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Old 14th July 2017, 22:54   #1
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Smile When Google Maps takes you to the road less travelled!

Finally I sit to ‘pen down’ my first ever travelogue. My love for writing had not been pampered for a while now, hence to start with, I choose to tell you the story of my first ever adventurous trip; courtesy – Google Maps!

It was back in 2013 when I had passed out of my post grad and had joined my first ever job. The feeling was quite unique after the first salary; the joy of being independent was obvious and a sense of confidence in my behaviour was evident.

Meanwhile, my friend who was in her final year of Architecture asked me if I could accompany her to a site she had chosen for her project. The site was quite remote and to top it off, it was a tribal area. There was no direct access to the site by any public transport; that means if I say yes, I’d get a good reason to take my car out for a long drive! Also, with all the confidence that I had been carrying around, it was impossible of me to deny out of any scepticism. I said Yes!

So the day had come; we picked our lunch boxes, queued some soulful music and headed to the highway! It was the month of August and like the tropical monsoons it was raining cats and dogs. The weather was simply magical, and the blissful music was an icing on the cake!

When Google Maps takes you to the road less travelled!-img_20130720_104956.jpg

We had set up the destination on Google Maps and the route assistance was turned on. I had a rough idea about the route though as I had traveled on a part of the route earlier. Also I had noted that there is a left turn after the ‘Kasara’ ghat.

When Google Maps takes you to the road less travelled!-map1e1499977111609.jpg

Now we reached the ghat section where it was raining very heavily; so much so that the visibility was drastically affected. I was totally concentrating on driving carefully on the twisties with hardly anything to see. I don’t know if they were clouds or it was heavy fog, but whatever it was, it had put a big full stop to our enjoyment and we both were very – very worried!

After a while, the ghat ended and a straight stretch of road greeted us, but with more fog! I was actually driving at crawling speeds and had totally leaned forward, trying to judge if there’s no one ahead of me. One hand on the steering and other one holding my pounding heart as I prayed that no one should rear-end me!

When Google Maps takes you to the road less travelled!-img_20130720_110316.jpg

This was still after some fog was cleared
After a couple of minutes the fog had cleared and the rain gods became kind. After all the drama, just as we settled ourselves, we checked the maps for the left turn. And no prizes for guessing, we had missed it! SHIT! And to make things worse, the ghat was one-way! That means if at all we turn around, we would have to descend the ghat and start again! SHITTT!

The Google Maps had shown the alternate route and there was no other option than taking it!

When Google Maps takes you to the road less travelled!-map21e1499977764345.jpg

This alternate route would connect us a little ahead of the missed left turn. Well, this was my assumption. We drove past the small villages coming in our way. The drive through the narrow single lane road was scenic at some places, especially near the ‘Vaitarna Dam’, where the road runs exactly parallel to the reservoir.

When Google Maps takes you to the road less travelled!-img_20130720_115511.jpg

We drove deeper into the rural area and the villages were getting smaller with hardly a passer-by or two. It was almost noon and we started feeling hungry, and when you start to feel hungry you wish that you reach your destination soon. But that wasn’t happening, and strangely nor were we connected to the main highway. We drove some 40-50 kms deep inside the region. At one fork we decided to ask the locals if we were on the right track. What we heard was a shocker! They said that this route is a long cut and still many kms to go, also it won’t be of any help going all the way back and joining the main highway, so continue on the same route itself. We also thought likewise, that it won’t be wise to go all the way back!

So, we started again, munching miles after miles, going deeper and deeper. After a while, we passed a very small village with just a post office and a small general store. Just after a few meters, and after a very long time, the Google Map indicated a left turn. I drove past it. I thought I had missed it, my friend got angry at me that I had missed a turn for the second time! So I took a U-turn and checked. And to our surprise! WTH!! There wasn’t a road at all! Just a small patch of loose gravel visible at the top of a small hillock!

When Google Maps takes you to the road less travelled!-img_20130720_1226321.jpg

Now, I had lost it! I told my friend that we should quit and head to our homes ASAP! It was past noon already and I did not have the patience to go all the way back to the main highway and take the actual route. I know even she was frustrated at that time, but she wasn’t ready to quit! YES! She was insisting me to take that non-existent road!

By that time all the confidence I had gathered after becoming independent was crushed and drained. Because it’s not only about being independent, but also about being able!

Upon her insistence we went up to the villagers at the small general store, asked them about the road condition ahead. Now not to my surprise, everyone suggested me to go back. They said the patch was of 9-10 kms, completely broken and void of any civilization; which then opens up to the main road leading to the site village. If there was a puncture there won’t be anyone to help! But in all those voices there was one man telling us that their small humble Maruti 800 goes, then why can’t this?! At the time, I remembered that my tyres are tubeless and God forbid if there’ll be a puncture, the air won’t escape quickly! I will still have some time to cross that patch of road!

I quickly thanked the people there and took the road less traveled!

Those 9kms, I did not stop anywhere nor did I slow down! The route was totally remote and a bit scary to an extent as there was not a single person or a house!

When Google Maps takes you to the road less travelled!-img_20130720_122959.jpg

After the 9 kms of treacherous roads the landscape seemed to widen a bit with every km. I tell you, I was never so happy to see human civilization!

When Google Maps takes you to the road less travelled!-img_20130720_124237.jpg

In a couple of kms, we were on the main highway and reached our destination by 2pm.

Of course my friend was happy that she got to collect a lot of data there at her site. And I was happy that I had earned back my confidence. I was able!

This is why people say that traveling teaches you many things. Well, I had learned my first lesson that day.

Thanks for reading friends.

Be able.

When Google Maps takes you to the road less travelled!-19944653_153598075213893_3032685999364446414_oe1499984203149.jpg
My trusty old Estilo. She was able!

Last edited by GTO : 17th July 2017 at 09:49. Reason: Small typo - thanks for sharing!
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Old 15th July 2017, 10:45   #2
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Default Re: When Google Maps takes you to the road less travelled!

Thread moved from the Assembly Line (The "Assembly Line" Forum section) to Travelogues. Thanks for sharing!

Great story. Google Maps can mess things up sometimes - always better to take local intelligence (i.e. ask someone) in remote areas. This is the bridge Google Maps wanted me to cross on a recent trip in Goa .

It does work like a charm 99% of the time (I prefer it over any car's onboard navigation); however, those 1% of times do provide for some amusement or frustration (depending what mood you're in).


Last edited by GTO : 17th July 2017 at 09:50.
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Old 15th July 2017, 11:02   #3
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Default Re: When Google Maps takes you to the road less travelled!

Quite brave of you there, to continue!!
What an outing!

Google maps has ALWAYS landed me in strange places. Travel against what the signs say, go in the absolute opposite direction. refusing to reroute, etc. At one point, it had judged that 2 years is probably enough time to complete an under construction flyover, and kept screaming at me to "go straight, go straight" over some railway tracks.... Another time, it kept taking me around an one cream shop in Mysore with constant left turns!!

PS: If the road had led me to this desolate an area in any part in the north, I would have definitely turned around for home.
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Old 15th July 2017, 11:14   #4
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Default Re: When Google Maps takes you to the road less travelled!

On our trips, we always follow Joseph Stalin's Order No. 227 - Not One Step Back! Sure, our car got stuck in mud and we had to sleep in the car a couple of times, but still - not one step back!

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Originally Posted by GTO View Post
Great story. Google Maps can mess things up sometimes - always better to take local intelligence (i.e. ask someone) in remote areas. This is the bridge Google Maps wanted me to cross on a recent trip in Goa
Chicken. I would have gone ahead.

Last edited by smartcat : 15th July 2017 at 11:19.
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Old 15th July 2017, 11:41   #5
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Default Re: When Google Maps takes you to the road less travelled!

Nishant,

Thanks for sharing - that's quite a memorable story

Quote:
Originally Posted by GTO View Post
Thread moved from the Assembly Line (The "Assembly Line" Forum section) to Travelogues. Thanks for sharing!

Great story. Google Maps can mess things up sometimes - always better to take local intelligence (i.e. ask someone) in remote areas. This is the bridge Google Maps wanted me to cross on a recent trip in Goa .
Haha, I totally agree. Once at 2 am at night in Lucknow, it sent me on a similar bridge, which needed a few STEPS. But clearly the steps were small enough for bikers to hop over them, but not for my uber car. I barely made it to my train
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Old 15th July 2017, 11:47   #6
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Default Re: When Google Maps takes you to the road less travelled!

Something to ponder about self driving cars. Imagine Google maps dictating to the self driving unit to take the road less taken and jump over the hill!

Last edited by GTO : 17th July 2017 at 10:29. Reason: Typos
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Old 15th July 2017, 13:03   #7
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Default Re: When Google Maps takes you to the road less travelled!

Google maps has done similar Harakiri with me too when I wanted to go to Bhimashankar. No complaints though, the journey was so good that we decided to ditch the destination itself. Sample pictures below already posted on the forum before.

When Google Maps takes you to the road less travelled!-img20150822wa0014.jpg

When Google Maps takes you to the road less travelled!-img_0071-large.jpg

When Google Maps takes you to the road less travelled!-img_0120-large.jpg

When Google Maps takes you to the road less travelled!-img_0147-large.jpg

When Google Maps takes you to the road less travelled!-img_0111-large.jpg
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Old 15th July 2017, 14:35   #8
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Default Re: When Google Maps takes you to the road less travelled!

Nishantdlv, what an amazingly well narrated travelogue. While reading I felt I was also one of the occupants in the car. Just like the Hindi Movie happy endings, your ordeal also ended on a happy note.

I completely agree with GTO, that one needs to rely on Local Intelligence as well while navigating in treacherous routes and not fully depend on google maps.

Rating the thread a full deserved 5 star.
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Old 16th July 2017, 22:55   #9
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Default Re: When Google Maps takes you to the road less travelled!

Well narrated story... I have been through similar experience last year in Nov-16. Actual plan was to go from a resort near Omkareshwar to Shrimant Bajirao Peshwa Samadhi,Raverkhedi. Actual distance was around 40 Kms, Thanks to Google maps we travelled where either tractors go or Cattle, spent almost 2 hours tackling the terrain, twice ended up at dead-end facing River Narmada. Finally with help of villagers, found the right way to the destination.
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Old 17th July 2017, 01:42   #10
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Default Re: When Google Maps takes you to the road less travelled!

I remember once in late 80s or early 90s. My father drove our Amby from Guruvayur to Palani. Got lost somewhere near Udumalpettai. It was past 9:00 pm and not a soul on the road. We were repeatedly seeing 30-35 km to Palani. I remember we made it to Palani like midnight or so. Those were the days of very little signages and to top it all, there wasn't much civilisation to ask for directions either. I was < 10 years then. What I do remember was that, we were repeatedly seeing directions to Sainik School (perhaps going around the same place) throughout the adventurous day.

Quote:
Originally Posted by GTO View Post
This is the bridge Google Maps wanted me to cross on a recent trip in Goa .
That's the bridge GMaps asks to you cross to get to Agonda Beach from SH49 I had the exact same experience last August. Infact its one of the beaches I made past few thatched houses to the 'beach'. The real turn isn't that great either, it makes you go through a narrow stretch with houses on either side. Even had some cars coming from the opposite side.
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Old 17th July 2017, 01:56   #11
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Interesting thread

Few months back courtesy Google maps;

When Google Maps takes you to the road less travelled!-imageuploadedbyteambhp1500236507.591311.jpg

^ This was in Udaipur
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Old 17th July 2017, 07:52   #12
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Default Re: When Google Maps takes you to the road less travelled!

My worst experience was following Garmin GPS to go to Kabini Resort from Mysore. It suggested the shortest route instead of the proper state highway. Little did we know where it would take us... the last 3 seconds of the video shows the proper highway we should have taken.


Last edited by Samurai : 17th July 2017 at 13:25.
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Old 17th July 2017, 10:11   #13
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Default Re: When Google Maps takes you to the road less travelled!

I think we all get google map-played a lot but sometimes it turns out to be a one off exciting adventure.

During my trip to Kanha in February this year google map suggested a left turn from Chilpi. Within a km of that turn we were in wilderness with NO roads and complete forest area. We crossed a forest check post and the attendant told us not to get down en-route and we had to complete that 12 km stretch in 30 mins or else there would be a heavy fine. Just 12 kms and 30 mins oh! no problem in my Nanook (Creta). I barely made it in 28 mins.

No road but wow what a location.


When Google Maps takes you to the road less travelled!-no-roads.jpg
When Google Maps takes you to the road less travelled!-nowhere.jpg

And see what we caught on that way


When Google Maps takes you to the road less travelled!-fox.jpg
When Google Maps takes you to the road less travelled!-second-deers.jpg

And just after that 12 kms trip we had a village which was pristine

When Google Maps takes you to the road less travelled!-cow-washing.jpg
When Google Maps takes you to the road less travelled!-nanook-resting-serene-environs.jpg
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Old 17th July 2017, 10:23   #14
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Default Re: When Google Maps takes you to the road less travelled!

We recently went to Udaipur and were putting up at the Leela Palace. Thanks to Gmaps, which led us through very narrow by-lanes, we actually reached the hotel directly instead of the 'Parking' from where a boat takes you to the hotel!

We were surprised that the access for Leela was so cramped, till we realized our mistake upon reaching the hotel!
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Old 17th July 2017, 10:32   #15
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Default Re: When Google Maps takes you to the road less travelled!

Google is notoriously famous for such things. Numerous times in the city itself, it has tried taking me up one ways or on road where hardly a rickshaw can squeeze through. Once it took me into such a narrow lane that there was no way to move forward and I couldn't even reverse it because there were 2 wheeler behind, taking a turn was way out of question. Recently too, when we were coming back from Udupi, it took us through a "Road" which was still just being laid and this was through a forest reserve. There were literally huge rocks on the road and driving through it was a nightmare for the car and me alike. Every time I just keep praying that no big stone hit any important part and have a breakdown because any breakdown and we could be stranded for hours. Adding to it, what made things more worrisome was that
1. I was with my wife, mom, mom-in-law, aunt and my 3 year old daughter. So basically no other Male companion if something goes wrong
2. It was dusk and getting dark soon
3. The place was known to have a lot of wild life especially after dark

All in all a very scary experience but luckily we came through without any major issues
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