Tuesday, 29 March 2022

Lovely days in Lovedale!


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Lovely days in Lovedale!

The stay at the Zoestal was fascinating and a first time experience sharing the place with young tourists of different nationalities enjoying their stay in this beautiful hill station. We too loved the place, the weather and the atmosphere and the curious people around. Set amid the rolling hills  and the greenery with a lovely view of Doddabetta mountain, this modest hostel is a 12-minute walk from Lovedale train station and 5 km from Ooty's Government Rose Garden.

Com And Hosting

A couple of years ago on my visit to Bangalore after almost a decade, a long-drive was planned as a sight-seeing trip. I wasn’t informed of the final destination or the place where we were proceeding to. It was supposed to be a surprise destination. As we commenced our journey looking around the towns and new places we passed on the way, we reached Mysore. We had a look around the city, including the Mysore Palace. A lot has changed since my last visit many years ago. And after a brief break and some tasty snacks, the drive continued with the approaching view of the beautiful Nilgiri hills in the background. 

Once we crossed the Karnataka border and entered Tamil Nadu, got a strong feeling we are heading towards some cool holiday spot in Tamil Nadu.  May be Coonoor or Ooty? After driving ahead for some time, we approached the popular hill station, Ooty. Had a delicious south Indian breakfast and drove further to Lovendale, the surprise destination. And here we were to spend a couple of days in a Zoestal. It was an unique experience with the combination of chilly weather, beautiful scenery and the tea gardens around giving an impression of carpeted hills.

The stay at the Zoestal was fascinating and a first time experience sharing the place with young tourists of different nationalities enjoying their stay in this beautiful hill station. We too loved the place and the atmosphere and the people around. Set amid the rolling hills with a lovely view of Doddabetta mountain, this modest hostel is a 12-minute walk from Lovedale train station and 5 km from Ooty's Government Rose Garden. 

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As we approached the hostel, it appeared like a beautiful colonial villa or a quiet homely cottage. Inside, the place has been creatively designed and nicely converted into a spacious hostel for the young tourists and bag packers on the move. It’s affordable, comfortable and convenient too; an ideal place to relax and chill with other occupants. The food too is decent and good prepared by the inhouse cook. If you wish to prepare something for youself, the kitchen is available. You can either eat here or have it at the restaurants nearby serving excellent South Indian food and other cuisine.

It offers you the choice of rooms, bunk beds and tents. One has to amke a choice and book in advance. Apart from the well laid out two cosy private rooms with double beds, colonial type furniture, arte facts and spacious bath, the bunk beds for bagpackers, simple tents with cots for the outdoor types are available with a nice view of the distant mountain and nearby tea gardens, free Wi-Fi and shared bathrooms. 

Straight forward mixed-gender dorms feature comfortable bunk beds, lockers and other facilities. Linens are included, and towels can be rented. Parking is complimentary. There's an airy communal lounge with colourful accents and an oversized chess board. Breakfast is available for a fee. The place is buzzing with tourists arriving and others departing after their comfortable stay, promising to be back. Even tourists and bagpackers meeting again after havinf met earlier in some other city. The atmosphere is friendly and casual.

It allows you to relax and enjoy and pursue your interest like photography, painting, shooting or sketching. Offers an ideal location to meditate or exercise in the open with beautiful natural environment.

I would recommend this place and suggest one should certainly experience a stay in a Zoestal. It’s different and satisfying. Its almost like a home away from home, relaxing, affordable and comfortable.

Room with a view -The rooms offer a wide view of the scenic beauty around. One can relax and enjoy the nature sitting by the windows.


Well laid out interior, neat and clean. The space has been creatively designed with sitting area, with lot of open space to move around.

 

Tents with bed and basic requirements offer a open stay with a view of natural beauty for outdoor lovers.



Local and other artefacts, handicrafts and masks add to the cool look. The collection is interesting and provide the occupants something to ponder about!



Spacious and comfortable sitting for relaxing and enjoying the outdoors. An ideal atmosphere for reading, sketching, painting or music.




Tourists and bagpackers coming here throughout the year love to scribble their thoughts, feelings, suggestions or even at random writing something about their experience.


Lovedale station nearby with the trains add fun to the outing. The station reminds you of the good old days, a small platform with trees around.


On our way back a few km ahead is the old Chocolate Museum which offers a good view of how chocolate was made and what all ingredients go into making of choclates. They also have an interesting counter offering different types of choclates.


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Fiji

Set in the tropical South Pacific, an archipelago of 333 islands is surely the essence of a tropical island paradise. It boasts of white sandy beaches, swaying coconut trees, pristine ocean and waterways and a wide range of things to do and see that will appeal to the most discerning traveler. Snorkel, dive, surf or kayak its pristine waters, or enjoy the white water raft. Cruise the ocean around the main land and outer islands, trek its rain forests, backpack the outer islands. Also visit the simple villages and experience the sustainable living or immerse yourself in Fiji’s unique culture, tradition and history. A life time experience! 

Fiji officially called the Republic of Fiji is an island country in Melanesia, part of Oceania in the South Pacific Ocean. Fiji is an archipelago in the Oceania region in the southern Pacific Ocean. As an island country, Fiji is surrounded with water in all directions. It's famous for rugged landscapes, palm-lined beaches and coral reefs with clear lagoons.

Its major islands, Viti Levu and Vanua Levu, contain most of the population. Viti Levu is home to the capital, Suva, a port city with British colonial architecture. The Fiji Museum, in the Victorian-era Thurston Gardens, has ethnographic exhibits. 

Fiji is a mixed society with most people being Christian (64.4% of the population), with a sizable Hindu (27.9%) and Muslim (6.3%) minority, according to the 2007 census. India has close links with Fiji because of the Indian Diaspora. Most Indians still follow the Indian tradition and culture and maintain close link with their country of origin.

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