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Old 14th February 2008, 13:45   #1
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Default First long drive - Srisailam

And here goes the story. I am a newbie in the world of car driving in every aspect and got my new vehicle Tata Indica Xeta GLS on 24th of December 2007. The irony was I got it delivered even before I knew how to drive it. One of my colleagues helped me getting the vehicle drive to my home. I joined a motor driving training school and got a learner’s License. Had only 4 lessens from that driving school and brave enough to take my new vehicle out on the road. I never liked all those hide-and-seek games with Police men while I used to drive and my wife used to be my co-driver knowing that I am supposed to take my vehicle out only when I am accompanied with a person who has a permanent License.

Everything went well and I got my driving license on 2nd Feb this year. The moment I became a licensed driver I started thinking of a long drive. May be this is my first post in Team BHP , but I am an addict to it since a month or so. Ever since I am at Hyderabad ( nearly 4 years ) I planned for Srisailam by my bike ( Unicorn) but the plan only remained in my brain and never got executed. This was a perfect occasion to bring my plan into reality when I found my brother-in-law came to our place all the way from Calcutta to see our new vehicle.

So I planned for Srisailam – read all the threads in TBHP and let some of my friends (very few though) know about it. Now everyone including my parents tried a lot to convince me that I shouldn’t even think about going there without someone who is experienced enough to drive through ghat roads. More I heard them saying no, more I got stubborn about this trip. I have been driving on two wheelers since I was a kid and did some highway travel also , so what’s the big deal ? I’d been to many places on himalaya , might not be in my own car, but know the basics of ghat road driving – I kept on telling myself and gained the confidence.

I booked Srisailam Devasthanam Cottage online for two days 10th and 11th . First servicing was already done a week ago when it was only 475 kms on the odo. So I knew my vehicle was ready for it. On 9th, my wife started feeling unwell and our trip became uncertain. It was an entirely sleepless night for me on 9th. My nerve got tensed and the question started haunting me – can I really drive my car on the ghat road ? Anyways, we got up at 4 in the morning and my wife said she didn’t want to miss it. So we finally got started at 6. On 9th itself I did a tank-full and reset the trip.

I took Mehedipatnam Road – Rethibowli – Katedham, crossed NH7 and reached Srisailam Road. It was early morning and traffic was marginal..

My puspok :



We took breakfast after crossing Amangal Here on road became more undulated. The picturesque surrounding made us spell bound. Brown rock mixed with green fields drew colorful pictures on bluish grey canvas of cloudy sky. As the weather was pleasant, we didn’t have to put the AC on. The only problem haunted us was the language. My wife and bro-in-law almost went crazy to find out the names of the places we were crossing. It has been nearly 4 years I am at Hyderabad and alas couldn’t learn the local language Telegu. Shame on me.

The road condition was over all good and I was driving within 80kmph. As I read some topics about break-in a car, I was maintaining the speed limit and was not driving constantly on 5th gear only. My brother-in-law was in the co-driver seat and tried his best to take some snaps of the road but had a real problem in taking pictures from within a moving vehicle.

We were taking frequent breaks and enjoying the drive. As I was the only person who knows driving in our team of three so my wife was extra cautious and kept on reminding me to take water in frequent intervals. It helped me to remain fresh and fit.

Our next halt was at Dindi and we spent some time in taking some snaps of Dindi reservoir.

Dindi Reservoir :



After Dindi we kept on following the road sign and the journey was pretty uneventful. Ghat section starts after Achampet and I switched off the music. Remember I am a new driver and now I could see my team members were getting tensed slowly. But it was very easy for me to move on there. We had chai at Mannanur checkpost and the journey became more memorable from there. It was dense forest with hilly road. We had a plan to visit the tiger sanctuary project enroute but due to bad weather and last night’s rain, it was closed.

We reached the dam site and had taken some snaps from there.

Srisailam Dam :


As I started for the final stretch to Srisailam, suddenly a burning smell came along. I stopped the car and opened the bonnet but couldn’t find anything unusual. Within 5 kms of driving again we felt a strong burning smell. This time I was worried and couldn’t figure out what to do. Stopped for 15 mins and headed towards Srisailam which was only 15 kms from there. Surprisingly didn’t feel the smell afterwards.

Srisailam Entrance :


Patalganga :


Reached Srisailam and went straight to our cottage. It was decent and spacious. We parked our vehicle at the lawn and the trip read 230 kms. Had our lunch with typical south Indian thali from hotel Ilapuram. I was feeling tired so had a nice couple of hours rest and in the evening went for Darshanam. We were lucky to complete the darshanam within an hour with Rs. 50 tickets.

Next day morning spent some time with ropeway and boating and my bro-in-law went to visit akkamahadebi cave. I heard that the place is worth visiting and APTDC conducts a daily boat trip there for Rs. 150. It takes 3 hours for the entire trip.

Akamahadevi cave :



After taking lunch from APTDC punnami we started our journey back at 3:30 pm. Within 20 mins of driving again there was some burning smell. I was irritated this time and decided to go on with it and tried to find out if there’s any smoke coming out from the bonnet. Nothing special and after sometime the smell was not there anymore. I had no clue as to what was going wrong in the engine and may be some TBHP guru can provide some light on it.

Initially I thought of going via Kalwakurti , jadcherla and NH7, but then one of friends told me that NH7 was not in good condition and it would be somewhere around 40 km extra. So we followed the same route back.

Way back home :


We reached home safely by 9:30 and I was feeling very tired. Not sure if this extra bit of tiredness came for night driving. May be some tbhp member can teach me the basics of not getting tired on long journeys.

At the end I must say this Srisailam trip has added a lot of confidence in me. I have already started dreaming for a Hyderabad – Calcutta trip just like Blackperl or Bangalore-Calcutta trip like AKRoy. I know I am still a novice and need to go a long way to achieve those milestones…..

Last edited by GTO : 14th February 2008 at 16:08. Reason: Removing FONT tags. Please do not cut-copy-paste from other word processors.
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Old 14th February 2008, 16:17   #2
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great writeup and photos ...thanks!
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Old 14th February 2008, 16:37   #3
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great travelogue mate. thanks for sharing. and congrats on the first long drive / first travalogue / first ghat section drive / first smoke-the-car smell (what the hell was that!!???).

would say, next time, that you read the thread on preparing for long drives. for not getting tired, would suggest that you try to drive with AC on, not at full blast but low cool. driving with the windows down tires you more.

take plenty of short breaks and also plenty of water (which you did).

:-)
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Old 14th February 2008, 17:49   #4
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Bravo.I liked your write up .Natural writer.Kudos for long drive,new car!
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Old 14th February 2008, 17:52   #5
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Hey, that was a great post.. Good that you enjoyed the driving!! As you said it's the confidence that matters.

Anyways, your learning will never stop as you mature as a driver. Enjoy the drives and enjoy you car!!!
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Old 14th February 2008, 18:33   #6
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Nice writeup, Looks like you are another drive crazy bong, Am I right?

Abhi
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Old 14th February 2008, 19:06   #7
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Abhi, your following tbhp since over a month and we never saw you on the Hyderabad tbhp thread

That was a wonderful first time trip, report and pictures. Hope to see you in the next hyderabad meet, please keep checking the meet section.
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Old 14th February 2008, 19:07   #8
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cant agree more with the rest of the write-ups. Confidence is the key and until you reach 2000 kms, I would personally suggest to hold back your agression on the gas pedal. Enjoy your drive and keep posting
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Old 14th February 2008, 19:37   #9
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Srisailam? I believe it is spelled "Switzerland", mate. Are you of Chinese extraction by any chance? Just kidding. Good write up and welcome aboard.
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Old 14th February 2008, 20:32   #10
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Hi abhi,

With your kind of passion, its just a matter of time and a couple of similar trips that you would enjoy your drive without getting tired. It happened to me too initially - we tend to think too much, and constantly, on the car, driving pattern, what others think ( ? ) and the roads in general - these factors finally weigh too much. Yes, we must be alert and at the same time - confident.

Enjoy riding Abhi ! we enjoyed reading your report !

rgds,
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Old 14th February 2008, 20:54   #11
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Thanks all for your replies.

@akroy - you are correct, I am from Calcutta.

@mobike008 - It could have been a great thing to be in that meet, but couldn't make it. Not gonna miss the next one.

- Abhijit
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Old 14th February 2008, 23:39   #12
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Nice trip log. You'll never forget the first long drive in your very own first car!

Quote:
Originally Posted by abhi_N View Post
As I started for the final stretch to Srisailam, suddenly a burning smell came along. I stopped the car and opened the bonnet but couldn’t find anything unusual. Within 5 kms of driving again we felt a strong burning smell. This time I was worried and couldn’t figure out what to do. Stopped for 15 mins and headed towards Srisailam which was only 15 kms from there. Surprisingly didn’t feel the smell afterwards.
Chances are this smell was from overheated brake pads.
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Old 15th February 2008, 00:12   #13
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Good write up and pix abhi. There is nothing like a good long highway drive to gain confidence.
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Old 15th February 2008, 10:22   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by airfoil View Post
Nice trip log. You'll never forget the first long drive in your very own first car!



Chances are this smell was from overheated brake pads.

In my way back home, I drove only for 20 mins and could feel the smell. It never came back after that. I guess I have to open the bonnet and check for any oil leak. Do you think its a serioius one and I should get my vehicle checked by service center ?

- Abhijit
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Old 15th February 2008, 11:33   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by abhi_N View Post
In my way back home, I drove only for 20 mins and could feel the smell. It never came back after that. I guess I have to open the bonnet and check for any oil leak. Do you think its a serioius one and I should get my vehicle checked by service center ?

- Abhijit
Since it is a new car, take it to the service centre. They should be in a better position to diagonize the issue.
Don't delay, because you got the smell more than once,and further delay may aggravate the damage.
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