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Old 11th January 2008, 09:58   #1
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Default My first long drive in South

Though this is a little late for this travelogue, it is the first one after we shifted here.

Team - Man, wife and dog
Mission - Pondichery, Mahabalipuram & Chennai
Mode of transport - Swift Vxi

Day-1 (Aug12): Started from Bangalore on Sunday at 7:30am and crossed Hossur easily. Had breakfast in Reliance and headed for Krishnagiri through the scenic road. After taking right for Pondy the road condition detoriated and we had to slow down. There was smooth road for couple of km and then suddenly big potholes all over the place for 50-100 meters. Reached Thiruvannamalai around noon. She wanted to visit the Raman ashram on the way and we spent about an hour there.

Road condition on this sector was good and we could make good time. Gingee fort came up on left - it was really an impressive structure. Wanted to take a de-tour but we were late and wanted to reach Pondy before dark. So Gingee had to wait for next time.

Entered Pondy town around 3:30pm and got lost. Found way and checked in about 4:30 and headed for the beach. Spent the whole evenong there.

Day2: Planned to visit Aurovil. Hotel guy said - go straight on East Coast road - will see a sign board of Aurovil - take left and continue. Kept driving - no sign board in sight. Suddenly we see a stretch of golden beach on right. Asked for Aurovil - we have missed the turn and came much ahead. The beach was inviting enough - postponed aurovil and hit the beach.

By the time we finished, we were wet, sandy, tired and hungry. Returned to Hotel and took it easy - the afternoon heat was too much. In evening visited the Ashram.

Day3: Second attempt to Aurovil. Found the board for left turn- it is on the extreme right side of the road . The entry inside the golden globe was not allowed - was a bit of a let down. Rest of the day was lazy - true to the Pondy spirit.

Day4: Started around 7am and went to fill petrol. It was CHEAP. Guys you must carry a couple of empty drums when you go to Pondy. Took ECR and was in Mahabalipuram around 9am for breakfast. Checked out the 'spots' there and left for Chennai around noon.

Reached Uncle's place in Mylapore at 1:45pm. The catching-up session lasted till about 5pm. Got out, and tried to reach NH4. Aunt was giving directions to my wife over mobile and I was trying to follow them. Naturally - got lost around Anna Salai. By the time we hit NH4, it was around 6pm - and then - WOW - what a road. Thanks to the old man for this. Kept between 90-110kmph throughout and was home at 10:30pm with two coffee breaks.

Total travel - 1136km, Last day - 565 km
FE - 14.7km/lt with AC on throughout
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Old 11th January 2008, 14:43   #2
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Nice pics!! Which hotel / resort did you put up in Pondy and how was your expereince? How did the dog behave in such long drives?

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Old 11th January 2008, 14:53   #3
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Hi akroy,

We stayed in a hotel called Colonial Heritage. Its one old French House in old city - in one of the parallel roads to beach road. That was the only hotel which allowed dog.
The dog loves long drive and is used to it - so not much issue. Only need to stop every couple of hours for him to stretch a bit.
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Old 11th January 2008, 15:20   #4
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Nice report, please post details on your stay.

The dog seems to be enjoying the waters, whats his name ??
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Old 11th January 2008, 15:30   #5
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Good pics! The report could have been a bit more detailed.

One's first long road trip is always special!
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Old 11th January 2008, 16:08   #6
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I'm very interested in how comfortable your dog was. I have a German Shepherd and a Swift as well and would love to take him on out-of-state drives but not sure abt how comfortable it would be for him.

Btw- lovely dog.
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Old 11th January 2008, 16:14   #7
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Nice pics and doggie too. Also good write up.
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Old 12th January 2008, 11:12   #8
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Nice writeup.
Great pics, the doggy looks camera savvy.
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Old 17th January 2008, 10:56   #9
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Hi MG, nice travelogue, & thanks for the Pondy tip... Your dog is cool, had one a long time ago (Sigh !). But unlike yours, mine used to be sick in cars ! Had to stop frequently to let him stretch his legs & walk around. Funny thing was, he absolutely loved riding in 2-wheelers !?!
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Old 17th January 2008, 11:10   #10
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Who is the GSD ? Glad he enjoyed the beaches & the trip.
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Old 17th January 2008, 23:20   #11
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Nice report. Good to see the doggie travel along..
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Old 5th January 2013, 16:09   #12
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Default Re: My first long drive in South

Where: Goa-Amboli-Belgaum-Bangalore-Coimbatore-Kozhikode-Allepy-Murdeshwar (karwar)-Goa
When : 21Dec12 to 30Dec12
Crew : Myself (Pilot wearing Ferari cap- have been to couple of F1 races and support Renault team/Vettal though), My daughter (12 yrs), Son (7 years) and wife (joined us in Coimbatore)
Vehicle: Ford Figo Titanium Diesel - Mar2011 model
Risk: Single driver, kids on board, very less experience of small car on long journey (i have been driving 4x4 for last 7 years - landcruiser, fortuners and like in Dubai)

My daughter maintained a detailed travel log book thoughout journey giving all roads, blocked, traffic, trucks alert. She did a fantastic work while my little kiddo enjoyed his Ben 10 series on Tab/netbook.

The Machine:
Name:  bhp1.jpg
Views: 1074
Size:  132.1 KB

21Dec12: Goa-Amboli-Belgaum-Bangalore
Starting mileage - 11375 kms, Tank full at 11,378 kms, air checked at Amboli ghat at 11450 kms
Toll from Belgaum to Bangalore - 70+43+50+80+65+50+50+31 (Tumkur)+16 (marthahali) =Rs.455/-
Tank full again at 11959; 37.2 lts @ Rs. 51.62 | 15.7 kms/lts with full A/c (that's low! ever lower than my friend's X1)
Bangalore - 12052 kms; Except for a small patch at Amboli and the truck traffic near Tumkur, the drive was very nice.

23Dec12: Bangalore - Coimbatore
Left in morning at 10:30 am with 12052 kms on meter to reach Coimbatore Isha Yoga Ashram at 6:30 pm in evening with 12456 kms on meter. The roads were really bad for

50 kms in approach to Coimbatore city. From City to Ashram takes about an hour as it passes through villages.

24Dec12: Coimbatore - Perrinthalmanna (Kerala)
This was a crazy drive. It appeared like people in Kerala walk on road as if they are in garden. People crossing without notice are so common but I was not used to it. Left Coimbatore at 4:00 pm to reach Perinthilmanna at 8:30 pm. 12608 kms.
Toll: 40+25+50+79+63+49+45 = Rs.351

26Dec12: Perinthalmanna - Alapuzzha/Allepy
left for Alapuzzha with 12690 kms on display at 1:30 to reach Alapuzzha at 7 pm with meter reading 12938 kms. the NH road goes through several towns villages and difficult to speed up. By now, I was getting used to driving in the state.
Toll at 2 places: < Rs. 20

28Dec12: Allepy - Kozhikode
Near Allepy, just near Marriyankullam police station an i10 came in and crashed in my car. All of us (me/wife and my 2 kids) ALWAYS wear seat belts and did not get any injury as result. An elderly lady in i10 got hurt. behind i10, an innova came in and crashed the car and there was some minor injury. Figo's bumper buckled, cracked on side but overall took the impact well. Surprising the police reached scene and were very cooperative and knew the process well.
Full tank top up - distance 12983-12505= 478km/33 lts = 14.48 km/lt

29Dec12: Kozhikode - Mangalore - Murdeshwar
started at 13242kms. difficult to achieve over 50km/hr average due to narrow roads and traffic. avg. 14 km/lt. Road approaching Murdeshwar (abt 40 kms)is very bad for small cars

Murdeshwar - Gokarna - Goa
Good road passing through some ghats.

Overall distance covered: 2600 kms, except for diesel and air check, the car performed very well specially the power it generated during overtaking
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