Driving up to the Blue Mountains

Driving up to the Blue Mountains
Bags packed for three days, we were off to the Blue Mountains in the Nilgiris, our favourite place to binge on resorts in the tea gardens. We do it once a year towards the latter part of the year when it’s cool and the rains have freshened up the area.

So we got into our i10 car at 5am in the morning, only to find it would not start. We tried everything including googling the problem, but it refused to budge and I was not keen to have a breakdown on the way. The dashboard showed a key sign and we closed every door and the dickey, but to no avail.

Finally we jumped into our second car, an older Chevy Aveo and took off later than planned. It was a good choice though it is a gas guzzler.Could not have the car stalling in the mountains or in the jungles, could we? The Chevy is roomy and with leather seat covers, extremely comfortable. Soon we were headed out of Bangalore, on the Mysore highway and I started sharing the hot tea in the flask and the boiled eggs and cheese burgers we had brought along. We never do a pit stop on the way to avoid waste of time.

Soon we were going through the city of Mysore because the ring road would have made the whole trip longer and we were trying to catch up with lost time. It is a seven hour drive to Ooty and so we wanted to get there as quickly as we could. The city of palaces -- Mysore -- was just waking up as we sped through it. Kids were going to school and there was a bit of traffic around the central circle infront of the palace. The palace is breathtaking and it never fails to evoke gasps from us as we pass it’s sprawling grandeur.

Soon we are bowling along, out of the city, on the road to the jungles of Nagarhole and we scanned the sides of the road for wild life. The only animals we always see are flocks of deer and monkeys waiting for a hand out.Never stop the car and do that as you are asking for trouble. They can be very aggressive and unpredictable.

We had hoped to see elephants but the jungles were lush and full of food, so why would they want to come out of it, to the road, where callous humans took speed trips through it. On our way back we did see a Bison within touching distance, and besides the occasional click from the cars that had stopped to view him, all the human viewers kept silent, with respect for the huge animal.

The car had begun to climb and the Chevvy took the bends rather easily. I was really impressed, no labouring, just a smooth climb up and all we had to take care of, were silly bike riders who were whizzing up the hills. The drive through the massive eucalyptus trees was stunning and we craned our necks out of the windows to see how tall they were. The car was filled with the scent of eucalyptus and we switched off the air conditioning to enjoy the cool, ferny breeze wafting in.

The car continued climbing and we had begun to count the hair pin bends.Our resort -- Glyngarth Resorts was on the 9th bend and we were looking forward to reaching. Soon we were driving through thick old conifers, which looked really old and ancient and probably dated back to the Brits in India. People had stopped to take pictures. Soon the road was getting wet from little streams which were flowing down from the hillsides.And the tea gardens began to make their presence felt on either side of the road and climbing up the hillsides.

We reached the 9th hairpin bend and began to look for the Glyngarth signage, which Shahid the owner had promised would appear. Turning off the main road we began to drive through tea gardens and splashing streams, flowing across the road.It was an amazing sight to see the valley stretching out before and below us.

The road turned rough and the tar disappeared for around one kilometre, but we managed and prayed that the tyres would hold out. With sighs of relief we reached the huge sweep of driveway into the resort. What a magnificent sight which was going to be our home for one whole day.

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