Saturday, 13 October 2012

L'eau de toilette....

Our meals at The Serai were a huge part of the enjoyment of our stay. Lunch & dinners are marathon five course events...We tried not to over-order but even when we cut back to try to pace ourselves, Chef would send out little treats for us to try...
If one person expressed an interest in a particular dish, we all got it....
Whenever someone ordered something we all got it....
...although sometimes it took a quite a few attempts...
'Can you do oats, no milk?' ....
'Can you do ginger, hot water and some lemon, no milk?'

We have an eclectic group of tastes from Miss 'Extra spicy' to Miss 'Not too spicy' through to Miss 'Vegetarian, no dairy' , myself as 'Miss Recovering, extra careful and just wants soup....and even Miss India herself who every now and again just orders chips...

So we can't leave without saying a huge thank you to the Chef for the best food that we have had so far....




We hear conflicting reports about whether the Kerala State border 100km's away will allow out-of-state cars to enter. Our travel agent, Joseph suggests we set off with a positive attitudes and just try On the way we pass a dam, and wonder whether it is one of the dams involved in the disputed water? We hear the State Government has stopped releasing water. The local newspapers are skeptical of the reason given "to allow for maintenance," but whatever, we are happy for the reprieve and proceed with optimism as requested, hopeful to get through...




At one point we are all in need of a nature stop, we have found that the elephant trenches made an ideal private loo stop, out comes one of Miss India's giant pashminas which two people hold to shield from the prying eyes of the passers-by and we're good to go - quite literally!


We finally make it to the Kerala State border, there is a massive traffic jam and it takes the driver 20 minutes to clear the paperwork to allow us to enter. We pass kilometers of traffic jams of large trucks in both directions but are pleased to be on finally our way....

Our journey today is only 120 km's which our itinerary suggests will take 4 hours...and ends up as nearly 7 hours, a combination of the condition of the roads which has us crawling along, plus the climb through the hills ending up at Ooty.
It ends with a series of 36 hairpin bends, which has some of us feeling quite queasy.
We have already seen one dead body on our journey today, as we pass this funeral procession (below) and are amazed to see the old person propped up inside, surrounded by garlands of flowers, being carried off to their final resting point...




If you look carefully at the dashboard, you will see the Ganesh covered in flowers. Each day our driver buys a garland of highly scented flowers which he places carefully on the small shrine and then sets off without a seatbelt....We smile at one of the signs on the hillside which says
'A hospital ceiling is boring, drive carefully....

Crawling up the hillside we comment on the houses clinging to the edge of the mountain, and the tea terraces so steep, we wonder how anyone manages to work, picking tea on such an angle....




Entering Ooty, we learn that Ooty is amongst other things, the carrot capital of India - the great tea growing conditions are equally as good for carrots it seems!




Our tour takes us to the Botanical Gardens, which is full of people meandering around, it looks to me as if it could do with some upkeep, but it does have a certain charm...




We climb up the hill and find and old rusty turnstile gate and a dirt track, a local passer-by points in the direction of a Tribal village, we later discover is called Todamund. As we enter not sure of the reception we will receive we notice a line of smartish motorbikes, slightly out of keeping with the standard of housing...




An older man greets us with the words "temple"




After temple he says shopping?..








....Well us ladies can never pass up the opportunity for a good shawl, especially for those moments when we can't find the following!




Location:Kabini to Ooty - 120 km's

Location:Kabini to Ooty, INDIA

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