began its journey down the mountain. The first part of the trip, about an hour, to Coonoor is not too steep and its pulled by a diesel engine. But when you get to Coonoor the main attraction happens – the diesel engine lets go and is replaced by a steam engine!
Who knows how old the engines are but they are fully operational and choo choos away with no problem bellowing steam. The views were spectacular, endless tea plantations, mountain after misty mountain as we slowly made our way down. 250 photos later we pulled into the last stop, covered in soot with more of our journey to go. We know there are at least 2 hard core train spotters reading this – you know who you are – so these are for you 🙂
We still had to find our way to Ciombotore, by bus would have taken about two hours, but we managed to strike a deal with a taxi man who could fit five people plus bags for 1000 rps. So we set off with the three german ladies for the never ending hour journey through peak time traffic. Another perilous ride, which we are strangely getting accustomed to, scary…
We were delivered to Ciombtore train station, where we would start our journey early the next day. Said auf wiedersehen to the Germans and found our hotel across the road. We checked in and headed to the nearest bar, conveniently situated next to our hotel. It was the darkest bar in the world, we turned down the first table offered to us as we would have only been able to hear each other, so chose our own table of four with very little light. It’s beer o’clock! Emma was the only female in the joint so got some looks, especially when she downed her pint of Kingfisher. We also discovered there was only a gents, no ladies. So Paul and a kind barman staked the loo until it was empty and clear for Emma to use, result! We grabbed some food, one more beer for the road and headed to sleep.