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Old 9th March 2013, 22:28   #31
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Default Re: 3,800 kms across 4 States in 9 Days - A Family Sojourn in 'LUV' Ertiga

Day 5 Jan 30 - Baroda local
Distance Travelled 55 kms


We woke up well past 09:00 AM, late breakfast. The previous day we had come to know that in laws were not well and may prefer to fly back. Our original plan was to drive to Mumbai, stay at a nice place and get them the full experience of a metropolis. Then go to Shirdi and Pune and back to Bangalore. Not happening. Something happend to my MIL and we have to hold off on any long road journey with both of them. We book them flight tickets to Bangalore. Guess 2 days of drive was tiring for them. They have been with us on a KL, GA trip before but well this time it was not to be. Another round of lunches and dinners with the family and we try to retire early. The next day we had planned to drive to Mumbai. Its a short 400 kms drive.

The day was spent seeing the Baroda palace, garden and museum.

Some pictures of the palace... I have been to other palaces in the country but this one really takes a different level. Pictures really can't do justice..

3,800 kms across 4 States in 9 Days - A Family Sojourn in 'LUV' Ertiga-dsc07999-1024x768.jpg

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3,800 kms across 4 States in 9 Days - A Family Sojourn in 'LUV' Ertiga-dsc08022-1024x768.jpg

Highway driving tips -

a) When driving behind a big trailer or car carrier truck always bear in mind the blind corners from where the driver may not be able to see your vehicle.

b) Bear in mind the pulling capacity of the vehicle in front of you. This is especially true when on an incline. A heavier vehicle in front won't break its momentum.

c) While climbing up a ghat section remember if the vehicle is on 'fresh' air intake for AC then turn it to recirculation otherwise it will suck in fumes from other climbing vehicles.

d) Bear in mind the slower vehicles like tractors don't really have good brakes...allow ample time for their movement and keep safe distance.
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Old 10th March 2013, 20:07   #32
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Default Re: 3,800 kms across 4 States in 9 Days - A Family Sojourn in 'LUV' Ertiga

Really amazing travelogue Rajain! I was looking forward to this post for a long time and somehow missed reading it! I really loved the way you've made full use of the vehicle's potential and some more! Your trip has given me that added confidence to go and explore terrain outside TN and Kerala. I've always been wary of driving up north because I don't know/speak Hindi and didn't want to find myself stuck up in unknown territory! But your trip has made it lighter, and I reckon it's doable after all!

BTW, thanks for those little tips you've given, pretty useful! If you remember some more facts about how the vehicle performed, do share them!
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Old 12th March 2013, 08:09   #33
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Default Re: 3,800 kms across 4 States in 9 Days - A Family Sojourn in 'LUV' Ertiga

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rajain View Post
The day was spent seeing the Baroda palace, garden and museum.

Some pictures of the palace... I have been to other palaces in the country but this one really takes a different level. Pictures really can't do justice..
Truly majestic palace. Is it the Sayaji palace?

Quote:
While climbing up a ghat section remember if the vehicle is on 'fresh' air intake for AC then turn it to recirculation otherwise it will suck in fumes from other climbing vehicles.
Just adding my two sents:
Never tailgate a heavy vehicle on a narrow ghat road while climbing up. If that vehicle comes to a dead stop, it is likely to roll back before moving along. Also don't allow a heavy vehicle to tailgate you when climbing down. The momentum gathered by the vehicle behind you may not allow it to stop within a reasonable distance in case of emergency braking by you, resulting in you getting hit from back.
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Old 18th March 2013, 11:04   #34
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Default Re: 3,800 kms across 4 States in 9 Days - A Family Sojourn in 'LUV' Ertiga

Quote:
Originally Posted by swiftdiesel View Post
Really amazing travelogue Rajain! I was looking forward to this post for a long time and somehow missed reading it! I really loved the way you've made full use of the vehicle's potential and some more! Your trip has given me that added confidence to go and explore terrain outside TN and Kerala. I've always been wary of driving up north because I don't know/speak Hindi and didn't want to find myself stuck up in unknown territory! But your trip has made it lighter, and I reckon it's doable after all!
Thanks for finding this travelogue. Yes I think every inch and every capability of the vehicle was made good use of. The best part remains a good range on the diesel tank, the flexibility of the space inside, the AC, the sound system, the good ground clearence and the peppy engine. Language is not such a barrier. Considering that I find my way through the 4 states in south India or HVK/tsk1979/fauji/debuda/laluks/SS-Traveller/Coolcat/Nilanjanray/Ramky so many others find their way through the country its not such a big deal. Yes safe driving is. The GPS maps help a lot. Yes - go for it. Our country has so many places to see - so many road trips waiting to happen.



Quote:
Originally Posted by swiftdiesel View Post
BTW, thanks for those little tips you've given, pretty useful! If you remember some more facts about how the vehicle performed, do share them!
Thank you. Yes the highway driving tips is mostly commonsense, I just put them up together. I have several observations for the vehicle. Yes I will put them up together.

Quote:
Originally Posted by AutoIndian View Post
Truly majestic palace. Is it the Sayaji palace?
Yes it is the Sayaji Palace. We have been to Mysore, Gwalior, Jammu, Jodhpur and Shivpuri palaces. This one was splendid to say the least. Truly outstanding.

Quote:
Originally Posted by AutoIndian View Post
Just adding my two sents:
Never tailgate a heavy vehicle on a narrow ghat road while climbing up. If that vehicle comes to a dead stop, it is likely to roll back before moving along. Also don't allow a heavy vehicle to tailgate you when climbing down. The momentum gathered by the vehicle behind you may not allow it to stop within a reasonable distance in case of emergency braking by you, resulting in you getting hit from back.
Both of these are great observations. You are right on both counts. The heavy vehicles don't have great brakes, their momentum of movement is not easy to control with regular brakes. Vehicle being in front and climbing up, then stopping - well every chance of it rolling back plus there are blind spots that are created. I remember at Rohtang, (at Rani Nallah) two years ago on my way to Leh, a truck would not climb. And there was a Santro behind. Not just did the truck stop climbing, due to the slush it started to roll back. Thankfully, the Santro was able to get out of the way. Finally, a bulldozer that was doing duty had to push the truck from behind.

Similar is the case with a heavy vehicle behind. Their braking is not the best and the momentum of the vehicle will require longer time and it may just come very close or even rear end. Twice a Santro I used to drive has gone through this exact same situation.

Last edited by Rajain : 18th March 2013 at 11:09.
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Old 19th March 2013, 09:56   #35
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Some more pictures of The Palace..and the last is my Palace on Wheels parked in The Palace

In some parts of the Palace pictures were not allowed and someone promptly came to say so. I don't have any pictures of the the stately main hall, the coronation room, the armoury, the central staircase and the ante room.

3,800 kms across 4 States in 9 Days - A Family Sojourn in 'LUV' Ertiga-dsc08035-1024x768.jpg

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Last edited by Rajain : 19th March 2013 at 10:02.
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Old 19th March 2013, 11:36   #36
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Oh man, those are some awesome photos. Was this also by your better half or has the world now discovered one of your hidden skills. Shame you were not able to take photos of all the rooms but still can imagine what they must be like if these photos are anything to go by.

Thanks for the updates. Have been away for a while with my MBA exams but am back for my fix now so please hurry up

Still quite a bit more to go am guessing so do we need to check this thread daily for small updates or will it all come at once. Thanks for keeping us so entertained and for the great photography and views of the country that many people have never seen before.
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Old 22nd March 2013, 07:24   #37
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pganapathy View Post
Oh man, those are some awesome photos. Was this also by your better half or has the world now discovered one of your hidden skills. Shame you were not able to take photos of all the rooms but still can imagine what they must be like if these photos are anything to go by.
Thank you. Some of these are mine most of them are by her. We had 2 cameras. One is a slightly better and enhanced point and shoot.

Quote:
Originally Posted by pganapathy View Post
Thanks for the updates. Have been away for a while with my MBA exams but am back for my fix now so please hurry up

Still quite a bit more to go am guessing so do we need to check this thread daily for small updates or will it all come at once. Thanks for keeping us so entertained and for the great photography and views of the country that many people have never seen before.
Certainly. I agree. There are parts of our country that don't really feature in the narrative of tourism discourse. One hardly gets to hear about Mt Abu when Jaipur/Agra/Goa or Kerela conversation comes up.

As you can imagine writing a TL is perhaps more difficult than driving the long distance. I normally find time over the weekend or one slightly free morning during the week. I am on it.
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Old 22nd March 2013, 08:28   #38
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Some pictures from the Baroda Garden and Museum. The Museum is itself more than 100 years old.

3,800 kms across 4 States in 9 Days - A Family Sojourn in 'LUV' Ertiga-img_8657-1024x768.jpg

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Old 26th March 2013, 09:04   #39
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Default Re: 3,800 kms across 4 States in 9 Days - A Family Sojourn in 'LUV' Ertiga

Day 6 Jan 31 - Baroda - Mumbai
Distance travelled 435 kms


We woke up well after the sun was up and about. And started for Mumbai just after lunch. On the way we passed the great bridge on the Narmada. Thankfully we were on the smaller bridge. The traffic heading north had the traffic jam of a lifetime. It extended to over 8-9 kms. God knows how I did not get stuck when hearding into Baroda. But it was the mother of all traffic jams.

The roads are a pleasure to drive and after spending a few days in Gujarat we crossed over to Maharashtra. Starting at 2 PM from Baroda we crossed Fountain hotel by 7 PM and headed to a friend's place in Andheri. In fact we were running a head of time. Inspite of planning that we reach his home after he comes back from office we had to stop and spend time having chai.

It was good to meet our friend in Andheri. In fact we called him and mentioned some place we were around and he said we would take another 45 minutes but we were at the parking lot of his building in 20 minutes. The google maps was very useful. I noticed some red dots on the opposite side of our highway when we were entering Mumbai. The western expressway highway was full of traffic and we wonderered if the red dots showed high density traffic and that there was live traffic update. I don't know that but if it is a feature then its very good.

Later that night we went to meet another friend and his family who were also staying close by. All in all - a relaxed day of driving and good to meet people whom we would call in the middle of the night should there be a problem.

Some pictures from the day

Which way - head south

3,800 kms across 4 States in 9 Days - A Family Sojourn in 'LUV' Ertiga-dsc08146-1024x768.jpg

A very beautiful temple - on the other side of the highway
3,800 kms across 4 States in 9 Days - A Family Sojourn in 'LUV' Ertiga-dsc08147-1024x768.jpg

3,800 kms across 4 States in 9 Days - A Family Sojourn in 'LUV' Ertiga-dsc08149-1024x768.jpg

Guess who was also on the highway

3,800 kms across 4 States in 9 Days - A Family Sojourn in 'LUV' Ertiga-dsc08152-1024x768.jpg

More miles to crunch

3,800 kms across 4 States in 9 Days - A Family Sojourn in 'LUV' Ertiga-dsc08153-1024x768.jpg

The lovely highway

3,800 kms across 4 States in 9 Days - A Family Sojourn in 'LUV' Ertiga-dsc08154-1024x768.jpg

Stopped at a truckers stop..question from Innova fellow- from Bangalore? and then - 'kitna deti hai'

3,800 kms across 4 States in 9 Days - A Family Sojourn in 'LUV' Ertiga-dsc08170-1024x768.jpg

Just on the outskirts of Mumbai

3,800 kms across 4 States in 9 Days - A Family Sojourn in 'LUV' Ertiga-dsc08174-1024x768.jpg


Fuel filled - 1250 (Baroda)
The MID shows 17.90 kmpl. AC full time on. Load 2 adults.

Some more highway tips

a) Keeping one lane is easier said than done. Trucks do end up occupying all three lanes. Personally I prefer to keep the middle lane. Allows for overtaking on the right and if there is a surprise then there is space available to manoeuvre.

b) Where ever there are road works or one has to drive on opposite side of the lane look clearly...if there is no vehicle ahead of you please be aware that the oncoming vehicles may not see or realise that traffic has been diverted. I'd turn the headlights in low beam.

c) Going too far left on the highway to overtake trucks is not something I do. Far left increases the chances of tyre puncture as objects/stones/srews/nails maybe lying there.

d) Always have a clear line of sight for any emergency manoeuvre. ABS and ESP help. Ertiga does not have ESP but ABS is a boon.

e) While stopping please choose a roadside dhaba/eating joint. You won't be in line of traffic. If at all you have to stop on the highway choose a clearly far left off the road space, away from a curve where some vehicle who could not manage speed on turn also does not come straight at you and turn blinkers on.

Last edited by Rajain : 26th March 2013 at 09:10.
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Old 29th March 2013, 13:48   #40
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Day 7 Feb 01 Local Mumbai and Pune
Distance Travelled 245 kms

We have often been to Mumbai. Several friends there. We tried to meet as many as we could. So a drive from Andheri to Colaba and then to Thane by late evening. We departed from Thane for Pune almost after sunset. We stopped at one of the places just before the ghat.

This meant that we came across all the trucks laboring up the Lonavala ghat. Of course, climbing up is fun with this engine and in 3rd gear with rpm higher than 2000 the climb was taken without sweat. What was good to learn (every experience teaches one something) is that climbing trucks can come to a halt even if there is no other vehicle ahead of them.

AC had to be on interior air circulation mode as climbing up the ghat had every truck bellowing smoke. Upon arriving into Pune the GPS proved exteremly useful as we had booked ourselves into a hotel on Nagar road. We did not click pictures through the day though in hindsight I wish I had gone through Worli sealink and clicked a picture there...but there is always a next time.


Fuel Filled - 900 (Lonavala)
The MID shows 17.90. AC full time on. Load - 2 adults

Some more highway tips

a) Be careful of trucks climbing up a ghat. They can slow down or stop. Once they stop they will roll back some distance. Always keep 40-50 feet between.

b) Long carriers may not have a clear line of sight on which vehicle is where. They do try to do their best in understanding it but they do have several blind corners.

c) Its old wisdom but prefearbly find the gear in which the vehicle will take the climb. Depending on the incline this could be 2nd or 3rd.

d) At night give clear indication if you plan to change lane. Goes without saying but do make sure all the vehicle lights are in good working order.
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Old 3rd April 2013, 11:40   #41
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Day 8 Feb 02 Pune to Hubli
Distance travelled 445 kms


Day 8 was somewhat lighter day. We met with friends in Pune. Met with a nephew and ended the day at Hotel Metropolis in Hubli. Getting out of Pune took 45 mts. And it was only by sunset that we were driving out of Pune. From there it is fairly straightforward drive to Bangalore which we have done quite a few times before. The Pune-Bangalore highway is really good and one needs to maintain good speeds to cover the length in 12 hrs. But we had spent the day with friends and it was getting late so we decided to rest at Hubli just around midnight. GPS maps always helps. I have never stayed in Hubli before but finding a place on the map past midnight was a breeze and we called it a day. The hotel was modest and for the cost seemed value for money.

The MID shows 17.90. AC full time on. Load 2 adults.

Day 9 Feb 03 Hubli to Bangalore
Distance covered 440 kms

Really nothing much to write about on this day. We woke up late and got going. The distance to cover also was not a whole lot, plus there was not such a deadline. The vehicle looked a bit dirty but I just used wiper and cleaned windshield and we got going. A quick stop for fuel and breakfast and we are quickly on our way. The day was warm and the traffic was less. Everytime we have done this stretch it has been in second half...never in the first half. Kept paying tolls and kept driving. We did take one hour over our normal time on this stretch. The reason was the number of bridges that are under construction. Reached Bangalore by late afternoon. Getting home was nice. Our neighbors were asking how it was and there was a small neighborhood gathering.

Fuel filled 1100 (Hubli)
The MID shows 17.90. AC full time on. Load - 2 adults


The MID would start showing 19.5 or 19.8 or even cross 20 if I brought the speed to around 85-90 kmph but I stay pegged at 110 kmph and this is the average I got.

A few more random pictures as I close this TL officially.

3,800 kms across 4 States in 9 Days - A Family Sojourn in 'LUV' Ertiga-dsc08190-1024x768.jpg

3,800 kms across 4 States in 9 Days - A Family Sojourn in 'LUV' Ertiga-dsc08194-1024x768.jpg

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3,800 kms across 4 States in 9 Days - A Family Sojourn in 'LUV' Ertiga-img_8796-1024x768.jpg

3,800 kms across 4 States in 9 Days - A Family Sojourn in 'LUV' Ertiga-img_8828-1024x768.jpg

Just a celebration of the Indian highways, a celebration of our beautiful country and a lovely stead.

Most people fly to destinations more than 250-300 kms but we had done a pretty long journey.

So how did the Ertiga fare in the overall journey.

a) The flexi seating is the biggest plus.

b) A frugal and reasonably powerful engine is certainly an asset.

c) Straight line stability of the vehicle is very good.

d) Press the accelerator and there is a surge even at 110 kmph. This is noticeable.

e) I was overall impressed with the braking. ABS is certainly what all vehicles should have.

f) The AC worked very well. The cabin cools evenly and well. We also had the sun shades on the two large middle seat windows

g) The sound system is impressive. I have also added the JBL amp and replaced the speakers but I will sayeven the original ones were good.

h) The GC is very good. Passing through several states, some speed bumps were high but never did the Ertiga bottom out.

i) The overall ergonomics of the driver seat - height adjust, steering wheel height adjust and overall seat comfort is good. After one week on the road I did not feel fatigued.

j) The suspension set up is good. I will say its not the same as a German vehicle. Both my wife and I think Opel has a better suspension.


Thank you for reading. Appreciate everyone's feedback, comments, observations and appreciation. When you think you can do it - well go for it. Our country is beautiful and the highways today make it easier to cover long distances. Once again, thanks for taking the time out to read this TL.

Last edited by Rajain : 3rd April 2013 at 11:50.
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Old 24th July 2013, 20:21   #42
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Default Re: 3,800 kms across 4 States in 9 Days - A Family Sojourn in 'LUV' Ertiga

Thanks for such an informative post, Rajain. In fact it has inspired me to plan a trip to Udaipur and Mount Abu from Mumbai in our Ertiga ZDI. I have used your post to convince my family! The route I plan to take is Mumbai - Baroda (overnight stopover) - Udaipur (long halt) - Mount Abu (long halt) -Baroda (overnight stopover) - Mumbai. I pray I don't get the infamous Narmada Bridge jam and whisk past it like you did! Is there any alternate route I can take to avoid that jam?
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Old 29th July 2013, 08:06   #43
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Thanks for such an informative post, Rajain. In fact it has inspired me to plan a trip to Udaipur and Mount Abu from Mumbai in our Ertiga ZDI. I have used your post to convince my family! The route I plan to take is Mumbai - Baroda (overnight stopover) - Udaipur (long halt) - Mount Abu (long halt) -Baroda (overnight stopover) - Mumbai. I pray I don't get the infamous Narmada Bridge jam and whisk past it like you did! Is there any alternate route I can take to avoid that jam?
HI

I am glad you found it useful. The highways through MH and GJ are pretty good and you can maintain steady high speeds. You can certainly skip Narmada bridge - go inside Ankleshwar town and take one old British time bridge. Check any of HVK Mumbai-Delhi-Kashmir drive and you will know the route. Also, you can go from Ahmedabad to Mount Abu directly without going through Udaipur. Its a triangle. From Ahemdabad go via Mehsana Palanpur straight to Mount Abu. It is likely to be warm in this season.

Enjoy your drive.

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Rajain
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