Saturday 5th September
Our Final day in Ooty , after breakfast we headed South-West from Ooty through some absolutely stunning scenery and small villages , the hills were covered in fields of cabbages , carrots and potatoes and plantation after plantation of tea . Again along the roadside there were an abundance of temples , all beautifully decorated .
(Click on Photos to see full size)
For this trip Pramod had stayed at the house so Purshotham and Prakash accompanied us this time along with Antony who looked after security at the house . The reason we came down here was to see two of the dam systems in the area , The Avalanche Dam and the Emerald Dam , i didn’t get any photos at the first one but got some at the Emerald…..
The Emerald Dam
View from the Dam
The Dam from the nearby town
The were pretty impressive pieces of engineering !
The Emerald Lake from the main road
We really enjoyed our drive around this area , it was really beautiful , the thing that amazed me was the farming , most of it on steep hills and all labour intensive , the amount grown was mind blowing . Seeing the Tea Plantations was breath-taking as well , makes you appreciate your morning brew even more ! We returned to Ooty for our lunch , a lovely vegetable noodle dish .
After lunch and a sit in the sun , we were taken to another garden not far away from the house , this one slightly different in that it was owned by the neighbouring state of Karnataka , The Fern Hill Gardens also have accomodation for tourists , these gardens were once part of the Maharaja of Mysores Fern Hill Palace , A portion of the land owned by the Maharaja was gifted to the Government of Karnataka and it is now run by the The Karnataka Horticulture Department.
The Topiaries were fantastic and are ajudged to be the best in the region . It was a very pleasant way to spend the last afternoon in Ooty . After a drive around and one last photo stop……
We headed back to the house where Pramod informed us as it was our last night we would have a camp fire ! Only the Camp fire had other ideas…… After much attention by Pramod , Purshotham and Antony the fire did take off though a few rain shower did try to put their good work out , after much merriment and a few bottles of Kingfisher we retired inside for a lovely final meal by Valli Margreat . As well as being one of lifes great Characters She does cook a pretty Mean Curry !
‘Aunty’ Valli Margreat and Purshotham
We retired to bed for an early start (6am !) next Morning for our drive back to Bengaluru……
Sunday 6th September
6am on a Sunday Morning at home usually means no public transport , maybe some leftovers from the Saturday night out wandering the streets…… In Ooty it means Buses all over the place , lorries , loads of people , basically a normal day ! There was a bit of low cloud when we bid our farewells to the house and set off down the hill .
We returned the same way we came , down the hairpins and through the National Parks , we caught a glimpse of one of the Elephants being washed at the reserve……..
And there were Monkeys Galore !
On our way back through Mysore we had breakfast in the Lalitha Mahal Palace Hotel . It was a lovely drive back to Bengaluru in the bright sunhine . After dropping Pramod off at his home , Prakash dropped us off at the Ibis where we would spend our last day in India . We freshened up , had a bite to eat in the restaurant and hit the bar where we found an unusual addition…..
The observant amongst you will have noticed that Fusion is bottled at 46% in India , this is due to local Government laws , infact most whisky in India is rarely bottled at higher that 42.8% due to State laws .
After an Amrut Nightcap it was time for bed…….
Monday 7th September
Our last day Bengaluru and India ! We awoke earlyish to a phonecall from Pramod saying that Rick (Jagdale) would be calling in to see us and oh , by the way there will be an interview with an Indian Newspaper later in the morning…… OMG ! So after a shower and some breakfast we met up with Rick in The Hub for a catch up , i hadn’t seen Rick since last October when he paid a flying visit to Newcastle (Rick was at Newcastle University with Ashok ) , Pramod arrived and for a meeting we also got to meet the lovely Malavika Pai who is better known as @AmrutMalt on Twitter . She told us i would be doing an interview over the phone with Suruchi Kapur who writes for the Deccan Chronicle . Just after Rick went off for a meeting , Ashok arrived ( felt like Amrut Grand Central !) and we got to chat a bit before the phonecall came through….. Though this wasn’t my first telephone interview with a Journalist it was definitely nerve wrecking ! It seemed to go on for ages (probably only lasted about 20 mins…..) , she caught me out with a couple of questions but hopefully i did alright , will have to wait and see ! After a bit more of a natter everyone started departing but not before a few photos……
We bid farewell to Ashok and had some lunch before returning to our room to do the final packing and getting picked up by Prakash to get taken to the Airport .
The drive out was just as manic as all the other drives around Bengaluru , we really miss all the beep-beeps…..
The security at the Airport entrance is certainly strict (as is the security at all the hotels after the attacks a few years ago ) but once in the lounges Bengaluru is one pretty relaxed Airport , we found a nice bar not far away from our gate to relax with a few drinks and watch the lightning storm pass by ! At 20.45 we departed India…….
With Time differences it would be after 11pm when we arrived at Dubai , it was going to be a long night as our flight back to Newcastle didn’t depart till 7.25am . Now a lot of people rave about Dubai Airport , yup if you want to spend a fortune it’s good but i will say one thing , for comfortableness Toronto Pearson can’t be beat ! (yes Paul i mean it!)
We arrived home in Newcastle just before Midday on the 8th , our Indian Adventure over !
We would like to thank all at Amrut for their hospitality and generosity on this trip .
Surrinder for such a great tour of the distillery and his infectous enthusiasm !
Pramod for being the perfect guide around his country.
Prakash for driving us everywhere .
Purshotham and ‘Aunty’ Valli Margreat for their hospitality and cooking at Ooty .
And finally Ashok for…. well being Ashok and looking after us and being a very good Friend ! Cheers Marra !!!
Finally uploaded Melanies Holiday Photos…..
You can view them all at Melanies Flickr Account