“I have to visit Coimbatore. And I have to see the Nilgiris”, I had dialled up my fiancé to tell him that I was on the verge of planning yet another spontaneous trip. I could hear the silence on the other end while he assessed the situation calmly. “Since you seem decided, who’s going with you?”
“I haven’t thought of that yet,” I replied. He suggested that I take a very good friend along and that we keep Coimbatore as our main junction while travelling to places like Ooty and Mettupalayam. Before I could assimilate the suggestion, I heard him typing on to his key-board. He was already looking for hotels in Coimbatore.
I asked him to slow down while I made a more concrete plan. I have gained a bit of a reputation of being a whimsical traveller. My usual nature of meticulous planning usually vaporises when I sniff out the word “travel” drifting towards my direction. I begin conjuring up wondrous visions of all the new places I would see and people I will meet and the stories and the memories I will keep for a lifetime. But this time I did not want to dance to the whims of my twin self. I joined him in the search for the best deals in airfare and hotel bookings in Coimbatore and also all the wonderful places to see at Coimbatore. Since he had been there, he made me a quick list of places he knew that were seeped in culture and tradition and what I would like. I also dreamt up the idea of driving to the Nilgiris via the Ooty Gundelpet Highway; of waking up every morning in my wood cabin and gazing at the ethereal hills as I felt the cold mist splashing on my face. Thinking of how I would spend hours gazing at the surreal view of the massive clouds towering in the apex of the mountain got me weak in the knees.
I could only imagine what it could be like to live there forever. After a great experience of having visited Araku during my college days, and going on a coffee and spices expedition, buying coffee beans and strange spices off the roadside kiosks, I wondered what it would be like to visit the famous coffee estates and plantations in the Nilgiris.
I decided that I would be travelling with a good friend of mine. Since we had worked together and shared the same apartment last year, we were well acquainted with each other’s quirks. So, she made a perfect travel companion!
I surprised her with the plan. Being an enthusiastic traveller herself, I knew she wouldn’t refuse. But she had some legitimate doubts like safety issues. I told her that we had already worked out the best deal from among the hotel in Coimbatore as well as in the Nilgiris. It was going to be an adventure of a lifetime.