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Old 19th May 2013, 19:59   #1
sawnilrules's Avatar
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Default Mumbai-Shirdi-Mumbai: Same day, 36 liters of fuel, Automatic City

I ensure that we visit Shirdi to take Sai Baba's blessing's at-least once a year. Last year when we had gone it was in the month of May, our Honda City was just 1 month old, and I didn't experiment with it much. So this time again we decided to head off to Shirdi, albeit the difference being of returning back the same day.

So I quickly called one of my friend to check his availability for yesterday's date of travel- 18th May to join us, to which his prompt reply was a "Yes". Initially, we had planned to leave at 6 am in the morning, reach Shirdi by around 12, take the divine darshan and leave back for Mumbai at around 2 and reach by 10, however, due to a slight change in plan, we left at 12:00 in the afternoon from Borivali East.The route chosen was Borivali-Thane-Kalyan-Kasara-Goti-Shirdi. Approximately 265 km one way. Initial plan of action was to fuel up the car @ Indian Oil Petrol Pump at Bhiwandi, then halt at an Hotel around Shahapur, almost 90 odd km from the starting point for lunch, and then head straight non- stop to Shirdi via Goti, by by-passing Nasik.

Well as they say Indians are perfect at planning but very bad at implementing, same thing happened with us. We got stuck in a traffic jam near Dahisar Check Naka for almost 40 mins , and by the time we were reached Ghodbunder Road, it was almost 12:50. And the first change in plan happened. My wify started feeling hungry, so we made a not so warranted halt at the Express Inn hotel for Lunch. 13:40 we started from there expecting to reach Shirdi around 18:00 in the evening. The drive on the Ghodbunder road is amazing, that 24 km stretch is a bliss to drive in this side of the city. We munched those 24 km in roughly 30 mins and were soon seeing taking left on the Nasik highway after the Kapurbawdi Junction. Kalyan toll naka was another 4 km from there, paid for the return toll and proceeded ahead. And then we encounter yet another traffic jam. This jam was due to the heavy influx of trailers on both side of Bhiwandi by-pass road. It was almost 4 km stretch jam, which ate into our precious time. We were crawling at a negligible speed on this stretch. Finally, the Indian Oil petrol pump happened, and we reached there at 14:30. A 10 mins drive from Kalyan toll naka took 35 mins. Distance to Shirdi was now 230 km, I quickly calculated, even if the car gave me an average of 10km/ltr, 23 litres of fuel was enough to take me till Shirdi, and on return we can again fuel in at Shirdi. So with this calculation in mind, I instructed the Petrol Pump attendant to put fuel worth Rs.2000/-, that came to 29 ltr of fuel in the car.

Off we started again on the highway towards our destination. It was after 4 months, that I had taken the City out on the highway. And I was loving every bit of the drive. For most of the stretch on the highway, I had set the car on Cruise Control mode at a speed of 110km/hr and soon, we were munching miles in the car, by 15:30 we were already just 75 odd km away from Goti. It was time for a short tea break by Public demand in the car, and came our next rest stop at Hotel Palash for tea. Meanwhile, this hotel was a part of original plan for our lunch halt, and here at 15:30 we were having our high noon tea.

A quick 15 minutes break refreshed us and we were off the mark again. By 17:15 we left the Mumbai-Nasik Express way and took our turn towards Goti on the left and proceeded towards Shirdi. To be honest, I really wouldn't recommend this road, as it considerably reduces the overall speed of the car as the road passes through villages. Finally, we reached our destination at 19:00 in the evening, the car had traveled 230 km from the Petrol Pump, and the fuel gauge was still close to half tank, and DTE figure on the car was another 202 km

By the time we completed our Darshan and were out of the temple, it was 21:15, and we were contemplating whether to stay back or return back to Mumbai. Since, we were familiar with the road conditions we decided to return back to Mumbai. This time, my friend took the charge of the wheel. He is a regular user India's favorite car Swift Dzire DDIS, but then he was pretty surprised with Honda's road mannerisms and drive quality. I good see on his face, he was enjoying every bit of driving the car.

Return journey was plain jane, no traffic snarls anywhere what so ever the roads were almost empty. However, we maintained a cool like cucumber speed of 80 km/hr, primarily because of two solid reasons. One, poor Headlights of the City and Two, you never know about other driver's driving skills on Indian Roads (read here as truck-wallas). While returning back, we came via Nasik City so that we could have dinner in the city. Which we had and left Nasik at around 01:00 in the night.

Approximately when we were roughly 70 km away from Kalyan, the fuel empty sign came on, I quickly asked my friend to check how many km the car had travelled and what was the DTE figure. The car had clocked 401 km and DTE was still 35 km. That makes it an impressive 13.80km/ltr mileage, with AC continuously on and speeds hovering anything between 80km/hr to 120km/hr. We refueled the car when DTE was at around 10km with another Rs 1000/- worth of fuel. i.e. another 14 ltr. By this time Kalyan was 45 km However, this time I did not reset the Trip Meter to 0, as usually I do whenever I fuel up the car.

We reached home at around 03:30 in the morning, with fuel gauge still at half tank and car running 530 km. When we had fueled up, the fuel gauge had gone 2 points above the half tank mark, so even if I consider that 7 ltr was used to come home from the fuel pump which was approximately 90 km away from my home, for the overall trip City consumed 36 ltr of fuel.

36 ltr of fuel for 530 km journey gives an approximate mileage of 14.7km/ltr and viz a viz, through most part of the journey, the indicator displayed the average ranging from 13.5km/ltr to 15.5km/ltr. That is mighty impressive, considering I own a Automatic Car.

So overall cost of the trip was as follows

Fuel: Rs.2500/-
Toll: Rs.325/-
Food: Rs 1450/-
Fun and Joy of driving: Priceless
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