After we left the Toda Village, we hiked down the mountain, seeing some colorful sights along the way. We then caught a bus to a nearby city to grab the famous steam train back to town. It's one of the few remaining steam engines in India. Because of the extreme incline required to reach Ooty, the British built a narrow-gauge line with techniques copied from the Swiss mountain trains. There were awesome views along the way.Colorful tribal village Village Hindu temple School girls who wanted their picture taken - then asked to have prints send to them. (Which I've done - won't they be surprised!) May 2005: I received a delighted thank you from the girls - click here to read it: View from the train - tea plantation More train views The Ooty train
Back in Ooty, we found that our hotel - a YMCA - had been "converted" to an orphanage by a Bollywood film studio. Alas, this time we were not offered a role in the movie. Ooty itself has lost most of whatever colonial charm it once had. At its heydey, Ooty was known as "snooty ooty" for the superior status felt by its summer inhabitants. The game of Snooker is alleged to have been invented - or at least named - in Snooty Ooty. We didn't do much in Ooty, other than acquire a suitcase so we would be able to leave our bulky warm clothes and gifts we'd purchased at the airport in Sri Lanka, as we headed off for paradise in the Maldives - a decision that would come back to haunt us a few weeks later.
We twisted & turned our way down from the Ooty Hill Station to Cochin, did a quick overnite there, flew to Colombo, Sri Lanka and did another overnight there, left our spare clothes and gifts at "left luggage" at the airport, and headed off to spend a couple weeks in paradise.