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Old 7th October 2012, 10:41   #1
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Default Figo TDCi at Kaas

Last year Kaas was magical and it was then that I decided that I will go to Kaas every year if possible.

This year too even though it was quite late in the season, I decided to take my new Figo TDCi to Kaas. But unfortunately the day chosen was not a wise one as we went there on the last day of Ganesotsav when all the major Ganesh pandals had their visarjan and we were stuck at Satara on our return journey from Kaas.

The plan was to stay over night at Satara and cover the lake, the lower plateaus for Smithia Bigemina flowers and the main plateau for everything else.

We had 3 cars, a Vento Tdi, Swift Vxi and my Figo TDCi. We started at 7:00 from Navi Mumbai and stopped at Kalamboli McDonalds for breakfast. My friend, the Vento owner was really excited to take his new Vento for a long drive was really excited about the trip. Unfortunately, a check engine light half way through the expressway, forced him to return back to Navi Mumbai. They diagnosed it as just a sensor wire problem, but its another matter that his car is still in the workshop to solve this 'simple problem' with the VW guys citing some weird VW rules.

Any way the road to Satara is just brilliant with the expressway ending only to give way to the Bangalore highway. The Figo did this with utmost ease. I thought that my DDIS Ritz would have been a better highway muncher but the Figo more than met my expectations. On the ghats it was just brilliant and not once did I have any need to reduce speeds to negotiate curves.

We stayed at Radhika palace in Satara. Thankfully we had bookings earlier coz we later found out that all the hotels in Satara were booked in anticipation of the extended weekend due to 2nd Oct.

We started out to climb the plateau late afternoon and had some good fun on our way to identify species of flowers that are not found at the plateau. We stopped at the lower plateaus just after the go karting place to see some wonderful valley and lake views. We saw no less than 5 Peregrine Falcons around the valley along with a lot of Malabar Crested larks who were displaying to attract their mates.

Reached the main plateau by late evening so could not really enjoy the flowers in fading light so decided to walk to the Kaas lake enjoying the misty, cloudy weather and rains.

The return back to Satara city late in the evening, was uneventful till we reached Satara city and here started all the fun or should I say the pain.

Being the last day of Ganeshotsav, the big Ganesh idols were on their way to Visarjan and the entire city was blocked and there were huge traffic jams everywhere. Some local boys tried to help us to find our way out of the choked roads and soon we were maneuvering our way through the tiniest, 1 vehicle only gallis of Satara and this was something that really tested my driving skills, which involved taking U turns on the spot, driving in reverse for long distances, avoiding the maddening crowd and haphazardly parked vehicles. Just when I thought the worst was over, I managed to scrap my left front door against a rusting kinetic honda's jutting foot rest that I failed to see. It was really painful to see that after all the effort to avoid being hit. I had managed to scratch my black beauty, completely due to my fault

Any was the hotel lights were a welcome sight indeed after 2 hours of driving to cover that last 2-3 kms.

Next morning we were off again to the Kaas plateau and on our way saw the brilliant Glory Lilly and the Smithia Bigemina flower carpets which close by mid day. These are also known as Mickey mouse flowers. A big bonus were the Jungle Bush Quails ambling down the road.

We parked about 50m before the main plateau as there were hardly any cars at that time so there was no one to complain or tell us to park further down the road.

We thoroughly enjoyed seeing and photographing the different flowers and the next 3-4 hours passed away quickly. We then went to the Kaas lake later before mid day and had some hot Kanda Bhajis and Bhuttas.

Soon it was time to go back and I was simply amazed to see the number of vehicles on my way down the Kaas ghat that were making a beeline to the plateau. I hardly had a vehicle or 2 to overtake but must have passed by hundreds of them making their way up.

We checked out out by 12:30 and after a spirited drive was at Navi Mumbai by 4:30 PM.

Attaching some photos of flowers below:
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Figo TDCi at Kaas-kass-landscape.jpg  

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Old 3rd November 2012, 03:17   #2
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Default Re: Figo TDCi at Kaas

Wow, some truly stunning flowers and photographs. Sad to know you scraped your car, but it does happen in difficult driving conditions is all I can say.

Was wondering if you managed to get any photos of the birds, especially the falcons. Those are truly a sight to behold.
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Old 3rd November 2012, 09:13   #3
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Default Re: Figo TDCi at Kaas

Quote:
Originally Posted by pganapathy View Post
Wow, some truly stunning flowers and photographs. Sad to know you scraped your car, but it does happen in difficult driving conditions is all I can say.

Was wondering if you managed to get any photos of the birds, especially the falcons. Those are truly a sight to behold.
Thanks!!

I did manage to get a few falcon shots but since I was carrying only my 90mm they are nothing to really talk about. But they were really a sight to be hold.
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Old 3rd November 2012, 12:51   #4
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Default Re: Figo TDCi at Kaas

Nice travelogue and pictures. But how can a bhpian get away without a picture of his car in idyllic surroundings?

Do update us with how the FE was and how the car fared on hilly roads. I guess that the Figo must have surpassed expectations owing to its minimal turbo lag and great handling.
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Old 3rd November 2012, 18:40   #5
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Default Re: Figo TDCi at Kaas

Quote:
Originally Posted by vnabhi View Post
Nice travelogue and pictures. But how can a bhpian get away without a picture of his car in idyllic surroundings?

Do update us with how the FE was and how the car fared on hilly roads. I guess that the Figo must have surpassed expectations owing to its minimal turbo lag and great handling.
Unfortunately I did not take a single picture of the car out there. But will remember to do so the next time.

Overall fuel efficiency for a relatively new car that had done less than 2000 kms was around 20 kmpl with speeds in the range of 100 and 120 kmph on long stretches of the Pune and Bangalore expressways. We were 5 people on board with our luggage in the boot and I never felt that the car was under powered. Turbo lag and over taking was never an issue and I really wonder why the Figo has received so much criticism over lacking top end grunt and overtaking being a problem compared to the multijet powered cars. Agreed the multijets are better at over taking, but not by much. But road holding and grip are above and beyond any other car in its price range or above.

Posting a shot of 'Sitas tears' at Kaas.
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Figo TDCi at Kaas-sitas_tears1.jpg  

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Old 4th November 2012, 19:42   #6
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Default Re: Figo TDCi at Kaas

20 kmpl for a new car is fantastic! Of course, the highway drive must have been the main contributor to the FE.

As regards overtaking and top end grunt, it is too soon for me to comment as I've hardly used the 2-week old Figo on the highway. But it does have great low end grunt that is very useful for city driving.

But I have driven the i-20 crdi both in city and on highways, and found it to have better punch post 2000 rpm on the tacho. So if you're above that rpm on the highway and want to quickly overtake a bus, a mere dab on the throttle will hurtle you past. But in the Figo, I guess it would take some more effort and time. But the handling of the Figo is leagues ahead, giving one more confidence to take corners and undulations on the road with aplomb.This apart, the steering of the i-20 feels dead at highway speeds, and needs constant correction.

In bumper-to-bumper driving, the Figo takes the cake.

Last edited by vnabhi : 4th November 2012 at 19:43.
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