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About Rebecca Malstead
Greg and I came to India in 2000 with our young family of four children to fight against child sex trafficking. We founded the NGO Freedom Firm which is still rescuing and rehabilitating under aged girls throughout India today. We moved to Ooty to place our children in a good international school and made Ooty the home office for our work. If you are interested please check out Freedom Firm and Ruhamah Designs the business we launched that employs rescued women and gives them a new occupation, Today I find myself in a new season of life, with an empty nest and a large property with several houses. We figured the time had come to share our little piece of heaven with the world.
Why Rebecca Malstead chose Ooty
To make India work for our family, we really wanted to dig in, buy land and build. We wanted to have roots, and we wanted our kids to be able to climb trees, ride horses, and live close to nature. In 2008 we found a piece of land with no road access, surrounded by undeveloped land, protected government forest land and tea-estates. My first glimpse of the property was on a rainy day, with fog blanketing everything, obscuring the view my husband kept reassuring me really did exist. All I saw were small wild shrubs, thickets of gorse, and everywhere hundreds of sharp jagged stumps where for many years the fast growth wattle trees had been harvested for firewood. I was unconvinced. With no road, no electricity, water or septic systems, I knew we would have to do everything from scratch. My husband on the other hand had a vision. He brought me out on a sunny day, and everything changed. The breathtaking view stretched for miles beneath me, birds flitted in and out around us, bison roamed nearby, startling us with their massive heads and six foot shoulders. I was captivated. The children built a fort in the trees with moss and stones while we dreamed of building a house for our family. Over the next seven years Greg designed and built every part of our home. The jagged stumps were uprooted and inspired the name, "Stumpfields." The first sand, bricks and cement were brought in by donkeys! We moved in when there were no windows or doors and just plywood thrown across joists. Later, we built Bilberry Cottage for my parents and for my in-laws to come and visit. Just recently, I built Ivy Cottage beneath Bilberry. Today our children are all leaving home and setting out into the world. Greg and I decided to re-purpose our family home and share it with the many folks aching to escape city life, get back to nature and relax and unwind from the frenetic pace of modern life and demands. Ten percent of our income from our homes goes back to Freedom Firm.
What makes this Apartment unique
I love the top half acre where there's a grassy lawn for kids to play ball. I love all the flowers I've planted over the years, plantings taken from all over Ooty, from friend's gardens, nurseries, field and forest treasures I have found out hiking. I love our herb garden that makes for lovely soups and teas, and the little table and chair to take in all the fragrance of the lemon verbena, thyme and rosemary, the climbing roses and the budlia, while soaking in the view. I love the sense of reflection and the pause that comes simply because I am surrounded by breathtaking beauty. I love the horse pastures (just one acre that feels like more because no one has built any houses around us, yet). I love the way our horses and dogs are free to move and roam around the ten acres around us in a totally natural and healthy way. I love the porches, which each take in 2 different views of the valleys and mountains around us. I love the paintings all over the cottage, and the painted birds on the wall which remind me of my daughters, who did all the artwork. I love the wood stove, which really warms up the place on a cold or rainy day.I like that we have national forest around us, that can't be developed. I love taking the dogs or going out riding in all that wilderness just out my back door. And I love the location, just 7 km from Ooty, the market, the kid's school and all our friends.
100% refund for cancellations more than 14 days before check-in date. 50% refund for cancellations more than 7 days before check-in date.
I personally recommend seeing Fernhill Palace, near the Ooty main bus stand. This palace, owned by the Maharajah of Mysore, is a step back into the British Raj and is steeped in history. Its ballroom paper mache ceiling is one of the world's wonders.
About an hour and half away is the collection of 8 lakes, including Avalanche and Emerald, an amazing system of reservoirs which feed Ooty. This is pristine and absolutely beautiful, far away from the typical tourist sights.
Take a hike up to Snowdon, the second highest and completely un-comercialized mountain in the Nilgiries.