The cooler temperature in Ooty was a welcome change from the blistering hot, sticky heat of both Alleppey and Kochi. The elevation plays a part in the cooler climate of this region and at night the temperatures can dip down to a low of 10 degrees Celsius (in the summer). During the day it the temperatures hovered around 25 degrees and it astonished me that I was actually cold! The locals must also find the weather to be a tad chilly because they are all bundled in wool sweaters, scarves and toques.
Archive for November, 2010
After arriving in Coimbatore, we then took a mini bus up to Coonoor. The “mini bus” (aka. a medium sized van) climbed the 2240 metres (or 7216 feet) up to the top of the hill at a blistering pace, passing buses and cars on hairpin turns… lets just say it was the worst and best driving I have ever experienced. Perhaps when Nachi offered to pay the driver extra for getting us to the train station on time, we should have stipulated that we arrive in one piece!
Four days ago, we left for a mountain town in Tamil Nadu, called Ooty. Shawn, Nachi, Jo and myself left Alleppey, took the Sleeper train to Coimbatore and then from there made our way to Ooty.
The train took us North East into the state of Tamil Nadu, where the Nilgiri Hills form the southern most point of the Western Ghat mountain range. The hills are constantly surrounded by a shroud of dusty smog, which rises from the dry dessert-like earth and tends to give the hills a blueish tinge. This change in geography, only hours away from Alleppey, was an interesting contrast to the lush and green landscape in Kerala.
I am particularly amused by the eccentric little oddities of Gowri, which I find endearing. There are an abundance of resident roosters, chickens, and other miscellaneous birds, such as emus, are living with us at Gowri. The birds crow and make bizarre noises starting at ungodly hours! One type of bird here makes a hilarious cartoonish whistling noise. In addition to the birds, the temple next store blasts a mix of Indian music and chanting at strange hours. Instead of incensing me, which it would in the 'real world,' here it's just one more quirk that makes India so enchanting.
Thoughts about Indian Fashion
When I first arrived in Bangalore, I decided that in an effort to fit in with the locals I would introduce some colour into my drab travel wardrobe. I bought a beautiful fuchsia silk scarf to accent my boring beige, black and white travel pieces. I desperately wanted to purchase reams of colourful fabrics and dress myself in silk salwaars and sarees, but I was unsure of how locals would feel about a westerner in their traditional Indian clothing. So I embraced this colourful culture by imitating certain aspects of their style of dress.
Alleppey is beauty personified. A local told me that the name Alleppey literally means beautiful, but whether this information is factual I cannot say. Regardless, it is hard to convey the full extent of my enchanting surroundings: the vibrant hues of the flora and fauna, the exuberant people, and relaxed vibe of the town. Marco Polo hit the nail on the head when he famously described Alleppey as the “Venice of the East.”