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Old 4th November 2011, 19:03   #1
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Default The F1 Roadtrip : Pune to Noida

Roads go ever ever on,
Over rock and under tree,
By caves where never sun has shone,
By streams that never find the sea;
Over snow by winter sown,
And through the merry flowers of June,
Over grass and over stone,
And under mountains in the moon.

The Road goes ever on and on
Down from the door where it began.
Now far ahead the Road has gone,
And I must follow, if I can,
Pursuing it with eager feet,
Until it joins some larger way
Where many paths and errands meet.
And whither then? I cannot say.

- The Hobbit



The Plan : Attend the Metallica Concert and the F1 race

The Route :

The F1 Roadtrip : Pune to Noida-route.jpg


A brief snapshot :

The F1 Roadtrip : Pune to Noida-day-2-onwards.jpg

The F1 Roadtrip : Pune to Noida-rushit.jpg

The F1 Roadtrip : Pune to Noida-day-2-onwards1.jpg

Last edited by ninjatalli : 4th November 2011 at 20:32.
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Old 4th November 2011, 21:07   #2
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Prologue

My last long trip was on my Pulsar from Ahmedabad to Pune (680+kms / 15+ hours with one break) close to a year back. Prior to that I always kept on doing minor trips every month, either on my bike or my/friend's cars. For me the road came first, the Vento was purchased for the road. So when the plan was raised for attending the F1 race & Metallica concert four months back, I was game but with a rider - we had to go by road. The race or the concert was never a big deal for me, it was more of ticking off activities off my Bucket List. But I was alone. Flight tickets were still affordable, people could do Diwali and also attend the concert & race. I kept quiet.

Over the span of the next 8 weeks, out of the six original members (of the plan), only one (other than me) remained. We booked train tickets (W/L), we even started looking at alternate options (by train to Ahmedabad, by flight/volvo from Ahmedabad to Delhi). The issue? Mumbai/Pune - Delhi flight tickets had soared - from a minor 5k return fare, the price had gone up to 7k one side! I kept suggesting my option of taking the road, but nothing was decided.

Then finally another friend who wasn't aware of our plan decided to join in - and surprisingly he was more game for taking the road option. So it was decided - train & flight tickets were cancelled & and the plan was set. Got quite a few pointers from Tbhpians on this thread (Pune - Delhi - Pune trip), concert/race tickets were booked, holidays applied & approved - and the itinerary was finalized.
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Old 4th November 2011, 21:38   #3
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Default Re: The F1 Roadtrip

The Plan :

The original plan was as follows -
  1. Oct 26th : Pune - Thane - Surat - Vadodara - Ahmedabad
  2. Oct 27th : Ahmedabad - Udaipur - Jaipur - Gurgaon
  3. Oct 28th : Within Gurgaon (Metallica concert)
  4. Oct 29th : Gurgaon - Noida (F1) - Gurgaon
  5. Oct 30th : Gurgaon - Noida (F1) - Gurgaon - Jaipur - Ajmer
  6. Oct 31st : Ajmer - Udaipur - Ahmedabad
  7. Oct 31st (Night) : Ahmedabad - Vadodara - Surat - Mumbai / Pune

The actual plan turned out almost the same except for a few changes -
  1. Oct 25th : Pune - Mumbai
  2. Oct 26th : Mumbai - Thane - Bharuch - Vadodara - Ahmedabad
  3. Oct 27th : Ahmedabad - Udaipur - Chittorgarh - Jaipur - Shahpura
  4. Oct 28th : Shahpura - Gurgaon (Metallica concert)
  5. Oct 29th : Gurgaon - Noida (F1) - Gurgaon
  6. Oct 30th : Gurgaon - Noida (F1) - Gurgaon - Jaipur - Chittorgarh - Udaipur
  7. Oct 31st : Udaipur - Ahmedabad - Vadodara - Surat - Mumbai - Pune

Last edited by ninjatalli : 4th November 2011 at 21:57.
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Old 5th November 2011, 10:25   #4
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Trip Statistics

The facts :
  • Total Kms Traveled : 3485 Kms
  • Total Fuel Consumed : 195 Liters
  • MID Fuel Efficiency : 18 kmpl(Approx)
  • Actual Fuel Efficiency : 17.85 kmpl
  • Average Speed : 70kmph (Approx)
  • Maximum Speed : 190kmph


Trip Summary :
(Click to enlarge)
The Pune - Delhi trip was spread out over three days, and involved leisurely halts across 5 cities ( Mumbai, Vadodara, Ahmedabad, Udaipur & Jaipur). In comparison, the return trip was non-stop, with the maximum halt period being the 2 hour power nap we took at one of the dhabas on the Rajasthan highway.

The F1 Roadtrip : Pune to Noida-trip-details.jpg

Cost Breakup :
Without doubt, the costliest commodity was fuel. Discount the fact that the food bill also contains a splurging at one of the pubs of Gurgaon, the breakup of the costs veers more towards the diesel.
The good part? Return flight tickets for each of us would have costed more than the total fuel + tolls combined

Name:  Cost Breakup.jpg
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Diesel Rate Chart :
How we wished the Vento had an expandable tank that could be fixed inside the boot

Name:  Diesel Rate Chart.jpg
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Size:  35.1 KB

Toll Breakup
Kindly note that we traveled a lot via GJ & RJ, but MH was hardly traversed - even then such a hefty toll amount! Will put up a km vs toll breakup per state chart later to get the exact picture.

Name:  Toll Breakup.jpg
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Size:  15.3 KB

Edit : Attaching the toll details for the entire trip, in case if anyone requires the same.
Pune-Delhi-Pune Toll Details.xls

Last edited by ninjatalli : 6th November 2011 at 03:35.
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Old 5th November 2011, 15:03   #5
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Default Re: The F1 Roadtrip

Initial Setup

The Team:
Three of us
@dippy (joined us at Delhi for F1)
@F50 (joined us at Delhi for F1)

The Car
Vento Tdi

The Setup
  1. Belkin Inverter
  2. Toshiba Laptop
  3. Sony DSC H7 Camera
  4. Canon Camera
  5. Medicines & First Aid Kits
  6. Sunglasses/Ear Plugs/Hats (for F1)
  7. Pillows & Bedsheet(s) (for the rear seat-cum-bed)

Day 1 (Oct 25th)

Route : Pune - Mumbai (Chembur)
Kms : 160 kms

Had the car sent for a general checkup, it was hardly required as the lady was hardly a month old, yet felt it was required. With the car ready we finish our office work by 6, and finally leave for Mumbai at 8. Since it was a long weekend for most people, we gave another friend a lift till Vashi. The lady was low on fuel so decided to fuel up, but for only for a minimum amount as we were sure to get a cheaper rate in the coming days. Surprisingly, opposite to our expectations the highway was free of traffic, and even after having a long dinner at McDonalds, Khopoli (exit), we reach our destination in just over two hours.

Through the rearview mirror
The F1 Roadtrip : Pune to Noida-img_0452.jpg

That's our dinner - possible the worst way one could waste an opportunity to eat out on the road - seriously the Mum-Pune expressway needs some proper dhaba(s)
The F1 Roadtrip : Pune to Noida-dinner-1.jpg

Voila! It took us less than 5 mins to finish all that
The F1 Roadtrip : Pune to Noida-dinner-2.jpg


Meanwhile, a plan was made to have a short meet at Barista, Chembur with @nileshch, @souravc & @el lobo 61 at 11 in the night. We have discussions ranging from comparisions on different city traffic issues, to VW experiences, and what not. Also, having 4 Ventos and (almost) empty Mumbai streets - it was the perfect situation for a photoshoot. And that's exactly what we did.

Vento Meet - 1
The F1 Roadtrip : Pune to Noida-dsc08440.jpg

Vento Meet - 2
The F1 Roadtrip : Pune to Noida-dsc08443.jpg

Funny moment - there was a Polo fellow who was quite intrigued with what was happening on the streets - he kept circling us again and again trying to figure out what exactly was happening - 4 Ventos decked up in the middle of the streets & 3 guys taking pics from different angles

Soon it was time to leave, and as I moved back to my friend's place - the unthinkable happened.

The dent
The F1 Roadtrip : Pune to Noida-dsc08452.jpg

I'll not go into much details now (this is not the thread for it), but basically I could not sleep soundly that night. It was a stupid mistake on my part, and there was no one else to blame. The good part - the damage was on the outside, and the trip could proceed ahead without any delay.

Last edited by ninjatalli : 6th November 2011 at 23:35.
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Old 6th November 2011, 03:13   #6
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Day 2 (Oct 26th)

Route : Mumbai - Thane - Bharuch - Vadodara - Ahmedabad
Kms : 576

For the first time in my life I wake up at the first ring of the alarm clock, and the first thing that comes to my mind is the dent. With a heavy mind, I shrug of the thought and get down to the morning business. Within an hour all three of us are ready to go when I get a call from an unexpected visitor.

The F1 Roadtrip : Pune to Noida-dsc08454.jpg
A close friend (black vento owner) decides at the last moment to join us till Vadodara, and was inquiring if we could team up - who were we to say no! The addition in the team costs us a delay of 1.5 hours but we finally get started on the road.


Contrary to what we had read (about starting late from Mumbai), Ghodbunder road hardly has any traffic, we pass the entire stretch in an extremely short duration. When we finally join NH8, the bridge is stark empty - in the past every time I have passed this bridge, I had always encountered traffic jams - but not this time!

No traffic!
The F1 Roadtrip : Pune to Noida-dsc08467.jpg

A sight for sore eyes - NH8 Mumbai exit without any traffic!
The F1 Roadtrip : Pune to Noida-dsc08468.jpg

We continue and decide to have breakfast, and to continue on our "plan" of experimenting different food options, so we stop at this place - "Sai Pooja BAR & Family Restaurant". Our first mistake of the day. Learnt one good lesson - a place that advertises the "BAR" in a bigger font than the "Restaurant" is not a place for foodies.

The F1 Roadtrip : Pune to Noida-dsc08471.jpg

Anyway the toilets were clean, and the setup was actually not bad - had we stopped at this place in the evening, it would have been quite good. As for the food, umm... lets say, we have seen worse conditions

Seating arrangement - pretty decent
The F1 Roadtrip : Pune to Noida-dsc08484.jpg

Meanwhile I get to stretch my legs & do a bit of photography

The F1 Roadtrip : Pune to Noida-dsc08473.jpg

The F1 Roadtrip : Pune to Noida-dsc08477.jpg

Once we are done, we get back on the road. The stretch between Dahisar and Vapi is a wonderful drive; beautiful scenery, broad curving roads, hills in the background - the perfect setting to test the Vento's ride handling capabilities. Except for the initial 50 odd kms which is still undergoing construction (for over an year if I remember correctly from my previous trip), the rest of the drive allows us to reach 120-140 kmph.

The F1 Roadtrip : Pune to Noida-dsc08502.jpg

You can figure out we are reaching the Gujarat border when temples start coming up next to the highway!
The F1 Roadtrip : Pune to Noida-dsc08511.jpg

A rare sight - probably the only bikers we encountered on the entire trip with both wearing helmets. And yes, that was an Harley!
The F1 Roadtrip : Pune to Noida-dsc08490.jpg


Day 2 - To be continued

Last edited by ninjatalli : 6th November 2011 at 12:53.
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Old 7th November 2011, 13:18   #7
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We pass the gujarat border and up the pace. Within a short distance the constructions & bypass(es) end and there are no more distractions. The roads of Gujarat are wide, and straight; absolutely straight. The only problems - the driving is more sedate, people do follow lane driving, but you need to flash/honk at them to get them to move or do the other alternative; zig-zag. And thats what we did.

When you have a Vento on such an awesome road, patience is a virtue hard to endure. When you have two Ventos on such an awesome road, patience takes a hike! Literally! If we were going fast till then, then we certainly upped the ante. The average speed which stayed till 120 till then, got raised to 140-160 kmph.

Looking back, it was risky; but the day was young, and the roads were tempting enough. Plus there is something about this car - it pushes you to race around. 120/140/160 kmph - made no difference, the car takes it in without any grunt.

The octroi point at the border
The F1 Roadtrip : Pune to Noida-dsc08510.jpg

The harley keeps up with us, till the point we speedup!
The F1 Roadtrip : Pune to Noida-dsc08492.jpg

So Ahmedabad ain't that far!
The F1 Roadtrip : Pune to Noida-dsc08520.jpg

But the final destination is still a long way to go!
The F1 Roadtrip : Pune to Noida-dsc08523.jpg


Once we reached Surat, we stopped to take a tea break and fuel up the lady. Again decided against tanking up as Gujarat was even more costlier than Pune! Somehow we had the wrong idea that fuel was cheaper in Gujarat so we had decided against tanking up on the Maharashtra highway. Rate on the border (MH side) was around 44.2 INR while the same here was over 46!

Re-fueling at Surat
The F1 Roadtrip : Pune to Noida-dsc08527.jpg

We got back to the road - the sun was up and it was hot outside; I had forgotten how hot it gets out here in Gujarat. In Pune, during this time of the year you actually welcome the sun. Not here.

About an hour later we take the detour through Ankleshwar & Bharuch; the reasons were double-fold; we had to pickup a friend at Bharuch plus we get to avoid the jams (if any) on the main bridge over Narmada.

I have travelled over the Golden Gate bridge numerous times, but still every time it doesn't fail to awe me. Best season to travel on this bridge is during the rainy season - a bit scary, but the sights are too beautiful to behold.

The beautiful 150+ year old Golden Gate bridge over Narmada
The F1 Roadtrip : Pune to Noida-dsc08535.jpg

Old yet sturdy - the bridge looks narrow, but two SUVs can easily cross each other
The F1 Roadtrip : Pune to Noida-dsc08536.jpg

Driving on the highway is fun - you get to see a lot of sights & vehicles that one never gets to see in the cities.

Dunno what purpose this vehicle had!
The F1 Roadtrip : Pune to Noida-img_0475.jpg

A porche being carried on a truck! What a waste - it would have been so much better if they just drove it across!
The F1 Roadtrip : Pune to Noida-dsc08532.jpg

Soon we start seeing the magnificent creations of the Gaekwad royal family - a clear indication that we are reaching Vadodara. And a more important pending activity that was clearly affecting all of us - LUNCH!
The F1 Roadtrip : Pune to Noida-img_0484.jpg

Last edited by ninjatalli : 7th November 2011 at 13:24.
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Old 7th November 2011, 16:21   #8
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No amount of time in your hometown is enough - even if none of your family lives there. But my time was limited, so it was lunch and a short meetup with friends.

We hogged ourselves at Mirch Masala (yummy chat options!); although this was right inside the city, it was on the way to my friend's place.

A colorful menu
The F1 Roadtrip : Pune to Noida-img_0489.jpg

Try to read the quotes - quite funny!
The F1 Roadtrip : Pune to Noida-img_0488.jpg

Apparently they had been "waiting" for a table for a bit too long
The F1 Roadtrip : Pune to Noida-img_0492.jpg

A last photo before the lady says goodbye to her elder brother
The F1 Roadtrip : Pune to Noida-img_0493.jpg

Soon it was time to head out to Ahmedabad - the break had long extended to over four hours. The good thing about Gujarat cities - there are multiple entries & exit routes to the highway, all easily accessible & with clear directions mentioned on most inner roads. Soon we were on the express highway within minutes.

Empty expressway = high speeds (Read:190kmph)
The F1 Roadtrip : Pune to Noida-img_0510.jpg

The F1 Roadtrip : Pune to Noida-img_0508.jpg

We reached Ahmedabad well in time for the Diwali firecrackers & celebrations. Although it turned out quite the opposite. Had a good bath, and a "sweet" dinner, and decided to "rest" for a while before we start bursting the crackers. And that was it, right then - within minutes were were snoring away to glory.

Apparently my friend's parents tried a lot to wake us but then abandoned the attempt as it wasn't working on either of us, even an earthquake couldn't wake us up.
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Old 7th November 2011, 23:01   #9
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Default Re: The F1 Roadtrip

Quote:
Originally Posted by ninjatalli View Post
For me the road came first, the Vento was purchased for the road....
Liked this statement very much.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ninjatalli View Post
That's our dinner - possible the worst way one could waste an opportunity to eat out on the road - seriously the Mum-Pune expressway needs some proper dhaba(s)
Yes, for food lovers, Dhaba in Highways are preferable than McD any-day.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ninjatalli View Post
No amount of time in your hometown is enough...
+1.

Shall keep an eye on this thread, interesting photos, good and easy to understand presentation through excel.

Last edited by AvonA7 : 7th November 2011 at 23:03. Reason: edit...
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Old 7th November 2011, 23:45   #10
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Default Re: The F1 Roadtrip : Pune to Noida

Niranjan, Is that you who is writing this travelogue? Good man, nice to see your travelogue and good comments on the photos :-)

Keep writing and share your experience, particularly looking for your Vento "road" experience ;-)
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Old 7th November 2011, 23:47   #11
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Day 3 (Oct 27th)

Route : Ahmedabad - Udaipur - Chittorgarh - Jaipur - Shahpura
Kms : 688
Max Speed : 130kmph (Strictly followed)

After all the speeding & racing in the Vapi - Ahmedabad stretch, we decide to maintain a speed limit, especially considering the good roads of Rajasthan that we were soon going to encounter.

The benefit of having all the time in the world lets you take quite a few luxuries as and when required. So in spite of getting ready by 7 a.m., we decide to have a scrumptious breakfast at my friend's place. My friend's mom had somehow got this idea that we were probably going to the border for a war, decided to feed us as if there was no tomorrow. We didn't complain

Now to get out of Ahmedabad onto to NH8 there are multiple options.
  • Best Route : On a traffic filled day, the easiest option would be to get onto to SG Highway, go through Gandhinagar, and join NH8 around 30 odd kms from Ahmedabad. This route will never fail you - wide roads, average traffic (at max).
  • Second best Route : Get to the nearest exit to the Sardar Patel Ring road, and follow the directions as displayed to touch NH8 (do note the NH8 turns into a 2 lane road from the SP ring road-NH8 junction till the Gandhinagar-NH8 junction, which can be quite an issue during high traffic)
  • Least preferred option : If you are in the heart of the city (on the west side of Sabarmati), get on to Ashram road, look for directions to the airport (Airport Road), keep on heading straight (bypassing the airport when it actually comes) and you'll finally join NH8.

We take the least preferred option - again my decision; it had almost been a year since I left this city; I wanted to have a look at the streets again. The Diwali (holiday) effect is visible, even at 8 a.m. there is hardly any life on the streets and we reach the highway in a short while.

Empty streets of Ahmedabad
The F1 Roadtrip : Pune to Noida-dsc08553.jpg

The two-lane highway stretch just after leaving Ahmedabad
The F1 Roadtrip : Pune to Noida-dsc08561.jpg

A snapshot on what's to come!
The F1 Roadtrip : Pune to Noida-dsc08566.jpg

Close to an hour later we decide to have a stopover, just after we have passed Himmatnagar. The side-effects of the heavy breakfast start reflecting on one of my friends and hence the need for the stopover. Meanwhile we have a cuppa and I click a few pics of the lady.

The F1 Roadtrip : Pune to Noida-dsc08570.jpg

We get back on to the road, and soon we start seeing mountains - which only means one thing - the RJ border is close. Shortly we pass by the octroi point and reach the welcoming gates of RJ. The moment you cross the border, the only structures that are visible with huge ads in all directions are bars! Meanwhile, the first thing that we do is tank up; i.e. the car

Hills = Rajasthan
The F1 Roadtrip : Pune to Noida-dsc08579.jpg

Octroi check on the border
The F1 Roadtrip : Pune to Noida-dsc08580.jpg

Welcome gates on the RJ side
The F1 Roadtrip : Pune to Noida-dsc08582.jpg

The IBP pump where we tank up
The F1 Roadtrip : Pune to Noida-dsc08584.jpg

Check out the diesel rate - sweet!
The F1 Roadtrip : Pune to Noida-dsc08583.jpg

Nice and curvy roads
The F1 Roadtrip : Pune to Noida-dsc08588.jpg

Last edited by ninjatalli : 8th November 2011 at 00:00.
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Old 8th November 2011, 00:38   #12
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Default Re: The F1 Roadtrip : Pune to Noida

Quote:
Originally Posted by AvonA7 View Post
Liked this statement very much.



Yes, for food lovers, Dhaba in Highways are preferable than McD any-day.



+1.

Shall keep an eye on this thread, interesting photos, good and easy to understand presentation through excel.
Thanks! As long as we have truckers doing the highways, dhabas won't die for sure!

Quote:
Originally Posted by balajird View Post
Niranjan, Is that you who is writing this travelogue? Good man, nice to see your travelogue and good comments on the photos :-)

Keep writing and share your experience, particularly looking for your Vento "road" experience ;-)
Yes sir! Will be putting it across soon.
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Old 8th November 2011, 08:54   #13
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Default Re: The F1 Roadtrip : Pune to Noida

Superb. Enjoyed reading everything till now! Nice photos capturing the trip completely. And the blue beauty looks smashing in all of them! I wonder how you manage to keep the car clean and shining throughout the journey. For me, the first few hours do the damage in terms of either dirt or dead insects sticking to the windshield / bonnet / front bumper.

Quote:
For me the road came first, the Vento was purchased for the road
Oh yes, the joy of cruising down the highway in the Vento TDI is unparalleled! It is the ultimate highway cruiser, never tiring and always ready to shoot, at the touch of the pedal, no matter what RPM. This coupled with the smooth GQ roads makes it irresistible to drive. Just this weekend, I did a 250 km trip to Lepakshi on the Andhra border. The NH7 was a joy to drive on.
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Old 8th November 2011, 08:55   #14
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Great pics of an epic trip !
I will re-read this at my leisure
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Old 8th November 2011, 10:11   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nileshch View Post
Superb. Enjoyed reading everything till now! Nice photos capturing the trip completely. And the blue beauty looks smashing in all of them! I wonder how you manage to keep the car clean and shining throughout the journey. For me, the first few hours do the damage in terms of either dirt or dead insects sticking to the windshield / bonnet / front bumper.
Hahaha - I knew one of you guys were gonna raise this Q. The lady remained clean till Jaipur only - wait till I post pics of her post Delhi - Noida trips - you'll be amazed the amount dirt & bugs Delhi roads pack in, even though the average speed might be less than 20kmph during traffic hours!

Quote:
Originally Posted by nileshch View Post
Oh yes, the joy of cruising down the highway in the Vento TDI is unparalleled! It is the ultimate highway cruiser, never tiring and always ready to shoot, at the touch of the pedal, no matter what RPM. This coupled with the smooth GQ roads makes it irresistible to drive. Just this weekend, I did a 250 km trip to Lepakshi on the Andhra border. The NH7 was a joy to drive on.
Another trip! Where are the ?


Better not let @souravc see this - he might just sue you for over-doing TLs!
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