Here is an approach that I think works better: After my wife and I spent two days at an unusual resort in the foothills of the Nilgiris earlier this month, I selected from dozens of pictures the ones that I thought would tell the audience a story. And I used the "Movie" feature in Picasa to create a video slideshow, with background music, which I then uploaded to YouTube.
The pictures, I think, speak for themselves but the video may not be informative enough for someone who would like to know a little more about the place. So I wrote a few paragraphs that give a hint of the many ways you can enjoy a weekend here.
Here is what I wrote and posted on YouTube:
R&R at Jungle Hut, MasinagudiTwo days of rustic luxe — April 8-10, 2011
My wife wanted to stay in a tent and that's what we did at Jungle Hut on April 8. It was maddeningly hot in the afternoon — this was summer after all — but as evening approached the temperature dipped and it was truly magical to slip into our tent and fall off to sleep to the accompaniment of the trilling of nightjars and other nocturnal birds.
We were woken by the Masinagudi Cicada Philharmonic Orchestra early the next morning and a good thing too — we had scheduled a two-hour trek up the mountains with the Jungle Hut guide.
The trek was fun — and we worked up a good appetite too so the sumptuous breakfast laid out for us afterwards went down smooth and easy.
After breakfast we shifted to a regular cottage room — my wife may like to rough it out but I want my conveniences. The room was just right: spacious, airy, clean.
I went for a swim later in the pool, took a brief nap, then we headed to the restaurant area for lunch. The meals are one of the highlights of the stay at Jungle Hut — we just couldn't help tucking in like there was no tomorrow.
We played Scrabble, we read — my wife even borrowed a book from the Jungle Hut collection to take to Ooty where we spent the rest of our 10-day vacation. We also watched the IPL matches live on the big screen, we went for long walks, and we took plenty of pictures.
Team Jungle Hut went out of their way to ensure we enjoyed every minute of our brief stay. Thank you, Vikram and Anushri Mathias, Malvika Bhandary, Aniket Gupta, and Falgun.
And here's the YouTube video:
PS: If you drive down from Bangalore via Mysore, you can do the 250-km trip to Masinagudi in five-and-a-half hours with a short break. Ooty is about 40 km — and 36 hairpin bends — from Masinagudi.
PPS: Masinagudi is at the same altitude as Bangalore, about 3,000 feet above sea level — it can be really warm during the day in April-May. But Ooty is 7,620 feet above sea level — so in summer even at 2 in the afternoon it's cool enough to enjoy a walk in the sun.
I did the same thing with our Ooty pictures. And because, compared with Masinagudi, Ooty is well-known, I restricted the write-up to a few tips:
When in Ooty you must...
...stay at Sterling Fern Hill...pay a visit to Coonoor (18 km away) and check out Lamb's Rock and Dolphin's Nose...have lunch at King's Cliff...experience the warm hospitality of Commits alumna Poonam Parekh (Class of 2008) and her family at their lovely home...treat yourself to some wood-fire delicacies at the Sidewalk Cafe on Commercial Road...buy homemade fudge and chocolates at Jai's King Star; and Last Forest honey, Gray's Hill relishes, and Mackays Seedless Bramble Preserve from Modern Stores (if you want eucalyptus oil, Swastik is the best)...and go boating on Ooty Lake, walk around the Botanical Garden, take some long drives. You MUST have your own car — in a gorgeous hill-station like Ooty, it will make your stay more memorable.
And here's the Ooty video:
Isn't this preferable to wading through hundreds of caption-less holiday snaps?