Unexpected weekend family fun trip

The topic suddenly seems very cliched 😉 especially when my family is involved. My bro had a client in Kotagiri and he wanted to meet him this Saturday & since I had a holiday on Friday (Apr 2- Good friday), I planned to join him if I get a confirmed ticket to Coimbatore. We were supposed to go in a bike (probably a short trip involving 1.5 hrs of travel to Kotagiri, 1 hr of work, 1 hr of sight seeing and 1.5 hrs of travel back home). When my sis got the word around, she became furious and decided to crash in 😉 (Hope she isnt reading this…) What next? she joined us and if she is there definitely her FIL also will be there for sure. We can atleast leave my sis and go but we cannot leave uncle. He is very fond of travelling even though his age doesnt permit him (he is 72). So now we were 4 members (my BIL had some work so decided to skip it, even though he wanted to). Next to join was my dad and mom (mom is always ready for such trips .. gives her a much needed break from her daily routine..) and dad decided to not give his work a skip, so at the end of the day (even though my ticket wasnt confirmed yet ..due to the long weekend and heavy crowd moving towards ooty to escape the souring heat) it was decided that myself, my bro, my sis, my sis’s FIL, my mom were to travel on Sat morning and my BIL and my dad will join us on Sat night after their work and then we were to see Kotagiri on Sun and come back by night to enable me catch my bus back to Blr. eppadi.. enga aarambichu enga mudinjadhu paarunga.. konja neram ennaku kanna katirichu …

Till Wednesday night, my ticket wasnt confirmed…but luckily on Thursday morning it got confirmed and I packed my bags. Friday went on uneventfully, with nothing much to do, except for scolding the government for the three hr long power cut and then having a sweaty nap in the afternoon. Then on Sat morning, my sis and sis’s FIL started early and reached our home in a Tavera and myself, my bro and mom joined them and we started our journey to Kotagiri around 8 am. Climate was good, and the traffic was less and we reached Kotagiri (stopping in between for the Mettupalayam View point) around 9.45 am. Had breakfast in my bro’s client’s hotel (cum resort) which is in the centre of the city, and then his client gave us a Bungalow to stay for the weekend (complimentary).. ennaku yen thambiya ninachaa rombha perumaiyaa iruku… The bungalow was awesome.. it was built during the British period it seems, and had a very beautiful estate view and it was like the one u see in the movie Sarvam (starring Arya, Trisha..) We unpacked and then started in our vehicle to Doddapetta.

The weather was awesome, even though we had sunlight, it was cold and not a single drop of sweat. And as usual, nakkal naiyaandi etc in the car and we were always in splits. Driverayum vittu vaikala. Doddapetta was tooo crowded. Spent some time there… saw the cars lined up in Ooty from the telescope (cant they show any other place from that telescopic tower ??? ), walked around a bit (it had some very beautiful scenic landscape.. ) and then started off to 6 miles and Pykaaraa. 6 miles, 7 miles , shooting medu etc are on the way to Pykaara falls and boat house. There is no said entrance for 7 miles. We saw a lot of cars parked on one side of the road and decided to stop. We could see the place (I guess this looked like the one where the song Oru jeevan dhaan from Naan adimai illai was shot). There was a small gap and it was very steep downhill. My slippers gave me away and I had to walk barefoot to really get a grip. Once we cross the long trees (is it pine ??) we could see the lake (I guess this is the water from the pykaara falls .. it was the extension of the Kamaraj Dam and pyakaara lake). It was beautiful. Seems like this is named as 6 miles, 7 miles etc because they are at that distance from Ooty. We left uncle and mom in the car because of the steep climb up and down the area. Spent some time there. Enjoyed the view and climbed back. The way back was too tiring. It was very very steep. It reminded me of the Kali hill climb in Tirupathi. But not that steep also.

Next we went to shooting medu and then the Kamaraj dam area (all extensions of the 6 miles).. It is a vast stretch of the green meadows and pasture land. It was little bit dried up, but the water was enough and the climate was cool. Had some pori kadalai, walked up and down the medu and spent some fun time there and then got ready for the pykaara falls (We didnt have lunch till then, it was almost around 2.30 or so). The pykaara falls and boat house will close by 5 pm it seems. So next stop was Pyakaara falls (we decided to skip the boat house… not interested in boating right now… need to spend time in the falls)..

When we reached the Pykaara falls, we had to park the vehicle much ahead and walk another 1-2 kms inside to get to the falls. We couldnt see the falls for a long time and went on walking for 15 mins or so. My mom and uncle got little tired, it was already 4 pm. Once we reached the entrance, again it was climb down through stairs to the falls. We were actually at the top of the falls (not a huge falls , but quite a flat one it was). It was nice. Not much of water gushing, but it had the force. It was calm till one place and next second you see that it has the force to push you down 🙂 … There was a decent enough crowd there. We played in the damn cold water for some time and around 5.15 we started from there.

Gushing water and the noise it makes when it falls down the hard rocks along with a pleasant meadow around the water with clear blue sky.. it really pleases your senses and relaxes you a lot. We were done for the day and were about to go to Charring Cross to get some sweets and head back to Kotagiri. But the climb back to the vehicle was more tiresome. Mom and Uncle were nearly out of breath as it was very steep and they had to relax for every 2-3 steps they climbed. Definitely not for the weak hearted (literally) and aged people. You really need sufficient stamina and proper health to go to these places. If you are planning to go with elders think twice. It was not only with my mom and uncle, but all the elders who were there had trouble getting back.

The falls was so much away from the main road, that people who were on the way to the falls were questioning us if there was enough water and how far they had to walk to get to the falls. It was just plain lands in sight from the main road. Unless you walk and twist and turn around the corners you can never see the place (natural hide and seek poala).

We came to Charring cross, got some home made chocos (my fav), some rusk and watched the match a little bit (my dad called up to tell me that CSK was ruling that day.. which was a perfect finish for a beautiful day.. atleast for me) and we headed to our bungalow. We reached the hotel around 7 and got our dinner packed and left for the bungalow downhill from the Kotagiri bus stand.

My dad and my BIL were supposed to come to Kotagiri that night by bus. But since it was less than 30 kms from Metupalayam, my dad opted for the car ride and joined us by 9.30 pm in our Alto. We had a good night time stroll in the adjacent garden and slept well with two blankets (can you imagine that in Coimbatore or Bangalore…) each.

The next day we went for a long walk (from 6.30 am to 8 am) in the nearby tea estate and then had to go to main land 😉 i.e. almost near bus stand to get a packet of milk. The walk in the estate was fun. Just tea leaves and nothing else and sun was shining high and bright. Had a good view from there.

Around 10 we had our breakfast and started on our way to Kodanadu view point. It was such a breathtaking view from the view point. It was like a unending stretch of mountains. It was very hazy and was not very clear (might be much better during the season time) but you could feel the depth of it. There was this Rangasamy peak which stood alone in the middle (Why was it named that way.. no one knew there). It was a nice view point. We spent some time there, trying to angle our photos in all possible positions, with Rangasamy peak at the background 😉

After that we left for Longwood Solai forest. Seems like we can take a stroll in the forest if the Ranger was available. But it was the Easter Sunday and no Ranger was available. Also seems like a Bison had recently given birth and it is very violent and already 3-4 men have been attacked. So no one was allowed inside the forest for now. This was the only disappointing factor (well it would have been very difficult if the bison was to chase us, coz only two out of all of us could run fast..others would find that very difficult.. so it was a boon in disguise I would say… and no marks for guessing who are those two!! 😉 )

Next was the Catherine Water falls (it was almost 1 pm). The way to this falls itself was very steepy and if there was another vehicle coming on the opp direction it would be a deadlock. None of us could go back or forth. There are no good roads per se and that too for a biggie like Tavera. After criscrossing through the kutty road, we ended up in the dead end with the name board Catherine Waterfalls (Catherine Neerveezhchi). But we couldnt hear the sound of the falls or even see it. So some one showed us the route to the view point from where we could see the falls. But by then some one else had already pointed to my dad the way to the falls and advised all elders not to venture as it would be very steep and tiring and it has a steep uphill and downhill path to tread. So myself, bro, bil, sis left to see the falls. We walked in the othai adi paathai (which in some places was very scary.. slip a bit and you will end up down the hill in the estate..and in some places it was athala paathaalam) for almost 15-20 mins or more and then we could hear the water. Again it was sudden deep steep and hurray ! there was the water. Not much as it should be…but enough to play around. Spend some time around. Had fun there and started back to the vehicle around 2.14 or so. It was like a trekking camp 🙂 enga poanaalum we had to trek for a few kms, with the tea estates in view or plain pasture lands or mighty hills around.

Once back in vehicle we started back to Kotagiri (saw Kodanadu Estate.. supposedly owned by Jayalalitha…) and had our lunch and went back to the bungalow around 4 pm. All elders took a small nap (include my sis also in that unconditionally) and around 5.30 pm we started our descend down to Coimbatore. On the way we had a small hiccup in the traffic where in a lorry carrying a wedding party was upside down in a curve (luckily not much of a casuality there..only injuries). Otherwise we reached Metupalayam around 6.40 or so. To reach my home we took another hour (!!!! enna panradhu..traffic inside city avlo mosam).

Came home, unpacked, repacked for my Blr trip and started back around 9.45 pm.

All in all a very fun filled, adventurous , satisfying trip. We could never afford to get a Bungalow like that in middle of an estate (with 4 Bedrooms … if we walk between kitchen and one bedroom itself I would have lost weight in a week .. its so big..) and to do trekking like we did in all places (even if it was for less time.. it is still nothing short of trekking).. well one thing we all agreed was “we should repeat such stunts again in 2-3 months” 😉 It was definitely a break from the routine for all of us and we enjoyed it thoroughly.

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