Picking up from here.
As we all know, ‘Hartal/Bandh/Strike’ is the national festival of Kerala. Onam comes second. The day we were supposed to return back, there was a national strike announced by all the major trade unions in the country. There are people in Kerala who wait to hear about this so that they can go on the streets and vandalize public and private property, create havoc.
Now because of them we were unsure if we had to start on the same day and risk our lives for going back home. The night before leaving the place, saw us having intense discussions and debates over these. Heated arguments over pros and cons. Nonetheless, I wanted to leave because I had other engagements, same was the case with my friend. But we didn’t want to risk it.
It was decided that we go to Emerald lake/dam and Avalanche lake in the morning and while doing that we would call our contacts and see the situations in Kerala and decide, whether to go or whether not to.
So we leave for Emerald lake in the morning. The route is fairly simple, but since we chucked UB (Upper Bhavani from the list), the other two looked doable.
From my research
- Glenmorgan needed Tamil Nadu Electricity Board permits to cross the check post. We were stopped at the check post and obviously told to leave. So if you are going there, be sure you get a permission to cross that check post. I don’t know what is beyond that check post.
- Mukurti Lake which is 40 kms away from Ooty, has a national park. If you need to trek, you need permission for it, from the TN forest department.
- Finally, the Emerald lake , Avalanche and Upper Bhavani are in the same route. 25 kms to Emerald lake, 35 kms to Avalanche and 60 kms to Upper Bhavani. The first two namely Emerald and Avalanche needs no permission, but to after that towards Upper Bhavani there is a check post from where you are allowed to go in their jeep. I have heard that it depends on how you convince the officers at the check post, they let you drive till the dam. But going beyond the dam needs permission.
So we started off with Emerald… Let’s pics do all the talking
That’s a village, with a few houses to prove my point.
Again someone has enjoyed cooking? If it were a dry season, then probably one small spark can bring down the whole forest. There is forest guards roaming around this area all the time. Though their real intention should be to see if someone is going against the rules set by forest dept, but the moment someone crosses they come for you to collect bribe. If you even think of giving them anything, keep it as low as Rs. 20 or 30 (max Rs. 50). A bottle of alcohol costs Rs 14 only there I believe.
The Ripple effect 😉
This budding photographer happens to be my buddy, not chaddi buddy though 😛
After the Emerald journey, we were supposed to visit Avalanche but we look at each other and say to each other, ‘ Screw this… let’s go home.’ We call up people and check out the situations, no bad reports and we (he) decided to take a big leap of driving back to Kerala.
Some pics on the way
The St. Stephen’s church, Ooty. One of my favorite places in Ooty. Once the mist starts dropping, then the place looks even more amazing.
The name of places in order as we descend from Ooty towards Coonoor, not all are there cos the idea occurred a bit later and not all the places are there… sadly.
Will it be a hit or will it be a miss?
Just miss. They better not miss it next time.
Wild flowers for wild people who wants to go all wild. I know a few of them 😉
Indians and Engineering, lol. No more comments.
Driving back on that day meant empty roads. All the 36 million people apart from 3 or 4, were at home and none of them were seen out. The roads were empty and we touched 150 kmph, which is a great speed in Kerala.
On the whole we had some good time and a lot of memories. Would I like to go back? Yes, why not. It’s an amazing drive and the weather is too good. Maybe on a motorbike next time? not sure, but a visit again would be amazing.
Before I put a full stop to this series, I will share 3 pics that I loved out of the lot… saved them for last.
The fountain at Charring Cross (Pic credit to my friend)
A bit more darker and …
On that bombshell, Good night!
Any suggestions and comments would be welcome.