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Old 30th November 2016, 17:26   #1
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Default Drive: Mumbai to Coorg in a Ford Aspire

3000 kms drive in my Aspire

Every year during Diwali we plan for vacation.
This year was planning a trip where I could go driving my Chotta Rocket my Ford Figo Aspire TDCi.

Drive: Mumbai to Coorg in a Ford Aspire-1.jpg

Since we got the new ride in August 16 we haven't done any long trip. It was just the daily office commute and occasional Pune-Mumbai trips. As part of a Vacation club (Not Club Mahindra) I am entitled for 1 week free stay at selected locations. Had visited - Goa, New Delhi & Agra, Kashmir in last 3 years, but all of these trips were by flight or train.
So was deciding the locations. Wife shortlisted 2 locations Munnar and Coorg. Unfortunately Munnar was not available on our requested dates so Coorg was finalized. Dates decided were from 4 Nov to 10 Nov. All the required bookings and confirmation was done.Further planning started.

Surprise element- My Sister-in-law also decided to join us since it was Diwali vacation and they also wanted to go somewhere. (She is also member of the Vacation club)
So now 2 families, 1 Car, and 1 driver truly yours.

The plan decided was somewhat like this-
Day 1- 3-Nov- Start from Mumbai- pick sister-in-laws and her family from Pune- Stay at Davangere
Day-2 - 4 - Nov -Start from Davangere reach Coorg
Day -3- 5- Nov- Visit - Dubare elephant camp, Nisargadham, Byalkuppe Golden Temple
Day- 4- 6-Nov- Talcavery and Bhagmandla
Day-5 -7-Nov- Abby Falls, Raja Seat, Madikeri fort
Day - 6- 8- Nov- Mysore Palace, Chamundi hills, Brindavan garden
Day 7- 9-Nov- At hotel in Coorg
Day -8-10-Nov- Travel back to Pune from Coorg. Stay in Pune with parents for couple of days and travel back to Mumbai.

The route finalized was as below:
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Preparations:
So wife started with preparations at home and I at office to complete the work and get leaves approved. All packing done with woolen clothes added.
Since the car has completed just 4500 kms and 2500 km check up was done, just checked all the fluids, tyre pressure, cleaned the car. Got additional head lamps, torch, checked tool kit and was ready to go.
As the days started approaching we all were getting excited for our first Road Trip to Coorg.

Last edited by CrazyToDrive : 8th December 2016 at 18:07. Reason: update
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Old 2nd December 2016, 19:24   #2
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Default Drive to Coorg from Mumbai

Day1- 3-Nov- Mumbai to Davangere

Since we had to reach Davangere by evening we decided to start early.

Odo reading at start of trip

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At 5:00 am we started from home. Since there was no traffic was able to reach Pune at 7:30 am. Had tea at sister-in-laws place, packed their bags in car and all set to go for a weeks trip to Coorg. We started from Pune around 8:00 am. Since it was Diwali vacations there was not much traffic. Was easily able to maintain good speed.
Around 9- 9:15 Stopped at Hotel Abhiruchi at the junction of Wai - Mahabaleshwar road. The food was good.Had a heavy breakfast as plan was to have lunch after crossing Kolhapur. The road conditions were ok, with diversions and road works going on. Add to this were the 2 wheelers and the tractor trollies. Was able to maintain avg speed of 80-90 km/hr. Once we crossed Kolhapur the situation got better and after crossing Maharashtra border the traffic was very less and was able to drive at triple digit speeds. The roads were also good.
Around 1-30 we started looking for restaurants but unable to locate any.
This is one of the issue we faced throughout the journey. We were unable to locate good restaurants. Around 2- 2:30 stopped for refuel. Asked the pump attendant and he suggested a restaurant on the other side of the road. Had a food and started our further journey.

Road conditions were good overall except a patch which had uneven surfaces and has to drive carefully over it. Also after Dharwad the road changes to 2 lane for almost 25- 30 kms which reduces your speed considerably.

We reached Davangere at around 6:30 pm. We have booked at Srigandha residency. It was a nice place with good rooms and good food. The staff was also courteous. More importantly it had Car parking inside the premises. The hotel was some 10 mins drive from highway.

About hotel- I had booked this hotel through Make My Trip and got good offer of 50% discount Got 2 rooms for Rs 2230/-
We had booked deluxe rooms and they were clean and spacious.

Somewhere on Mumbai Pune Expressway
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After crossing MH border
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Suvarna Vidhana Soudha

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Total distance covered:-724 kms
Total travel time- 13 hrs
Total toll paid- Rs. 856/-

Last edited by CrazyToDrive : 8th December 2016 at 17:34. Reason: added pics
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Old 6th December 2016, 23:55   #3
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Day-2- 4-Nov-Davangere to Coorg

Since the distance was not much decided to start late. Had breakfast at hotel itself. One of my colleagues suggested to have Davangere special Benne dosa. Tried it. It was really nice and I was full with one. We started at 10:00 am from hotel.

The route we took was:

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Once we left the highway, the road was 2 lane highway. It was a scenic road but...
lots of speed breakers, passing through villages, at some places the tarmac was excellent and at some places it was non existent.
Biggest problem was no good restaurants. Luckily we were carrying food items - Diwali items (ladoos, Chivda) which came to our rescue.

We reached our hotel Coorg Heights at around 7 pm.

Coorg Heights Resort

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Our Room

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The hotel is situated at height and the road to hotel is steep incline. But Aspire easily managed the incline with 4 adults on board.

The incline

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Nice to see your car from your balcony-

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Some random pics on the way-

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Total distance covered:-320 kms
Total travel time- 9 hrs

Last edited by CrazyToDrive : 8th December 2016 at 17:35. Reason: Updated
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Old 7th December 2016, 00:16   #4
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Default re: Drive: Mumbai to Coorg in a Ford Aspire

Day 3- 5-Nov

Started day late and got ready by 8:30 for day 3 schedule.
Had breakfast at hotel and plan was to visit Dubare elephant camp, but hotel manager said you should reach before 9:30 and it was already 9:15 am. It would take atleast 45 min to reach. So change in plan.
We decided to go to Talcauvery and Bhagmandla.

Route-
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Talcauvery is the origin of River Cauvery. The route was 2 lane road but in good condition. It was scenic with hills and coffee plantations on both sides. It took 1 hr to reach the destination.
You have to pay entry fee of Rs. 40/-

Note:- You have to be in full dress to visit the temple. They do not allow you inside if you are in ¾ pants, Capri’s.

The view from the temple of the surrounding valley was just beautiful.

Talcauvery entrance

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Way to temple

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Scenic view

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Bhagmandla-
It is on the way to Talcauvery. It is said that 3 rivers meet at this place. People were performing rituals (for Moksha) over there. We did not wait there and started our return journey towards hotel.

Visit to Coffee Plantations

On the way we saw many coffee plantations. There are few places where they allow you to go inside the coffee plantations. We visited one such plantation “Rajarajeshwari Self Help Women’s Association”. This is owned and operated by women’s.

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Coffee plants

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Coffee flowers

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Coffee seeds

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It was nice experience. The owner prepared coffee for us. We were drinking coffee sitting in coffee plantation. We also purchased some coffee for us. We returned back to hotel by 1:30.

Since we had half day to spend we decided to visit Abbey falls and Raja seat. Had lunch at hotel named Sagar near Bus stand. Food was good.

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Next destination - Abbey falls.
Parking- Rs.30/-

You have to climb down steps to see the falls. The route goes through dense trees. The access to falls is closed. Previously there use to be a bridge but it was also closed for use. We had nice view of the falls.

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Raja seat-

Entry fee Rs 10/- per person and parking 30/-

There was a toy train near the garden and kids wanted a ride. So had a Toy train ride and then entered the Raja seat garden.

The Toy Train

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Kids enjoying the ride

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It was a nice garden and properly maintained. The view from the seat was beautiful. That’s why the Raja was coming here to have the beautiful view of the place. There was lot of crowd to see the sunset.

Raja Seat

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View from Raja Seat

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We then left for hotel. Had dinner at hotel itself. Was discussing with the manager about any other places to visit and he suggested to go for Jungle Safari at Tholpetty forest. It was 90 kms from hotel and we could easily go for this safari. Evening Safari starts at 3:30 pm and they allow only 20 vehicles inside. We decided to go for this on 7-Nov.

Last edited by CrazyToDrive : 8th December 2016 at 17:38. Reason: updated
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Old 7th December 2016, 00:23   #5
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Day 4:- 6-Nov

Earlier day we got information about Dubare Camp and so decided to start early. We had breakfast at hotel and started at 8:30 from hotel.

Today's schedule- Dubare Elephant camp, Nisargadham, Tibetian monastery

Route:-

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Dubare Elephant camp

It is on Madekeri-Mysuru road near Kushalnagar. You can see sign boards all the way. Reached Dubare by 9:15. You have to take boat ride to reach the camp.
Boat ride charges you 30/- per person. It’s just 5 mins ride. If interested there is river rafting as well available.

We reached the camp site and there was entry fee of Rs 20/- per person.

Note:- They do not allow any plastic material inside. No water bottle, no chips. If you have it in your bag you have to declare it and get sticker on it and pay 10/- per piece as deposit. You get the deposit back if you show them the stickers.

We have reached before time and were just roaming in the camp and then in some time we could see the mighty beasts arriving. They were going for the bath at river side. We then went to river to see the elephant bathing. The elephants were splashing water. We are not allowed to go near and we have to see from the balcony built for audience. It was a nice sight and we enjoyed it.
There was baby elephant enjoying in the river.

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Then we went to see the other elephants. Here we were allowed to touch the tusker, click pics. There was then the feeding zone where you can feed the elephants. It was nice experience and we enjoyed a lot. Unfortunately elephant rides were closed.


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We then returned back to parking place to visit next destination – Nisargdhama.

Nisargadham-

This is again on the Madekiri Mysuru road just few kms ahead of Duabare. Watch out for the board on right side. It is not easily visible.

Entry fee and Parking- 20/- per person and 30/- parking

The entry is through the hanging bridge. Water below of Cauvery river was clear and we even could see the fishes in water. We saw some rabbits and couple of deer’s inside.The trees were painted with various animal figures. The overall place was not maintained properly.

Entrance
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Fishes below
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Rabbits
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Deer

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What the kids enjoyed the most was this..

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We then came out. Outside the Nisargdham there is shopping area and ladies couldn’t resist there shopping desire. So next 1 hr we were just moving from one shop to another. Around 2:30 the shopping was over, we came out and then went for Lunch.
Hotel Green Land. Good food quality and fast service. Veg- Non-veg both available.

Next destination was Byalkuppe to see the Tibetian monastery also called as Golden temple.

Tibetian monastery

It was nice place with garden around and lot of flowers. Let the pictures do the talking

Entrance
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Ladies again did some shopping and then we returned back to hotel. Had dinner at Hotel New Green Land. Food was good. Retired for the day.

Last edited by CrazyToDrive : 8th December 2016 at 17:42. Reason: edited formatting
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Old 7th December 2016, 22:24   #6
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Day-5 - 7-Nov

Tholpetty Jungle Safari

It was time for Jungle Safari. Since the safari was in afternoon we started at 10:00 am. On the way I saw a board to Iruppu falls which happens to be on the way to Tholpetty with some 20-30 kms additional run. So plan updated. Visit Iruppu falls and then go to Safari.

Route:-
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The road was scenic and the tarmac was smooth. I have to say one thing- all the roads I drove for last 3-4 days were simply excellent. Whether it was state highway or internal road.

Reached Iruppu falls.

Here the entry fee was 70/- per person additional Rs. 10/- parking charges. You have to park our vehicle and do a jungle trail. It was nice walk of 1.5 kms walking by the side of small river. This area is part of Bramhagiri Wild life sanctuary. The sound of running water and birds chirping was pleasant. The view of the fall was awesome.

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After spending almost 1 hr near waterfall we returned to move to next destination Tholpetty jungle safari.

Tholpetty jungle safari

We reached the safari park well in advance. It was just 2:45 and ticket window would start at 3:30. So we had a quick lunch at the only hotel there. Unfortunately he had only veg biryani available. So we ordered that and returned back to ticket counter. Exactly at 3:30 the window opened.The safari charges were something 100/- per person, Camera additional, and you have to pay 600/- separately to the driver of the jeep after the safari. We were provided with the jeep and a forest guide to take us through the safari. It was our first experience with jungle safari and all were very much excited to see the wild animals in their habitat.

As we entered the jungle we were excited and our first sightings were the deer’s. Then was a peacock. Suddenly we saw one elephant running across the road and went into the jungle. We were bit scared. Further we could see more of deer’s , peacocks, peahens, couple of more elephants. Unfortunately we missed a Bison. The jeep ahead of us saw it, but till we reach the spot it vanished into the jungle.

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Approx after 1 hr we were out of the jungle, came back to starting point and started our return journey. Reached hotel around 7:30 pm.

Last edited by CrazyToDrive : 8th December 2016 at 17:46. Reason: formatting
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Old 7th December 2016, 22:58   #7
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Day-6 - 8-Nov-Mysore

It was going to be long day. We were going to visit Mysore. The Mysore Palace, Chamundi hills and Brindavan gardens were in the list.
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Started early at 6:30 from hotel so as to reach Mysore around 9:30. Road was 2 lane but excellent. Only issue was the intermittent speed breakers or the barracked’s in middle of the road causing us to slow down. Reached near ring road around 9 am and had breakfast at Hotel Highway Inn. Wanted to try the famous Mysore dosa. It was nice and tasty.

Destination- Mysore palace.

It was just magnificent, beautiful. I can’t explain it in words. Before entering the palace we were asked to remove shoes.
The palace was really beautiful, the paintings, carvings were just mind blowing. It took around 1 hr to take the tour of the palace.

Note: They don’t allow camera inside the premises. You have to submit it in locker room. Though mobiles are allowed, but no photography inside the palace. Clicked some pics when we came outside the palace.

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Next location was Chamundi hills.


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Went to temple, it took almost 30 mins at the temple.And then as usual ladies went inside the local market and it took another 1 hr for us to come to parking lot. It was almost 2:00 when we left Chamundi hills. We had lunch on the way.

Next destination was Brindavan gardens.

We reached gardens around 4:00 pm. The garden is nicely maintained. Beautiful fountains, flowers. Just amazing. Enjoyed a lot. The light show and fountain starts at 6:30 pm and we decided to wait for the show. It was nice show.

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Started our return journey to Coorg at 7:30 pm from Mysore. Had dinner on the way.

Got the BREAKING NEWS- Demonetization.

Reached hotel at 10:30 pm.

Last edited by CrazyToDrive : 8th December 2016 at 17:49. Reason: formatting
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Old 7th December 2016, 23:30   #8
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Day –7-9-Nov

We had planned for taking rest for the whole day, so got up late in the morning. Was just sitting in the balcony and enjoying the beautiful view with cup of Coffee.
Coffee in Coorg.

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In the afternoon decided to go to the city and buy some spices and chocolates. We didn’t faced issue with 500, 1000 notes ban, as most of the shops and restaurants were accepting notes from visitors. Came back to hotel, did the packing as we had long journey the next day.

Day 8- 10-Nov
Today we were going to drive 1000kms. Coorg to Pune.

Started early in the morning at 6:00 am. This time we took the Mysore road and decided to stick to Highway only.
Route:
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ODO at start from Coorg

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We were traveling on SH275 till Mysore and from Mysore continued on SH150A. Connected to NH4 around 12:30pm. Once hitting the highway we were able to maintain triple digit speed. Reached Davangere at 2:00 pm. Had lunch at dhaba. And continued our journey. We were able to maintain good speed and were able to cross Kolhapur by 7:30 pm. Had dinner on the way and reached Pune at 11:30 pm.

Some random pics from return journey

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Total Distance-1010 kms, Total 17 hrs on road with 3 food breaks and 2 tea breaks.

Demonetization effect- No Toll, No lines at toll plaza, less traffic.

Stayed at Pune for 1 day and returned back to Mumbai on 12-Nov-2016. Thus ended the long vacation.

Final ODO reading

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Trip Summary

Total distance covered:-2966 kms
Total Fuel filled:-199.37 ltrs
Average fuel economy:- 15.65 kmpl

Aspire performed well. Scrapped couple of times on those tall speed breakers on Mysore highway. Overall good performance.

Last edited by CrazyToDrive : 8th December 2016 at 18:00. Reason: formatting
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Old 10th December 2016, 09:46   #9
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Thread moved from the Assembly Line (The "Assembly Line" Forum section) to Travelogues. Thanks for sharing!
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Old 10th December 2016, 10:47   #10
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Default Re: Drive: Mumbai to Coorg in a Ford Aspire

Good Travelogue there CraztToDrive.

Considering that your Aspire comes with a diesel heart, the average of 15.65 Kmpl seems to be on a slightly lower side.

I had undertaken journey from Mumbai to Hubli during 1st week of November 2016, and the roads were pretty much in bad shape after Pune and up to Karad. Adding to the woes were slow moving 2-wheelers (with 3, 4 or sometimes even 5 people seated) which occupied the left and middle lanes. The surface however improved thereafter up to KA-MH border. The road conditions improve dramatically once we were into KA. Even as, most of the 2-wheelers vanished whilst the remaining few strictly stayed within the left lane.

Good to see most of the falls being full of water, unlike the Jog falls that dries up once the monsoons are over.
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Old 11th December 2016, 04:25   #11
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Default Re: Drive: Mumbai to Coorg in a Ford Aspire

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Good Travelogue there CraztToDrive.

considering that your Aspire comes with a diesel heart, the average of 15.65 Kmpl seems to be on a slightly lower side.
I've noticed many new cars return lower than expected fuel economy, the mileage might improve with use.
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Old 11th December 2016, 13:20   #12
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Default Re: Drive: Mumbai to Coorg in a Ford Aspire

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Originally Posted by King_pin09 View Post
Good Travelogue there CraztToDrive.

Considering that your Aspire comes with a diesel heart, the average of 15.65 Kmpl seems to be on a slightly lower side.
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I've noticed many new cars return lower than expected fuel economy, the mileage might improve with use.
Yes it is on lower side. The overall fuel efficiency was with 100% ac on. On highways the car gave efficiency of 17.5 to 18 kmpl. My daily commute as well gives me 15.5 to 16 kmpl.

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Good to see most of the falls being full of water, unlike the Jog falls that dries up once the monsoons are over.
All the waterfalls were having water
We were planning to return via coastal route and visit Jog falls as well, but due to time constraint decided to come the same way.
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Old 11th December 2016, 13:23   #13
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Default Re: Drive: Mumbai to Coorg in a Ford Aspire

Mileage is based on more factors than just the vehicle. Yes, a new vehicle tends to offer a slightly lesser mileage before the engine and vehicle bed down. However, for me the biggest factor has to be the driver. In my Hero Honda Achiever bike I have averaged 25kmpl and 50 kmpl. It was all about my driving style for that particular tankful. 25 I was riding on the highway from Coorg to Bangalore and redlining it in every gear for the entire ride. 50 was a test for me. Did not exceed 3000 RPM in any gear and rode as cautiously as I could to conserve fuel
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Old 12th December 2016, 09:13   #14
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Default Re: Drive: Mumbai to Coorg in a Ford Aspire

Thanks a lot for a lovely travelouge. Coorg is surely on my list and might make it next year. Your travelouge would come handy then
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Old 12th December 2016, 15:08   #15
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Default Re: Drive: Mumbai to Coorg in a Ford Aspire

Thanks for sharing this lovely travelogue and so much reminded me of my long drive from Hyderabad to length of Kerala last year around this time

It can be found here :

http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/travel...ers-beach.html (Ford Aspire visits Kerala : Traverses via a wildlife sanctuary, mountains, backwaters and a beach!)

Like you I too was impressed with how it tackled our roads with comfort and kept the passengers save and comfortable through the trip

Since I have a heavy foot I have not got FE more than 18kmpl on any of my highway trips and my city FE hovers around 15-16kmpl which I feel is more than sufficient for a car that's so powerful
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