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Old 4th January 2015, 13:44   #1
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Default 'Soul Searching' Solo Drive - In a Linea from Bangalore

After the Jog drive in September 2014, it has been tormenting work at office with very little time for anything. With Christmas, finally managed to get a vacation approved and it was time to head out. Checked the availability of my travel buddies, but this time there were pre occupied. So decided to go ahead with the drive alone.

There was no planned destination actually, but wanted to visit Pilliyarpatti temple and then decide from there. The Linea was serviced the previous week and I was all set for the drive.

Day 1: 25th December 2014

Started at 3 am, headed straight to Shell bunk, and fueled to the brim. The drive to Pilliyarpatti started. There was a bit of traffic even at 3 am until Krishnagiri. Made decent progress post Krishnagiri and stopped at the Saravana Bhavan (not original) a few kms after Salem. Had Idly and Dosa for breakfast followed by a strong filter coffee.

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Drove along maintaining decent pace. A Tjet with KA03 xxxxx registration gave company for a few kms before Dindigul. Took the deviation towards Natham. The beautiful two lane roads with a few twisties made the drive delightful.

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Reached Pilliyapatti by 11 am and there was huge rush owing to many visitors to the temple during the Sabarimala season. Found a parking slot with a bit of shade to keep the car cool as it was quite hot and sunny out there. The temple visit took about 45 mins post which I started the drive towards Kanyakumari via Madurai. Stopped for lunch at the hotel temple city.

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After a tasty lunch filled diesel at the adjacent IOCL COCO bunk and moved on towards Kanyakumari via the bypass. After an uneventful and a slightly boring drive, reached Kanyakumari by 5:30 pm Checked in to one of the hotels which had decent car parking.

Refreshed leisurely as it was cloudy and had no chance of catching the sunset. Had an early dinner and dosed off. Got up at 2 am and headed out to the beach road, enjoying the breeze. After spending about an hour headed back to the room and slept.

Day 2: 26th December 2014

Got up at 5.30 am and peeped out of the window. It was not encouraging as it was drizzling. Slept for another couple of hours. Got ready, had breakfast and headed out to Trivandrum. Why Trivandrum? I had spoken to CrazyDriver the previous evening and he was in Trivandrum. So decided to spend a day or two in Trivandrum before continuing the drive.

Reached Sujai's place by 11.30 am. Spent a couple of hours and then we were off to Ponmudi. The place was crowded. Managed to click a few pics and we headed back home.

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Returned home, parked the Linea and took out the Xcent to try some street food and a visit to the Trivandrum Central railway station. A late dinner and crashed for the day.
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Old 4th January 2015, 13:50   #2
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Day 3: 27th December 2014

Got up at 6 am, refreshed, headed out to the beach for a quick photo shoot, and meet a friend at the airport who was flying to Dubai.

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Met my friend and returned home by 10 am after tanking up fuel in the Linea. Relaxed for a while and then cleaned the car with Sujai’s help.

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We had lunch and we headed in the Xcent out to buy some toys for my daughter. From there we headed to Kovalam beach. We got stuck in the traffic and missed the sunset. Spent a few mins at the beach and returned home.

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Went a little early to bed as I had planned to leave by 3 am the next morning to drive back to Bangalore.

Day 4: 28th December 2014

Woke up at 2.30 am and got ready. Bid goodbye to Sujai and his family and started off at 3 am. Drove to Cafι Coffee day near Attingal for dose of cappuccino. After the coffee, drove within the speed limit of 70 kmph and was covering distance at a relatively slow pace. A few kms before Alleppey a moronic KeSRTC drive pushed me off the road and I had to swerve off the road to ensure the bus did not ram into the car. The end result a blown rear tyre. It was still dark, I pulled over to the side where the surface was flat and swapped the tyre. To my luck, the spare tyre would run in the wrong direction as the Hankooks Ventus are unidirectional tyres.

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Drove within 50 kmph and reached Ernakulam. Had breakfast and headed to the Bridgestone select store to get the tyre direction reversed and look for an old tyre as spare. Lost a good couple of hours in the process.

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Refueled at the IOCL bunk near Edapally and drove towards Chalakudy.
Deviated from the highway towards Aithirapally waterfalls. Reached by 1 pm and saw a huge crowd and traffic jam. Quickly found a parking slot and headed for lunch. Clicked a couple of snaps of the falls and started the drive to Valparai.

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The roads were good until a few kms before Malakkapara check post. The roads were real bad and it took close to an hour to cross the check post of Kerala and Tamil Nadu. The road work was going on. Stopped near the dam for a quick snap and moved on. Stopped again for a few snaps near the tea estate. As I had already lost a good amount of time with the tyre thing, I moved on without clicking many pics.

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The ghat roads from Valparai is freshly laid is nice to drive. However, watch out for the traffic as they drive carelessly.

Reached the outskirts of Pollachi, stopped to clean the windshield and the rear view mirrors. Drove towards Sathyamangalam avoiding the Coimbatore city. Had dinner at Sathyamangalam and drove on towards Dhimbham. Crossed the first 23 hairpin bends without much issue, but destiny had other ideas. A Truck was stuck at the hairpin bend and the traffic started piling up. It took close to 2 hours to cross the jam and then lost 30 mins again near the Talavadi check post. It was almost midnight when I crossed Kollegal.

Drove towards Malavalli, but little did I realize that the bridge was closed for repairs. Drove back towards Kollegal and then headed towards T Narasipura. From there the google maps suggested Bannur Malavalli route. A few kms after T Narasipura was brilliant, but then that brilliance was short lived. It was all mud roads, then even worse roads closed at a few places. Searched for alternate paths at each of these places. Carefully crossed these blockages by off roading a bit. The roads all the way up to Malavalli was crap. Not a single vehicle or any soul to be seen from T Narasipura to a few KMs before Malavalli.

Malavalli to Maddur is not smooth either. Joined the Mysore Bangalore highway and made quick progress from then on. Reached home by 4 am and crashed on the bed almost immediately. A good travel experience with a few adventures encountered during the return journey.

Trip Stats

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Route – Bangalore – Krishnagiri – Salem – Dindigul – Natham – Tirupattur- Pilliyarpatti – Melur – Madurai – Tirunelveli – Kanyakumari – Trivandrum – Ponmudi – Trivandrum – Chalakudy – Valaparai – Pollachi – Sathyamangalam – Chamarajanagar – T Narasipura – Malavalli – Maddur Bangalore

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Old 4th January 2015, 17:07   #3
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Default re: 'Soul Searching' Solo Drive - In a Linea from Bangalore

Nice write-up, Krishna!
Yes, it looks like this trip was just for the drive and not to visit places
And you would have come as close as a Km or less from my home in Nagercoil while going towards Trivandrum. We could have met, if I had known. Anyways, there is a always a next time.

Sad to hear about the blown rear tyre incident.
By the way, you have got a good FE. Was it a sedate drive or mixed?
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Old 4th January 2015, 21:30   #4
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Default re: 'Soul Searching' Solo Drive - In a Linea from Bangalore

That's a lot of drive. Seems like you have covered all the possible places in shot
From Ponmudi you could go via M.C to Kochi, rather than driving via NH as the width of the roads, traffic & road conditions are terrible now.
BTW you managed to click some excellent pics
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Old 5th January 2015, 07:52   #5
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Default re: 'Soul Searching' Solo Drive - In a Linea from Bangalore

That is lot of soul searching and a real good solo roadtrip!

So thats what CD meant with the spoiler alert! Surprised you did not catch on to the Cauvery bridge closure. All the threads are alive in terms of finding an alternative to take you back to Kanakpura road. The other option is to head to Srirangapatna from Chamarajanagar via T-Narasipura-Bannur.

Pilliarpatti temple is a fantastic temple. Its been some time since I visited. Need to head out again.
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Old 5th January 2015, 09:41   #6
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Default re: 'Soul Searching' Solo Drive - In a Linea from Bangalore

Quote:
Originally Posted by arun_josie View Post
Nice write-up, Krishna!
Yes, it looks like this trip was just for the drive and not to visit places
And you would have come as close as a Km or less from my home in Nagercoil while going towards Trivandrum. We could have met, if I had known. Anyways, there is a always a next time.

Sad to hear about the blown rear tyre incident.
By the way, you have got a good FE. Was it a sedate drive or mixed?
I was concentrating on maintaining good average speeds which will benefit both in terms of time and FE.

We shall meet up next time

Quote:
Originally Posted by Aromal View Post
That's a lot of drive. Seems like you have covered all the possible places in shot
From Ponmudi you could go via M.C to Kochi, rather than driving via NH as the width of the roads, traffic & road conditions are terrible now.
BTW you managed to click some excellent pics
From Ponmudi, I came back to Trivandrum for a day's stay at CD's place. Also since I started at 3am the narrow roads did not matter as the traffic was not high.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ampere View Post
That is lot of soul searching and a real good solo roadtrip!

So thats what CD meant with the spoiler alert! Surprised you did not catch on to the Cauvery bridge closure. All the threads are alive in terms of finding an alternative to take you back to Kanakpura road. The other option is to head to Srirangapatna from Chamarajanagar via T-Narasipura-Bannur.

Pilliarpatti temple is a fantastic temple. Its been some time since I visited. Need to head out again.
Ah tell me about it. I have been off the forum with tonnes of work. I should have atleast checked online when being stuck at Dhimbham.
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Old 5th January 2015, 15:36   #7
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Default Re: 'Soul Searching' Solo Drive - In a Linea from Bangalore

Man, I am envious of the number of times you head out for solo drives.

Nice car, nice road, nice music, no distractions (err, passengers), good food...ah, the simpler pleasures of life. I'd recently made a solo midnight trip on my favourite Mumbai - Nasik highway with the Civic. It was absolute bliss.
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Old 5th January 2015, 15:50   #8
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Fantastic write up and pics Krishna. You are munching miles like having an everyday breakfast, must admit your passion to drive and that too alone. The roads in your route also seems to be tailor made for such long drives, couldnt see any major traffic in the pics

Did you get the Hankook repaired? How much did the Bridgestone cost?
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Old 5th January 2015, 16:48   #9
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Default Re: 'Soul Searching' Solo Drive - In a Linea from Bangalore

Quote:
Originally Posted by nkrishnap View Post
Day 1: 25th December 2014

Started at 3 am, ...
...After an uneventful and a slightly boring drive, reached Kanyakumari by 5:30 pm Checked in to one of the hotels which had decent car parking.

Day 2: 26th December 2014

Spent a couple of hours and then we were off to Ponmudi. The place was crowded. Managed to click a few pics and we headed back home.
I too did a solo drive from Bangalore to Trivandrum on 25th. We should start a thread for drive plans and sync up with other BHPians for company.

Got a late invite for a drive to Ponmudi on 26th as well but dropped out.
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Old 5th January 2015, 17:21   #10
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Originally Posted by ghodlur View Post
Fantastic write up and pics Krishna. You are munching miles like having an everyday breakfast, must admit your passion to drive and that too alone. The roads in your route also seems to be tailor made for such long drives, couldnt see any major traffic in the pics

Did you get the Hankook repaired? How much did the Bridgestone cost?
Kanyakumari, Trivandrum, Ponmudi and Aithirapally falls had tonnes of traffic and people around due to holiday season. Did not click pics of these as it was quite routine.

The Hankooks were damaged beyond repair. I did not by Bridgestone tyres, instead got 4 tyres of Continental MC5 to replace the Hankooks inspite of having 5-8k kms life in the remaining 3 tyres.
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Old 5th January 2015, 21:00   #11
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Default Re: 'Soul Searching' Solo Drive - In a Linea from Bangalore

Quote:
Originally Posted by GTO View Post
Man, I am envious of the number of times you head out for solo drives.

Nice car, nice road, nice music, no distractions (err, passengers), good food...ah, the simpler pleasures of life. I'd recently made a solo midnight trip on my favourite Mumbai - Nasik highway with the Civic. It was absolute bliss.
I only had one solo drive for the whole of 2014. Hope to have at least a few more in 2015

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jaguar View Post
I too did a solo drive from Bangalore to Trivandrum on 25th. We should start a thread for drive plans and sync up with other BHPians for company.

Got a late invite for a drive to Ponmudi on 26th as well but dropped out.
Yes, such threads might help people to tag along.
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Old 6th January 2015, 00:28   #12
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Default Re: 'Soul Searching' Solo Drive - In a Linea from Bangalore

First of all - Thanks for the visit Krishna. Was nice to have you with us for those two days. The garage had KL, KA and TN vehicles parked one behind the other for two days.

Here are a few mobile cam shots to add to the thread.

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And an over-processed HDR.

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Old 6th January 2015, 02:02   #13
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Default Re: 'Soul Searching' Solo Drive - In a Linea from Bangalore

Quote:
Originally Posted by nkrishnap View Post
After the Jog drive in September 2014, it has been tormenting work at office with very little time for anything. With Christmas, finally managed to get a vacation approved and it was time to head out. Checked the availability of my travel buddies, but this time there were pre occupied. So decided to go ahead with the drive alone.
Beautiful pictures and nice write up. Thanks for Sharing, Krishna!

Your friends actually did a favor letting you drive alone . Driving alone is sheer pleasure, destination is just an excuse. I have done many drives alone between Palakkad, Chennai & Bangalore and that feel excites me even today!
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Old 6th January 2015, 10:49   #14
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Default Re: 'Soul Searching' Solo Drive - In a Linea from Bangalore

Excellent "solo" drive nkrishnap. The pictures are very nice, and the car, even better. I have never planned on doing a solo and I don't think it will materialize, but I can sense the feeling.
I had a sort of similar drive last week, but with family. Bangalore-Chennai-Kanyakumari-Bangalore.
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Old 8th January 2015, 12:51   #15
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Default Re: 'Soul Searching' Solo Drive - In a Linea from Bangalore

I am really envious of you. Look at the beautiful locations you went through. There were green ghats, brown sand on beaches, forests, waterfalls, aaaah.

I wish I could drive my Golf GTI on these roads. Sheer bliss.

I get so confused regarding which place to visit, as I usually get short holidays and there is so much to see and discover.

Good write up and excellent pics. Keep it coming mate.
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