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Old 18th December 2007, 18:18   #1
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Talking Travelogue : The Newly Weds and their getaway to the East coast.

Hola folks

Am back with another quickie trip report which apparently lasted for 3 days.I did the same trip this year in the month of April and was a fun filled getaway.

Am married now and enjoying every bit of that special attention that you get from your loved one.
As usual after marriage there was this talk that we need to visit Velankanni for whatever reasons. Plan was to do a two day trip straight to Velankanni and head back home.
To me it dint make sense to drive all the way to Velankanni and not visit other places around the east coast.

I decided to do the same trip mentioned here since its been quite a while and my heart kept saying ECR and Pondy. Spoke to my wife about this idea and she too was thrilled and agreed straight away.

Called up a city hotel on Tuesday and confirmed my booking in Pondy. Wednesday morning ironwolf mesgs me asking if we could go and get his wheels upgraded. I thought no harm in going out for an hour or two and got outta the house.
We meet up and head straight to Hercules tyres for his tyre and alloy upgrade. (wonder where Daniel is ? I don’t see his wheel upgrade thread as yet ).

Now as mentioned earlier in the route to kerala thread, I had to get a set of spare of wheels to drive to Kerala and save my Lenso’s from the bad roads in Kerala.

Saravanna from Hercules tryes offered me 4 Acelere’s(195/60/R14) to be used on my car and returned if I dint like ‘em. Price quoted was 3k for each piece if I opted to keep them. I decide on buying them and was offered a price I cant disclose here . Was given a set of swift stock rims too. We finish up with the bargaining and payment and Daniel drops the tyres home for me. Thanks man.

Am still contemplating if I should change the Lenso’s to the stock swift rims or rather run my car on the lenso’s and enjoy the S-drives. I head out in the evening and change over to the stock swift rims . I thank my stars for this decision, read on you will know why.

Day 1 : Thursday.

Route taken : Bangalore-Hosur-Krishnagiri-Thiruvannamalai-Gingee-Thindivanam-Pondy ( 320 kms)

I oversleep as usual , but for a change my wife wakes me up and we leave home by 7am . Stop at Koramangala for breakfast and hit Hosur road at 8:30am. Not much of traffic and chaos , everything looks orderly. People for once were in their right state of mind and were obeying traffic rules.

Soon I cross e-city and oolaalaa we are on the GQ now. I decide to push the car this time around and see what it is capable of. This is the 2st time since the FFE install that I got to floor the pedal on the GQ. I started doing speeds of 140kmph and the tyres are doing justice to the car. Not much of tyre noise and cornering isn’t that scary.

Then outta a nowhere when I slowed down a skoda comes right behind my tail and honks like mad. I keep my calm and give him way. I dunno why , but this fool had some kinda cheap thrills that he kept provoking and instigating me into dragging with his car. I never fell into his trap, kept my cool and drove as usual hovering around 120kmph.

A few kms and he takes off showing a thumbs down. Apparently this fool wasn’t done and when I catch up he still wants to run a quarter mile with my baleno.
Well I decide to give him a taste of his own medicine. I keep close to his tail for a few kms and let him take off. Another few kms I blast past him at about 170kmph. He tried relentlessly to catch up with my baleno and never could till we reached the toll plaza at Krishnagiri.

The dude is not fit to be a driving a skoda , he couldn’t catch a baleno with a skoda. For sure falls under the category of bad drivers who don’t know how to use the beast. I decide not to do anymore such stunts continue to drive.

Deviate from the GQ towards and pondy and then bad roads for about 50kms. Occasional pot holes which could bend/crack your alloys and give your car’s suspension a sound beating. So watch out and be careful.

I noticed that the number of trucks using this road is really high,maybe the reason why the roads have lost shape.

I reach Thiruvannamalai and refuel another 10 ltrs. From Thiruvannamalai onwards the roads are excellent till you get to Pondy. So enjoy the drive to the fullest.
Reached pondy by about 2:30pm. Had some grub and beer , we then head out to visit an art school called Thapasiya. Spent the rest of the evening loafing around the usual haunts.

The temple at Thiruvannamalai

Pretty nice color combo

He earns Rs 2.50 per brick after all this hard work. The end user buys them at Rs4 if I aint wrong. Spent some time talking to him and understanding their lifestyle too.

Day 2 : Friday.

I sleep and sleep till its 10am and then realize that I can’t drive to Velankanni today. Velankanni is roughly 200kms from Pondy. Am in no mood to visit Mahabs, so decide to enjoy ECR to the fullest and try visiting Muthukadu and Kovalam beach if possible.

Called up John (esteem_lover) for some directions and am on ECR enjoying the bliss. I can never have enough of this road.

Unlike last time the goat population has migrated from the Chidambaram – Karaikkal area to ECR(East cost road). Encountered umpteen number of goats and damn these things don’t even budge when you revv the car or honk. I know I have to watch out and stop cribbing and my wife says enjoy the road and the serene greenery around. I decide against my banter and start enjoying the drive once again.

Looks like ECR has had a fair amount of rain over the last few days and for the 1st time everything is green. No salt pan lakes , everything is covered in water.

Some pics taken along ECR.

We visit the Kovalam beach and spend time there and head over to Ideal Beach Resort for lunch. Some beef pepper fry, chicken chettinad with rice ,voilaa I feel like sleeping now. Pull over the car and spend a few min’s at some place called view point from where I can see the beach.

Kovalam beach on ECR

We stop over at Ashoka Beach Resort for our evening tea and snacks at about 5:30pm. Play at the beach and reach our hotel by 7pm. Plan to hit the bed early since we need to wake up early for tomorrows 400 kms drive. I end up watching TV and sleep only by 12am.

Like I said earlier , lot of greenery on the East coast a sight to behold.

Day 3 : Saturday.

Route taken : Pondy –Cuddalore-Chidambaram-Seargazhi(Sirkali) –Karaikkal-Nagoor-Nagapattinam-Velankanni (Highway : NH45a)

Somehow manage to pull myself up and leave Pondy by 6am. Stop by at Cuddalore for coffee and we had carried some pastries and bread for breakfast. Pull over at Chidambaram for breakfast. Once we cross Chidambaram and enter Sirkazhi is when the horror starts. I will let the picture do the talking and you probably will realize why I earlier said “ I thank my stars for having changed tyres” .

The road from Sirgazhi to Karaikkal

We finish visiting Velankanni and start the drive back towards Karaikkal to visit the Dutch fort and Shaneshwara temple. As usual, I got blank looks when I asked for the dutch fort and eventually lost interest in visiting the Shaneshwara temple too.

Shot at 18mm with my Nikkor 18-135mm lens

People for nuts cant guide you to the right road. One says go left and the other says go right, we decided against these places and headed to the Karaikkal beach. Had lunch at a beach resort called Sea-gulls. Food was just ok and not worth the price. The beach though was really clean and the place was well maintained.
Once again my worst fear is the 10kms stretch to reach Sirgazhi . The roads are so narrow and the pot holes on shoulders is too deep for any car to go through unless its an amby.
During my drive back I found a scape-goat who was driving an Optra. I decided to keep behind him until I covered this 10km stretch.

As expected he took all the beating and was my guardian angel who saved my car for the day. I made sure that my cars underbody dint scrap and that the suspension/wheels dint take a beating. Thanks to this good Samaritan, whoever you are may god bless you.

Shot enroute Nagapattinam

We reached Pondy at about 7pm and go shopping at an art gallery. Picked up a painting as a gift for my wife and guess what ? She buys me a clock which looks like a cars wheel.
Surprisingly this clock has the disk brake with the brake caliper on the inside and size mentioned as 245/40/R16, low profiles eh ?

I enjoyed every bit of the 400 kms drive today and the day was pretty un-eventful expect for being verbally abused by a lorry driver who said “ Poda loosu pulla “ when I said “ Poda naaye “ .

Day 4 : Sunday

Start my drive back to bangy with a heavy heart that my trip ended really fast and that I would have to wait a couple of months before I can do this drive. Stopped at the new Reliance A1 plaza for lunch , food was pretty ok. I reached chaos at 4pm and back home by 5pm.
I came back home with 1300odd kms on the odo and some more unconditional love for my baleno. I can never let go off her anytime soon. I had plans of selling this car and picking up the 2.2 VTT, but now decided against it.

She will stay even if I buy the 2.2 VTT .

Posting a few random pics purely for eye candy. I know these places ain't new for the roadies on t-bhp.

My gear : Nikon D80

Nikkor 18-135mm lens

Nikkor 50mm lens.
No tripod used , damn I need to get one soon.

Used Picasa for editing and my laptop's LCD has been acting cocky since the last few days. Cant really get to see the colors right after PP.

Enjoy maadi and thanks for your time reading through.

Last edited by rjstyles69 : 18th December 2007 at 18:20.
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Old 18th December 2007, 18:28   #2
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Good to see you back, and with some lovely pics.

East coast at this time can be beautiful. IMO, couple of the photos would have been better with a little more light - #'s : 5, 6, 7 & 9.
rjstyles69 : let him take off. Another few kms I blast past him at about 170kmph. He tried relentlessly to catch up with my baleno and never could .
Must have been a sweet sight. Should have shot one of him too !
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Old 18th December 2007, 18:28   #3
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Awesome report and pics riju.

BTW, what Skoda (variant) was that ?

Also, while everyone in Karaikkal refers to it as the "Dutch fort", it is in reality a Danish fort. Yes, we also had the Danes in India. You should have visited it - a real nice place - the ASI has renovated it (atleast the part that did not get gobbled by the sea). It is at a place called Tharangambadi (Tranquebar), few kms from Karaikkal town.

Last edited by supremeBaleno : 18th December 2007 at 18:35.
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Old 18th December 2007, 18:29   #4
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Lovely snaps Riju.

I'm guessing it was a Skoda TDi?
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Old 18th December 2007, 18:29   #5
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Excellent travelogue Rj. Congratulations and some excellent pictures.
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Old 18th December 2007, 18:39   #6
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lovely pictures- been in chennai for a very long time but have never driven south. gotta start now.
The skoda dude must have thought - oh Maruti! lets show off...dude must be wondering what the hell hit him!
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Old 18th December 2007, 18:48   #7
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Wow! That's some excellent pictures and a decently written travelogue. Thanks for sharing the experience with us.
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Old 18th December 2007, 18:58   #8
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Thanks for the great pics and travelogue, Riju!
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Old 18th December 2007, 19:20   #9
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Nice travelogue and pictorial!

Invested in a set of tyres just for the highway, wow
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Old 18th December 2007, 19:21   #10
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Aah Riju is back after an exciting honeymoon...
Excellent pics and writeup Riju, Wish you happy couple enjoy more and more drives like this.

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Old 18th December 2007, 19:51   #11
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really nice write up , felt as though i was with you the whole way

expect for being verbally abused by a lorry driver who said Poda loosu pulla when I said Poda naaye .
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Old 18th December 2007, 19:58   #12
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Welcome back, Riju.

Nice travelogue and terrific pictures, as usual.

Enjaai maadi.
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Old 18th December 2007, 20:04   #13
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Beautiful Photography and an equally excellent report. I am getting an inclination that I will do a south India trip soon.
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Old 18th December 2007, 20:25   #14
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Nice photos there... Never been to Pondy though I lived in Chennai for 6 years !! BTW, my Baleno was originally from Pondy :P. Been to this Kovalam beach tho.. lots of private beach houses near by, owned by Chennai's richie r iches.
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Old 18th December 2007, 20:48   #15
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Congrats again,Riju.
That was a nice wite-up. As always, great pics too.
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