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Old 4th May 2008, 19:07   #46
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Chevy_Lover,

Great report. I wish I could find the rest of your report. Anyhow, I appreciate the informative report that you have provided for team-bhpians. I am leaving for Kerala (from Pune!) on the 15th of May, 2008. We'll be taking the following route -
Pune - Belgaum - Karwar - Kozhikode - Kochi - Alappuzha - Thekkady (Periyar) - Munnar - Tirupur - Bangalore - Pune

And I'll be driving my beauty! She's only 8 months old ... the Fiat Palio Stile 1.6 Sport! It really was interesting to read your love for your Chevy and Kerala. I would appreciate if you could post any tips in particular ... what to do, what not! Which roads are really bad and must be avoided (of course, you must tell us alternatives also). This is our first trip to Kerala and we want to make the best of it and one way is to ask the experts!

Thanks again! Good luck!
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Old 5th May 2008, 12:43   #47
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Originally Posted by rameshgururaj View Post
Chevy_Lover,

Great report. I wish I could find the rest of your report. Anyhow, I appreciate the informative report that you have provided for team-bhpians. I am leaving for Kerala (from Pune!) on the 15th of May, 2008. We'll be taking the following route -
Pune - Belgaum - Karwar - Kozhikode - Kochi - Alappuzha - Thekkady (Periyar) - Munnar - Tirupur - Bangalore - Pune

And I'll be driving my beauty! She's only 8 months old ... the Fiat Palio Stile 1.6 Sport! It really was interesting to read your love for your Chevy and Kerala. I would appreciate if you could post any tips in particular ... what to do, what not! Which roads are really bad and must be avoided (of course, you must tell us alternatives also). This is our first trip to Kerala and we want to make the best of it and one way is to ask the experts!

Thanks again! Good luck!
@ Ramesh, thanks for your comments. The route that you have decided on looks pretty good to me. If you leave very early from Pune, you can make it to Karwar by evening, assuming that you are a fast driver. You must spend a day or two there. Karwar beach is simply amazing!!!

The roads are in pretty good condition everywhere. You will need to exit the NH4 near Belgaum and join the NH17 which will take you to Karwar and Mangalore.You will love the NH 4. Some stretches in Yellapur on NH17 are always bad. So be prepared. I believe the roads in Mangalore are also good now.

Leave early from Karwar and try to reach Kozhikode by evening. It is not safe driving at night. You can leave for Cochin in the morning. You must remember to visit Fort Kochi and see the Jewish Synagouge and also go for an evening cruise in the sea.

From Cochin, you can go to Alleppy and go for a house boat ride. Add Varkala beach also to your plan. That beach is outstanding! Please see Varkala beach's pics in my travelouge. The most important activity should be tasting the local cuisine!

Thekkady is very beautiful. You will enjoy the cruise in the lake. Try to find accommodation in Kumali. It will work out cheaper. Munnar is fantastic. But be very careful when you drive on ghats. Install an air horn in your car, if you don't have one, if possible. The roads are very narrow and the Govt. bus drivers are very rash. The thumb rule is to always give them way! In Munnar you can find good accommodation, but make a reservation in advance as the place is overflowing with families on vacation. Also remember to fill up fuel before starting the ghat section. Drive slow and honk as frequently as possible.

Avoid driving at night in Kerala, by all means. The heavy vehicle traffic is too hot to handle!!!

Finally, all the best for your trip. I am sure you will have a rocking time with your Palio Stile!!! If you have any more queries, please do ask. Team BHPians will always help you out!

The second part of my travelouge is here; http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/travel...tml#post806184 (Road trip from Trivandrum to Velankanni)
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Old 5th May 2008, 17:28   #48
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Arrow Lovely Little Report......

Hai Chevy Lover,

That's a lovely trip report and beautiful photos too. Your snaps have backeted the rainy mood and the long winding roads clearly. Tnx for sharing that.

This sharp turning where you had a burst near Kankavali, do you have the approx. Km where the turning is? That would be useful to othere on the route....

Looks like your Guardian Angels are happy with you and family.... nice going.

Happy Driving,

--Ramky
==========

Last edited by ramkya1 : 5th May 2008 at 17:31.
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Old 5th May 2008, 17:42   #49
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Hai Chevy Lover,

That's a lovely trip report and beautiful photos too. Your snaps have backeted the rainy mood and the long winding roads clearly. Tnx for sharing that.

This sharp turning you are talking about, is it between Yellapur and NH17, do you have the approx. milage as to where it appears?

Looks like your Guardian Angels are happy with you and family.... nice going.

Happy Driving,

--Ramky
==========
Thank you very much Ramky for the appreciation. That sharp turn is after Gagan Bawda ghats, just before Kankawli junction. It must be atleast 50 kilometres after Gagan Bawda. It is very difficult negotiate that turn at high speeds because of the almost 90 degree angle. Worst of all, no sign boards to warn motorists of an accident zone.

One local, who came to the scene on his bike, just seconds after my accident, was shocked to see that my vehicle was still on the road. I had overtaken him some time back. He is a lawyer and even gave me his v-card!

He told me that the Qualis, which fell down the cliff, was a total loss! At that moment I could imagine how lucky we were!!!
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Old 5th May 2008, 18:02   #50
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Arrow How Bad Is The Yellapur Stretch?

Hai Chevy Lover,

I went through your Velankanni report too, nice report. I did that stretch last year, the Kerala roads and traffic can be *&^#@$%#$#@$#%

On the way back did you take the NH 63, turns off on NH17 @ around Akola and comes up through Yellapur to join Hubli. You have mentoned that the Yellapur stretch is bad due to mining trucks creating crators. How many Kms are really bad and how much time did you take to cover from Akola to Hubli stretch? This info. would be useful to me, I may have to drive through here in June.

Thanks for your updates, happy driving,

--Ramky
============
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Old 5th May 2008, 18:16   #51
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Hai Chevy Lover,

I went through your Velankanni report too, nice report. I did that stretch last year, the Kerala roads and traffic can be *&^#@$%#$#@$#%

On the way back did you take the NH 63, turns off on NH17 @ around Akola and comes up through Yellapur to join Hubli. You have mentoned that the Yellapur stretch is bad due to mining trucks creating crators. How many Kms are really bad and how much time did you take to cover from Akola to Hubli stretch? This info. would be useful to me, I may have to drive through here in June.

Thanks for your updates, happy driving,

--Ramky
============
Thanks Ramky. Kerala traffic is really horrible. It is widely said in Kerala, that anybody who can drive accident-free in Kerala, can drive anywhere in the world!!!

On my way back, I took the right turn after Akola to Hubli via Yellapur. There are sign boards. Yellapur stretch was very very bad! I am not sure whether any work has been done till now. There were no signs of any impending work!!!

The total time taken was around 3.5 hours. There is a ghat section before Yellapur. That is the worst stretch. Don't even dream of driving on that route at night! Very isolated and scary! And lots of stray dogs too!
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Old 6th May 2008, 10:43   #52
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Lightbulb Yellapur Section

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Originally Posted by Chevy_lover View Post

On my way back, I took the right turn after Akola to Hubli via Yellapur. There are sign boards. Yellapur stretch was very very bad! I am not sure whether any work has been done till now. There were no signs of any impending work!!!

The total time taken was around 3.5 hours. There is a ghat section before Yellapur. That is the worst stretch. Don't even dream of driving on that route at night! Very isolated and scary! And lots of stray dogs too!
Hai,

As a practice I don't drive long distance at night AT ALL, so Yellapur is out of bounds. This section is reported to be bad for a long time now.

3.5 hours for about 100 Kms? The road must be real bad indeed. I plan to start from Belgaum around5 AM, reach Hubli in about 45 mts and hit this road around 6 am, so negotiating this bad stretch would be OK around this time?

I won't get out of the car and tempt wicked fate and dogs; most of them choose to bare their fangs and bark at me, I don't know why!!!!!!

Happy Driving,

--Ramky
=======
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Old 6th May 2008, 10:53   #53
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Originally Posted by ramkya1 View Post
Hai,

As a practice I don't drive long distance at night AT ALL, so Yellapur is out of bounds. This section is reported to be bad for a long time now.

3.5 hours for about 100 Kms? The road must be real bad indeed. I plan to start from Belgaum around5 AM, reach Hubli in about 45 mts and hit this road around 6 am, so negotiating this bad stretch would be OK around this time?

I won't get out of the car and tempt wicked fate and dogs; most of them choose to bare their fangs and bark at me, I don't know why!!!!!!

Happy Driving,

--Ramky
=======
Hi Ramky, it is better to drive on this road in daylight. Won't 6 am be a bit too early? This area is like a small jungle and driving this early when there is little light, is not recommended. In my opinion, it is better to hit this stretch after 7.30 am.

Off topic, Please elaborate why dogs bark at you!!!
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Old 6th May 2008, 10:53   #54
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A friend of mine drove down from Pune to Calicut 2 days ago, he reported that NH63 is in good shape.
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Old 6th May 2008, 10:55   #55
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Finally, some work has been done, it seems!

Thanks for the info Kumar saab!
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Old 6th May 2008, 11:25   #56
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A wonderful write up Chevy_Lover. Boy, you really love your Chevy! Amazing pictures too.
Reading all these travelogues on TeamBHP, I also want to do a long road trip. Don't know when I'll get the time and a proper highway cruiser.
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Old 6th May 2008, 11:36   #57
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Hello Mr.Chevy Lover, Mr.Ramkya (how are you Sirji and how is your car ?) and Mr.Rameshgururaj,

As Mr.Ramkya and Mr.Rameshgururaj are going to be driving some of the stretches mentioned in this thread soon, I request you to please refer to the thread "My left hand drive fiat" in the vintage and classic cars in India section in which I have given the experience that my son and I went through when I purchased my left hand drive fiat from Kottayam and drove it down all the way to Mumbai via Ettumanur, Angamani, Calicut, Mahe, Kasargod, Mangalore, Udupi, Kumta, Ankola, Yellapur, Hubli, Belgaum, Kolhapur and Pune (1561 kms). This was in December 2007. THESE WERE THE WORST ROADS I HAVE EVER DRIVEN ON IN MY WHOLE LIFE, SURFACE AS WELL AS DISCIPLINEWISE (and I have driven all over the place - it's a part of my job). I distinctly remember the section between Ankola and Hubli via Yellapur with only mining trucks for company (139 kms) but I found this road quite good except for the occasionally deadly potholes which could ruin the suspension and cause an accident. My fiat came through without a hitch where we saw Innovas, Taveras (sorry Chevy Lover) and even trucks broken down. Of course I was driving slowly as I have purchased the left hand drive to restore it and then preserve it forever.

I know the turn you mention near Kankavli. You are correct. It is deadly without warning boards. I must have done Mumbai Goa at least 100 times.

Best regards,

Behram Dhabhar
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Old 6th May 2008, 12:01   #58
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I distinctly remember the section between Ankola and Hubli via Yellapur with only mining trucks for company (139 kms) but I found this road quite good except for the occasionally deadly potholes which could ruin the suspension and cause an accident. My fiat came through without a hitch where we saw Innovas, Taveras (sorry Chevy Lover) and even trucks broken down. Of course I was driving slowly as I have purchased the left hand drive to restore it and then preserve it forever.

I know the turn you mention near Kankavli. You are correct. It is deadly without warning boards. I must have done Mumbai Goa at least 100 times.

Best regards,

Behram Dhabhar
Wow! 100 times between Mumbai and Goa! Truly Amazing!

We too saw lots of boken down vehicles in Yellapur. I think the mechanics there would have become very rich by now!!!

My car's crash guard got completely dislocated and got detached from the chasis after falling in a huge pothole! Lucky that your car escaped without any injuries!

Have you faced any problem in that turn in Kankavli?

Last edited by Chevy_lover : 6th May 2008 at 12:15. Reason: Typo
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Old 6th May 2008, 12:09   #59
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A wonderful write up Chevy_Lover. Boy, you really love your Chevy! Amazing pictures too.
Reading all these travelogues on TeamBHP, I also want to do a long road trip. Don't know when I'll get the time and a proper highway cruiser.
Thank you so much, Shuvd. My Chevy is my darling baby! Just turned two years old!!!

Boss, you have the amazing Skoda and the powerful Optra! Why do you need another cruiser? Take some time off and do a road trip! I am sure you'll love it!
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Old 6th May 2008, 13:04   #60
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Originally Posted by DHABHAR.BEHRAM View Post

Hello Mr.Chevy Lover, Mr.Ramkya (how are you Sirji and how is your car ?) and Mr.Rameshgururaj,

..............................Best regards,

Behram Dhabhar
Hai Behram,

I follow your posts keenly and the Himalayan saga is titilating.......

My truck is doing yomen service and I'm real happy with it.........

Tnx for the reporto on the road, I'd drive on this stretch carefully and take latest reports from here when I ride through. Tnx.

--Ramky
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