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Old 23rd December 2011, 17:23   #1
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Default My second long drive : Thane Pune Goa Mysore

My first long drive from Pune to Mysore and back during February of this year gave me confidence to venture out on the second one. This time it was a much longer one; Thane – Pune – Goa – Mysore and Mysore – Pune – Thane. As earlier, this was also a family trip. I downloaded quite a few games on my iPhone (which I had resisted for many months) to keep my son engaged.

We started from Thane on 23rd October from Thane, went to Pune visited friends and and spent the night there, covering a distance of 160 km.

We started from Pune on the morning on 24th to North Goa. Started early in the morning, around 6:30, had breakfast at Hotel Natraj after Katraj and also filled up petrol at the BP pump next to it, reached Kolhapur (McDonald) by about 10:30. After about half an hour break, we reached Nippani in Karnataka in about an hours time. We took a diversion to go to Goa via Sawantwadi. The road from this diversion almost till Goa was in very bad shape. I took about 5 hours to cover about 300 km from Pune to Nippani and another 4.5 hours to cover the next 150 km. We had to waste additional time while entering Goa, because of some checking. The drive was more agonizing because of the problem with air conditioning. Even though the air was blowing, cooling was not happening. (I had given the car for servicing to Hallmark Honda, Thane just about 2 months ago, I was not happy with their service. I had also got tweeters fitted to my S/MT, during which mirror adjustment was goofed up by Hallmark Honda. I got the AC problem resolved at Inspire Honda at Mysore, I was told that they cleaned some vent near the radiator. I had given the car for servicing again to Hallmark Honda during second week of this month and cooling has been messed up again). Anyway, We had a good time in Goa (except for some frauds who run water sports at Candolim beach).

After enjoying Goan holiday for 3 days, we started for Mysore on the morning of 27th. We started at about 6:15 in the morning and reached Karwar by about 9 for breakfast (we met a family from Bangalore during breakfast, who advised us to take the diversion from Tumkur and go to Mysore via Nagamangla). We had a nice time at Rabindranath Tagore beach (for just about 15 minutes), hangover of Goa. I wonder what is the connection between this beach in Karwar and Rabindranath Tagore. From Karwar, we wanted to hit NH4 as soon as possible; everybody advised us to go Hubli for NH4. I set Sygic on my phone to Haveri and started, it showed the route to Haveri via Hubli! I drove in speeds not exceeding 100 km till I hit Hubli. Once we hit NH4, I could increase my speed to an extent that would allow us to reach Mysore before night fall. We had lunch in Sira at Kamat Upachara) and filled up petrol at the BP pump next to it. We reached outskirts of Tumkur by about 4 o’ clock. I started Sygic and set the destination as Nagamangla and followed the route it showed (the data network on my mobile was not working as I moved from Maharashtra/Goa circle to Karnataka circle. I got the data network back by restarting the phone after reaching Mysore. This is a weird problem with iPhone 4, Gevey SIM unlock and AirTel). Disappointment started soon and we hoped to hit motorable road soon, which unfortunately did not for the next 100 odd km. I drove in 4th gear for a very short distance, with 2nd and 3rd gears being commonly used. Finally, we reached Maddur by about 7 o’ clock at which point we joined Bangalore – Mysore road. After that it was a straight forward drive, though not a good one because of too much of traffic. There was a mini jam in front of a theatre in Mandya due to people who had spilled over to street. They were desperate to watch Sarathi, Darshan’s new release. I was shocked that so many people wanted to watch a wife beater’s movie and make him a hero while he had become a villain in real life! We reached outskirts of Mysore by about 8 o’ clock and had to take a right turn to go onto the ring road at a signal. The signal was green for us and I could not see that because of the high beam light from all the vehicles in front. With great difficulty, I turned and hit a very bad patch again. Almost the entire ring road had been dug up! Finally, I reached my parents place at 8:30, after driving for 791 km.

We had good time in Mysore. The last time I had driven Pune-Mysore-Pune, I had taken break both ways at Hubli/Dharwad. The initial plan for this time as well was to have a stopover at Dharwad. However, this drive of 791 km made me think of skipping this stopover. Finally, I made up my mind that I will drive non-stop to Pune.

The day was 4th November. My mother wanted to give us enough food for breakfast and lunch (I don’t like to eat out and many time go hungry than eat out). The cooker whistled at 4 in the morning and I woke up, could not sleep after that due to the anxiety of driving that long distance. I got up at 5 got ready and started at 6:15. This time I had carefully planned the route, got to know that Mysore – Chitradurga route is about 250 km, which can be covered in about 4 hours. To be on the safer side, I did not use Sygic and used Google Maps instead, which was a good decision. We had a half an hour stop for breakfast and drove almost non-stop to reach Hubli by about 1:00 pm for lunch. After lunch and petrol topup, we started again and reached Kolhapur by about 4:30 in the evening. I saw a lot of traffic including government buses moving on the wrong side of the road with impunity! We had some refreshments at McDonald and started again. The drive from Kolhapur was not enjoyable, too much of traffic with too many including two wheelers.

As darkness fell, driving became more and more difficult because of high beam and City’s comic head lights. I decided to stay behind an ST bus and follow it at a steady speed of 80 kmph. Guess what happened, the bus sped away and I could not keep up with the bus even at 80 kmph. I managed to reach Singhad road by 7:30 and reached my friend’s place, which is about 25 km from Singhad road in another one hour. This last 25 km was the worst part of the drive. Finally, the journey of 903 km ended at 8:30, huhhhhhhhh. I felt numbness in my arms, I felt that my hands are in the position of holding steering wheel even after completing the dive!
We had dinner and started chatting, which went on till 2 in the morning. I realized the capability of human body at this time. I had woken up at 4 in the morning, driven 903 km, including some atrocious city traffic and was chatting till 2 am! Human endurance is unbelievable.

We stayed in Pune for another 2 days and started back to Thane on 8th November. Over this period, we covered a distance of 2842.6 km. I don't dare keep count of liters of petrol, because it will make me feel bad.

Also, a huge complement to Honda City.

I noticed a few points about driving habits of people.
1. Many drivers jump to right lane without bothering to look into the mirror. Many drivers do that even after light signal and honking. This applies to both cars and trucks
2. State transport buses (both Karnataka and Maharashtra) are the most stubborn drivers. They just don’t give way
3. Majority of people can’t maintain lane at turns, they invariably move to the other lane, obstructing those behind them
4. I enjoyed driving in Karnataka’s portion of NH4 more because of lesser traffic and more asphalt road. I hope Maharashtra complete adding additional lane soon in its portion of NH4
5. A huge salute to AB Vajpayee for conceiving the idea of Golden Quadrilateral that helps not only people like us to indulge in their passion, but also aid trucks greatly

I had taken the car for first long drive, because we did not get confirmed train tickets and we did not want to rely on fraudulent tatkal scheme. After the drive, I made up my mind that I’ll not take the car again on such a long drive, mainly because of the cost of petrol and also my son enjoys train journey more than long drives. But this time, I did not bother to book train tickets, all the more because of the stops we had planned on the way.

Last edited by sa_kiran : 25th December 2011 at 19:06.
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