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Old 19th June 2007, 11:14   #1
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Default Through the southern states!

Well, HAve been postponing writing this travelouge down for a while now. Recently completed a whole south India circle - chennai -> cochin ->ooty -> Mysore -> Chennai.
I Drove through the entire stretch, in my palio.

Day 1. We finally loaded up the palio and left our place by 12pm. The traffic was a night mare, and finally reached the GQ by 2pm. From there, till krishnagiri was lovely, a heavy downpour slowed down the traffic and i brought my speed down from 110 to 60, did not want to take an unnecessary risk. Took the left at krishnagiri towards salem and it was a pleasant drizzle. Annoying at times when people will spray mud on you. The State highway was crazzy. The bus drives cared two hoots about any other vehicle on the road, and were bleedy rash. the taxi's on the other hand competed closely with the crazy driving of the buses. Private vehicles (like mine) were either sticking to driving slowly or following some crazy a** taxi driver. the road post the GQ was quite depressing. Finally at about 630 we turned off the salem route to the mettur route. that road was narrow but decent. I had recently fitted some hella 250's for this trip and those were life savers. I realised that the palio's head lamps somehow throw a dark spot towards the center. was scary initially, but with these new lamps, pretty nice. we drove through the dam, and onto coimbatore. We reached coimbatore by about 1130pm. I had thrown the worldspace into the car. We kept the antena in the boot area (so that it was facing east) and for a very large percentage of the journey we had signals. Total drive 550Kms.

Day 2:
The next day, I woke up at about 6 to realize my car was mess. Decided to clean the whole thing out considering the rain and dirt thrown up on the road. Well, in hindsight, it was not the best decision, because it was completly dirty again by the time we reached kerala. BEfore we started out, i stuck the worldspace onto the roof, and routed the cable so that no one steps on it. We set off from Coimbatore at around 4, I decided to follow the taxi in which the relatives were travelling, but then soon realised, no point 2 cars crashing. Private bus drivers know just one thing, they are bigger, hence the other one must move. it was CRRAZY! they were driving like bikers, cutting left, cutting right, OVERTAKING from the LEFT. At one point I was thinking "is this real or is it some video game!!!" Anywyas, at about 9pm, we reached near Angamali, and I foudn this innova doing good speed. So decided to tail him. We covered the distance in about 45 mins, I finally broke off, and went towards the bypass. Reached my aunts house by baout 1030. Again, the fogs were really helpful. Total drive about 200 kms.

Day 3 was chilling out day. And day 4 we left to guravayur. Now the convoy grew to three vehicles, but i realised in kerala, EVERYONE is a crazy driver! The tempo traveller that I was "attempting" to follow was hitting about 80, and I was like forget it. I am going to drive. I almost got run down by 2 buses. And, we got completly lost, but reached the hotel before the tempo. so browny points for me! yay! Total distance - 120 Kms

On day 5 - we drove back to Cochin, a very sober pace of about 60. Reached cochin in about 3 hours. Checked into hotel and all that and were planning on chilling out for a few days.

Day 8 we left cochin for Ooty. My brother, my wife and I. Since we had travelled on the same route to cochin from ctore, the return was no biggie. But the rains on the way made it quite difficult. Visibility was down to about 20 feet, and yet, you had some crazy drivers over taking. One thing i found quite strange were these cars that were driving like maniacs, would always have their hazards on. I never figured that but just let life continue. After reaching coimbatore, we cut thru the city to the ooty route. Beyond mettupalayam, we learnt that some tree had fallen on the road, so had to take the kotagiri route. We took that route, lovely, damn scenic and really steep. I was in second most of the time, considering it was 3 adults and car piled up with luggage. My wife, being from that area, said there was a short cut to coonoor. and it was more like a vertical cut, damn road was so steep, i was on first but the car was still hurtling down like a rock. finally decided to ride the brakes a bit. Once inside the valley, climbing out was equally steep. This was the first ghat road, where i found people giving way to up coming traffic. That rule seems to hav ebeen forgotten. this road was equally steep with me having to use first most of the time. Anyways, reached home at about 6 after leaving cochin at about 11. Total distance around 250 Kms.

Day 12 - We left coonoor at about 10am, reached ooty at about 1115. Crazy traffic jams and finally sqezed through to the katri route. There was one stretch of about 2 KMS that was SO BAD it could be used very easily to test for Off-roading capabilities of any vehicle. Took about 30 mins to cover a 2 km stretch. Then reached the great 36 hairpin bends down hill. VEry interesting. By now, having gotten the hang of hill driving, completly minimised the use of brakes. Very proud of the way the route unfolded itself. The car was awesome, behaved itself very well and we went on through Mudumalai, bandipur and finally to mysore. We reached mysore at about 130. At about 430, my brother and I proceded towards bangalore. Loved that road. Reached the outskirts of bangalore by 630 and reached Cox town by 9. Krazy traffic. And more oneways. Its not funny! The plan was to refresh at cousins place and leave bangalore at about 11 to drive through the night to chennai. Well, cousins being cousins did not think this plan was the best, and fed us till we realised that I cant drive cause i was too stuffed, and brother cant drive cause he was too drunk! so crashed the night there, and decided to leave early next morning. Total distance about 300 kms.

Day 13 - We left cousins place at about 430 am, dropped of a friend in RT nagar, and reached electronic city by around 515. By around 6 we were in hosur, and did not realize that so early in the morning as well the road would be crowded. Anyhow, I finally found out on this stretch that the palio can hit around 155, and there was still some room for more! but decided against it. We finally reached chennai by 1100, and we were thankful that we missed all the traffic and reached home in about 30 mins. distance traveled around 350 kms.

The whole trip was about 2100 kms i clocked it from my house back to my house. The car was wonderfull, and about 90% of the time the AC was running. Was able to squeese a FE of about 13.5 on Avg, (tank ful to tank ful basis). I throughly enjoyed myself, as this was the first "long distance drive" that I was doing. (we drove from mumbai to goa in 1989 but i was quite small to remember the trip). At times, the only thing that got to me about the palio was the lack of a boot, and was seriously considering taking the lancer for the trip. But after seeing the ghats and the narrow roads in most of the places, I was glad that i took the palio instead. The worldspace was a lifesaver, constantly cranking out tunes. MP3 Cds and small bottles of water were very useful!

Having now been bitten by the long drive bug, i think i will be doing more trips in the near future. The best part is that you step out of the car in the middle of no where, stretch yourself and say "wow, look at where I have come from!!!"

Last edited by madan80 : 19th June 2007 at 11:33.
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Old 19th June 2007, 11:17   #2
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Wow Madan, what a report!!
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Old 19th June 2007, 11:21   #3
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Nice report madan. Next time your in bangalore do give us a call. I live in R.T.Nagar too.

And I thought I was the only one visiting AP, kerala, karnataka & TN this month.
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Old 19th June 2007, 11:38   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mclaren1885 View Post
Nice report madan. Next time your in bangalore do give us a call. I live in R.T.Nagar too.

And I thought I was the only one visiting AP, kerala, karnataka & TN this month.
Well, i am sure you wouldnot hve been at your best if i woke you up at 4am .
I did not touch andhra though. If I took the OMR thehn i would have traversed all 4 states!
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Old 19th June 2007, 11:49   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by madan80 View Post
Well, i am sure you wouldnot hve been at your best if i woke you up at 4am .
I did not touch andhra though. If I took the OMR thehn i would have traversed all 4 states!
No issues, anytime. I come off as a good host you know. Just returned from cochin in the morning. Off to coimbatore in a while. Will post my experience on my return too.
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Old 19th June 2007, 11:51   #6
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nice writeup madan

[quote=madan80;472652] The worldspace was a lifesaver, constantly cranking out tunes. MP3 Cds and small bottles of water were very useful!
quote]

does the Worldspace work in car too? I always thought its static like the dish TV.
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Old 19th June 2007, 12:20   #7
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Nice travelogue!

Was hoping for some pics too.
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Old 19th June 2007, 12:31   #8
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Nice travelogue Madan....but where are the pics?

Abhi
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Old 19th June 2007, 13:23   #9
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pics of the journey :( did not take too many. Some are in my photo gallery.
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Old 19th June 2007, 13:43   #10
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Nice report Madan. You sure had some fun there.
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