Sunday, March 29, 2015

Reminiscing Val Vil Ori Ultra - Getting to Nalla Thambi Resorts

Reminiscing Val Vil Ori Ultra - Getting to Nalla Thambi Resorts

As Krishna and team get ready for the second edition of Val Vil Ori ultra, I cannot not think about the first edition in which I participated.  The buzz around second edition kind of kindled me to do a few posts on the ultra.  Here is the second installment (Link to first post here). (They may be running as I click post button).

Like this year, Val Vil Ori Ultra started and ended at Nalla Thambi resorts.  It is a small resort on top, where the time moves slowly and employees of the resort move slower.

We took a train from Chennai to Salem and from there a car to Kolli Hills.  There are buses from Salem, but they are sparse and one may have to switch buses to get to Kolli Hills.

We took a brief pit stop at Rasipuram market enroute to Kolli Hills.  Not sure if it was a weekly or daily market, but the place was packed.  It was happening right on the main drag was hard to miss.  Farmers from the surrounding area were selling their farm and poultry produce.  Interestingly, the prices were comparable to what you would pay in Chennai.  Here is small video clip of the market scene.

This photo was taken near the entrance to Kolli Hills.  The climb up to top has about 70 'hairpin bends' as the road winds its way to the top which is about 22kms. Our initial plan for the Ultra was to run down till the arch and run back, but after some discussions that we partially changed it to run halfway down, climb up and a loop to Arapaleeswarar temple.  Here is a short video clip of the gateway to Kolli Hills.

Kolli Hills is still fairly untouched by commercial tourism and the accommodation options are limited.  Nalla Thambi Resort is one of the decent ones.  It has about 25 rooms and a restaurant.  But be prepared for things to move slowly.  From getting the room keys to food serving everything took time and at times tested our patience.. But then, there is no hurry, just sit back, relax and soak in on hills beauty.  Nalla Thambi is surrounded by thick vegetation and the greenery was a feast to our eyes if not to our stomach.

Nalla Thambi's only restaurant is in the open air and perhaps that's the way it ought to be.   They fare is limited but fair enough for vegetarians.  We chatted, chatted and chatted while waiting to be served.  While waiting, Krishna converted the restaurant to a mini Ultra expo and distributed our bibs.

With Bibs in hand, we are ready to run..

Val Vil Ori Ultra - Photo Collection

No comments:

Post a Comment