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Old 17th April 2013, 16:30   #46
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Default Re: Sojourn on the Golden Quadrilateral in my WagonR F10D

Thanks for sharing this Parag ! Parag is my GPS and go-to person to discuss anything before my drives . Have been on forums where I have seen people talk BS and blow their own trumpet ...but no one comes close to Parag .

Apologies for going OT ...ended up praising Parag rather than this travelogue :P
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Old 17th April 2013, 17:30   #47
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Default Re: Sojourn on the Golden Quadrilateral in my WagonR F10D

Quote:
Originally Posted by navrddy View Post
Really Amazing Travelogue. Really U have Guts to attempt on Wagon R (That too >1.6 L Kms Run). That shows u have really maintained your vehicle well., and hats off to you and maruti for producing such reliable vehicle. I Hoped, maybe thicker Sheet-metal should have been used in building waggy, would definetely give more confidence to driver.

I feel, Waggy is comfortable vehicle when compared to other tall boys, especially for elder persons (>55).

Certainly, it has limits (Speeds <120) for highway driving, respecting its size and shape.

Somehow, i feel new Gen Wagon R (K10) is missing its 4th Cylinder, when compared to F10D, and new K10 Vehicle shape is not attractive when compared to older Gens Waggy.
Thank you sir. More than the guts of driving a WagonR for me it was the sheer confidence that my car wont trouble me at whatever cost and I am glad it never did. Goes to show that if you maintain your car well, age doesn't really matter however you want to drive!

While the K10 is more refined and a bit more powerful and a lot more spacious and stable, its boot gets smaller. The USP in my car is the spacious & Practically designed boot apart from the fact that I have split & reclining rear seats for the comfort of rear passengers too. A feature that I admire in this segment. But the K10 does ask for the 4th Cylinder when you drive in bumper to bumper traffic.

Quote:
Originally Posted by vnabhi View Post
Fantastic TL and mind-blowing details! And that too, on a Waggie!

You've taken my confidence levels several notches up with your narration. Please keep it coming, we are eager to know the rest of the story.

I'm not sure what you've done to the throttle position, but I find it very tiring to keep my foot on it for more than half an hour. I do remember you posted something about it elsewhere, but I'm curious to know.
Thank you vnabhi. It took so many days and hours to meticulously write a detailed travelogue. I am glad its showing the desired results.

On throttle position, I haven't really done any major DIY. My car has got a second layer of floor carpet on top of the OEM carpet and in between these 2, I have a thick firewall material which has raised the floor by around 0.5 inches. With this, I can comfortably sit and drive for any number of hours. Also, I am more comfortable driving with sports shoes for that feedback you receive from the throttle pedal rather than floaters or chappals.

(If you can unfold the carpet area, you can spot this firewall material on the main floor. Any Body shop chap should be able to sell you a piece of this which you can safely keep above the OEM firewall material. It will definitely make a difference I am sure)

Quote:
Originally Posted by PatienceWins View Post
Great travelogue! Your attention to detail is amazing.

The list of items is useful.

My respect to your father for covering such long distances.

I cannot believe that you have done this in a wagonR that has covered so many miles. It gives me confidence to keep my Getz for a long time. It has not even clocked 1/3rd of your vehicle.

I am amazed on how you drive so much continuously. If you can post some tips on how you keep fatigue away, your eating habits, sleep etc, that would be useful.

i am glued to this thread.
Thank you PatienceWins. I am glad you liked specific bits of the Travelogue where I have included certain details on essential items to carry. One thing that I certainly forgot including in my opening posts is - Foot Pump and Pressure Gauge and when I realized that, it was too late to edit the post

I have been mostly driving only in my WagonR over very long distances in the past 7 years. Both my parents have managed to travel Bangalore-Surat, a distance of 1250 kms in a single day without any fatigue such that they were ready next morning to do the rest of the 500 kms drive to Rajkot!

I am 6'3" in height. Hence, I am more comfortable in my car for the sitting position and the excellent headroom it offers. I find it roomy and my second car will have to roomier too.
  • My backrest position is mostly straight
  • I drive long distances with proper shoes only
  • I have DIY armrest installed which I use extensively to rest my left hand while the right hand rests on a small platform on the doorpad (whenever I feel that the arms needs some support/rest in between).
  • The seating position is tall and resemble a dining chair.
  • Regular intake of Water and plantains
  • Timely breaks for even 2-3 minutes to stretch legs
  • Music - I play varying genre just to make sure the drive doesn't get monotonous and at times even turn it off for a couple of hours
  • I frequently get down and wash the windscreen. This ensures that we took a small break and also a clean looking windscreen recharges the strained eyes (If driving at night).
  • Contrary to the popular opinion/advise, I usually eat very well whether I am driving in the day or night. I don't avoid any types of food - Curd, Rice etc.
  • My father usually carries cloves packed in paper that he offers me to keep between my teeth during the night. Somehow I have found the experience refreshing.


Quote:
Originally Posted by girishglg View Post
Hey Parag, this is as best as it can get in terms of TBHP standards of great travelogues with not only documenting the road trip primarily but topping it all is the list of recommended accessories that one should carry.

This will be a Bible and a great reference point to many of us for any of the future road trips that one would embark on.

Coming specifically to the current break in narration, its a good learning to add a jerry can to the list of must haves with spare fuel for panic situations. This must have been addressed in reality in your posts round the corner but just trying to break some suspense

Come on now put in your next set soon as we are all waiting here

BTW some really (and that Ertiga is actually looks like a Captiva)
Thanks Girish. As I have replied above I forgot to add Foot Pump and pressure Gauge in my list. I am glad the list could be helpful.

A jerry can was never on my mind for this trip for the reason that I would be driving mostly on the Golden Quadrilateral where you have a chance of finding a fuel station every few kilometers. It was certainly a lesson learnt and I may have to include that in my future trips in unknown sectors.

Quote:
Originally Posted by speedsatya View Post
Thanks for sharing this Parag ! Parag is my GPS and go-to person to discuss anything before my drives . Have been on forums where I have seen people talk BS and blow their own trumpet ...but no one comes close to Parag .

Apologies for going OT ...ended up praising Parag rather than this travelogue :P
Thanks Speedy! I know how you love to drive on old school single-carriageway roads and those usual drives to Mangalore almost every weekend.
I am not to be praised for any reason at all, I will rather praise my machine that helped me do this without issues with so much on the ODO.
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Old 17th April 2013, 18:05   #48
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Default Re: Sojourn on the Golden Quadrilateral in my WagonR F10D

Parag,

You certainly has a way with words to keep the readers intrigued. Maybe you should be writing more travelogues

Keep it rolling, we are eagerly waiting to read more about the rest of the days.
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Old 17th April 2013, 18:36   #49
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Default Re: Sojourn on the Golden Quadrilateral in my WagonR F10D

Quote:
Originally Posted by paragsachania View Post
Both my parents have managed to travel Bangalore-Surat, a distance of 1250 kms in a single day without any fatigue such that they were ready next morning to do the rest of the 500 kms drive to Rajkot!
That is one of the reason for me to stick to Maruti WagonR as my third car (the main reason was limited budget).

My parents are aged 60 plus & both of them have knee joint problem. When we drove 750 kms from Mumbai to Rajkot in a single day during November 2011, my parents were feeling very comfortable at end of the day when we reached Rajkot.

Whenever my Mother sits in in my relative's Ford Figo, she always complains of low seating position & problem in getting in & getting out.

Thanks,
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Old 17th April 2013, 19:46   #50
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Default Re: Sojourn on the Golden Quadrilateral in my WagonR F10D

Rated 5 stars. Wish we had stars beyond 5.

You've stretched your Wagon R to its limits and it has come out with flying colours. Now only one frontier you and your car needs to conquer - Leh. I am sure you'll take her there before you retire her.

Totally engrossing TL. Thanks for sharing.
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Old 17th April 2013, 20:34   #51
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Default Day 3 - Continues after refueling at Udaipur

(After spending almost 2 hours from Pump-to-Pump at Udaipur and saving the car from stalling from those last few drops of fuel, we now continue the rest of our journey.)

Day 3 continues Udaipur onwards all the way to Delhi and beyond non-stop:

HVK who was constantly calling me to find out if I managed to refuel asks me about my tank's range now. I said, I am good for the next 450-480 kms depending on Traffic and road conditions. He says that may not be enough for me to cross the Rajasthan border and quickly gives me details of the next COCO outlet on my route ahead.

We start to drive with dark clouds suggesting that it may soon rain.
Sojourn on the Golden Quadrilateral in my WagonR F10D-cc-69.jpg

Delhi seems like a long way ahead and we have almost wasted more than half of the day due to the strike
Sojourn on the Golden Quadrilateral in my WagonR F10D-cc-71.jpg

We do encounter rain for around 25-30 kilometers which was a pleasant surprise for all of us.
Sojourn on the Golden Quadrilateral in my WagonR F10D-cc-72.jpg
Sojourn on the Golden Quadrilateral in my WagonR F10D-cc-73.jpg

We all sense very lately that we were humans and we need to eat our lunch though it was 4:30pm.

We pull over into a typical highway Dhaba at least for some Tea to rejuvenate our taste buds.
Sojourn on the Golden Quadrilateral in my WagonR F10D-cc-74.jpg

Time to check for text messages and respond while the Tea arrives:
Sojourn on the Golden Quadrilateral in my WagonR F10D-cc-75.jpg

Dad grabs some Biscuits and Theplas from the food container to complement the Tea:
Sojourn on the Golden Quadrilateral in my WagonR F10D-cc-76.jpg

We spend around 30 minutes and crank again driving further passing the next toll booth before Bhilwara:
Sojourn on the Golden Quadrilateral in my WagonR F10D-cc-77.jpg
Sojourn on the Golden Quadrilateral in my WagonR F10D-cc-78.jpg

On the 4 lane road, we are suddenly greeted by wrong side vehicles and many of them reversing bang in the middle of the road. We had absolutely no clue why but a gentleman in the Dzire waved at us to reverse too. We followed his advice and carefully reversed and started to follow the rest of the crowd by getting onto the service lane only to discover the reason behind the chaos.
Sojourn on the Golden Quadrilateral in my WagonR F10D-cc-80.jpg

The Best FE during the whole Drive:
We soon spot the BPCL COCO where we stop for refueling but I was sure that it may not be worth as the needle hasn't really moved since the past 100+ kms.

When we refill till Auto-Cut off, only 6.1 Liters go and when we calculate the FE since the last stop 124 kms before, it was a staggering 20.32Kmpl

Not that I was really surprised since I have achieved 19.2kmpl during my Bangalore-Pune drive. The reason for such an excellent FE could be due to the sudden change in weather conditions where the temperatures easily dropped by 8-10 degrees and we faced rains for 25-30 kms in between. Adding to this, it also could be a very good quality (unadulterated) Petrol we filled at Udaipur HPCL COCO and not to forget that we drove at a very constant speed of around 80-90kmph till here facing very thin traffic with almost zero braking and gear changes. Nevertheless, this moment was certainly a delight.

The road conditions after Udaipur also were fantastic and many sections were concretized almost resembling what Punj-LLoyd has done between Dharwad and Kolhapur on NH4.

Some PS "skills" here for that evening Sky and dark tarmac:
Sojourn on the Golden Quadrilateral in my WagonR F10D-cc-83.jpg

The Sun was beginning to set, roads with considerably less traffic:
Sojourn on the Golden Quadrilateral in my WagonR F10D-cc-84.jpg
Sojourn on the Golden Quadrilateral in my WagonR F10D-cc-87.jpg
Sojourn on the Golden Quadrilateral in my WagonR F10D-cc-89.jpg

We have advanced 56kms since the last signage
Sojourn on the Golden Quadrilateral in my WagonR F10D-cc-90.jpg

Closing shots for the 3rd day:
Sojourn on the Golden Quadrilateral in my WagonR F10D-cc-91.jpg
Sojourn on the Golden Quadrilateral in my WagonR F10D-cc-96.jpg
Sojourn on the Golden Quadrilateral in my WagonR F10D-cc-97.jpg

Rains again nearing Kishangarh:
We encounter rains again near Kishangarh and soon we get onto the Kishangarh-Jaipur Expressway which is a delightfully superb, 6 lane, almost arrow straight road taking you all the way through Jaipur Bypass where you take a left onto Jaipur-Delhi Highway.

The Road surface was one of the best I had driven and the banking and design was so evident that even in a Tallboy changing lanes at good speeds felt very well planted. The road had too much truck traffic in all the 3 lanes that I had to resort to video game mode switching lanes, flashing indicators and headlights and safely overtaking these monsters.
Crossing Jaipur on the elevated bypass was breeze at around 9:30pm.

Dinner Break:
Looking at the signage at the end of Jaipur bypass, we take left at a major intersection marked for New Delhi. We witness massive jams as soon as we take left and begin to recall that we were warned about the awful Jaipur-Delhi stretch which can be a driver's nightmare due to the ongoing 6 lane work in progress all the way till Haryana Border/Gurgaon.

We felt it was right time to pull over into another Dhaba for dinner and then continue. We ordered for typical Roti-Curry combo along with Tea to complement the stress/fatigue. While munching the Dhaba food, the thick traffic on the road gave us hint that we may not be able to easily manage reaching Delhi (another 260kms) in anything less than 5 hours.

We finish dinner, wash the windscreen and start all over again.

The Nightmare called Jaipur-Delhi Highway begins:
Terrible, Horrible or Worse!! Such was the traffic between Jaipur and Delhi that I may have never encountered in my life before. With absolutely no private traffic, it was just trucks, Delhi bound Private and Govt buses which dominated the road for the next 260 kms.

Multiple diversions onto the service lanes and back onto the main corridor ensured the body was charged up all over again. I had read somewhere in one of the Travelogues here that how aggressive one needs to be on this stretch, if driving at night.

With trucks in all shapes, length and sizes, they would drive parallel to you at almost 3 digit speeds making overtaking or lane changing a very calculated effort and to manage that, crossing the needle beyond the 3 digit figure was much needed for completing the overtaking. Speeds on main corridor was easily 90-100kmph or a little more while it was dropping to 55-80kmph on the diversions.

This is one reason why I had DIY Installed the 3rd Gen WagonR's Convex ORVMs into mine as the OEM mirrors were flat and offered a pathetic view which is very much essential on a 3 lane highway to evaluate traffic on other lanes behind you. They really helped!

4 Toll booths consume 30 minutes:
We could only find a tiny WagonR of ours in the sea of Buses and trucks near every toll booth. All the lanes were occupied by trucks and there was no special lane for cars. We had no choice but wait endlessly for almost 30 minutes in each booth with queues as long as 2 kilometers!! The story repeated for the next 3 toll booths.

We cross Rajasthan-Haryana Border and refuel:
After crawling, we manage to enter Haryana only around 2:35am. As soon as we enter, we refill the tank with 25.64 Liters paying Rs 66.34 per liter (The cheapest is yet to come)
Sojourn on the Golden Quadrilateral in my WagonR F10D-haryanaentry.jpg


Another Tea Break:
A quick 15-20 minute tea break and we conclude that the option to halt in NOIDA at my childhood friend's place was turning out to be impossible now since we had another 120 kms to destination and we are absolutely not sure about the jams nearing Gurgaon-Delhi Expressway toll booths and it would easily be wee hours and as late as 5-6am by the time we hunt for the address as per MMI and reach!

And then we again continue to drive and drive farther:
Jams greeted us almost every 10 kilometers and traffic now becoming very thick with a high concentration of private cars too along with the trucks even at 3am.
  • By this time we had gotten used to the messy traffic and perpetual jams lasting kilometers.
  • We were getting too comfortable with the situation and fatigue virtually was kicked out of our bodies with the adventure we were witnessing with so much chaos
  • We were crawling after Haryana but Dilli Abhi door hai (Delhi is further away)
  • Passing through what I may call the last longest queue in a toll booth of our entire drive till we complete the GQ circuit.

We take a strategic decision (Keep driving!!):
Sojourn on the Golden Quadrilateral in my WagonR F10D-gurgaon.jpg
While we finally managed to get onto the Gurgaon-Delhi Expressway, my father intervenes to say that it doesn't make sense to stay in Delhi/NOIDA any longer and the mood is set sitting for more than 17 hours since we started last morning from Mehsana.

Lets hit Agra. Lets do THE TAJ!

The drive never stops (Next: Taj, Kanpur till Varanasi all the way....)

Last edited by paragsachania : 17th April 2013 at 20:45.
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Old 17th April 2013, 21:08   #52
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Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by paragsachania View Post
( :

HVK who was constantly calling me to find out if I managed to refuel asks me about my tank's range now. I said, I am good for the next 450-480 kms depending on Traffic and road conditions. He says that may not be enough for me to cross the Rajasthan border and quickly gives me details of the next COCO outlet on my route ahead.


....)
So what happened finally ? Did you hve to refuel at the next COCO?
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Old 17th April 2013, 21:23   #53
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Default Re: Sojourn on the Golden Quadrilateral in my WagonR F10D

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Originally Posted by speedsatya View Post
So what happened finally ? Did you hve to refuel at the next COCO?
Yes we did but only 6.1 Liters and we managed it all the way till Rajasthan-Haryana Border where we refilled again with 25.64 liters !! So, in case we had not filled at that COCO, things would have got riskier at night

Quote:
The Best FE during the whole Drive:
We soon spot the BPCL COCO where we stop for refueling but I was sure that it may not be worth as the needle hasn't really moved since the past 100+ kms.

When we refill till Auto-Cut off, only 6.1 Liters go and when we calculate the FE since the last stop 124 kms before, it was a staggering 20.32Kmpl
Quote:
We cross Rajasthan-Haryana Border and refuel:
After crawling, we manage to enter Haryana only around 2:35am. As soon as we enter, we refill the tank with 25.64 Liters paying Rs 66.34 per liter (The cheapest is yet to come)

Last edited by paragsachania : 17th April 2013 at 21:25.
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Old 17th April 2013, 23:33   #54
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Default Re: Sojourn on the Golden Quadrilateral in my WagonR F10D

Parag,

Interesting narration and this is indeed turning around to be a marathon drive. Considering the distances that you drive and with our Leh trip in the anvil maybe you should think about a DIY for an addl Fuel Tank like the one's for Volvos where they have 2/3 tanks
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Old 18th April 2013, 07:45   #55
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Default Re: Sojourn on the Golden Quadrilateral in my WagonR F10D

I have this paranoia that I would be running out of fuel on the highway !
So the instant the fuel level goes below 50% I start to get to uneasy and needless say I get desperate to tank up before it goes to one thirds!

The only time I was really stranded was when I could not even reach Hubli on a tank full and almost ran out some where near Haveri/Bankapur. Learnt a good lesson that day. Even my paranoia was outclassed that day thanks to heat, and higher speeds on the 4-lane.
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Old 18th April 2013, 09:44   #56
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Smile Re: Day 3 - Continues after refueling at Udaipur

Quote:
Time to check for text messages and respond while the Tea arrives:
Nice to see a Shudh Shakhahari Dhabha (Pure Veg Dhabha). Is this a trend in North India. On my trip in 2010 we saw only Veg Dhabhas between Mathura and Delhi.

The Jaipur - Delhi Highway nightmare my father had narrated when he had traveled in 2011. I must say that your patience and endurance can be tested in such situations.

Awaiting the next update.

Last edited by moralfibre : 18th April 2013 at 10:01.
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Old 18th April 2013, 10:23   #57
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Default Re: Sojourn on the Golden Quadrilateral in my WagonR F10D

Parag, I am sure you would have had quite a scare when you heard that the petrol dealers were on strike. You were pretty lucky to find a COCO which was still operating. I guess one needs to carry an extra can of fuel whenever traveling long distances, to prepare for such circumstances. It can be very irritating when you are driving to save the last drop of fuel .

I once went up Mullayanagiri in my Linea with an almost empty tank (did not notice it on the way up). I noticed the empty tank almost near Seetalayyana matha and range in MID was blank there. Immediately turned back and drove downhill to Chikmagalur in neutral.
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Old 18th April 2013, 11:25   #58
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Default Re: Sojourn on the Golden Quadrilateral in my WagonR F10D

Keep it going, it reminds me of the time I did GQ in Oct 2011, seems a long time ago. Nightmares of Ankleshwar/ Bharuch are fresh, though did not get stuck nor the Jaipur Delhi as it was Vijay Dashami. Nice reading your travelogue. Keep it coming
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Old 18th April 2013, 13:09   #59
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Default Re: Sojourn on the Golden Quadrilateral in my WagonR F10D

Very Well Narrated Parag !! *Rating the Travelogue a Well Deserved 5 Stars*
The detailed instructions would help many out here.

Quick Question: How did you distribute the 31.5 Hours of Driving? As in could you elaborate a bit more on the frequency and durations of breaks that you guys took.

This travelogue is indeed a very very fitting tribute to your TallBoy, The fact that it still inspires this kind of confidence is amazing.
Successful long drives have a lot to do with how well the driver understands his car and its capabilities.

Last edited by NMS : 18th April 2013 at 13:13.
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Old 18th April 2013, 15:00   #60
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Default Re: Day 2 - Pune-Mehsana

Quote:
Originally Posted by paragsachania View Post
<Quote>The Plan for the day was to meet MX6 over lunch in Vashi (Mumbai) and then proceed towards Ahmedabad and call it a day.

We manage to reach Vashi in less than 2 hours with and then call MX6. We actually get lost finding BTC, Sanpada (A famous veg Restaurant) as there is more than one in close proximity to each other.

A few more calls and directions from MX6 and we finally manage to meet near the restaurant. Few minutes of waiting (It was a Sunday afternoon), and we finally settle on our table. MX6 didn't go wrong in ordering Bhindi Masala and rotis with that unavoidable Butter milk that we relished in that hot summer!!

Thanks MX6 for such wonderful lunch and the taste of it still lingers whenever we see Bhindi on the Menu.
Yes. It was great to have lunch. BTC is an awesome place to have lunch. More so if one doesn't have plans of driving after that.

I'm surprised to note that you still remember the menu.

Hosting you folks was really great and the pleasure was totally ours.

For over 2 days my father kept asking me as to why even your father had joined in just a drive for around 6000 kms with no agenda. I told him that the agenda of the drive was just to drive.

And I was a part of the GQ drive too for a very very short distance.

From right opposite Yogi hotel to the parking place of BTC.

Next time there would be role reversal. When I embark on the GQ, you need to take me to some nice Benne dosa joint on outskirts of Bengaluru.
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