03/02/2018 – 04/02/2018
From Mysuru, we took a local bus for 4 hours until Ooty hill station. It is a small city in the hills, famous in India for its tea plantations.
Coonoor is pretty similar and is a bit further in the hills (20 km). It is easy to reach it by organised tours (that is what we did) or by local bus.
We booked an organised tour « Hills Travel » for only 3,3€/pers. at the local Tourist info centre. At first, we were supposed to see every viewpoints, gardens and tea factory of Ooty and Coonoor, but each stop lasted longer than forecasted and we missed some of them. We also had to insist to see Coonoor tea factory, because our driver tried to persuade us that it was closed during the weekend, which was not true (it was only the cleaning week for all the machines :p). While the others went for lunch, our driver got us there and we had the chance to visit it :p
Here are the viewpoints we could see:
- In Ooty :
- Botanical garden
- Thread garden (flowers made of silk)
- In Coonoor :
- Valley viewpoint and the « Sleeping beauty »
- Lamb’s Rock
- Dolphin’s Nose
- Tea factory
Here are some pictures :
After fermentation, pellets are roasted at 70°C for an hour, followed by a classic gravity separation based upond particle size. With this method we obtain a black tea called CTC tea (Cut – Torn – Curled).
In other sections of the factory , they steam the leaves instead of air drying and curling them in order to manufacture the famous Green tea, known for its healthy properties.
As I mentioned earlier, there is another type of tea, called White tea (excellent for the immune system), which is manufactured from immature tea leaves which are sun dried.
Next step : Kochi, the last of our destination before leaving India for Thailand !