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Old 10th November 2011, 15:55   #61
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Default Re: The F1 Roadtrip : Pune to Noida

Hey Ninja which stand did you book tickets in? Information will be helpful. Apologies if I missed it
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Old 10th November 2011, 21:17   #62
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Default Re: The F1 Roadtrip : Pune to Noida

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Originally Posted by macbeth View Post
Hey Ninja which stand did you book tickets in? Information will be helpful. Apologies if I missed it
Classic North Stand (North zone) - 6.5k.



Quote:
Originally Posted by lordofgondor View Post
Wonderful log and pics mate.
+1 to that. Just as FP 1 was starting, I was a few Km from the track, which was just starting to get visible and don't know why I rolled down the windows but glad I did. The sweet sounds of the F1 cars was darn exhilarating even at such a distance. It became like a race against time getting to our stand! Hearing and watching them zipping by was magic. The whole day was spent just letting the roar sink in.
The sounds of these used to be the breaks from my reverie.
Thanks. Agree with you entirely - now I can't wait for the next year's race.

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Originally Posted by noopster View Post
Appreciate your sense of humour about the Metallica cancellation. It can't have been fun watching all that madness for sure. Believe me, we in Bangalore were on tenterhooks till the first strains of Creeping Death emerged from the PA, fearing a repeat of the Gurgaon fiasco.Eagerly awaiting the F1 updates.
Honestly speaking, if I didn't have the race or the return drive pending, I might have possibly joined the lot that was doing the damage.

There were two kids (lol - feel so old saying that!), cousins of my Ggn friend who had come all the way from Indore, bunking college & traveling by sleeper class just for the gig - felt really sad for them. Poor guys, they didn't even drink that night at the pub, so down they were. We were certainly better off.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Swanand Inamdar View Post
Lovely way of penning the Metallica fiasco! Good that you can actually have a laugh about it.

This TL is getting interesting by the day! Please continue. Get to the F1 part already, will you?
Yes saar. Done saar. More coming up saar!
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Old 11th November 2011, 10:42   #63
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Default Re: The F1 Roadtrip : Pune to Noida

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Originally Posted by ninjatalli View Post

Check out the crowd - the lady certainly was a crowd puller; every dhaba we stop-over got filled up by the time we left
Attachment 839658
Bit late here with all the traveling and catching up with work. Nevertheless, excellent travelogue and really appreciate the minute details.

But this comment above stumped me for a moment. I was wondering whats so special about the yellow saree lady next to the Tavera, and later realized you were talking about the Vento
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Old 12th November 2011, 14:33   #64
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Why do good times get over so fast. The qualifying session starts and gets over even before we can take in the awesomeness of it. I am so awed by it I forget to take any pics of the qualifying.

A few excerpts:
  • The Lotus(es) (Team Lotus) are one noisy pair! Surprisingly its the slower cars (Lotus, Virgin, HRT) who make the maximum noise.
  • Both the Lotus teams are one of the first to come out, be it practice or the qualifying. And one of the last to go out too.
  • You might hear the roar of F1 cars on the TV, but what you don't get to hear are the gear shifts. While on a funny note they sound as if the driver(s) have a serious farting issue, but in reality they sound awesome. You can very clearly HEAR how different Schumi changes gears as compared to someone like Karthikeyan. Trust me, the driver & his driving attitude make a huge difference. While Vettel in a HRT might still make the top 10, Karthikeyan in a Red Bull might still have a tough time making the top 5.
    (p.s. Nothing against Karthikeyan - just that I could observe/compare him with the others)
  • Vettel is a machine. He doesn't make mistakes. Every turn is perfect, he maintains the same speeds, maintains (almost) the same angles at the turns, and repeats it again and again. Couple that with the almost perfect Red Bull car, and there you have the reason why he's winning all these races. Also no wonder he laps only a few times in Q1, Q2 and Q3; and returns back to the pit long before the session end. The others only try to beat his time.
  • Schumi is the epitome of aggression. Those Hamilton fans who do not agree to this, please buy tickets to Classic North Stand next year, and observe how he takes the turn. Every time. He doesn't take the curve, he attacks it. Yes, it might not be the best method, but as a spectator and a Schumi fan, it sends that boyish thrill through your body, something which I last experienced when Schumi & Hakkinen used to fight it out a decade back. Somebody give this guy a good car next season- he still has the juice!
  • F1 cars give a whole new definition to applying the breaks. How many of you have seen a car doing 150+ to 40, with the front wheels still spinning while the rear tires are completely stationary. We got to see it innumerable times over the two days. Bliss.
  • Who cares if Metallica flopped. Who cares if I got a big dent on my brand new car on the first 200kms of the trip right on the first day. With the race day still to come, I was already on cloud nine. James Hetfield, go f**k yourself. I just attained nirvana and almost had a orgasm, all in a span of few hours

Once the qualifying gets over, the majority of the crowd races to get home. Wisely we decide to spend a few hours at the ground to avoid the jam at the exit. Big mistake. We are completely unaware of Delhi traffic jams & its crowded highways. More on this later.

The jam at the exit
The F1 Roadtrip : Pune to Noida-img_0566.jpg

Meanwhile the JK Racing Asia series start and we decide to sit through it.
Atleast my friends watch it, while I am snoring away to glory even though the JK cars are roaring by a few feet away - yes, sleep is not an issue for me - I have a record for sleeping at odd places; the most weird being dozing off in while traveling (standing) in a Mumbai fast local at peak hours.

The JK Asia Racing Series begin
The F1 Roadtrip : Pune to Noida-img_0572.jpg


The F1 Roadtrip : Pune to Noida-img_0578.jpg

Once the race ends, we meet up with Dippy & Priyank and move to the F1 village near the main stand. There is sizable crowd at the village, surprising considering the high prices quoted for the merchandise. But most of them do window shopping as the prices are idiotically high. F1 teams, do take a note - this is India. Price matters. Talk to Honda, they'll tell you.

What is worth seeing are the cars put up. Funny aspect - the brand new Jaguar even has a dent at the front, right below the grill - talk about mis-handling cars.

Main Stand
The F1 Roadtrip : Pune to Noida-img_0583.jpg

Come, buy official merchandise that has been produced at 1/100th of the price right here in India for mind-boggling prices
The F1 Roadtrip : Pune to Noida-img_0608.jpg

Merc - 1
The F1 Roadtrip : Pune to Noida-img_0612.jpg

Merc - 2
The F1 Roadtrip : Pune to Noida-img_0618.jpg

Jaguar
The F1 Roadtrip : Pune to Noida-img_0622.jpg

Buy a Jaguar, get a dent free!
The F1 Roadtrip : Pune to Noida-img_0626.jpg
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Old 12th November 2011, 19:52   #65
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Default Re: The F1 Roadtrip : Pune to Noida

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Originally Posted by ninjatalli View Post
[*]Schumi is the epitome of aggression. Those Hamilton fans who do not agree to this, please buy tickets to Classic North Stand next year, and observe how he takes the turn. Every time. He doesn't take the curve, he attacks it. Yes, it might not be the best method, but as a spectator and a Schumi fan, it sends that boyish thrill through your body, something which I last experienced when Schumi & Hakkinen used to fight it out a decade back. Somebody give this guy a good car next season- he still has the juice!
Ah those were the great days of F1. People at home and my friends used to think I was crazy, watching ugly looking cars going round and round in circles . The 90's, in my opinion, were the most entertaining of all the years of F1. There used to be more overtaking maneuvers, more spectacular crashes , more engine blowouts, the clash of personalities and in general more excitement. I remember the race when Schumi worked up the grid from 15th position to win the race!

And like you said, he still has the juice in him. Would love to have him sit in that Red Bull car!

Thanks! you've relived F1 for the rest of us, with the description and the photos! The closest I have been to live Formula racing was the A1 GP at Sepang in 2005. Unfortunately, I had to cut short my stay in KL by three months and I missed the F1 GP and also the Moto GP at Sepang. Here is a blast from the past that I love coming back to:

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Old 13th November 2011, 12:49   #66
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Originally Posted by nileshch View Post
Ah those were the great days of F1. People at home and my friends used to think I was crazy, watching ugly looking cars going round and round in circles . The 90's, in my opinion, were the most entertaining of all the years of F1. There used to be more overtaking maneuvers, more spectacular crashes , more engine blowouts, the clash of personalities and in general more excitement. I remember the race when Schumi worked up the grid from 15th position to win the race!
Oh yes, I do too. Some of the best memories of Schumi are during wet races - he wasn't the best (used to spin out a lot more than win in wet races) but he made the others fight for the win if nothing!

Quote:
And like you said, he still has the juice in him. Would love to have him sit in that Red Bull car!
Ah! wouldn't that be a sight for sore eyes. Vettel & Schumi - the red bull team
- One calm, methodical young driver, while the other is an aggressive, do-it or lose-it oldie! Quite the oxymoron, that situation would be!

Quote:
Thanks! you've relived F1 for the rest of us, with the description and the photos!
Thanks!
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Old 14th November 2011, 16:45   #67
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Default Re: The F1 Roadtrip : Pune to Noida

Very good updates! Lovely way of penning them down too!
Why such hatred towards James Hetfield ? . Give the poor guy a break, will ya?

Why the delay in posting about race day? Do it please!
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Old 14th November 2011, 16:54   #68
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Were you guys taking photos on Palm Beach road, Navi Mumbai few days back? I saw a group of Ventos taking pictures around noon time.
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Old 14th November 2011, 17:39   #69
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It's time to get back to Gurgaon, so we head towards the car. The jam at the exit still continues, so I decide to try the second exit. This involves a pleasurable circling of the entire F1 track and we leave through the empty exit. But our joy is soon short lived as we get caught up Noida-Delhi traffic. It takes us a complete 4.5 hours and a nerve racking slow drive through bumper-to-bumper traffic to reach Gurgaon.

Beautiful setting sun over the race track
The F1 Roadtrip : Pune to Noida-img_0629.jpg


Also apparently Google Maps and Delhi roads don't go very well with each other. Twice we lose our way and take the wrong turns - on a normal road during normal traffic hours, a short U-turn a few blocks ahead should resolve the issue. But this is peak hour, with full-on traffic; forget taking a U-turn, even changing lanes is not easy. In between we decide to fuel up; after all this is the cheapest diesel we are ever gonna see ever!

We had traveled over 1400 kms, across 5 different states, yet the car had maintained her beauty all long. But it took a trip from Gurgaon to Noida to get the lady all dirty.

Now that's one dirty car!
The F1 Roadtrip : Pune to Noida-img_0630.jpg

The F1 Roadtrip : Pune to Noida-img_0632.jpg

The MH14 number plate raises quite a few eyebrows at the petrol pump- apparently not many Maharashtrian cars are seen around here. An Accent owner comes over and asks if the car is from Pimpri, and when I nod in the affirmative, he just goes ballistic. Apparently the guy had spent quite a few years working out of Pimpri and was ecstatic on seeing a car from there . He inquires about our trip and is quite surprised to know someone would be willing enough to travel all that distance just for a race!

We soon head back to Gurgaon, and after a late-night dinner, we crash for the night.

Last edited by ninjatalli : 14th November 2011 at 17:44.
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Old 14th November 2011, 17:41   #70
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Swanand Inamdar View Post
Very good updates! Lovely way of penning them down too!
Why such hatred towards James Hetfield ? . Give the poor guy a break, will ya?
Well grapes are sour, aren't they

Quote:
Why the delay in posting about race day? Do it please!
Got a bit caught up in work & other activities. Doing them shortly.


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Originally Posted by heavy_foot View Post
Were you guys taking photos on Palm Beach road, Navi Mumbai few days back? I saw a group of Ventos taking pictures around noon time.
No dude, this was over two weeks back at Chembur (opposite K-star mall).
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Old 14th November 2011, 19:24   #71
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Day 6 (Oct 30th)

Finally the race day arrives, but we take it easy. We know the day's agenda, we know the route, and the day's itinerary is planned out giving us sufficient time to have a good breakfast.

If we had a bucket list for this trip, the one thing that was still on our To-Do list was to have a good Alu de Paranthe with makkan & dahi on the side. But to have such a breakfast at 7.30 in the morning is next to impossible. So we adjust with whatever options we have. And what an option we had. We head to Roots, a Solar Cafe (whatever that means!), which is located right in the center of Rajiv Gandhi Renewable Energy Park, Sector 29.

Wonderful place to have a breakfast
The F1 Roadtrip : Pune to Noida-dsc08898.jpg

The F1 Roadtrip : Pune to Noida-dsc08899.jpg

The food is a mix of continental and Indian breakfast but they have added their own touch to it. The food is so good that we just gobble it up as soon as it arrives, with hardly any of giving a second thought about capturing it.

Soon we head towards the race track stopping over at Kalkaji metro station to pickup Dippy & Priyank. For once we reach the location before they do, so to kill time I take a few snaps of the small bazaar that has been setup around the temple adjacent to the metro station.

Hard to believe this was inside Delhi
The F1 Roadtrip : Pune to Noida-dsc08904.jpg

Wonder why they didn't attach a mountain with Hanuman
The F1 Roadtrip : Pune to Noida-dsc08907.jpg

The F1 Roadtrip : Pune to Noida-dsc08909.jpg

Hanuman-ji decides to take a ride with us
The F1 Roadtrip : Pune to Noida-dsc08910.jpg

Once again we hardly face any traffic, and reach the race track well in time. Apart from the race, the only event worth watching is the driver's parade, which is still a few hours from now. So we take the shuttle. Now our gate is the starting point for the shuttle and there is a HUGE line waiting for the next shuttle. So do we also wait in line? No. We walk towards the opposite direction, and catch a shuttle and voila, we are in front of the line.

The shuttle makes a slow trip across all the zones, dropping people off. We get off at the last stop, the paddock. And although the shuttle was taken just to kill time, we hit pay dirt. The driver's parade is about to start in a short while and the cars are all lined up and parked, before they enter the circuit.

We meekly ask if we can take pics; they nod, and in the next 15 mins all you hear is shutter clicks.

Someone please identify the cars for me - except for the manufacturer I have no idea about (most of) their names or history!

The F1 Roadtrip : Pune to Noida-dsc08911.jpg

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What awesome wheels! Can I have these for my Vento?
The F1 Roadtrip : Pune to Noida-dsc08926.jpg

The F1 Roadtrip : Pune to Noida-dsc08928.jpg

Last edited by ninjatalli : 14th November 2011 at 19:26.
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Old 14th November 2011, 19:33   #72
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Default Re: The F1 Roadtrip : Pune to Noida

And a few more...

The F1 Roadtrip : Pune to Noida-dsc08930.jpg

The F1 Roadtrip : Pune to Noida-dsc08931.jpg

The F1 Roadtrip : Pune to Noida-dsc08932.jpg

Finally a VW!
The F1 Roadtrip : Pune to Noida-dsc08936.jpg

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Lovely rear-view mirror!
The F1 Roadtrip : Pune to Noida-dsc08951.jpg

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Soon it's time for the driver's parade, and we start walking back to our zone. Since we did an almost full circle of the circuit in the shuttle, it's just a short walk back to our seats.

The F1 Roadtrip : Pune to Noida-dsc08960.jpg

Probably the only photo in this trip with all three of us in it
The F1 Roadtrip : Pune to Noida-dsc08961.jpg

The paddock entry gate
The F1 Roadtrip : Pune to Noida-dsc08964.jpg

Last edited by ninjatalli : 14th November 2011 at 19:59.
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Old 15th November 2011, 20:11   #73
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As we move back to our seats, the drivers parade begin shortly. Surprisingly Narain Karthikeyan is the first one to come out, leading the parade from the front. While Vettel, Alonso & Sutil receive quite a bit of cheers, it's Schumi who gets the maximum attention.

After a short break, which in my honest opinion seems to be one of the longest, the race finally starts.

And what a start it turns out to be. Right from the start, Vettel moves ahead, and so does Webber, ahead of Hamilton and the rest.

The red bulls lead from the front
The F1 Roadtrip : Pune to Noida-img_0699.jpg

while the rest follow
The F1 Roadtrip : Pune to Noida-img_0700.jpg

The rest are not far away, and right on the first lap, there's action right in front of us. One of the Lotus spins out at turn 3, while Kobayashi, who probably got bumped at turn 1, finally comes to a standstill on the first lap itself, while spilling oil all over the track.

Kobayashi's race ends on a "oily" note
The F1 Roadtrip : Pune to Noida-img_0703.jpg

In spite of all our prayers and wishes, there isn't a single cloud in the sky, so there's no possibility of any rains. Also while Vettel creates a wide gap between himself and the rest of the gang, the only fight worth following is a short race between Hamilton and Massa which unfortunately ends badly for the latter.

Button does well to maintain his position
The F1 Roadtrip : Pune to Noida-img_0705.jpg

What wouldn't I have given to see a Ferrari win this race!
The F1 Roadtrip : Pune to Noida-img_0706.jpg

Funny point - most of the crowd are newbies to F1, as we hear quite a lot of guys explaining the rules & the F1 drivers to their friends. But what they forget to explain are the minor details; for e.g. how to differentiate between a Red Bull and a Toro Rosso, or how to identify Schumi from Nico Rosberg and so on, or Narain from Daniel Ricciardo and so on.

So every time a Rosso or a Red Bull passes by, calls & cheers for "Vettel" keep getting chanted; and so is the case for the Mercedes and Force India cars.

Schumi or Rosberg? You tell me!
The F1 Roadtrip : Pune to Noida-img_0707.jpg

"Go Narain", "Go Sutil" says the crowd
The F1 Roadtrip : Pune to Noida-img_0711.jpg

The F1 Roadtrip : Pune to Noida-img_0714.jpg

However there is one interesting stage when Vettel overlaps one of the Force India cars (Paul di Resta I believe), but Webber & the rest take atleast 4-5 laps to do the same, as Paul literally tails the Red Bull for quite some time. Overall, Sutil might have finished a few positions above Paul, but clearly Paul was the better driver. It'll be quite interesting to see how he fares once he gets a better car & a better team.

Paul giving Vettel a good run as long as he can sustain it
The F1 Roadtrip : Pune to Noida-img_0722.jpg

And similar to most races of 2011, there are no surprises with who wins the race.

Vettel gets a big cheer from the crowd on the victory lap
The F1 Roadtrip : Pune to Noida-img_0733.jpg

Last edited by ninjatalli : 15th November 2011 at 20:16.
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Old 15th November 2011, 21:38   #74
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Hey Ninja,
Beautiful thread! Very well written, loved your straight-from-the-heart style of narration. Appreciate how you handled the Metallica fiasco. Was expecting a lot of special characters (%!@#) in that post, surprisingly there were none!

Waiting for more snaps and experiences.
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Old 15th November 2011, 23:00   #75
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Day 6 (Oct 30th)

Route : Noida - Gurgaon - Shahpura - Jaipur - Kishangarh
Kms : 438

The moment Sachin waves the victory flag to signal Vettel's victory, we scoot.
One trip through the traffic jams of Delhi was more than enough for us to decide to miss the prize ceremony. Plus we were in no mood to see the below lady give a speech or anything of that sort.

Whattay slogan I say!
The F1 Roadtrip : Pune to Noida-img_0737.jpg

Thankfully there is hardly any jam and the same distance that took us over four hours yesterday takes us only an hour today. We drop Dippy & Priyank at the metro station and head directly for the Gurgaon - Haryana highway. I am not sure what exactly worked for us, but there was hardly any traffic on the road and we bypass Gurgaon in a short period. By 7.30 p.m., barely 2 hours after leaving the track, we cross the Gurgaon toll gate.

Now our original plan was to leave Gurgaon by 11 in the night and drive till Jaipur or Ajmer (depending on how late we leave, and how tired we are) where we would take a halt at some highway lodge. But surprisingly we hardly feel any fatigue and we leave Gurgaon a good 4 hours before our planned exit time. So we change our plan to drive as much as possible, with two of swapping places all through the night, while the third guy sleeps at the back throughout the night. If both of us are able to pull this off, then he can drive during the day while we sleep.

We stop for a short tea break however the only shops we encounter are bars! A few road-side omelettes later we get back on to the road.

Now the last 100 kms on the road from Jaipur to Gurgaon was one horrible patch with several craters lined up all over the road. Fearing the same now, we drive slowly (slow meaning 80-100 kmph ) but surprisingly there are hardly any potholes on this side of the road. However the constructions & road expansions keep coming up so overall our pace is relatively slow.

It is at this junction we are again reminded about the awesomeness of Haryana number plates. Even in the night on the highway with no street lights & moderate to high truck traffic; no indicators, full on high beam (headlights) and always with the need to overtake one and all; is apparently the way to drive. Thankfully the highway has more RJ number plates who are a safer lot.

Finally we pass into Rajasthan and immediately the roads seem a lot better. What is interesting to note is as the night passes by, the traffic (including the trucks) goes down. By the time we reach Shahpura, there are hardly a few trucks and absolutely no cars on the highway. It was a clear night with a nice chill in the air - even the songs on the radio were from the golden era(s) of Kishore Kumar & Mohd Rafi - a befitting addition to the beautiful drive. So we decide to enjoy the mood and stop for a cup of tea at a roadside dhaba.

Now most road-side dhabas at the time of the night should be relatively empty with a few truckers taking a nap, right? Seems like we had quite the wrong idea. A group of 10 odd truckers are intently watching a movie on TV - Kalicharan! Of all things to do on a highway, I certainly did not expect this. But apparently this is the norm for all dhabas out here as we find out later during the night - the TV is the USP of the dhaba and ensures that the owner gets a good number of customers for the night.

2000+ kms and yet she's as fresh as in the start of the trip
The F1 Roadtrip : Pune to Noida-dsc08975.jpg

I take over the wheel and we continue on the road till we reach Jaipur. When you compare GJ roads with RJ roads, the latter wins hands down. But when it comes to planning bypass for the cities with clear directions, GJ cities are far better. Now when one reaches the outskirts of Jaipur, the road signs are there for the bypass route. But what they do not tell you is Jaipur is also at a crossroads of NH8, NH11 and NH12. Also the bypass initially feels like a bypass, but soon it becomes a two lane road and you start feeling as if you have somehow ended up inside the city. Add to that at 11 in the night, there is hardly anyone on the roads, so we have to manage with Google maps. The idea is to keep on going straight till you come to a T-point with the third option being a right turn. Look out for Kendriya vidhyalaya on your right side, that's your cue for taking the right (straight would take you to the airport and NH12 onwards). Now the right turn would take you through the city, but its a straightforward road and once you pass a few crossroads, the directions start coming up indicating that you are on the right road.

Soon we reach the NH8 highway and onto the expressway. Point to note here, while coming from Kishangarh, we had strictly adhered to the 90kmph speed limit of the Kishangarh - Jaipur expressway. However we didn't feel any of the interceptors would be doing overtime and stay up to stop us at 11 in the night, so the limits were off! The same distance that took over an hour earlier is now completed in just over 30 minutes. As soon as we reach the other end, we stop for a mid-night dinner at Kishangarh. Alu gobi and dal tadka never tasted so good as it did that night.

Not all of us were awake!
The F1 Roadtrip : Pune to Noida-dsc08981.jpg

An hour later, we leave

Last edited by ninjatalli : 15th November 2011 at 23:30.
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