The road stretches inside the Kerala state are good, the road inside Tamil Nadu becomes smaller and some stretches are really bad. Especially inside the Gudlaur town and in the stretches immediately after Gudalur and then again near Pykara. If you are driving a small car just be careful otherwise you may scrap the car bottom badly.
One crosses the Fog Hill for nearly four or five Kilometers there was thick fog and I had to drive in poor visibility though it was around ten o'clock in the morning. Enjoyable but be careful, switch on the fog lamps and drive slowly, because this is not an empty stretch but you encounter fast moving KSRTC buses and other private cars going to or from Mysore & Gudalur.
It was 12.30 and so we drove to our Hotel, The Lake view resort. The one overlooking the lake and with spacious cottages. It was the usual routine of Check-in, Lunch and rest.
We were back at the hotel and had rottis and chicken gravy. The Hotel in-house restaurant was offering idlis & dosas only in the morning.
Next was the Doddabetta peak. The final stretch of the climb which branches off from the Kothagiri road is very bad. Once you reach the top then it is very chill with the mist all around. Occasionally the sky clears and you can have the view of Ooty and Coonoor. There is a telescope tower with two telescopes. There are couple of shops around this area selling tea and some eatables.
On the way down we entered the Tea factory and museum and you can walk around inside a running tea factory and understand the whole process of tea manufacture. Worth visiting especially for the tea enthusiasts. There is a small chocolate factory attached to the tea factory and you get good & tasty varieties of homemade chocolates.
Then it was back to Hotel for lunch, rest and the evening walk. As planned we took the south side lake road. It was almost without any traffic with one having the lake and other side covered with forest most of the places.
We left the car in the hotel and took an auto to the Railway station. There was a long Q in the counter since we had made the reservation we were waiting and I was constantly checking my Android app for the PNR updation. Finally 45 mts before the departure the coach and seat number was confirmed. We were let in the platform half an hour before the departure. The train journey was good and we had good valley views. We had the window seats. For my father it was first Mountain Railway journey. I had taken the Darjeeling train journey earlier. NMR has a diesel loco unlike the Darjeeling train which has a steam loco.
It took more than an hour to cover the 20 km distance.
Once in Coonor station we took an auto to the SIMs park. Sims park is filled mostly with trees with little garden in the end. But again it is worth visiting. We did not visit other tourist spots. It was back to hotel by bus\auto, lunch, rest and preparing for the next leg of the tour.