It was at Ooty that I realized that we were now too old for hill stations. Our tour was named “Filmy Chakkar”. The reason we opted for it was not that we wished to gawk at film shootings which were not very likely to be happening anyway but that it was the shortest tour among the three on offering. Of course we understood – as seasoned tourists – that some of the places we were to be shown would be only mentioned as we drove past. For instance the Hindustan Photo Film company was pointed out and so was the school ground where shootings had taken place. We were only too happy to keep moving on and any prolonged halt was met with our sighs and fervent hopes that we could get back on the van and be on our way to the next place of interest(!)
There was the Kamaraj dam where we were informed that since there was no water there was no need to stop. The Pykara dam drew the helpful comment from the tour guide Rafi that it was only a step waterfall and not very spectacular though it figured routinely in movies. After walking for a kilometre and climbing down several steps to see the waterfall, I decided to stay where I was because it didn’t seem to me that there was more to see. R. however decided to walk to the very end and came back with the information that there was nothing more to be seen.
The Pykara Boathouse with its large natural lake was beautiful but the boating fees were extortionate. Anyway I am one of those who think that looking at a lake is just as interesting as taking a boat ride on it, so we preferred to have an ice cream and look at the lake instead.
The tour took us to a steep hill where the guide told us we could see a peak called Mukkurthi which was supposed to look like a sleeping woman’s nose and presumably the rest of her. Both of us laboured our way up the hill with me hanging on to R’s arm and panting my way up to the top. The hill must have been really steep because others too seemed to have some difficulty negotiating it. After reaching the top we looked all around at the range of mountains but noticed that everybody was looking in a different direction and nobody seemed to have found The Nose. Meanwhile our guide seemed to have stayed back wisely and left us to it. We settled on a couple of nose-like peaks and decided we didn’t really care if we saw the nose or not. I was more worried about getting down and as it turned out, climbing down was even more difficult and maintaining my balance was next to impossible. I must have cut a very comical figure but I was concentrating on reaching level ground without tumbling down, which might have been an easier way of getting down.
After this when our guide avoided all the good restaurants and stopped outside a halal joint, we decided it was time to leave the tour and happily took a bus back to Coimbatore.