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Old 16th September 2012, 19:11   #1
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Cool In a Honda Brio : Kochi - Munnar - Thiruvananthapuram

In a Honda Brio : Kochi - Munnar - Thiruvananthapuram-dsc_0203-copy.jpg

This is Honda's 3rd Drive to Discover series. There is no fixed format to stick to, and no fixed route either. Armed with an approximate set of timelines, we are free to choose the route to our destination - the focus being on the experiences from the trip, as well as the chance to have a longer driving experience with the car provided.

In a Honda Brio : Kochi - Munnar - Thiruvananthapuram-551656_460357903986221_728414153_n.jpg

I represented Team-BHP and was part of the team that drove the Honda Brio from Kochi to Munnar and on to Trivandrum, covering roads of varying traffic density, altitudes and scenic locales.

Drive to Discover 3 was first flagged off from the Honda dealership in Jammu, with the course traversing across the country from the North to the South, culminating at Thiruvananthapuram in Kerala. While pairs of different media houses completed the different legs from the tour, Team-BHP was invited for the final stretch between Kochi and Thiruvananthapuram, which also included a dash to Munnar in between.

In a Honda Brio : Kochi - Munnar - Thiruvananthapuram-dsc_0052-copy.jpg

The contingent included two Honda Brios, of which one was the support car. The lead car in blue was driven by the media team, while the support car brought up the rear. The drive was flagged off on the 22nd of August from Jammu and the journey was completed on the 12th of September at Thiruvananthapuram.

Last edited by GTO : 17th September 2012 at 15:28.
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Old 16th September 2012, 19:46   #2
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Default Re: Honda Drive to Discover 3 : Kochi -Munnar - Thiruvananthapuram with the Honda Bri

In a Honda Brio : Kochi - Munnar - Thiruvananthapuram-dsc_0030.jpg

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On the 11th of September, we were flagged off from the Peninsular Honda dealership at Kochi. With the freedom to plot our route, I chose the following route to get to Munnar :

Kochi -> Aluva -> Kothamangalam -> Oonukal -> Adimali -> Munnar

In a Honda Brio : Kochi - Munnar - Thiruvananthapuram-dsc_0044.jpg

Kms on the odo when at the time of flag-off from Kochi
In a Honda Brio : Kochi - Munnar - Thiruvananthapuram-dsc_0038.jpg

The cockpit for the next 2 days
In a Honda Brio : Kochi - Munnar - Thiruvananthapuram-dsc_0039.jpg

After a flag off from the Peninsular Honda dealership at Kochi, which was covered by various regional media, we set out on our way to Munnar. We kept the use of GPS to a minimum and chose the traditional "asking around for directions" approach. Quite obviously, we ended up missing a couple of turns and had to retrace our route at times, although we always realized we were on the wrong road quick enough. The ability of the Brio to make those quick U-turns in minimum available space within the city was obvious quite early in our journey.

At the first fuel-stop
In a Honda Brio : Kochi - Munnar - Thiruvananthapuram-dsc_0048.jpg

Kochi was at its humid ways and the A/C on the blower setting 2 made light work of the heat.

In a Honda Brio : Kochi - Munnar - Thiruvananthapuram-dsc_0065-copy.jpg

Along the way, we came across waterfalls of different stature, of which we decided to pull over at one called Cheeyapara falls. The place saw a good number of tourists, whose attention was soon transfixed upon the two Brios decked up in the Drive to Discover livery. Some people came up to enquire if this was the "diesel Brio" (of which Team-BHP broke the scoop).

The sad part was the litter around the place, a problem quite common across tourist spots in the country.

Last edited by GTO : 17th September 2012 at 15:31.
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Old 16th September 2012, 20:26   #3
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Default Re: Honda Drive to Discover 3 : Kochi -Munnar - Thiruvananthapuram with the Honda Bri

In a Honda Brio : Kochi - Munnar - Thiruvananthapuram-dsc_0102-copy.jpg

As we made our way up the way to Munnar, the temperatures started dipping and we turned off the A/C to breathe the fresh air. With a flexible schedule, we took breaks in between for some photo ops and also to marvel at the beautiful locales on offer.

Beautiful Munnar scapes
In a Honda Brio : Kochi - Munnar - Thiruvananthapuram-dsc_0135.jpg

In a Honda Brio : Kochi - Munnar - Thiruvananthapuram-dsc_0117.jpg

In a Honda Brio : Kochi - Munnar - Thiruvananthapuram-dsc_0104-copy.jpg

In a Honda Brio : Kochi - Munnar - Thiruvananthapuram-dsc_0087.jpg

We came across a single lane winding road off the main course surrounded by tea gardens on both sides, and a bird's eye view of the surroundings. Without a second thought, we drove up this road and set about shooting pics of the cars.

In a Honda Brio : Kochi - Munnar - Thiruvananthapuram-dsc_0137.jpg

In a Honda Brio : Kochi - Munnar - Thiruvananthapuram-dsc_0156.jpg

In a Honda Brio : Kochi - Munnar - Thiruvananthapuram-dsc_0131.jpg

We got another chance to check out the minimal turning radius as we had to turn around the cars on this narrow road.

In a Honda Brio : Kochi - Munnar - Thiruvananthapuram-dsc_0153.jpg

Many pics later, we made our way to Hotel Tea Country - KTDC Hill resort at Munnar, which was our destination for the night.

In a Honda Brio : Kochi - Munnar - Thiruvananthapuram-dsc_0169.jpg

Last edited by GTO : 17th September 2012 at 15:32.
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Old 17th September 2012, 06:44   #4
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Default Munnar - Thiruvananthapuram

With a relatively longer journey ahead of us, the plan was to start at 8AM from Munnar. We chose to take a different route to make our way down from Munnar to Adimali, and chose the Chittirapuram route this time - after all, this was a drive to discover!

At the Hotel Tea County - Munnar
In a Honda Brio : Kochi - Munnar - Thiruvananthapuram-dsc_0198.jpg

In a Honda Brio : Kochi - Munnar - Thiruvananthapuram-dsc_0205-copy.jpg

In a Honda Brio : Kochi - Munnar - Thiruvananthapuram-dsc_0209.jpg

On the return leg from Munnar to Thiruvananthapuram, I preferred to map the route through winding roads and so included parts of Idukki and Kottayam district running through various rubber plantation estates.

The final route looked as below :

Munnar - Adimali - Oonukal - Thodupuzha - Pala - Erattupetta - Kanjirapally - Kozhencherry - Pandalam - Adoor - Thiruvananthapuram

It gave us a chance to make our way through rubber estates, and winding roads with relatively lesser traffic to navigate through. As we moved towards the plains, lush green paddy fields and coconut groves gave us scenic company.

Another waterfall along the way to Thodupuzha
In a Honda Brio : Kochi - Munnar - Thiruvananthapuram-dsc_0213.jpg

As we stopped somewhere to figure out the route to Pala, a Scorpio pulled up beside us, asking us to lower the glasses. The passengers inside were an excited lot, and queried if this was the diesel Brio. Clearly goes to show the pent-up demand for a diesel from Honda!

Through rubber estates in Kerala
In a Honda Brio : Kochi - Munnar - Thiruvananthapuram-dsc_0215.jpg

In a Honda Brio : Kochi - Munnar - Thiruvananthapuram-dsc_0225.jpg

Kerala, known for its bandhs and harthals didnt disappoint us, and it was somewhere along our journey that we got to know that Pathanamthitta district had declared a harthal against the government's proposal to hike fuel prices. Interestingly, this was much before the actual decision was announced! What this meant was that Idukki and Kottayam districts were bustling with action, while Pathanamthitta district appeared as if it was a ghost town - not a single soul on the roads, and needless to say no shops were open.

A church near Adoor (couldn't help with the wires running across)
In a Honda Brio : Kochi - Munnar - Thiruvananthapuram-dsc_0229-copy.jpg

It was lunch time, however, we couldn't oblige our stomachs or the cars for food and petrol respectively, as there were no restaurants or petrol bunks open. We decided to curb our appetite and carry on.

In a Honda Brio : Kochi - Munnar - Thiruvananthapuram-dsc_0238.jpg

With no traffic on the roads, we made quick progress under the hot sun. MC Road was a breeze to drive on, thanks to the smooth surface and shoulders which have been incorporated.

Last edited by GTO : 17th September 2012 at 16:59.
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Old 17th September 2012, 10:05   #5
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Default The final stretch

The rest of the drive was uneventful, and we were looking at an early arrival at our final destination at Thiruvananthapuram. Our drive culminated at Thycaud, but not before we had clicked some of the customary pics with the cars at Trivandrum.

In a Honda Brio : Kochi - Munnar - Thiruvananthapuram-dsc_0265.jpg

We handed over the keys to the dealer representatives who would load the cars on a truck as they set off on their return to their place of origin - the Honda plant.

In a Honda Brio : Kochi - Munnar - Thiruvananthapuram-dsc_0271.jpg

Last edited by GTO : 17th September 2012 at 17:04.
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Old 17th September 2012, 10:17   #6
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Default Likes and Dislikes

In a Honda Brio : Kochi - Munnar - Thiruvananthapuram-dsc_0142.jpg

Likes :
  • Does not feel like a cheap car from the inside
  • Peppy engine that loves to be revved with slick gear shifts
  • Well composed across corners and quick lane changes
  • Tiny turning radius - performed a rather impossible turn around on a single lane road in Munnar bordered with tea plantation on both sides
  • No rattles despite the kind of terrain traversed
  • Comfortable seats - not too soft, nor too hard
Dislikes :
  • Steering doesnt weigh down with speed
  • Rear wheel crashes through potholes while the front setup glides through
  • Limited space for the rear passengers
  • High boot lid means you need to lift that heavy bag higher
  • Limited boot space. With two laptop bags and a travel bag in the boot, there was not much space for anything else.
In a Honda Brio : Kochi - Munnar - Thiruvananthapuram-dsc_0036.jpg
  • Quirky design element on the door pads, with door metal exposed on the inside. Bad touch! Expected from Mahindra, not from Honda!
In a Honda Brio : Kochi - Munnar - Thiruvananthapuram-dsc_0095.jpg

Link to the Team-BHP Official review for the Honda Brio : Link (Honda Brio : Test Drive & Review)

Disclaimer : Honda invited Team-BHP for the Brio Drive. They covered all the expenses for this driving event.

Last edited by benbsb29 : 19th September 2012 at 18:14. Reason: Added link to the Official review for the Brio.
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Old 17th September 2012, 17:06   #7
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Default Re: In a Honda Brio : Kochi - Munnar - Thiruvananthapuram

Thread moved from the Assembly Line (The "Assembly Line" Forum section) to the Travelogues Section. Thanks for sharing!
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Old 17th September 2012, 17:36   #8
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Default Re: Likes and Dislikes

Beautiful pictures Benny! That part of India in monsoons is heaven

Quote:
Originally Posted by benbsb29 View Post
We handed over the keys to the dealer representatives who would load the cars on a truck as they set off on their return to their place of origin - the Honda plant.
Flight tickets + expense and I would have volunteered

Quote:
Originally Posted by benbsb29

Likes :
  • Does not feel like a cheap car from the inside
Just another day I hopped in a Brio from an Etios and imagine my surprise. I went wow.
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Old 18th September 2012, 10:32   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sheel View Post
Beautiful pictures Benny! That part of India in monsoons is heaven

Just another day I hopped in a Brio from an Etios and imagine my surprise. I went wow.
Thanks Sheel! It was quite cold in Munnar during the night, and the clean air is always a pleasure to breathe.

As for the Brio interiors, the Etios and Liva cannot compete with it.
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Old 18th September 2012, 16:55   #10
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Default Re: In a Honda Brio : Kochi - Munnar - Thiruvananthapuram

Nice travelogue, liked the two pics - 0093 (two Brio's at tea garden) & 0213 (waterfall along the way to Thodupuzha) !!!

This part of the country is always pleasant to drive, and I guess it didn't rain through out your journey.

Cheers !!!
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Old 18th September 2012, 17:40   #11
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Default Re: In a Honda Brio : Kochi - Munnar - Thiruvananthapuram

Benny,

You have mentioned that the bandh in pathanamthitta was due to hike in diesel prices. But it was aganist the Aranmula air port.

Regards,
Gopi
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Old 18th September 2012, 18:11   #12
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Default Re: In a Honda Brio : Kochi - Munnar - Thiruvananthapuram

Fantastic pics Benny, the BRIO looks stunning in Blue with the scenic background. Was there any media coverage by Honda for this drive ?
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Old 18th September 2012, 18:46   #13
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Default Re: In a Honda Brio : Kochi - Munnar - Thiruvananthapuram

Quote:
Originally Posted by Milestone View Post
Nice travelogue, liked the two pics - 0093 (two Brio's at tea garden) & 0213 (waterfall along the way to Thodupuzha) !!!

This part of the country is always pleasant to drive, and I guess it didn't rain through out your journey.

Cheers !!!
Thanks Milestone. I have more pics from the same locations, but avoided posting them for repetition's sake.

There was a bit of a drizzle as we were approaching Adimali, but toherwise there was not much rain throughout the drive.

Quote:
Originally Posted by shalini_g View Post
Benny,

You have mentioned that the bandh in pathanamthitta was due to hike in diesel prices. But it was aganist the Aranmula air port.

Regards,
Gopi
Thanks for clarifying, Gopi. I didnt know about a proposed airport at Aranmula, of all places! Is this a proposed international or domestic airport?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ADI_77 View Post
Fantastic pics Benny, the BRIO looks stunning in Blue with the scenic background. Was there any media coverage by Honda for this drive ?
Thanks for the nice words, Adi. There was a bit of media coverage for the event but mainly limited to the online media, and their facebook page.
There was a coverage on the flag off from Kochi in the Malayala Manorama - Kochi edition.

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Old 18th September 2012, 19:16   #14
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Default Re: In a Honda Brio : Kochi - Munnar - Thiruvananthapuram

Lovely pictures Benny, loved the ones with the cars in the narrow roads of the estates.

Quote:
The contingent included two Honda Brios, of which one was the support car. The lead car in blue was driven by the media team, while the support car brought up the rear. The drive was flagged off on the 22nd of August from Jammu and the journey was completed on the 12th of September at Thiruvananthapuram.
How many of you were travelling in each car? Were you the only ones to drive throughout or did you have to swap teams?
How was the rear seat ride quality if you happened to travel sitting in the rear?
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Old 19th September 2012, 08:36   #15
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Default Re: In a Honda Brio : Kochi - Munnar - Thiruvananthapuram

Quote:
Originally Posted by benbsb29 View Post
The drive was flagged off on the 22nd of August from Jammu and the journey was completed on the 12th of September at Thiruvananthapuram.
Thanks for the report and crisp photographs. I feel Kerala is quite ideal for these kinds of drives. A bit of rain adds to the scenic beauty. And you get a mix of good and bad roads, twists, drivers with minimum traffic sense, and above all harthals! 

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Originally Posted by shalini_g View Post
But it was aganist the Aranmula air port.
Oh wow! We already have 3 airports, another one is in progress (Kannur), and now Aranmula airport! In this pace, each district will soon have an airport of its own
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