A peaceful abode in the Nilgiri Mountains, Ooty is known as the queen of mountains and it clearly lives up to its title. All around the town there are tea plantations and forests which are dominated by eucalyptus trees. One must definitely experience a walk through the tea plantations and a short trek in the forest.
Ooty has a lot more to offer than that though, there is a an amazing botanical garden, a small market started by the British bustling with meat, vegetable and fruit stores. A peaceful lake, picturesque landscapes, welcoming people and an uncertain climate which is mostly pleasant are just amongst a few things a backpacker can enjoy in the city.
My story in Ooty begins with my early morning arrival at the bus station, with no idea about what I will be getting myself into. With no hotel reservations and not even a glance at the guide book I decided to spend some time by the bus station, got myself a cigarette and a chai and sat down on my rucksack looking a little confused. No on bothered me as I flipped through the affordable accommodation options in Ooty. I then came across the YWCA Hostel in the guidebook, gave them a call and got myself a room for 500 rupees a night.
Waiting by the bus stop I came across a little stout but jolly man, who told me the way to the hostel and that he is a taxi driver who who recently took a few researchers around the Ooty, his name Farooq Khan. Mr. Khan then offered to drop me off at the hostel, we exchanged numbers and I told him I would give him a call the next day so he can help me with a photography tour in and around Ooty.
After checking in, I caught up with a little sleep then in the afternoon when the drizzling stopped I went for a walk. The botanical gardens of Ooty where a couple of kilometers away from the hostel and on my way, I crossed the market and then a few other restaurants and tourist guesthouses until I finally reached there right on time for the rain to come pouring down again. Despite the rain I decided to walk around the garden, which was huge and an absolute treat for all my senses. I did not visit the whole thing as the shower just got heavier, and it took a couple of hours for the skies to clear.
Drenched and tired I went back to my room at the hostel, got a light dinner and slept early, because I had a feeling that the next day would be awesome and it really was.