It was the second half of may and a plan was underway to plan a small trip over the long weekend coming soon.
Had options being considered- Ooty/ Vizag/ Aaraku/ Madhikeri / Coorg etc and it was a difficult decision to make with the Hyderabad city temperature still soaring high around 39*- 41* everyday.
It was decided that it would be Ooty n Kethi taking the weather and premonsoon conditions into account.
How good can it be to have the Duster ready, very happy to hit the road for the long journey which it is made for...
We finally after zeroing on the Ooty n Kethi stretch, quickly booked a homestay at Kethi overlooking the Doddabetta Peak and were all set to start on the morning of 31st May 2017.
Taking all the precautionary checks - vehicle just came back a month from servicing so fuel, air, spare tyre, medicines, black mats for drive under the sun, better headlamps all done and were set for the journey,
Research as to which route to take, where should the pitstops be, how long to drive and where to stop for the night halt, were explored and Mysuru was the night halt on the way to the "Queen of Hills"
Now the journey details of the 31st May 2017 follows:
Day One: started with waking up early as we had a target to start by 5.30 hrs, which got delayed as had a kid to manage and he got ready faster and we were all set by 6.00 hrs. We got all the luggage into the Dusty and were all set to start on our lovely drive at 6.20 hrs.
Crossed onto the ORR from Hitech City and were finally within no time (cruising at around 90-95kmph) were on the Bengaluru Highway, there was a bit of truck traffic and we reached to Food Pyramid (nearing Kurnool) for the first pitstop and Breakfast. [Stop time: 35 Mins]
We then continued on our journey towards Bengaluru via Kurnool, Penugonda (great location to view windmills), Anantapur and closer to Bengaluru city, stopped for Lunch at Hotel Pranav, food was good, vegetarian and the quality and hygiene was good. [Lunch Break: 45 Mins]
We then started into the outer Bengaluru city enroute to the Mysuru Highway, via the IRR and finally got onto the Mysuru Highway (skipped the NICE road) and were navigating at decent speed onto the highway post crossing the city limits and were pleasantly surprised to get onto a neatly laid highway towards Srirangapattana, Mysuru (via Lanco Devanahalli Toll Road). The road was neat, no traffic and was a welcome and pleasant drive.
As the sun was setting and the time was ticking we drew closer to Mysuru crossing the CR Pattana, Srirangapattana and finally neared the ITC hotel i made a booking at. We reached the place at around 1830 hrs (as the traffic was moderately heavy) as we entered the Mysuru city.
After reaching and some rest, we tried visiting the Mysuru Palace and had dinner at Kamat Hotel... before calling it a day after a wonderful long drive..
Started on 1st June at around 0800 hrs from Mysuru onto the Ooty route and had again a great drive (few rough patches enroute) as the road was being laid and had a decent drive.. no challenge however... We reached the Bandipur Tiger Reserve area in around 1-1.5 hrs of starting...
We entered the Tiger Reserve and started on our route to the place and were happy to spot Deers, Monkeys..
We continued on our journey and took a coffee break at the CCD outlet near Masinagudi.. before proceeding uphill..
After a good coffee, started uphill on the 36 hairpin bends road via Masinagudi and were awestruck with the weather that was awaiting us, drizzling, welcoming us and the fog was just beyond words to be expressed and i will let the photos do the talk...
Finally unwillingly moving from this place, we completed the Ghat section and neared Ooty and traveled towards our destination Kethi Valley (The Clive and Curzon).. We reached around 12.30 hrs around 4.5hrs journey with good stops enjoying the nature and the drive..
We reached the destination and were pleasantly surprised with the care that was taken in bringing up this facility by our hosts Diia and Raman.. Had a great time and the property is a must visit and one should actually be pulled away (in literal sense) to step out of this property...
We booked from 1st June until 3rd June but were impressed to extend our stay until 4th June 2017. The hosts Jassu and Diia, Joy (Manager), Cecelia (Cook) were all too good and taking great care which made us stay back.. also Diia's parents were a great couple to talk to, and finally not to forget a friend my son made Azad, who gave great company to each other playing rolling down the Azad hill which he named and it was fun running around in the tea plantation and the surroundings...