Winding around pine thickets for the past half hour, I have been adoring the midnight-blue silhouette of the Nilgiris painted against the pale-blue skies. Looks so much like those pretty picture postcards.
I walk inside and roam around, breathing in the fresh air thick with an earthy fragrance.
Having experienced the storm in Ooty last night, I find Coonoor surprisingly sunny. And so much more beautiful that I snap out of the auto midway to dash for the tea gardens flanking either side of the road.
Coonoor has acres and acres of them!
Ambling around, I soak in the overwhelming essence of tea leaves. The Blue Mountain tea that grows here is dark and is known for its intense fragrance and flavour.
Further up the road, I stop by the Highfield Tea Factory and watch the end-to-end process of tea being made from these tea leaves. The entire place feels immersed in a strong aroma. It permeates me. Tickles my senses. A few refreshing cups of Chocolate Tea, Masala Tea, and Green Tea later, I feel grateful for the little sips of happiness.
Walking on, I come across coffee beans being ground into powder. Feeling my love for coffee scream inside me full-throttle, I instantly pick up a handful to take back home as a souvenir.
Few steps ahead, a sharp and pungent scent comes wafting across the room. Inquisitive, I find out, what I had just sniffed was the odor of eucalyptus oil being procured from the eucalyptus leaves lying heaped nearby.
I step out and see small shops selling natural oils and creams. Feeling whimsically compelled, I immediately buy the cucumber one. Downstairs, they are selling handmade chocolates and I don’t leave without packing all the dark chocolate that I will need for the month.
Driving off to Lamb’s Rock, past cultivated plantations, and unguarded wilderness, I uncover Coonoor more intimately on the way. Lying sheathed in clouds and mist, it is a beauty enveloped in the embrace of blue hills, that appear melting into the blue skies.
The path back meanders through a jungle and the experience is alarmingly enlivening.
Exactly how badly had I needed this rush?!
At last, I arrive at Dolphin’s Nose. It takes me a while to register for myself how the tip of the peak resembles a dolphin’s nose. A beautiful wind blows in my face, as I stand there watching the Catherine Falls pound in the distance.
Later in the night, I lie snuggled up under my blanket, back on my way to Bengaluru, and the moon through the window feels like a welcome trespasser.