So we said yes, and away we went a week later at 1 in the morning in my friend’s car to drive for 9 hours and 450 kms to Kodaikanal. We had gone to our friend’s place to spend the night and start out early the next morning, but after we were finished with dinner starting off just then seemed like a jolly thing to do. So off we went at 1 in the pitch dark and it was quite jolly because the others drove. I didn’t sleep however, because I felt morally obliged to sit bolt upright scowling fiercely at the road ahead, thereby lightening the drivers’ (i.e my friend’s and my husbands’) burden significantly.
We got there at 10 the next morning. And it was beautiful. Beau-ti-ful! Ooty was a shabby little ugly duckling hill station compared to this one. (and let me tell you, when I went to Ooty I thought it was ugly even without seeing this place.)
And COLD. We kept wondering how cold it was, and discussed it repeatedly: “It must be atleast 10 degree centigrade…don’t you think?” “I have no idea. Stop asking me.”
My friend has a bit of an OCD about cooking and keeping house, so she instantly launched herself into making the guesthouse like home, (which as I very helpfully observed as I propped my feet up on the center table and flicked through my book ‘kind of defeated the purpose.’) Apart from all the cooking and cleaning and constructive sneering, we managed to take in the following sites:
1) Coalker’s walk. Don’t ask me what that means, my interpretation would be that if you’re high on coke, this is how the world would look to you. (Yes, yes not the right spelling – give me one that works better, smart asses.) It’s a pathway cut into the hill (the 21,300 meter high Palani hills) and provides you a wonderful view of the world swathed in mist. You can also walk there should you wish to rub shoulders with people who wear summer clothing accessorized with tiger-striped ear muffs in an attempt to look trendy or die of hypothermia, I’m not sure which. After a refreshing snack of cotton candy and barely concealed snickering at the ear muffs, we took ourselves off to the next tourist spot which was:
2) The Horticultural Gardens. It was a lot like other horticultural gardens I’ve visited, except that there was a very ugly couple being filmed with a video camera. Jeet said he thought they were getting married, and the others thought they were actors. I just thought they were ugly and the cameraman in dire need of money. My adventurous friend struck off up the slope following no apparent path and we followed obediently behind. I was grateful that Jeet waited for me as I hopped awkwardly over rivulets (looked like drainage water, nothing fancy) and yawning gaps in the hill while the other two walked briskly on ahead and disappeared round bends. Once I was sure I wouldn’t roll downhill and stop half dead near the feet of the couple being filmed, I decided it had been quite an enjoyable walk. Tip to tourists: Do not touch the cactuses in the greenhouse, even if a solemn 14 year old boy swears it won’t hurt.
(To be continued.)