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|6th December 2007, 21:49||#1|
Menage a Trois - Mumbai - Bangalore
While Viddy has yet to write his travel blog preceding this, let me write mine. Having missed out n the Delhi-Mumbai sector, It looked like I would miss out on the Mumbai – Bangalore sector as the Mumbaiya – mods were to drive the cars down.
To cut a long story short – I made a comment – If only I could get a good RS in Mumbai to buy and I will drive it back in convoy. The story behind that is enough for another thread. But the week before this trip, was spent negotiating and sorting out the deal. Two days,before the drive, the deal was done and this was designated as the Baggage Van. In the process, the driver team plan was all over the place. The composition during the preceding week looked like this daily:
Monday - Sam – "I don’t know"
Tuesday - NC, Aditya, Steer and Duboy
Wednesday -May be NC, Maybe Steer, may be duboy, Aditya, Maybe Kartik
Meanwhile Baggage Van confirmed – myself – Rudy having mud-wrestled samurai style with white beauties, was tempted with a weekend, exploring various apertures of a black beauty
Viddy says, I would like to come but ......Sam says come, i'll sort you out. Viddy confirms that he is coming but his dad has disowned him
Thursday- Sam says "Crazy" Now it looks like Viddy, may be NC, may be Steer, no Duboy, Aditya, Maybe Kartik, Baggage van – Rudy and myself
Viddy, Irags advised that the evil twins need a lot of fettling. Yeti 1 is located and repaired. Yeti 2 AWOL. Old Man sends angry messages around – if no one attends to Yeti2 – it is a non starter.
Sam – who is driving the car? hell where are the cars ?
Friday morning Viddy, Jaggu (where did he appear from!), NC may be, Steer may be, Aditya, Rudy and myself
Steer was confirming and unconfirming for a while and alas his ticketing went for a six. He had a Sunday 1600 deadline else he would turn into a pumpkin.
Plan was – viddy, Rudy and myself would reach Mumbai in the afternoon, go to Vashi, pick up the baggage van and head to the Yeti Ville in Bandra. Jaggu would join us "eventually", he was flying Air Deccan!
We met up at the Bangalore Airbus Terminal at 12.15 and first hurdle was encountered. My trusty can of WD40 from my tool kit was impounded by airport security. Reached Mumbai at 3.30. Touchdown – Viddy finds out that Yeti 2 has only just been located. Old man mutters (understatement). We take a Kool Kab to JMD in Vashi. Reached 4.30
The baggage van was awaiting delivery. Old man scrutinized the car in great detail. I will let him describe me later– sorted out paperwork and we left around 6 pm. As we pulled onto the highway, ping, the reserve light came on. Found a pump and filled up. Pump had a bad ramp and although I was slow, the “crrrrr” got Viddy into a frenzy. That was nothing, an Indica following me went in at full power and the noise made Viddy explode.
Tanked up, we get lost in Sion and overshoot turning. Traffic is heavy but not maddening. Reach the Yeti Villa. Drive in and Sam’s folks take over unloading and parking etc. Shown into Sam’s flat which thankfully was de-v!perised since the speedrun. We see Jitu’s bag, phone, car and shoes but no Jitu. He is being very…almost too quiet in the Bathroom.
Jitu emerges and so does the Yeti. We first go over documentation, expenditure etc and then open the whisky. Sam regales us with some slap happy experiences from KL and elsewhere as usual. Superchips come delivered on the superbike by RT. Interestingly, the Yeti had played around with RT’s superbike years before RT learnt to balance. Along comes Aditya and NC at the same time. We feel hungry and Sam has arranged some awesome chicken biryani and we dig into it with relish. Rudy hits the dark side early and the rest of us sleep at 1.00
Last edited by ajmat : 6th December 2007 at 21:50.
|6th December 2007, 21:54||#2|
Leave at 7.30 for Prabhadevi and meet the yeti twins. Proceed to Chembur and pick up NC.
Me and Rudy ride the black beast while Jaggu and Viddy get into Yeti2 and Addy and NC hop into Yeti1.
Two wheels. One orange and one black
Our late start means traffic is a little thick. Yeti1 leads the way till McDonalds where it stops for water for the drivers and we continue as we fail to spot the Yeti1. The highway is good – no autobahn but by national standards (low Karnataka standards good!) . Start exploring the car’s capabilities. Stability is good. Xenon’s seem feeble in tunnels due to sodium light countereffect, Rudy plays around with my video as we enter the tunnel.
Suddenly, I see something with an evil grin shrouded in a cloak – Was it the Emperor striking back?– No its an Ingenio in disguise. He overtakes us on the left and slows, we overtake and he makes aggressive gestures. I speed on, he catches up and overtakes and makes more gestures. Wondering what would happen next – this is a public road anyway so he can do a monkey’s if I care. We video the shrouded one and NC gets some pictures too of the Ingenio.
Click on the photo to view the video
Reach the first toll booth and then stop for breakfast at the Food Plaza after the toll. The Food Plaza is crowded - it's a Saturday and the whole of Mumbai seems to be headed to the Lonavala and Khandala "twin" hill stations.
Two vada pavs and a coffee later, we hit the road. It has emptied out, and after Lonavala it is bliss. I start cruising at 3 digit figures. The twins slow get up to speed and stay there. Aditya keeps cursing the “hot air” intake but he manages to get the twin to cruise and gets into the lead ! Road is amazing, nice tunnels and the ghat roads were amazing. I push the baggage van. Car corners well but the tyres scream help. Old man prepones my plan to upgrade tyres by a couple of months. Yeti1 reports in, Pune guys want us to stop and meet us.
Soon after the expressway ends we spot the yeti’s parked on the side, we stop and I see a chromed red swift which was playing me fast or you fast with Yeti1 and some folks with coolers peering in the back. The guys from the red Swift want to know about the paint job and when they peer into the back - their jaw hits the floor. Everyone wants a demo and we are only too glad to oblige.
N_C and Adi were too proud after their demo for jantas
Judging by the pace, Belgaum is going to be the overnight stop, so I make a phone call to secure the rooms. We start and then stop again in 5 min. Part of the mud guard in Yeti2 is rubbing the wheel. The baggage van has some tools so Jaggu removes the offending part, binds up the rest in masking tape and we move on. 15 min later, somewhere near Chandni Chowk (isn't that in Delhi?) we see a Baleno (they are like flies in T-bhp, buzz around). Shrivz, Karl and Moralfibre flag us down and take us to a coffee day with slow slow service. We chat for a while, taking pictures for memories, no inkling about Yeti’s revenge. Show off the twins and back on the road.
With Pune team
We cruise on uneventfully till we reach Kambhakti ghat. It is a one way ghat. Old man starts exploring the apertures of the baggage van. Opens the roof, puts window down and it becomes the smoking car. Close windows, shift into third, floor it and it is a ”smoking” car. He then see hills and says STOP.
STOP for pee
Gets out and starts throwing the baggage out of the car. I throw the baggage into the back seat. I know Skoda try to promote the Octy boot as some kind of love space but this guy has gone crazy. He starts strutting around with his “cannon” sticking out and jumps into the “love seat”. He then turns agro – “drive, no more than 30km/h”.
See him in action by clicking on the photo
Shooting in motion. From flat land..
To ghat roads.. Jaggu wants to be in front
But N_C just couldn’t digest that..
Jaggu takes him again..in corner
N_C takes off again
Jaggu was looking blank but still doing fast as usual
We set off. Like a conductor, he directs the cars position, man he knows what he is doing in split seconds. Now and then, we move out to let cars overtake. We then climb the ghat and stop, while he switches lenses. He barks out some new instructions. I give Viddy, the Viddy Cam - and he films Rudy in action.
We stop again and Viddy decides to experience virginity in the love seat with the viddy cam and films the twins going down hill. It comes out well and until THUMP, the love lid comes crashing down due to gravity and speed. Luckily, Viddy saw it coming (actually he was lying down in the boot).
Click on the photo to view the video
Stopped to free him. Rumor has it that if it was Ishan, we might have just carried on to Belgaum
Reach Satara around 2 pm and the thirsty twins need fuel. The baggage van is only half full. At 3 pm, we stop for lunch and take it easy. As we park one guy comes up to us and asks - Boss isme music system hai na ?
Viddy says - Haan.
Guy - Sirf music system hai?
Viddy - Haan
Guy - Aur kuch system to nahi hai na?
Me (under my breath) - rocket launcher bhi hai !!
Viddy then explains to him the whole scene.
Guy - Kitne ka rahega system ?
Viddy - dhaaii lakh ka
Guy turns around and walks away.
We leave the twins take off and we follow. I decide nap time and the old man takes over. A testament to the car, I only woke up when he braked hard but he touched pretty high speeds and I never knew.
Happy me! Ajmat shot this before his sleep
He drives for around 100km and then we have a toll booth. Addy and NC are discussing amongst themselves - Ajmat is too slow and suddenly they see the black beauty catch up. Both are surprised but then both exchange knowing glances when they see Rudy in the driver's seat. Rudy and me then swap seats during next smoke break. Around 5 pm, we pass through Kohlapur. Plenty of Mercs out there as we drive through.
|6th December 2007, 21:55||#3|
Day 1 Sundown - Welcome to Karnataka
This is the threshold between the Maharashtra and Karnataka border. Hats off to the Maharashtra government – decent roads, decent traffic, every one stays left, no one on the wrong side of the road.
Run again. Vid on wheel and he wants to show..
But Adi doesn't want to see that kiddy stuff. Cutting gap fast.
At sundown, we enter the outskirts of Belgaum toll gate. Old man shouts “STOP”. We park on an embankment. Old man takes some evil pictures.
It gets more evil when trucks pass by. We spend good time getting the right shot. People are amused when Rudy lies down on the grass trying to get the angles right.
Call hotel for directions. Around 8 pm, we roll into Belgaum and out .. Viddy keeps on driving despite seeing the hotel on the right. So we turn back, Viddy drives on into the sunset, yeti1 and us drive to hotel while we radio him to turn back once again. Bit scary since the reserve light in the baggage van comes on. We covers the Twins up and check in. Hotel Sankam is not a bad place – it ain’t the Lands End but for 900 bucks inc breakfast, it is value.
Everyone freshens up and then loll around with one of the two only whiskies in the world. Good food too from the hotel. I hit the dark side early. The others continue their merry ways. We plan a 7.30 am start.
|6th December 2007, 21:56||#4|
We wake up on time and get to breakfast.Viddy or was it NC was lost in the bathroom. Breakfast was a buffet and we gorge. Puri bhaji, Idli, Vada, sambar, Dosa and then we see our VEGETARIAN VIDDY plonk an omlette on his plate. Everyone then decides to have the omlette. Jaggu meanwhile has a full English style breakfast with Kelloggs and milk.
It is 7.30 by the time we check out and fill up cars in the petrol station next door. Cars as usual attract a lot of attention. We are a little pensive as today, the highway to hell will beckon!
Hit the road at 8. NC gets into the drivers seat of Yeti1 is is promptly off. We cruise at around 100 till cars fully warm up. Hit a toll gate and the road narrows -Welcome to Karnataka and the lack of governance.
Road narrows but is beautiful and virtually no traffic makes for a very very nice drive. We see the Yeti1 parked on the side of the road which is between a hillock and a lake, for a break. We are at the turn off for GOA which was about 168 kms away.
Addy gets a idea that we should drive to Goa and have a rocking beach party at Anjuna beach. We all quite like the idea and I call Sam to check what he would say (pulling his leg).
Sam - Hello
Me - Hi Sam, we are just 168 kms from Goa and we think that going to Goa and enjoying the beaches will be great for a couple of days. VY starts on the 5th, we should be back by 4th night.
Me - Hello Sam ??
Sam - ?(reluctantly) uh tum log kab tak wapas aaoge ?
Me - 4th night.
Sam - VY starts from the 5th , come back 4th morning.
Me - No Sam we were pulling your leg.
Sam (gets the lifeline he wants) - Arre these kind of ideas I get on regular basis. I do these things on whim (now he was trying his best to show his coolness). Ok I will do one thing - I will take a flight to Goa and join you guys there tomorrow morning (we don't call him the cool Yeti just like that)
Me - hahahaha. No we are going to B'lore.
Meanwhile in the air, we see cloud streaks from two air force planes in a v formation. Old man's canon rises.
Two local lads follow us around and are curious a the gizmo's in th back. I decide to make their day. I raise the hatch and play. They hear and nod vigourously - "Thumba feerst class" . Viddy, Jaggu and I pool our bits of kannada to make complete sentences.
Proud new owner of a luggage van
And with his team
Adi with his love
So Sam-o - when prosperity hits the hinterlands, the young lads who were treated to a stonking spectacular will remember and buy. If they do not remember brand, they will remember the colour.
Rudra gets to work - clicking away furiously while NC decides he has to be seen in each and every picture.
N_C, our in-house model, with black..
And with orange.
Jaggu has been caressing my car at every stop. NC plays with my stereo settings. I let Jaggu take on my car with Rudra riding shotgun and I ride with Viddy.
Back on the road, I realise, how spoilt I am, the swifts struggle to get to speed and you feel and hear everything. Jaggu and the Old man are behind us, then catch up then disappear, reappear and so on. I film NC posing as he drives the Yeti1. We continue for an hour and the Old man wants coffee. So we stop at an A1.
We decide to indulge in a dosa also. A civic draws up. We have a good laugh about how it will cope further up the road. Jaggu, for fear of sinning more, hands the baggage van back to me and NC hops in as he wants to film the twins and click pictures. He starts off by poking his head out of the sun roof and filming the twins following behind but soon he is back inside. Turns 90 degrees and now pokes his head out the correct way to film the twins who have taken off in front of us. He is back inside soon as he cannot keep his eyes open. He even tries to catch the action from the window but the battery of my video camera dies. I had forgotten to charge it overnight at the hotel. The going is slow as we are on a by-pass that passes through a village. And the village is crowded. It is not that bad though and we make ok - ok progress.
After the village, Rudra wants a smoke break. After the break, NC takes over the driving seat in the black beauty and is cursing - trucks not pulling over, idiots on the wrong side of the road, overloaded trucks... and then the rough starts. We proceed gingerly over the terrian. Idiots in Alto's, Wagon R's, Indigo's get fed up of our slow progress but we ignore them. Surprisingly, it is the Skoda that is more likely to ground.
We make our pace, speed up, see dust, curse, stop, go slow. Bypass Hubli, Dharwad and then the road gets so bad, it is reduced to a single lane with both sides vying to cross the crater. Just when you try, a small 800 or zen will plonk itself and not let anyone go and not be able to proceed.
Rudy risks his life and lungs to get out, hold up 40 trucks and direct the traffic and us over the crater. It is as if governance disappeared in this area. There are semblances of road construction but no one is working on restoring or repairing. We wonder how Zak managed, that too he must have done this stretch at night! We go a little further and Rudy halts the convoy for a well-earned smoke in front of some windmills on a hill near Chitradurga.
I take the wheel again. Curiously, I see a Mondy and some civics pass by - they are going to have fun!!! Never saw any Cedia's but again they are so anonymous that you never spot them.
Meanwhile we suddenly see the Yeti2 make an emergency stop. Yeti1 was behind Yeti2 and we see Jaggu jump out of the car like a cheetah. And he dives in again with his upper body - with his lower part outside. We think something has gone wrong with the car. We park and NC and Viddy get out and start running towards the car.
We reach and ask Jaggu- what happened ?
Jaggu (cool look on his face) - Nothing da - just dropped my ciggy in the car and stopped over to pick it up.
Saying this - he takes a winning puff from that very ciggy.
We had our hearts in our mouth and this guy coolly puffs away. Another memorable incident.
We continue and it's past two, we now think about lunch. An A1 is spotted just as we cross the hill we had stopped near. Rudy and I drive into the empty parking lot. He points to a shady corner in a 7 o clock position, I accelerate and turn, and the dunlops sing. The Yeti's follow. The A1 staff come out spotting the yeti's.
Lunch was reasonable. A1's really make life easy. We get back on the road. Road is back to dual carrigeway and are back to normal. Almost except for overloaded trucks and the usual 29.5 km/h truck overtaking the 30km/h bus.
This time - Viddy joins NC in Yeti1 and NC decides to teach Viddy how to overtake on highways and off they go. I guess Viddy learns a few tricks
Approach Tumkur and the traffic increases, everyone seems to be living in Bangalore and returning home. We stop for our last coffee. Yeti1 is ahead and we radio them to stop at the next place that serves coffee. There is a A1 and we stop for coffee. Rudy decides to tweak the stereo of Yeti2. Some people come and watch, enjoy maadi. They comment!
"thumba danger speaker" (very danger speaker)
MY daughter now keeps frantically calling " Papa, when are you coming" We get going, the road is crowded but moves until Peenya.
We get stuck for around 75 min of stop start. Both the twins are lost (like in a Khumb ka Mela in the movies) Viddy gets confused on where to go, park etc. We radio to meet at IISC. Luckily the cars regroup before. during the drive, we discover that Sam has no parking at his guesthouse. So we call Ashok, Sam’s manager who will take one car home. Poor guy is sitting outside the showroom...knowing VM road, he could get picked up if he is the wrong sort of person.
We go to Viddy's place to collect the Lancer and transfer the luggage. His dad has disowned him and left home. Then to the showroom where Ashok takes the car. We find the RC book of one of the cars has disappeared. Adi and I take Yeti2 to my mother’s apartment block to be parked. My mum likes the Skoda but a little wonderous about Yeti2 parked in the basement. The kids will love it. Look forward to demo'ing the car when it gets back from the show.
Adi and I return to the showroom and we say our goodbyes. We could have driven on but my daughter is most insistent and getting frantic that I return. Get home and she is waiting outside. She is not bothered about the new addition to the family at all, all she wants to do is open the door and give me a hug.
Welcome back Bangalore!!!
PS - the RC book mysteriously appeared back where it should be. Don't ask how, we have no clue
Text - a lot of help from N_c
Supermodel - N_c
Pics - iRudra EOSen, JAggu, Addy, N_c
Whisky - Yeti
|The following BHPian Thanks ajmat for this useful post:|
|6th December 2007, 22:16||#5|
Senior - BHPian
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: In my Office
Thanked: 14 Times
Wow! You guys had the time of your life! I loved the photos and the story. The snap with the RS's HLs and grille in profile ("Luggage Van") gave me goose bumps. More pictures. MORE!
|6th December 2007, 22:18||#6|
Join Date: Mar 2006
Thanked: 17 Times
Wow! What a pleasure it was to read thru. I'm surprised to see the luggage Van was actually following the Yeti twins.
As always, OL MAAN CAN RAAYI LA! :
|6th December 2007, 23:02||#10|
Join Date: Oct 2005
Thanked: 352 Times
Fantastic report and pictures. Living life to the fullest.
Envy you guys.
|6th December 2007, 23:08||#11|
Senior - BHPian
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: In my Office
Thanked: 14 Times
Can I have the full-res version of that pic puhleeeeeeeeze?
|6th December 2007, 23:14||#12|
Distinguished - BHPian
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Mumbai (but wat
Thanked: 1,473 Times
Beautiful story and beautiful pictures and videos. One of the best travelogues on TBHP.
Last edited by Sam Kapasi : 6th December 2007 at 23:17.
|6th December 2007, 23:45||#13|
Join Date: Mar 2006
Thanked: 17 Times
Those swift are sitting on the road always. They refuse to move unless given some good whackings. I think Rudy wants that to be corrected. Can it be?
|6th December 2007, 23:45||#14|
Join Date: Mar 2004
Thanked: 4,282 Times
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