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Old 30th August 2009, 20:30   #1
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Smile Bangalore -> Kolkata: Road conditions

I am planning to drive from Bangalore to Kolkata in the 3rd week of Sep-09 and back again in early Oct.

Route will be B'lore - Tirupati and then NH-5 all the way to Kolkata.
Planning to start from B'lore at 2200 hrs Day-1 and reach Vizag by 12 noon Day-2. Take rest that day and again start Day-3 at 0400 hrs and continue till Kolkata. No hurry and nothing mandatory about the plan as everything depends on how my son adjusts to the drive.

Drive is Swift P. I will be accompanied by wife and son (2 years old). I am the solo driver and have driven few times > 750+ kms/day in my bull.

Looking forward to your inputs on:-

a) Road conditions
b) Feasability of above plan (First time such long trip for my son, earliers were < 500 kms/day)
c) Spares to carry.

This trip was planned last year, but couldn't do due to illness. Hope this time everything goes on fine

I will be scouting all related TBHP threads in next 2 days to finalise hotels,good petrol pumps etc, emergency contact details etc.

I will keep updating this thread with more details over the next 3 weeks.

Regards,
Rajat
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Old 31st August 2009, 14:25   #2
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You can easily cover 600-650 KM per day on GQ.

I drove to Puri from Kolkata in April 09. The roads were great.

Around 60 KM between Bhadrak and Balasore were not 4 laned. But resurfacing was done and the diversions were well marked.

Except for the bad roads in Orissa, everything should be fine.

All the best with your son. I'm thinking of taking my 2 month old son (He'll be 3 months by then) on a long drive in September.
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Old 1st September 2009, 14:32   #3
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I drove from Bhadrak to Vijaywada on NH5 on return trip to Mumbai in Feb09.Fantastic road except a hellhole of 5km at Ichhapuram Orissa-Andhra border & a patch near Ganjam.Go to nhai.com for further details.
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Old 1st September 2009, 14:46   #4
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Rajat,

I am sure you will be able to cope up, but not sure about the kid. It will be continuous 15 hours on wheels roughly on consecutive days.

You may check our GQ logs. Overall we started at 10:30 pm and reached Bhuvaneshwar on next day around 10:00 pm. Next day it was 12:00 noon start to reach Kolkata at 6:30 pm.

We reached Vizag at around 2:00 pm (but we were going via Chennai).

The Orissa leg till 50 km before Bhubaneswar was horrible and will eat lot of time.

If time permits, I would suggest take relaxed 3 days and break in Rajamundry and Bhubaneshwar.
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Old 1st September 2009, 16:23   #5
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Rajat,
I still remember our midnight meet at BIAL that night. Finally you are decided on this trip.

I hope you will be using baby seat for your son. if not, dont do this trip because kid will get cranky sitting on the lap.
If your kid is fine sleeping in the car seat then you do the trip easily, moreover starting at night has its advantage.

May I suggest to start at 2-3AM so that you reach GQ by 7-8PM and Vizag early morning. By doing this, you will avoid the 2 laned stretch till Tirupati (also you tend to miss the turns at Chittoor and Putalapattu if travelling for the first time at night). Secondly you get a much needed rest and fullday in Vizag.

You can start at 4AM the next day and can reach kol by evening.

Abhi
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Old 1st September 2009, 16:32   #6
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Bhadrak to Balasore is mess presently
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Old 2nd September 2009, 00:22   #7
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Thanks All for your replies. Team BHP is blocked at my workplace. Hence, the delay.

Quote:
Originally Posted by akroy View Post
Rajat,
I hope you will be using baby seat for your son....

May I suggest to start at 2-3AM so that you reach GQ by 7-8PM and Vizag early morning. By doing this, you will avoid the 2 laned stretch till Tirupati (also you tend to miss the turns at Chittoor and Putalapattu if travelling for the first time at night). Secondly you get a much needed rest and fullday in Vizag.
Abhi
I have a seat for my son, which he is using since last 6 months. He likes it more than the lap
I am also bit worried about missing these turns. Unless you guys suggest me detail landmarks, I will probably have to do a recce next weekend.

Quote:
Originally Posted by thebagchi View Post
Bhadrak to Balasore is mess presently
How much is it taking to do these 68 kms?

Quote:
Originally Posted by arindamray View Post
Rajat,

I am sure you will be able to cope up, but not sure about the kid. It will be continuous 15 hours on wheels roughly on consecutive days....
Even I am getting a feeling that 3 days will be more comfortable.

Scouting for good hotels in the big towns. In Vizag, it will be Hotel Supreme. In Vijaywada, I saw Fortune something, but it is little expensive.

Pointers to good hotels in BBSR, Rajahmundry and Vijaywada are most welcome.

Regards,
Rajat
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Old 2nd September 2009, 00:54   #8
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Post Hotels at Rajahmundry

I googled and found two prominent options:-

a) Hotel Anand Regency (Hotel Anand Regency *** WELCOMES YOU)
b) River Bay Resort (Welome to Hotel Rajahmundry River Bay Resort, hotels in rajahmundry, east godavari hotels, resorts in rajahmundry)

From what I see in the websites, River Bay resort looks good to relax for a day and then continue.

Any idea whether the rack rates are negotiable?

And then to my amazement, I search in TBHP and find sufficient pointers on both the above places from previous travelogues !!
And one more budget hotel (with chilling AC ) Hotel Akshaya Residency in the town.

Thanks to TBHP.

Goodnight,
Rajat

Last edited by rajatmakar : 2nd September 2009 at 00:55. Reason: typos corrected
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Old 2nd September 2009, 06:04   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rajatmakar View Post
I am also bit worried about missing these turns. Unless you guys suggest me detail landmarks, I will probably have to do a recce next weekend.
Pls go through my recent Tirupati travelogue, the turns are mentioned in detail.
http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/travel...ven-hills.html (Weekend Travelogue: 3 Satyamites seeks blessings from the lord of seven hills)

- Pointers to Chittoor BP, FoodExpress Restaurant
- You need to cross 2 railway crossings on NH24 after which there is a right turn for SH61 (Putalapattu - Tirupati - Naidupeta)

I would still suggest to do this in day time. It will be better when you are doing Vizag nonstop.

Quote:
Originally Posted by rajatmakar View Post
Scouting for good hotels in the big towns. In Vizag, it will be Hotel Supreme. In Vijaywada, I saw Fortune something, but it is little expensive.
Pls dont try to stop at places at Rajahmundry or Vijayawada. No point in wasting time there when you can do Vizag really fast. it is better to take a long break near the sea at Vizag than halting at hotter places like Vijayawada, Rajahmundry confined just in hotel room.

Abhi
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Old 2nd September 2009, 12:32   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by akroy View Post

I hope you will be using baby seat for your son. if not, dont do this trip because kid will get cranky sitting on the lap.
If your kid is fine sleeping in the car seat then you do the trip easily, moreover starting at night has its advantage.
I will be taking my 2.5 months old son for a long drive this September.
I have a baby seat on my Aveo, but I'm not sure whether he'll prefer this to lap. We will try that out this weekend.

Is a car seat must for long drives? What about the safety features?
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Old 2nd September 2009, 12:51   #11
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Those 60Kms took me around 90mins on Bike.

Few pot holes are really bad, recommend limiting to max 60kph on that stretch.
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Old 2nd September 2009, 16:33   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by black_panther View Post
I will be taking my 2.5 months old son for a long drive this September.
I have a baby seat on my Aveo, but I'm not sure whether he'll prefer this to lap. We will try that out this weekend.

Is a car seat must for long drives? What about the safety features?
DOnt worry. he will get adjusted to the baby seat. That is the ideal time to start with baby seat. Dont make him sit on lap. The problem starts with those babies who use lap for first 1.5 years and then you make them sit in car seat.

Since he is just 2.5 months, hope his neck is stiffened. You need to buy the correct baby seat (rear face orientation).

By law in India car seat is not mandatory but it is must as far as safety is concerned. Both your wife and the baby will enjoy the long drive. Babies get cranky sitting on lap for long hours. Also your wife will be too tired in a few hours.

Abhi

Last edited by akroy : 2nd September 2009 at 16:35.
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Old 2nd September 2009, 16:40   #13
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Do not, I repeat, do not take NH4 (Old Madras Road) when it is dark. Unless you know the road like the back of your hand.
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Old 2nd September 2009, 18:36   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hrag View Post
Do not, I repeat, do not take NH4 (Old Madras Road) when it is dark. Unless you know the road like the back of your hand.
Rajat, I endorse Hrishi's view fully specially now when it is in construction mode.

Abhi
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Old 2nd September 2009, 19:56   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by black_panther View Post
I will be taking my 2.5 months old son for a long drive this September.
I have a baby seat on my Aveo, but I'm not sure whether he'll prefer this to lap. We will try that out this weekend.

Is a car seat must for long drives? What about the safety features?
Car seat is a good idea for infants. It should be fine for 2.5 month old. Your wife can have a much relax drive with baby in car seat. Infants usually sleep blissfully in car seat and it is much safer. Please make sure the car seat is fitted properly and your baby is comfortable in it. Also rear facing car seats should be used for infants.

Best wishes for the long drive.
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