Jan 6, 2009

Enchanting 3 days with the Nature and TEA !

Myself and wife wanted to take a break and we alone went to Glendale's Runnymeade Tea Estate's Guest House on Dec 22nd . I had booked ahead , impressed with their website description of the property and of course the price ( Rs2000 / night , 6 Kms before Coonoor , Ph: 0423 - 2206779)

Runnymeade Bungalow is surrounded by hillocks of Tea plantations on 3 sides and the remaining side is the Ooty main Road . But the Bungalow is at least 80 m down from the Road , hence there is nothing but the nature and the ubiquitous Tea that pervades you once you enter the property. Although this old bungalow has 3 Bed Rooms , needs a face-lift ,but satisfies with the basic amenities . It has a common lounge where there is a TV with cable connection and a Dining and Kitchen . Lawn is limited and plants are being planted and supposed to be blooming , come the Summer 2009
As we disembarked from our vehicle on the first gate of the property , my wife who got down and slipped after stepping onto tender coconut shell , which nearly spoilt the whole trip . Initially she was fine and as the time progressed , she had immense pain and could not walk few steps , relieved only by the Pain-killers. With that our Honeymoon went down the drain !

But this property boasts a wonderful cook ( Sekar) cum care-taker , who makes delicious food and too courteous , rendering a truly Royal treatment . We just need to give some money and he would go to the Market and buy the necessary items and start cooking , what you need .. South Indian , Chinese and Kebabs , no problems .Sekar would treat you to sumptuous food. And Lemon Tea is a class apart .. Never tasted anything closer , simply loved the Tea .

And i started on my 'Project 2010' document ,elucidating career options once my current job become redundant ( Yeah ! this is very much a possibility !) . Made some progress on that estimated how much i should earn at the minimum to keep present level of Living ..

The thing most liked out of this trip was refreshing , solitary walks inside the Tea estate at every Dawn ( nearly ) and Dusk . It was uplifting , simply breathing the fresh , moist , cool and oxygen laden air and walk at your pace on kachha paths formed from time immemorial from Tea pickers. It is hard to not to fall in love and romanticizing the green carpeted mountains and occasional streams . The brilliant and unique part is you are devoid of any 'non' nature things except for primitive worker quarters . Yours truly and 1000 acres or so of Tea Estates of Runnymeade ( my guess) has to deal one-to-one and i had a fabulous time watching , gaping , 'Awe' ing at the beauty and the rare opportunity to bond with the Nature and Tea ( of course)

This property boasts a unique , our Heritage Blue mountain Train cuts across the Tea Estate evey day twice , adding to nice photo-ops . I have not prepared for it , but perflexed by the amount of smoke the train emits and the extent of pollutants , killing the oxygen

And marvelled at the people who live in these environment and resilient and adjusted to the Rules of the Land . I had a great trouble on 2nd morning , climbing a steep hillock -panting , hoofing and my Lungs stretched to its limits -struggling to feed oxygen to support the climbing effort , whereas the guys who work and live there breezing thru' the climbs , happily chit-chatting . It dawned on me , materialistic comforts makes transitioning to other Lifestyle/ Environment almost impossible and adaptation time is huge and goes higher with your age

We went to Ooty on the 2nd day ( what can be considered a sin if you do not visit Ooty having gone to Nilgiris ) and visited Rose Garden , maintained by the Horticulture Dept . Huge park dedicated to Roses , but not brimming with Roses , guess all activities are tuned to climax for the Summer . Took some snaps and practiced on Macro-close-up shots with my camera . Need to learn how to avoid sun glare , while taking close-ups distorting the true colors of the flowers Went to Shin-Kose for Lunch and crowded a bit , making the service slower and thought food quality was not of the same standard of yester-years.
Final day just started working on my story outline ( this was the first premise of the trip) and came out OK after a filling and tasty Breakfast . Sekar's pongal and Avial for the Lunch was superb .
Left for Coimbatore around 3 PM with the nice memories and vow to come back again for another bonding session and Sekar's food ..

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