Class 10 Camp Out in the Nilgiris


It was the 6th of October, 2016. As the last of us walked out from the exam hall, there was finally an atmosphere of relief and relaxation. Exams were over! But even better than that was what that we were going on a field trip! The trip was organized by Nirvana Nomads, an alternate travel outfit based in Bangalore. We were to spend three days in Ooty to cool down and have the time of our lives. We went in three buses, each bus carrying around fifteen people. The bus ride was filled with movies, music and lots of fun. Unfortunately, my bus got lost on the way, and by the time we reached our dinner destination, everyone was almost done eating. After some more confusion and redirected routes, we reached Aventura, the camp we would be staying in. We reached at night, so it was really cold. The view was amazing. We were surrounded by mountains and greenery. The best part? We got to sleep in tents! The tents were super cosy.

On the first day of our stay at Aventura, we went to Doddabetta, the highest mountain in the Nilgiri Hills at a height of 2,637 m. It was a surprisingly short trek, as Aventura itself is quite high up in the Nilgiris, at around 2,240 m. You can literally see the whole of Ooty from the top of Doddabetta. It was a fantastic sight. After making our way down, while tasting the roadside delicacies of Ooty, we visited a tea factory. They showed us the whole procedure of tea processing, and even gave us a sample of their finest tea. I must say, it was fine indeed! In the afternoon, we went to a nearby lake to learn about fishing. We also learnt how to shoot air rifles and we did a bit of archery too. Some of us managed to catch some… leaves while testing out the fishing rod! At night, we sat around the campfire to warm ourselves. It was a perfect end to an awesome day.

The second day of our trip was quite crazy. First, we went to a forest where they divided us into groups. They took us along a path and then told us to find our way to a watchtower nearby. It really made us feel like we were adventurers! Then, we went to a place where we had a treasure hunt. They would give us a clue which we had to decipher using a code. We had to interpret the clue and find the location of the next one. It was super tiring, but fun. Then, we got a chance to ride ATVs! Some of us had pretty hilarious accidents, but I’m not getting into the details.

In the evening, we cooked our own dinner! We made biryani and gravy for chapatti. It tasted so good and we were all proud of ourselves. That night, we watched Lights Out. The movie was so not scary, though some of the people in my grade might beg to differ (their reactions to the movie were priceless. Ask them about it). At night, we had great fun scaring the people who were afraid of ghosts!

On the last day, we went to a eucalyptus oil factory (more like a hut). It was run by one man, who showed us the way he made eucalyptus oil. The fresh product smells so strong. After that, we went on a shopping spree in a supermarket. We even got homemade chocolate, the specialty of Ooty. Finally, we reached the last destination of our trip, the cheese farm! The cheese there is specially made upon request, which is why the man who worked there told us he fondly referred to it as a “farm” rather than a factory.

As we drove back home, we played some games like charades and some word games. We had dinner at Cream Centre and finally reached school at 11:45 p.m. It was an experience of a lifetime.

– Kailash Gautam