Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Better times in Ooty

It seems that everywhere we went we had to move hotels. The first morning in Ooty was no different, but this time it was our decision. The challenge wasn’t deciding to move hotels, it was finding one with room. Ooty was crazy busy.

We started the day trying to find some food we could eat safely. Lonely Planet recommended a couple of bakeries that were unknown to our taxi driver. We ended up wandering around until we stumbled upon one of them. Again, LP misled us, this place was not the hub of activity they had mentioned, but we ate what they had – egg buns and veggie puffs, to try to get some energy.

We next went to a local web café (but without the café bit) to try to find a place to stay. We called several hotels, but almost none had any room, other than the Holiday Inn, which wasn’t inspiring to us, or the very high end Savoy, which sounded OK. Eventually we reached a place mentioned in LP that we hadn’t been too excited by the description of, called Lymond House. We asked if they had a room for a couple of nights and they said yes! Victory!

When we arrived to check out the room it was perfectly lovely. It was an old converted home with several suites with great big, very clean, modern bathrooms. It had fireplaces, comfortable beds and a restaurant opening onto pleasant gardens and serving stomach friendly foods like potato leak soup. We were thrilled.

We checked out of our original hotel and moved over to Lymond House. We had a nice lunch of pumpkin ginger soup and cleaned ourselves up. We started to feel human for the first time in days. We had considered taking the mini-train down the hill from Ooty on our departure and mentioned this to the house manager. He let us know that it was closed, and that we should book our bus out of town as soon as possible, as things were filling up fast, so we headed down to the bus depot.

The bus station is pretty nasty. And buying a ticket is a matter of figuring out which stall does what. And it’s a competitive process. But we made it through and had a ticket out of town for 6:45 AM on Monday morning, in time to get us to Bangalore for our flight to Cochin.

After that we returned to Lymond and relaxed. We asked them if we could stay an extra night, since we’d only booked the two nights when we first arrived, and the booking person let us know that he’d find out and get back to us.

We had dinner at Lymond House that evening. Lamb chops for me and quiche for Colleen. They put on some music for dinner atmosphere – Leonard Cohen. It was all a little surreal and very nice. (I asked the manager why Cohen. She responded that he was very popular “amongst a certain type of person”. This woman put the snooty back into Ooty. Charming at first, a little later it was painfully arrogant.)

After dinner, not having heard back from the booking person as to the extra night, I found the manager. She looked very awkward when she let us know that they had screwed up on the bookings and that not only could we not stay the third night, we couldn’t stay the next night either. I couldn’t believe it - someone wanted us to move again.

Now, if something like this happened in North America I’d probably tell the hotel to go to hell. I was already in the room and wasn’t going anywhere. Unfortunately, I didn’t feel up for the fight, nor did I feel good about the security of our stuff if we stayed and then went out to explore Ooty. So, we were screwed, we’d have to find another place. We’d take care of that in the morning, we still had one night in the no-longer-quite-so-lovely Lymond House.


Ken W Anderson said...

Oh dear! I'm so sorry to hear that you've had a tough time with accommodations. Have you tried "Montauban" ... quite near the center of town not far from Charing Cross intersection? It is very simple, but clean and, dare I say it, with a somewhat "Christian" atmosphere. Feel free to say that Dr. Ken Anderson recommended that you check it out. I hope you can decent accommodations with trouble. Best wishes. (I'm writing from NW Georgia, USA)

Ken W Anderson said...

I mean to say ... I hope you can FIND decent accommodations without trouble.
Best wishes.