Continuing after day 1 and 2…
At around 6 PM we reached Oddanchathiram, where we stopped for tea, of course what’s a road trip without stopping for tea.
At around 8PM we reached Tiruppur and at Avinashi, we had dinner. It’s a big town, lot of good hotels, petrol bunks and ATM’s. Had a good, filling dinner, withdrew cash and hopped back in the car to drive to Ooty.
Off we went to Ooty through Metupalayam and Kotagiri. It was a good drive. I love driving at night as there are no pedestrians or two-wheelers on the road. We did spot a Bison grazing on the edge of the road, but it didn’t seem to bother. We reached Ooty by 11:30 PM and stopped by a hotel to checkout the rooms and prices. It was too costly for one night stay and we drove by and saw another hotel, where we finally ended up staying. Hotel Venus, coonoor road, Ooty. I’d certainly recommend this place. It was clean, had a TV, big window (no great view, just a road), polite staff and superb restaurant attached to it that served the best tea (according to Andy and Deep) :). The one small problem is hot water is available only for a couple of hours in the morning, between 7AM and 9AM. But that was not a problem for us, as we were gonna crash and in the morning take a bath and check out by 10AM. It cost us Rs.1400 for a double-bed room. And we asked for two extra beds. We slept, got up, freshened up and went for the tea!
We had breakfast and tea at the attached restaurant. And moved out to our car to go to Masinagudi. We drove. Since I was in Ooty same time, last year, we didn’t do any “sightseeing”. On the way out of Ooty we did stop by a few place, it was beautiful.
Reached Masinagudi by 2PM and then to Moyar, which is 9kms from Masinagudi. Went to the TNEB guest house there by 3PM. Put all our stuff there, came back to Masinagudi for a quick lunch – not the best! 🙂 had lunch, had tea, ofcourse.
What makes a road trip?! THIS:
We had called up a local guide for his service, which included a jeep. Parked the Figo in Masinagudi, hopped in the jeep and went around the forest area. First stop at a stream. Elephants at the banks! not! 😛 but we did see elephant dung(I guess), does that count?! 🙂
Then the guide (name is Vinod) took us on a long drive, for close to three hours. We spotted tuskers, Elephant herd, Bisons, wild Boar (is there another kind?!), Wild Hen (the guide it was!) and then a peacock crossing the road. The question of course is, why did the peacock cross the road!!
It was well past sunset, around 7PM. Totally dark, of course, it’s a forest. Vinod drove us back to Masinagudi, where our car was parked. He had told us about his encounters with Elephants and there is a very high possibility that we will run into an Elephant(s) on the way to Moyar, which is 9 kms away from Masinagudi. Those 9kms, is a story in itself and I will post about that later.
So we came to Masinagudi, took the Figo and [longest 9 kms] drove to Moyar. We spent the night there in a TNEB guest house. The next day, 18th Sept, got up, etc. etc. and then started from Moyar to Chennai through Ooty, Anthiyur, Metur, Dharmapuri, Krishnagiri, Chennai!
- State Highways in Tamil Nadu are brilliant, except for the pedestrian and two-wheeler traffic, which makes it a little risky experience.
- So try driving at night, watch the speed, watch the road, drink tea!
- GPS is really handy while driving at night. My mobile [android with gmaps] was very useful. If you have iPhone with ios6, I’m sorry, you will need to buy a map (hard copy). 🙂
- Please do not litter. Carry a big trash bag, fill that up and throw that in a trash bin when you reach a hotel.