Steamin'...

Trip Start Aug 04, 2009
1
12
26
Trip End Oct 03, 2009


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Where I stayed
Nanda Lodge

Flag of India  , Tamil Nādu,
Tuesday, September 1, 2009

My five hour train ride was very comfortable as there weren't many peeps to my surprise...i kept waiting for the onslaught to shuffle in at each stop but it didn't as i sat back and put my feet up the whole time.  I was happy. There was some staring however that i didn't appreciate.  I can handle being stared at to some extent as i know they are just as curious aboot me as i am aboot them and to be honest i have been stared at more in other countries.  There is staring though and there is gawking and depends on my morale and mood how well i take it.  I find the best thing to do is to stare right back, make complete eye contact and then they look away.  However, that didn't work with these guys on the train and they kept staring as i stared.  So then i communicated through body language, 'what the hell is your problem' and then they looked away...i try not to get angry but somtimes it's hard..it's just rude and annoying.  Anyways..with that being my biggest problem with my travels for the day, i can't complain really.  After the train i caught a bus for a hour to get to Mettupalayam.

It's a small town, busy, not much to do, not touristy at all and i liked it.  The people were friendly and seemed happy.  I was starving after my travels, so went to a local restaurant and ordered ginger chicken.  There was no ginger, chicken though and lots of chilli.... i think i just got what they had.  It came with rice on a banana leaf with a few different sauces or thalis.  Indian food is not really my favourite so i do order non-Indian when i can...i do not like any chilli or spice (im a wimp) at all so i do struggle.  So with this as i do, i just eat it as fast as possible mixing as much rich as possible and then i wait for the burn to wear off, trying not to drink too much water cuz it really does make it worst.  I ordered Masala (chai) tea which i loveeeee and hope that the milk would help but this time i seemed to have gotten coffee which i dont drink..you win some, you lose some.  I still enjoyed the experienced though for what it was.  I had been spoiled with western food or chinese of late...so i was due.

I got up before dawn to go get my train ticket to head up the mountains again.  I walked through the bus station to get to the train station, and saw too many people and families sleeping in the bus station.  The town seemed prosperous enough but there is always the poverty stricken ones as well, in most places, which is always hard to take. 

I was taking a Unesco heritage listed Steam train up the mountains.  There are only four carriages and the steam engine. It cost 8 rupees.  It was to take 5 hours to make the 46km journey up....the trip is aboot the novelty rather than speed.  We left a 7am and at 2:30pm, we had only gone 26km (you do the math).  Within the first hour, the steam engine had broken down and we had to wait for a hour for another one to show up.  I didn't mind this as i used the hour to wonder just behind the very wee train station in the middle of nowhere to visit the very wee village of maybe 10 homes.  The homes were modest but had electricity.  The people were happy.  Everyone was full of smiles and friendliness when i came wandering through with my camera...they were full of energy that they passed onto me.  It was great.

Our replaced steam engine was painstakingly slow as the next 6 hours passed.  It didn't seem to be working too well as we stopped all the time, it would roll back rather than go forward...and i could have literally walked faster.  We all were laughing from desparation and despair.  It was a novel experience but did wear off for me and the scenery wasn't overly impressive.  So when we stopped at the first and only town at 2:30pm, i made the gametime decision to hop off the train and try to get a bus.  It took a bit of wandering and asking to find the right bus but I succeeded. I arrived at my destination, Ooty, in 30mins...good decision i felt on my part.  I was very happy to arrive.
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