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Old 10th September 2007, 18:48   #1
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Default Pune-Mahabaleshwar-Pune in my Fiat.

We (Moralfibre and me) had a lovely drive to Mahabaleshwar yesterday in my 1973 Premier President, here's my poor attempt at a travelogue.



Sunday the 9th, the Fiat Club set out for a leisurely drive (from Pune) to Wai, upto Hotel Anandvan for lunch, and back. While we were scheduled to leave at 9 30 am from Katraj, the Mumbaikar contingent's late arrival meant we were delayed for a bit, but no complaints. Kiran and me were enjoying waiting at the new bypass watching various camouflaged Tata motors prototypes zip past. So some time later (I wasn't keeping track) 27 of us in 11 cars, (1 Zen, rest Fiats/Premiers from 1955 to 1996) left in a convoy. Since I rarely get a chance to drive my Fiat on a road like this, I was in no mood to stick with the convoy, and we pushed on ahead.





The road right through was lovely, not a pothole in sight. The weather was perfect, cool, without the rain clouds looming large. We pressed on and made it in good time, with a short stop for the customary (delicious!) wada pav.

Anandvan is a charming setup, owned by club members the Kondalkars. Its very clean, picturesque and all the food is grown in house, only salt and a couple of other items are bought from outside. Fantastic! A little bit of chatting later, food was served. Standard maharastrian fare, we enjoyed it!




The time is around 2 30, and since Panchgani is only 19kms away, Kiran and me decide to drive down since we're so close. We leave at 2 35, and soon spot this familar taxi.



More here
http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/indian...agon-past.html (An Indian station wagon from the past)

The road just gets better and better. Lovely twisty ghats, hardly any traffic and I have this goofy grin on my face the entire drive. All fears of the car acting up have been allayed, and im doing a steady 80-90, going upto 115 at one spot, no more.






Im visiting Panchgani after years, and I'm glad to see it exactly the way it was, green, calm and tranquil. I suppose the fact that there werent too many tourists helped. Again, lovely weather, with fog gently creeping in, me still grinning like a school boy. Especially when I saw this! The place belongs to a friend, and theyve been adding a digit to the number every ten years, and its still ***50.





And since we're upto Panchgani its only natural to drive all the way up to Mahabaleshwar and make my usual pilgramages, my Uncles house, Imperial Stores (some things never change!), and top of the list, Bohemia. Speedy, this ones for you.



We cruise around, hunting for stereotypical Parsee bungalows, hoping to find a classic or 2, but settle for a landmaster, a burnt Peugeot wagon and some Jeep stationwagons. Sigh...no active jalopy taxis anymore. Couldn't even find the junked Ponton and 57 Fiat parked by the side of the road for the last 20 years.



A quick bite, gas up, and we're off, rains being on the back of my mind. I guess it must have been around 5 30. I must mention here that nowhere in Panchgani or Mahabaleshwar was I stopped to pay the entry toll. The others were! Kiran thinks I was mistaken for a local taxi and hence exempted! Hehe.



The drive back was less enjoying, with the sun going down and traffic levels rising, and I was a tad weary. We were back in time for a mini meet at 7 30ish(?). All in all a thoroughly enjoying drive, looking forward to doing it again on the 30th.

Over to you Kiran. Thanks, I had a blast!

Last edited by Aditya : 4th November 2007 at 13:16.
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Old 10th September 2007, 19:09   #2
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My drive began early morning at 6 when I woke up unlike the usual days when 6 is not a time I see to get up but go off to bed. Got up in a jiffy and without an alarm on a Sunday morning. Off to wash the car and after an hour of cleaning it (although it wasn't going to be a part of the drive it had to enjoy some shine sitting in the garage). 7 am I was off to see Karl and I knew the lazy him will be dozing in bed so decided to bite on some omelette at Vohuman cafe. Just for formality messaged Karl and surprisingly he was awake. Reached his place at 8 and parked. We set off to catch up colonel Satish who came in his beautiful S1 clad with Army badges on the grille. Then it was off to Katraj tunnel bypass slowly following colonel since Karl only knows directions based on oldies lying around town like for example MTJ 4 ke aage second left and all.

At the bypass the Dhabhar family were waiting for us since 8:30 in the morning and the rest of the pack hadn't arrived. A little discussion later me and Karl decided to move a little ahead and wait for the pack. No one in sight for an hour except for Ikon tail lookalike camouflaged Indica's were the only source of time pass. Karl in his form raced ahead of the pack doing sedate speeds of 60 - 100 kmph and I was pretty comfortable sitting shotgun. I was seeing one crazy bawa who abused each and every one who honked unnecessarily and did not give him right of the way gosh thats some sight and experience although I am pretty much used to it by now.

By now we were approaching Khambataki ghats and as soon as the ghat started Carloose really went loose going flat out on the corners and I was still comfortable until on the way down the ghat Mr. taxi walla had some idea in mind on how to go sideways on corners. I was nicely speaking to desmoquattro on the phone and suddenly the car was cornered sideways on what looked like a hairpin bend. God I still thank you for taking care of me through thick and thin. LOL just kidding. I in fact enjoyed that bit of cornering. We halted at Mahabaleshwar turn off for the rest of the pack and they arrived quite soon. Some pictures at the stop are posted above.

Later it was a potholeless drive to Wai and we were treated with some delicious lunch at Anand Van.

Panchgani report later. I had a hell load of fun and the best is yet to come.
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Old 10th September 2007, 19:23   #3
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Originally Posted by moralfibre View Post
7 am I was off to see Karl and I knew the lazy him will be dozing in bed so decided to bite on some omelette at Vohuman cafe. Just for formality messaged Karl and surprisingly he was awake. Reached his place at 8 and parked. Then it was off to Katraj tunnel bypass slowly following colonel since Karl only knows directions based on oldies lying around town like for example MTJ 4 ke aage second left and all.

I was seeing one crazy bawa who abused each and every one who honked unnecessarily and did not give him right of the way gosh thats some sight and experience although I am pretty much used to it by now.
Guilty as charged! Infact in this pic you can see me and the good Col. pointing at Kiran, saying "target sighted...ATTACK!"

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Old 10th September 2007, 19:50   #4
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These two pics made my day....lovely experience.
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Old 10th September 2007, 19:52   #5
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Nice travelogue there.
Looks like you guys had a lot of fun.
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Old 10th September 2007, 19:58   #6
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Nice reading and lovely photographs.
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Old 10th September 2007, 20:47   #7
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lovely travelogue and nice report karloos.next time i am not gonna miss this one if you dont mind dude.
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Old 10th September 2007, 21:04   #8
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Old town, old cars, old friends - it doesnt get more nostalgic than this. I can almost smell the old leather, the petrol fumes and the fresh, non-airconditioned air from your trip.

Great one there, Karlos!
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Old 10th September 2007, 21:25   #9
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WOW~!

great log there guys.. enjoyed reading it!

kudos!

P.S. Carloose gets even more loose when he gets his hands on his daddy's dear CRV!! This, I say from personal experience..

One more detail.. I dont really fit in the CRV! Damn, these Hondas I tell you...
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Old 11th September 2007, 00:52   #10
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Awesome pics and travelogue Karl. Loved the pics kiran. Whats with the temp gauge going the other way?
So another drive on the 30th eh? Guess whos joining in with the 1100?? Trial run hopefully.

Last edited by V-16 : 11th September 2007 at 00:53.
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Old 11th September 2007, 01:46   #11
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Awesome pics and travelogue Karl. Loved the pics kiran. Whats with the temp gauge going the other way?
So another drive on the 30th eh? Guess whos joining in with the 1100?? Trial run hopefully.
Lets see your original temp guage working for more than a year, then see who has the last laugh! Bas, now you have to make it on 30th in Fiat.
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Old 11th September 2007, 02:13   #12
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Lets see your original temp guage working for more than a year, then see who has the last laugh! Bas, now you have to make it on 30th in Fiat.
OOOps does that mean the temp guage in my car should be working??!! Thats what you get for biting off more than you can chew.....
"Razzak bhai....tees tariq ko gadi chale na chale, temp guage chalna chahiye.."
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Old 11th September 2007, 02:48   #13
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excellent travelouge karl and moralfibre enjoyed reading every bit of it and felt i was right there with you guys, except that i dont have a fiat. after reading this i sure wish i had one. no problem i shall get one and am even more ditermind to intensify my negotiations for the one i have seen.
thanks karl for remembering me even if it was for the burnt peugeot wagon . ok..ok... stop abuseing. bohemia does look great the gate atleast and if you would venture inside find a few cars there. dont kick me if you find parts or other things missing from them.
at some point i too shall be driveing with you on your road trips.
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Old 11th September 2007, 07:39   #14
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Excellent and Nostalgic pics !! Nice writeup...

You people indeed had lots of fun...Nice to see that the car still hit 100kmph on speedo..

Abhi
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Old 11th September 2007, 08:53   #15
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No one really got the significance of this picture I believe. See the rear glass of the Fiat and the board mentioning the destination .
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