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Old 21st January 2007, 13:21   #1
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Smile Me, My Baleno and Gods Own Country

Here I am to narrate a wonderful experience during my trip to Kerala.

Like the title says “ Me, My Baleno and Gods Own Country “ and not to forget my close shaves with “ Devils Own Drivers” no offense meant to any of my fellow-BHP’ians from Kerala.

The planning for this trip has been doing rounds in my family from last August. Every other time something or the other would crop up and we had to postpone the travel.
Jan 13th was the day and we set sail with full enthu to see Gods Own Country and spend some time with my close relatives and friends.

Jan 13th

As usual ended up working till 11 pm on Friday the 12th of Jan at office. Last moment work and usual mundane documentation.
Jan 13th the most awaited day came through and we (dad,mom and my bro) were all excited and we hit the road at 5:00 AM.
Had tanked up at Shell the previous day and headed towards Hosur Road , rather Highway to Hell. Wasn’t surprised there was a traffic jam as usual.

Reached Attibele and was pretty surprised to see the thick layer of fog, would prefer terming it as almost zero visibility, had to switch on the hazard lights and drive for about 3 or 4 kms.

1st stop was at Dharmapuri for breakfast. Exact same place where we had breakfast during our previous visits to Kerala.
Good food, hotel was clean and pretty reasonable with the prices. I wonder sometimes why we don't get that typical Ghee Roast from TN in Bangalore hotels. Yummy !!

Back to the road and started driving again, deviated towards the Mettur- Bhavani route from the Salem Highway. The drive was pleasurable till then, from there on started the pot-holed road. Need to watch-out and night driving on this road is not completely advisable.

Did a max. speed of 70kms on this road , thanks to the pot holes and road construction.
Reached Mettur dam and stopped over for a few shots of the Mettur dam.

Left Mettur after a brief halt of about 20 mins and back on road. Pretty good roads and only a few stretches dotted with villages.
Reached the Kovai road and I receive a call from Kerala saying that there is a bandh in Palakkad district. Ahem, there goes all our excitement with the fear of being stranded at Valayar.

On reaching Valayar we were told that private vehicles wasn’t being stopped. Got our spirits up and started, this time around pretty good roads so floored the pedal. By now all our bellies were grumbling for lunch since breakfast at Dharmapuri we hadn’t stopped for food , other than some fruits we had carried.

Reached Trichur and stopped by the 1st restaurant our eyes found. Coming back to the phrase “ Close shaves with Devils Own Drivers “ the drive from Tirchur to Angamaly and further beyond is scary. Road work in on and only a single lane for 2 way traffic.

Every other corner you can find a moron driving straight into you and need to watch out. Else you are at the mercy of these dudes. Managed to squeeze through and reached Angamaly. Lost about 45 mins at Angamaly due to some Quarry workers Union Rally.

My destination for the day was to reach MaraariKulam which is a beachside town in Allepey. Reached Vytilla and from there on back to good roads once again. Got home by about 5 pm. Was a real tiring drive but yes enjoyed every bit of it.

On reaching home , got to know that 2 of my distant relatives had met with a fatal accident in Chertalla. Both of them were on the bike and a Sumo crashed head on into their vehicle. No time to rest again since I had to leave to their place.

PS : Zak and kochi boys this was the reason why I couldn’t make it to the meet on Sunday.The funeral was held on Sunday, so….

Life came back to Normal only on Monday, loads of driving around Allepey and some much wanted toddy.Got a few good shots off sunsets and the beach around.The menu included this lobster which we brought from the local fisherman.

Come Tuesday morning and we were off to Athirapally and Vazhachal waterfalls. Was a real soothing experience to be there and see nature at its best. Once again the drive from Angamaly to Athirapally is simply awesome. The roads have been well laid and is pleasure to drive on.

Athirapally Waterfalls :


The next 3 days time flew with the occasional visits to relatives places and churches around. LOL its sometimes fun to visit such churches, because the list is never ending.

Fort Kochi, Vallarbhadam and quite a few other places is worth a visit not my 1st time though. Posting a few pics here.

Left to Bangalore on Saturday and took the exact same route , but this time around I started from Aroor since I was staying in a relatives place.
Ideally everything went on peaceful except for the heat in Kochi.
Like the saying goes “ We went peace and came back in piece”.

The car did really well with absolutely no qualms . K&N did the magic of me not having to shift to 1st gear at all with 5 people in the car during our drive to Athirapally and other places.

Car Driven : Baleno LXI.
Total Distance Covered : 1600 kms (complete trip with driving in kerala also)
Top Speed : 145 kmph
Best Mileage : 14 kms/ltr with AC .
Fuel Used : Initial full tank from Shell. From then on only Indian Oil (Xtra Premium) .

Route taken : Bangalore - Hosur - Krishnagiri - Dharmapuri - Thoppur - Salem/Mettur - Bhavani - Avinasi - Coimbatore - Walayar - Palakkad - Trichur – Cochin- Chertalla.

Thanks JK and Sankar for the route info.

OT : Spotted a neatly done Chevy SRV with a body kit near Aroor heading to the GM showroom while driving.LOL am sure the driver of the vehicle was wondering if we guys were from some car mag' trying to get pic's of his car.
Eventually he started driving close to my car so that we get some good pic's and my cousin was busy clicking.Dad and mom was bonkers seeing us do this.

MOD's please excuse , coz I haven't been able to get the thumbnail thingy working from Image shack..

Last edited by Samurai : 21st January 2007 at 19:50.
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Old 21st January 2007, 14:07   #2
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Great report rjstyles69! Very nice photos too. The trip log is detailed, easy to follow for future trips.

Don't worry about the thumbnail thing. For a travelogue, it is better to post photos that fit perfectly within the browser. The thumbnail is required when you post oversized photos. If you are willing to resize the photos (as you have done) to fit within the browser, full size is fine.
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Old 21st January 2007, 14:23   #3
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Hey, You couldn't atleast call me!!!!????

Nice report and pictures.
Can see the journey was a great holiday for you.
It's nice to see one more BHPian taking clips of DCI DREDGE!!!

Sorry to know about the accident and the death.
May the souls rest in peace!!

Last edited by speedzak : 21st January 2007 at 14:26.
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Old 22nd January 2007, 14:18   #4
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Very nice pics,and a good detailed and well written report.

The fourth pic was looking so familiar,heres the pic you clicked earlier:


Ps: I would love to see the SRV pics

Last edited by rahul_intlad : 22nd January 2007 at 14:21.
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Old 22nd January 2007, 14:57   #5
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@Samurai thanks for editing the name in the post.

Zak sorry dude, was really held up and you know the reasons.
Also congratulations on your win. Way to go with that cute beauty of yours.Love to see it in flesh sometime soon.

@Rahul you said it , on the thread you mentioned 1st picture is the exact same location where I shot the sunset this time again.
The 2nd picture on the thread was shot in Thrasi (Kundapur).

That place is really nostalgic for a few personal reasons . Also the sunset view at this location can be a real feast to the human eyes and for a camera.

Chevy SRV , will post them soon. Cant find the right thread.

Cheers for now.
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Old 22nd January 2007, 20:55   #6
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Glad that you had a nice trip
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Old 22nd January 2007, 21:19   #7
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so you are back Will meet soon

The pix were nice. The net pic are nice and if you had had time then you could have captured more great shots
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Old 22nd January 2007, 21:26   #8
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Where in God's own name are pics of the Baleno in action?! Apart from that, neatly written
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Old 22nd January 2007, 21:51   #9
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Sankar thanks mate.
JK have got quite a few shots, but dint want to load all of them here.Let know if any meets happening this coming weekend in Bengalooru.
Mag , Baleno shots are all at wrong ocassions brother. As in used as the table for booze every night. No decent shots though.
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Old 23rd January 2007, 17:56   #10
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hey! nice write-up & good pix!
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