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Old 4th November 2010, 11:53   #106
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According to the manual: "After adding or changing the oil, let the engine turn over for a few seconds and wait a few minutes after turning it off before you check the level".
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Originally Posted by GTO View Post
I don't agree with this practice. The best time to check the oil level is when the engine is cold. That's exactly when all of it will be in the oil tank. Once you start the engine, the oil will spread across the engine + turbo charger and thus, the dipstick can give an inaccurate reading.
That's what.

Hope they waited for sometime before rechecking.
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Old 8th November 2010, 23:32   #107
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We'd been planning to visit Wayanad for some time now, and the Diwali long-weekend seemed to be a good time to finally convert the plan to action.

Search for accomodation:
Like most of our trips, this one too was finalised at the last possible moment and thus began a frantic search for accomodation. Went through Team-BHP travelogues, trip advisor etc. We looked at a lot of resorts and then realised that most of them are tucked away somewhere inside the forests, reaching them is difficult and they are too far away from anywhere. We weren't planning to spend two or three quiet days in Wayanad, we wanted to visit atleast some of the touristy places. We were also quite clear that all we wanted is a comfortable, accessible place to spend the night - so weren't interested in the luxuries. So we dropped the idea of a resort and looked for a decent hotel somewhere in the town. We were looking for hotels mainly in Kalpetta town, because that seemed to be almost equi-distant from most of the places of our interest. But, we couldn't decide on any one place. Finally, we took down the contact numbers of a few places and decided to go without booking. So, on Wednesday night we went to Trichur and planned to start our trip from Trichur on Thursday. When we told my parents about our plan, my father (being a veterinarian) said he could arrange for our stay at the Veterinary College guest house at Pookkode. Pookkode being quite close to Kalpetta, it fitted our plan and our requirements and thus our accomodation was sorted out.

The plan
We planned for a 3-days-2-nights trip. The broad plan was:
Day 1: Reach Wayanad, preferably get accomodation in Kalpetta. See a few places around Kalpetta.
Day 2: Go to Mananthavadi-Tholpetty-Nagarhole-maybe even as far as Mysore.
Day 3: Start early in the morning and return to Thrissur (my BIL needed to reach Thrissur for a wedding in the afternoon).

There were two drivers (my BIL and myself) so driving was not an issue.


Day 1:
We (Wife, Daughter, BIL and myself) started from Trichur at 8:25am with the Odo reading 3556km.

9:44am, Odo:3616:
First stop was Kuttippuram for breakfast. That took around 20mins and we were back on the road at 10:01am. Reached Calicut by-pass at 11:41am with the Odo reading 3686km.

Once we took the turn towards Thamarassery, we were looking for a petrol bunk and found one soon enough. Got a full-tank of fuel. Odo: 3689km. Our trip truly started here. A few km down the road, we got our first glimpse of the hills:

My Fiat Punto MJD 90HP - 3 years & 37,300 km Service Update-dsc03470_1024.jpg

The road till Thamarassery was fine, but after that, a sign of things to come?

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1:11pm, Odo:3732:
We were at the 2nd hairpin. Punto seemed to be looking forward to the journey.

My Fiat Punto MJD 90HP - 3 years & 37,300 km Service Update-dsc03486_1024.jpg

And that's where we wanted to go:

My Fiat Punto MJD 90HP - 3 years & 37,300 km Service Update-dsc03490_1024.jpg

Along the way, the roads got worse:

My Fiat Punto MJD 90HP - 3 years & 37,300 km Service Update-dsc03497_1024.jpg

But, we got there half an hour later:

My Fiat Punto MJD 90HP - 3 years & 37,300 km Service Update-dsc03505_1024.jpg

And then we had some better roads:

My Fiat Punto MJD 90HP - 3 years & 37,300 km Service Update-dsc03514_1024.jpg

1:48pm, Odo:3744:
We were at the guest house.

My Fiat Punto MJD 90HP - 3 years & 37,300 km Service Update-dsc03585_1024.jpg

We checked into our rooms and got back out in about 25 mins. Meanwhile we talked to the caretaker about the places to visit. He said it usually starts raining by 4pm. Talking to him also revealed the one deficiency in our research - the distances between the touristy places. The Pookkode lake was very near (<2km) and we understood that probably the only other place we could visit on that day was Banasura Sagar dam.

Anyway, shortly after 2:15pm, we were at the Pookkode lake:

My Fiat Punto MJD 90HP - 3 years & 37,300 km Service Update-dsc03515_1024.jpg

We had lunch from the stall near the lake and then went boating. But, by then the clouds had gathered and we had to stop in 10mins. We waited for a few minutes to see if the rain subsides. It didn't so we decided to start our trip to Banasura Sagar. We were told it's nearly 28km away. The friendly parking assistant at Pookkode lake also told us which road to take. That road turned out to be quite narrow (tough for even two cars to pass each other), but thankfully we had zero traffic (except for a Jeep) and hardly any potholes on the road. We saw a few homestays on that road. Once we joined the main road, this is what greeted us:

My Fiat Punto MJD 90HP - 3 years & 37,300 km Service Update-dsc03536_1024.jpg
My Fiat Punto MJD 90HP - 3 years & 37,300 km Service Update-dsc03539_1024.jpg

And a further 16km later, we got our first glimpses of Banasura Sagar:

My Fiat Punto MJD 90HP - 3 years & 37,300 km Service Update-dsc03552_1024.jpg

We reached Banasura Sagar at around 4:15pm with the Odo reading 3773. It had taken us around an hour to make the trip from Pookkode. The rain had subsided when we reached Banasura Sagar - but then it seemed like we had angered the rain gods in some way. It started raining again, while we were walking up to the dam. It's not a long walk by any means, but for those who don't want to walk, it's possible to take a jeep ride to the dam. The views didn't disappoint us, but I could hardly take out my camera. The pics don't do justice to the beauty of the place, but here are a few anyway:

My Fiat Punto MJD 90HP - 3 years & 37,300 km Service Update-dsc03559_1024.jpg
My Fiat Punto MJD 90HP - 3 years & 37,300 km Service Update-dsc03565_1024.jpg
My Fiat Punto MJD 90HP - 3 years & 37,300 km Service Update-dsc03576_1024.jpg

I'm told that boating is possible at Banasura Sagar, but we didn't see any boats. Maybe it was suspended due to the rain. We left Banasura Sagar by 5pm. We then went to Kalpetta which is about 30km away. Our aim was to get some biscuits and chips and find a decent place to have our food. At Kalpetta, we had our refreshments at Woodlands hotel. A clean place serving veg food. We had a dosa each and some coffee. From Kalpetta, our guest house was nearly 14km away. Some of the roads near Kalpetta are quite bad. We got our dinner packed from a small hotel (Thushara) near the guest house and reached the guest house at 7:10pm. The odo stood at 3815km.
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Old 8th November 2010, 23:41   #108
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Day 2:
I went through some of the travel magazines that we brought with us overnight and came up with the following plan for Day 2. Go to Mananthavadi (about 45km). From there, visit Pazhassi Tomb (1km) and Kuruva Islands (15km). I thought if we start at 8, we could reach Pazhassi Tomb by about 9:30 and Kuruva islands by 10. We could spend the rest of the morning there, get back to Mananthavadi in time for lunch and then go to Tholpetty (25km) and continue to Nagarhole National Park. We could spend some time there and get back to Pookkode by 7:30 or 8pm.


As I mentioned earlier, we were only looking for clean, accessible accomodation, but the guest house and surroundings delivered more:

My Fiat Punto MJD 90HP - 3 years & 37,300 km Service Update-dsc03586_1024.jpg
My Fiat Punto MJD 90HP - 3 years & 37,300 km Service Update-dsc03612_1024.jpg

And we got to see someone whom I guess you won't see anywhere else in Wayanad.

My Fiat Punto MJD 90HP - 3 years & 37,300 km Service Update-dsc03605_1024.jpg

We started a little later than planned at 8:15am, with the odo reading 3815km. Breakfast at Kalpetta also took a little longer than planned. So when we started from Kalpetta at 9:07am (Odo:3831), we were already behind schedule. On the Kalpetta-Mananthavady route, the road is acceptable till Panamaram. After that there is a stretch of very bad road, and then it gets better again. By around 9:45, we reached Koilery where we saw a road to the right with direction board marked "Kuruva Islands - 11km". Since we were already behind schedule, we thought we would go straight to Kuruva Islands without going to Mananthavadi and save some time. That turned out to be a nightmare decision - because the direction board is the only proof that a road existed there!! I scraped the bottom of the Punto more times on that road than on all other time put together. After a slow and painful 3.5km (which took almost 20mins), the road became slightly better. We reached Kuruva Islands at 10:28am with the odo reading 3866km.

On talking to the tourism official there, we got a bit of bad news. Tholpetty was closed due to bad roads. So our Tholpetty-Nagarhole plan went out of the window. We got our ferry tickets and crossed the Kabini river to reach the island.

My Fiat Punto MJD 90HP - 3 years & 37,300 km Service Update-dsc03616_1024.jpg
My Fiat Punto MJD 90HP - 3 years & 37,300 km Service Update-dsc03618_1024.jpg
My Fiat Punto MJD 90HP - 3 years & 37,300 km Service Update-dsc03624_1024.jpg
My Fiat Punto MJD 90HP - 3 years & 37,300 km Service Update-dsc03625_1024.jpg
My Fiat Punto MJD 90HP - 3 years & 37,300 km Service Update-dsc03664_1024.jpg
My Fiat Punto MJD 90HP - 3 years & 37,300 km Service Update-dsc03683_1024.jpg
My Fiat Punto MJD 90HP - 3 years & 37,300 km Service Update-dsc03687_1024.jpg
We spent close to 2 hours on the island. By around 12:35pm, we started for Mananthavady. The roads were better on this route, but some parts looked like this....

My Fiat Punto MJD 90HP - 3 years & 37,300 km Service Update-dsc03704_1024.jpg

...but still way better than the road from Koilery.

We reached Mananthavady by 1:15pm, with the odo reading 3883km. After lunch, we went straight to Pazhassi Tomb:

My Fiat Punto MJD 90HP - 3 years & 37,300 km Service Update-dsc03725_1024.jpg
My Fiat Punto MJD 90HP - 3 years & 37,300 km Service Update-dsc03722_1024.jpg

Since the Tholpetty plan had to be dropped, we were not sure what to do next. We talked to some of the locals and they told us that it would be possible to visit Soojipara falls. That's around 22km from Kalpetta. On the way back, something happened that deflated our spirits and more:

My Fiat Punto MJD 90HP - 3 years & 37,300 km Service Update-dsc03777_1024.jpg

This happened Panamaram, where the roads are quite pathetic. I think I did atleast a km with a flat tyre on some broken roads, but thankfully, the alloy wheel looked intact. It was raining and we lost about 45mins to the flat tire. We reached Kalpetta at 4:05pm with the odo reading 3918km. We could not locate the damage to the tire initially and we thought that it was just a puncture. We went to a tire shop in Kalpetta to get the puncture repaired. They gave me the bad news that the tire was a goner. The tire had done approx 3901km when it happened.

And the Punto had a black eye..err..leg.

My Fiat Punto MJD 90HP - 3 years & 37,300 km Service Update-dsc03729_1024.jpg

We didn't feel safe going anywhere without a spare tire, especially given the condition of the roads. And given the fact that we were anyway planning to start our return journey early next day, we saw little value in spending the night at Pookkode. So the decision was made to start our return journey immediately. After settling the bill at the guest house, we started from Pookkode at 5:15pm with the odo reading 3934km. By 5:55pm, we were at the foot of the hill.

Interestingly, when we reached the petrol bunk where we had filled gas the odo read 3989km. That made it exactly 300km after we had filled up the tank. The MID was showing 13.7kmpl - which I thought was pretty much OK given the condition of the roads we had on the ghats and elsewhere.

Breached the 4K barrier on the NH-17 by-pass at Calicut. We stopped soon after for dinner. The time was 7:12pm and odo stood at 4001km. We were on the road again at 7:55pm and were home in Thrissur at 10:33pm. The odo stood at 4119km.

Vital Stats:
Trip distance:562.8km
Avg FE: 15.1km/l
Avg Speed: 34km/h

ACC 100%.

All figures from MID.
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Old 8th November 2010, 23:47   #109
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Wow! I must say that I enjoyed reading your travelogue in one go.

Well written and those pics serve as an icing on the cake. Yes, you're good at taking pics.

IIRC, you've bought child-seats for your car, right? How much did it cost you? Are they available in Cochin?

Do keep us updated! Wish you many many happy miles.

Best Regards
Dr.Sajeevan
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Old 9th November 2010, 01:25   #110
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drsajeevan View Post
Wow! I must say that I enjoyed reading your travelogue in one go.

Well written and those pics serve as an icing on the cake. Yes, you're good at taking pics.

IIRC, you've bought child-seats for your car, right? How much did it cost you? Are they available in Cochin?

Do keep us updated! Wish you many many happy miles.

Best Regards
Dr.Sajeevan
Thanks!

I got the child seat through my cousin who's based in the US. It cost me around $100 an year back (yes, I bought the child seat before I bought the car!!). Child seats are available in atleast one place I know in Cochin. They cost around 7K.
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Old 9th November 2010, 09:07   #111
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Check with tyres shows as they may have unused tyres who swap the OE tyres for better ones.

Seems thats not the only damage.
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Old 9th November 2010, 09:34   #112
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Check with tyres shows as they may have unused tyres who swap the OE tyres for better ones.
I tried to check with one or two shops in Thrissur, but it seems there aren't many who upgrade 195 section tires. I'll try in Cochin as well.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jkdas View Post
Seems thats not the only damage.
Those are not damages. There are some thin rubber bits "standing up" (don't know how else to put it) and the angle of the photo makes it look like there's some damage.
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Old 9th November 2010, 10:12   #113
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Lovely photos there. Wayanad is a very nice place to visit in monsoon or just after monsoons.

The water flowing pic is the wall papers for the rest of the week.
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Old 9th November 2010, 10:28   #114
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Starrysky, Great travelogue there. Unfortunately the bad roads are playing spoilsport I guess. I had a similar experience of my GT3 giving away when I drove through the treacherous roads Between Krishnagiri and Tiruvannamalai. Luckily it happened as I was driving back to Bangalore and not during onward journey.

This happened after covering 13000 kms on the Punto. I now have changed all the 4 to Yoko C drives and am trying to drive more carefully not to hit potholes at speed. But with Indian roads, we cant help it many times.
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Old 9th November 2010, 11:37   #115
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StarrySky, Fantastic write-up and very nice pictures. I really enjoyed reading your travelogue!

And it's quite shocking to note that you have only taken 3 pics of your car!! . I know you've got more pics to share with us. Please upload them fast.

It's pretty sad to hear about the tire.How did the tire get damaged to that extent? Did you drive the car with the punctured tire? Please keep us updated on the same

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Yes, I bought the child seat before I bought the car!!


Amith
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Old 9th November 2010, 18:56   #116
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Nice experience their StarrySky. Me too had a trip to Wayanad on Oct29th and back. Lost around 2 hours in the ghats on return journey as a truck toppled right in the middle of a hair pin. And the ghats are at the worst possible condition now. Only small rocks are there on the hair pins ,no tarmac.
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Old 9th November 2010, 23:07   #117
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Thanks, everyone!

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Originally Posted by Klub Class View Post
And it's quite shocking to note that you have only taken 3 pics of your car!! . I know you've got more pics to share with us. Please upload them fast.
I didn't actually take too many pics as it was raining at most of the places. Here are a few more that I have:

There are plenty of these guys around to welcome everyone to Wayanad:

My Fiat Punto MJD 90HP - 3 years & 37,300 km Service Update-dsc03504_1024.jpg

The Punto at the viewpoint after the 9th hairpin:

My Fiat Punto MJD 90HP - 3 years & 37,300 km Service Update-dsc03510_1024.jpg

The Punto again - on the way to Banasura Sagar:

My Fiat Punto MJD 90HP - 3 years & 37,300 km Service Update-dsc03541_1024.jpg

Kuruva Islands is a plastic-free zone. They take a deposit (Rs.25) from you for each plastic bottle you carry to the island. If you bring the bottle back, the deposit is refunded:

My Fiat Punto MJD 90HP - 3 years & 37,300 km Service Update-dsc03623_1024.jpg

A few more from Kuruva Islands:

My Fiat Punto MJD 90HP - 3 years & 37,300 km Service Update-dsc03643_1024.jpg
My Fiat Punto MJD 90HP - 3 years & 37,300 km Service Update-dsc03655_1024.jpg
My Fiat Punto MJD 90HP - 3 years & 37,300 km Service Update-dsc03684_1024.jpg
My Fiat Punto MJD 90HP - 3 years & 37,300 km Service Update-dsc03685_1024.jpg

Quote:
Originally Posted by Klub Class View Post
It's pretty sad to hear about the tire.How did the tire get damaged to that extent? Did you drive the car with the punctured tire? Please keep us updated on the same
Yes, we were going really slowly due to the condition of the road - hardly getting out of 1st gear. I didn't realise that I had a puncture until the car behind me overtook me and pointed it out.

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Originally Posted by Soccerfan View Post
Nice experience their StarrySky. Me too had a trip to Wayanad on Oct29th and back. Lost around 2 hours in the ghats on return journey as a truck toppled right in the middle of a hair pin. And the ghats are at the worst possible condition now. Only small rocks are there on the hair pins ,no tarmac.
The first thing I saw in the news when I got back was that a truck had toppled at the 8th hairpin and traffic was being diverted. We were lucky that we left early, otherwise we would've been delayed too. Agree about the condition of the road.
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Old 10th November 2010, 12:30   #118
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Nice pictures there! I love Wayanad, I was there on 7-8th (Kalpetta).
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Old 13th December 2010, 16:08   #119
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i didn't know where else to ask this

booking my punto 90 bhp in a day or 2

there is only one confusion.. what color to buy.

bossa nova white was my choice, but then there are a lot of white punto's puttering around the city, and i also got about 4 other white cars in my garage.
medium grey in the pictures looks great, but haven't seen it yet. unable to decide on it.
hip hop black looks amazing, but would be a pain to maintain, but then again looks great none the less.

suggestions guys...
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Old 13th December 2010, 16:16   #120
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My choice would be Tuscan Wine / Fox Trot Azure. Electric Blue is also my favorite but it's discontinued now, sadly. These mettalic shades are easier to maintain, but difficult to match when doing a minor touch up. On the other hand, mettalic shades don't show swirl marks as much as non-mettalic ones.
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