Skip to content

Going higher

The Western Ghats run from Maharashtra down into Kerala as a high plateau before narrowing and rising on the border of Tamil Nadu and Kerala, in the Nilgiri hills. Here the hills rise from around 900 metres to about 2300 metres.
In order to make the most of the forests and countryside of the high plateau we decided to take on the challenge of cycling up to Ooty, the highest of the hill towns. From here we are poised for a long descent back towards the coast of Kerala through some of the more remote forests in the Ghats. Reportedly full of wildlife including wild elephants.

The climb up was though a mixture of forests and tea plantations. We started early, it gets light shortly before seven, to make the most of cool of the morning.

Leaving the valley behind in the morning, the haze/smog is already hanging in the sky.
(Clicking on images should open them in full size.)

Riding up steep winding roads through tea plantations and forests, sometimes passed by buses and trucks.

Mixed forests and near the top large eucalyptus trees.

As the morning warms I appreciate the shade the trees cast on the road, even though it sometimes makes it hard to see the potholes and broken tarmac. We pause for breath and a drink every 20-30 minutes, a chance to admire the views glimpsed through the trees and the sounds coming from the birds and occasional troop of monkeys. At one pause we spot a 'Nilgiri Marten', in a tree before it slides away through the branches.

As the climb begins to level out we find ourselves in a basin with small lake and trees which makes it almost feel alpine except for the horns of passing bikes and trucks.

Alpine like meadow.

Ooty is at 2250 metres, but it isn't a straight ascent, there are some dips where we lose some of our hard gained height and then have to reclaim it on the next climb. But around lunchtime we eneter the outskirts of the town. It isn't very picturesque and is in fact very busy with traffic of all types. But we have arrived and, having found a comfortable lodging, not too central, we have awarded ourselves a day off.


No Trackbacks


Display comments as Linear | Threaded

No comments

Add Comment

Enclosing asterisks marks text as bold (*word*), underscore are made via _word_.
Standard emoticons like :-) and ;-) are converted to images.
E-Mail addresses will not be displayed and will only be used for E-Mail notifications.

To prevent automated Bots from commentspamming, please enter the string you see in the image below in the appropriate input box. Your comment will only be submitted if the strings match. Please ensure that your browser supports and accepts cookies, or your comment cannot be verified correctly.

Form options