As part of the outdoor experience of the Travel Unconference, there was an option to go on an early morning trek to Cairn Hill.
Having slept only a couple of hours, I contemplated skipping it in favour of good rest in preparation for a super busy Day 2 activities.
But I’m so glad, I decided against it and joined the trek. The early morning chill at 13 degrees woke up solid. The nip in the air was awesome. It reinvigorated me and was raring to get going.
A bunch of travel enthusiasts popped into a van and we drove 2 kms from the Sterling Ooty Fern Hill Resort on the Ooty-Nanjanad Road. It falls on the way from the Ooty city to Avalanche. We got there early morning and there was no one, save for the lone forest guard. Imagine having 271 acres of pristine forest all for yourself!! Fabulous experience.
The reserve forest has been in existence for over 150 years and very impressed to know that this was a man-made forest grown during the British era. We loved the tall trees. We saw sholas, cypress and pine trees. Kudos to the Nilgiris Forest Department for a good job maintaining it.
They have made a Machaan at a view point in one of the trails. There is a hanging bridge too.A must visit place if you want to experience Forest for a few hours away from the hustle bustle. Its completely safe, just carry your own water and some snacks. I was quite impressed that there was hardly any garbage.
We heard lots of birds and saw a few giant Malabar squirrels. We were told there are a bunch of bisons but didnt see
If you love tranquility and nature, you will love this place.