|The Nilgiri Blue Train in Ooty Station|
The first class compartment was hardly luxurious but all 16 seats - two pairs of padded benches each seating four – were occupied.
|Coonoor station where they connect up the steam engines and engage with the rack and pinion|
Noticeably scruffier than Ooty, a more downhill and down market hill station, Coonoor felt livelier - and warmer. The town divides conveniently into a lower town with the bazaar and the railway and bus stations...
|Coonoor, lower town|
|Outside Sim's Park, Coonoor upper town|
|Sim's Park, Coonor|
|Rose garden and boating lake, Sim's Park, Coonoor|
|Looking down to the Tamil Nadu plain from Lamb's Rock, near Coonoor|
|The view from Lamb's Rock near Coonoor|
Dolphin’s Nose was a further drive through the tea.
More tea, near Dolphin's Nose
|Catherine Falls from Dolphin's Nose, near Coonoor|
|Maternal macaques, Dolphin's Nose near Coonoor|
We returned to Coonoor for lunch. Thomas thought the Hyderabad Biryani House opposite the bus station looked promising so we climbed up the outside steps. It was certainly popular and, being a little late for lunch, we found the last available table right under the television screen. There were four of us for lunch, Lynne, Thomas, me and a large and loud David Attenborough – not to mention several hundred penguins and a pod of killer whales.
After lunch we returned to Ooty. The drive up was not generally as scenic as the train ride down, but we did get a good view of the town of Wellington.
|Wellington, Nilgiri Hills|
|Just a reminder of where we were. On this scale map Coonoor is too near Ooty to mark separately|
We arrived back at beer o'clock and as the Savoy Hotel, a member of the upmarket Taj group, was at the end of our road we strolled up to check out the bar.
We left promising to return later for an aperitif and dinner and in due course we wrapped up warm and made our way the short distance back up the road and the slightly longer distance through the grounds to the hotel.
* I wrote 'Indian' rather than ‘Bollywood’ as Bollywood is not India's only film industry. Locally ‘Kollywood’, the Tamil film industry produces more films than Bollywood, and ‘Mollywood’ the Malayalam language film industry of Kerala is close behind. Each state has its own language, so each has its own cinema.
Part 3: Kabini and the Nagarhole National Park
Part 4: The Road to Ooty
Part 5: The Nilgiri Blue Train to Coonoor
Part 6: Across the Palakkad Gap and up to Munnar
Part 7: Munnar - Tea, Dams and Elephants
Part 8: Madurai
Part 9: Rameswaram
Part 10: To the Very Tip of India
Part 11: The End of India and Beyond
Part 12: North to Trivandrum (Thiruvananthapuram) and Kollam
Part 14: The Backwaters of Kerala (and some Coir)
Part 15: Marari Beach, Rest, Recreation and Refuse
Part 16: Kochi, a Second Visit