What I love most about India is the utter randomness. You can set off doing one thing and then end up doing something entirely different that is incredible.
When I arrived in Ooty I went for a walk to try and find the tourist information so that I could book a trek. About 30 minutes in to my walk a man called Mossy came up to me and asked if I wanted to go on a trek. I said actually yes, that’s exactly what I’m looking for. He introduced me to a Germany couple who had just done the trek and they recommended it, so I agreed happy in the knowledge that he was a safe person to go with. The next thing I know I’m having chai and cake with his daughter, then I’m sharing a scooter ride with them both to get to his house to meet his wife and 2 other daughters. It’s so lovely to get swept up in the flow of India. I sat in the kitchen on the floor talking to his wife and drinking tea – such a lovely experience.
The next day I went to the botanical garden and had a really peaceful time. A teenage girl started talking to me and then invited me to join her lovely family for a chat – really nice! Stretch joined me a bit later and we enjoyed exploring the garden. One thing we have found is we get asked to have a lot of photos taken – and I mean a lot. It’s quite fun at first but the novelty wears off. It’s really fun to say hello and wave to people passing by in cars and buses too. School children in particular love to say hello.
The next day we went on the trek with Mossy. Ooty is stunning. The walk was not as hardcore as the previous one but it was certainly interesting.
We went foraging and ate wild berries and learnt about lots of natural remedies to cure stomach ache, headaches and hangovers. I also saw eucalyptus oil being made – so cool! There is something quite mind blowing about seeing how things are made. It is so easy to just consume things without putting a thought in to how it is made and where it has come from.
At the end of the trek we went back to Mossy’s house where he cooked us the most delicious lunch of dosa and relish. The relish was like hummus with chickpeas, red onion, tomatoes, chilli, salt, coconut and water. It.was.divine!!! It was such a treat to watch the food being made from scratch whilst sitting on the kitchen floor – amazing.
That evening me and stretch fancied a beer so we went to a local hotel to grab a bite to eat with our drink. The hotel staff invited us on the rooftop where there was a bonfire and really loud Indian music playing. They were cooking food on the bbq and I had the most delicious chicken I have had in my whole life, it was so tender. We met a group of people who worked for a council (I think) near Mumbai and it made me think of home.
So the randomness of India, if you go with the flow you can end up on some awesome adventures. Ooty was blooming great – next stop, Cochin.