Ooty: tea gardens and carrot, hairpin bends: Mulli to Manjoor

Was unable to break through last day fatigue that when, she, who appeared thin and tall shouted, “get uuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuup”.
Although I had seen her talking loud before but never had imagined that her voice was capable of breaking down window panes.

And lights were switched on, I peeped out of my warm sleeping bag.
dark inside and light outside.
“Guys!get up, It’s already six in the morning”- zombie, hard to pull outside.
Pulled up.Ironic-
slept in Tamilnadu state and had breakfast in Kerala state.
Our Mulli guest house at nucleus of core jungle at border of two states.

Stone marks showing Kerala and Tamilnadu Border, Mulli guest houseStones showing Kerala and Tamilnadu Border, Mulli guest house

Last day memories still afloat over mind. As fresh as honey dew and as cheerful as bunny.
The day begin with journey from Mulli to manjoor.
Curvy road full of Hairpin bends.
Know what hairpin bends are? take a look:

43 Hairpin bends, mulli to Manjoor43 Hairpin bends, Mulli to Manjoor.

And you won’t believe that-Journey of 30 kms took almost 2 hours.
Bus taking 180 degrees of turn and that too at least 43 times. We turned into the same and opposite directions 43 times.
Driver stretching the handle fullest to the left and to the right. Earth really spinned many times- it’s worth enjoying.
Stopped at Manjoor for refreshment, three commander Jeeps were waiting for us.

Tea gardens, OotyTea Gardens and estates, Ooty


In my view, an unique hill station of:
red tea, green tea, black tea, (I heard even white tea too) and very long-long stretches of tea-gardens and estates.
soft carrots and beautiful carrot fields (terrace farmed)
hot chocolates (Could not taste them though)
Pine forests, lakes and falls
Rest other things are common at other hill stations too

Carrot terrace farming, OotyCarrot terrace farming, Ooty

Ooty city life? Could not pull us. We wanted to go closer to nature and spend some time there. Jeep turned and crossing through old fern green pine forests we escaped hustling city life. Jeep was crawling through high tea gardens, big-big patches of tea-shrubs everywhere and heading towards Doddabetta-The highest peak around the town.

Soon, city life was left behind; tea-estates were also left behind and we were now walking through terrace farming of carrot fields.  We decided to trek (I am not sure of the place where we began trekking and where we ended but It was a deciduous forest what I remember)

Forest thorugh which we then trekkedForest through which we then trekked

Unlike other treks which are trek ups, it was trek down from highest peal until you touch the ground.
Trek began; every structure on the ground looked tiny and we talking tiny steps to touch them.
Easy trek as easy as walking down a hill through deciduous forest.

A small incident

“Wait”, “Did you know this is reserved part of the forest”; “Whom did you take permission from?”
“Can I get your names and identification please?”
5 to 6 forest guards standing, We did not know what to do other than to give a blank look at the Jeep guy who was guiding us. They went aside to talk (you must have guessed about the negotiation part of law-breaking)
We were sure he would find a way out and he did.
The same double-i (It’s India) factor.

Waiting for negotiation to get over between Forest guards and our guide (Both not in the picture)Refreshment time when our guide was negotiating with forest  guards (Both not in the picture)

Negotiation over. It works even inside jungle too.
Thousands of rats pinching stomach it was already afternoon and forest guards had caught us at just 10 mins away from our camping point- Bad and tough luck.
Anyhow, after almost an hour of negotiation, we were allowed to leave fast and silently without disturbing the wildlife (I could not see any wildlife in that dry forest).
Reached foothills and lunch was waiting for us.
Jungle meal 🙂

Lunch at the edge of forestLunch at the edge of forest

– Lunch was over
– People lying down over tarpaulin on edge of Jungle
– Foul body odour (sweating all day and walking in sun)
– Situation was pushing herself to the same spot like previous day. Bath after heavy lunch.
– Someone had to volunteer and find a place where we could take bath and the place had to safe too.
– Crossed bamboos, boulders kept on walking on the edge of the rivulet when finally a place showed up.
-Purposefully hidden place.
We could not wait and instantly jumped into the water.
-Deep dive, underwater,cold water, splashing over each other and having fun together

Fun in waterFun in water

Had a lot of fun and finally walked back with a running sore nose
Night safari was in the row next……..


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