We had1 3 hour flight down south to Coimbatore in Tamil Nadu (this included a stop of in Bangalore).We got to the city on time - it seems hotter down here as it was starting to get a bit chilly at night in Rajasthan.
Overnight in Coimbatore then up a 4:45 am to catch the train up the mountain.We had the broad gauge for a bout an hour, then changed to a narrow gauge toy train.This was driven by a steam train.
We had confusion about tickets - we had a first class ticket - although there didn't seem to be any difference between the seats - all in wooden carriages with very little leg room.We ended up in 2nd class with some Indians who got very excited every time the train went through a tunnel.
The train climbs some 2000 metres in 46 km and takes nearly 5hours (lots of stops for water for the engine).It goes up slopes of 1 in 12 and has some rack and pinion mechanism to allow it to do this. (I am sure Rick can explain this to us mere mortals). The train was originally built in Colonial times as they moved the administration up to the hills in the summer.
The views from the train were spectacular - over the mountains covered partly in mist, over gorges and past tea plantations.We eventually arrived in Udhagamandalam (Ooty) at midday (on time).It was just like being in the alps excepts with tropical trees and plants everywhere.