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Old 12th May 2008, 01:05   #1
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Default Pondicherry: Give time a BREAK!

Finally managed to pen down my recent trip to Pondy.

Destination : Hyderabad to Pondicherry
Date : May 1,2,3,4
Route Taken: Hyderabad-Vijayawada-Chennai-ECR Road to Pondy
Lessons learnt:
Be Extremely careful on the ECR road , I gave the advice to the wind when my friends said that, after I drove realised, what he meant, thought Hyd is the place where no traffic sense prevails but soon my opinion changed when I drove on the ECR and in and around Pondy, people drive like maniacs, coming right in your face from opposite direction and its not limited to the taxis alone, and men and women were driving like that so no gender bias on this comes in your face

Distance :
Hyd-Vijayawada=270Km
Vijayawada-Chennai=455Km
Chennai-Pondicherry=165Km

The car:
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The Gang:
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After lot of planning it was decided that we would head for Pondy instead of Goa ,and after lots of twists and turns finally we ended up with 4 guys and 1 car, where as initially it was 8people ,as the day was nearing people were dropping from the plan. there are 2 routes to chennai, 1 through Vijayawada and the other through Nalgonda , we wanted to take the GQ NH5 though it was 90KM more so opted for the first route

DAY 1 : May 1 - 3:30 AM

we planned to start early and we did it, We started @ 3:30 AM from Madhapur and the plan was to go at a snails pace till the dawn on the Hyderabad-Vijayawada route,everyone knows how the Hyd-Vja route is ,stopped at Suryapet for the first break for Tea and lost our way instead of going to vijayawada we were heading towards Janagaon after 7 Km realized it and came backwards and started heading towards Vijayawada , target was to reach vijayawada by 10am max and we were there by 9:30 Am time for another break and we have sumptuous breakfast filled with Idli's and Dosa's.

Enter the heavenly roads GQ - NH5 we were cruising at 120Kmph constantly and it being a labor holiday ( May 1st) literally there was no traffic , one can close their eyes and drive but don't try it because the spoilsports are the villagers who always fancy taking the wrong direction, on the way we found right from Auto's , Lorry's, Bullock carts coming in our direction some were maintaining extreme left and some coming right in the middle ! apart from this the road was joy to drive on without a single hump, pothole, and uneven finishing,took another break at Nellore and the temperature was boiling thanks to the Ac we didn't feel a pinch of it and I finally gave to the other friend for his turn of driving ,that was my personal highest of non stop driving by taking 2 breaks till 500 KM, and on the way we saw 4 accidents and interestingly all were Indica's!

Took a quick nap for 2 hours when I got up ALAS! we were entering Chennai and the time was 3:30 PM , 12 hours in Chennai woooho that was quite an achievement for us, because our plan was to halt at Mahabalipuram for the day and leave for Pondy next day early morning reason being we thought it would be close to 8 or 9 Pm by the time we pass through Mahab's, my friend who is an excellent driver of Maruti 800, and he was excellent on highways but a bit shaky on city roads , took charge of my queen in Chennai and it took 2 hours to beat the traffic from Red Hills to reach Adayar via Koyambedu,Ashok Nagar, Guindy we were on the ECR road by 6pm and reached Mahabalipuram by 6:30 called up few resorts to check in for the day and all were booked so decided to go for Pondy , spirits were high and we decided to spend the night in Pondy, and our booking at St James Beach Resort was from the next day , drove for another 1 hour and was feeling tired and have been wearing the lens for more than 15 hours, so gave it to my friend, we were the only 2 drivers and the other 2 acted as cleaners . reached Pondy by 8:30Pm found a hotel named Soorya Heritage Inn , checked into it , it was a heritage hotel bargained for 2000/- for a double bed with refrigerator and extra beds , it was amazing ,let the pictures do more justification than my adjectives
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we were very thirsty went to Bar which was adjoined to the hotel and asked for a CHILLED beer and he bought us a cold beer, and the taste was not so good , forcefully completed 2 beers and headed out for the nearest wines to stock our fridge , got half a dozen beers and stocked it in the fridge , ordered food and it was not so great, whatever we ordered it was 6 small pieces be it Paneer, Prawns,Chicken, Masala papad was the only saving grace,had nice drinks and that was the end of our day 1.

DAY 2 ... to be continued
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Old 12th May 2008, 04:53   #2
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Good pictures!. Night driving on ECR is not advisable.

Quote:
we were the only 2 drivers and the other 2 acted as cleaners
I hope your other two friends are tbhp members. Else give their email IDs, I can invite them to read this!
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Old 12th May 2008, 10:06   #3
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Good travelogue and pics too and yes ECR corridor driving should be done during the day and i happened to hear that from many people i know and who had bad experiences themselves as the drivers are caught offguard of the unexpected.
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Old 12th May 2008, 11:12   #4
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Good travelogue there mate !! I have always wanted to drive the ECR and goto Pondicherry BUT unable to do so as driving from Delhi to South is going to be really long so I do not know when I will be able to do so.
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Old 12th May 2008, 11:33   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by druva View Post
Good pictures!. Night driving on ECR is not advisable.

I hope your other two friends are tbhp members. Else give their email IDs, I can invite them to read this!
Very true,it's a nightmare,They were aware of their job roles
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Old 12th May 2008, 13:17   #6
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Hi people, and the Santro gang.
No offence, but i'm a hatchback phobia when traveling outside home town. Without a boot is unimaginable for me. How did you guys able to travel with all those lugages? Just a thought. Other than that. Cheers guys..



-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
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I live by the seconds..on the road..
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Old 12th May 2008, 13:40   #7
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Default Day 2

DAY 2 - May2 - 6:00 Am


I was the first one to get up, thanks to the AC , in the summer we were shivering , woke up my another friend and the other 2 were dozing nicely, we went for drive on the beach road near MG statue, explored all the places which can be visited in the evening,our plan was to go to our resort and spend the day at resort, explore Pondy in the evening, came back to the hotel woke the other guys and we started packing things and headed towards the St James Court Beach Resort.

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The resort was very good and excellent ambiance, only bad thing was the food, food wasn't great at all, and for the swimming pool , one has to pay 150/- per hour, the beach near the St James was like a 45 degree angle, not advisable to go deep into the waters if one doesn't know swimming ,sand and waves literally push you into the sea.
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We settled in 2 cottages one was Deluxe and other Super Deluxe which costs 1800/- and 2500/- diff being super deluxe is big and has a refrigerator , we booked the cottages week earlier assuming that it would be 7 people, and the resort guy was reluctant in canceling it, instead he said use the two cottages for the first day and second day use the super Deluxe one, as we didn't had another option we said OK.

we were exploring the resort and lazing around in the cottage and special thanks to the VOLTAS AC it was chilling. we boozed had lunch and took a nap. got up by evening and we headed for the sight seeing.

We went to the Le CafeName:  Le cafe1.jpg
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saw the War memorialName:  War Memorial3.jpg
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MG statueName:  MG Statue.jpg
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saw few handicrafts exhibition and another drive around the french part of the Pondy and headed back to our resort. end of Day 2

Last edited by romyeo4u : 12th May 2008 at 13:44. Reason: Invalid attachment
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Old 12th May 2008, 13:43   #8
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Nice pictures but I only see Hotel pictures and I hope you did venture out

Can you also give some feedback on the hotel soorya, service, food etc etc.

Last edited by dadu : 12th May 2008 at 13:46.
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Old 12th May 2008, 13:48   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dadu View Post
Nice pictures but I only see Hotel pictures and I hope you did venture out

Can you also give some feedback on the hotel, service, food etc etc.
It being a summer so we spent most of the day in the resort and evenings and mornings sight seeing.

Soorya Heritage Inn - Its a heritage hotel , good ambience and good service food isn't great at all.

St James court Beach resort - very good resort, ok service and good suites, not great food, one should have their own mode of transport because this resort is located at the entrance of Pondicherry
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Old 12th May 2008, 14:24   #10
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Default Day 3

Day 3: May 3- 7:00 AM

we woke up early played for a while in the beach Name:  01__2.jpg
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man that was fantastic, Bar timings over there was 11-11 , since we stocked it in our fridge , it was super chilled, we were having a photo session and a crow came from no where flicked my Vada.after the breakfast the plan was to go for another sightseeing of pondicherry-Name:  94.jpg
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we roamed around busy streets of pondy and there was an ad of 70% sale in a mall called CASABLANCA, we went there except 1 friend we all returned empty handed, there was megamart and we went there since there was an offer of Buy 3 get 4 lol , my friend bought few jeans and I was happy with couple of T-shirts and finally we headed for Plage Paradise beach also called Chunnambar back waters.
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Paradise beach its and Island beach to go to the tiny Island one has to take a ferry or boat .the Island is between the River and the Sea , the boat ride takes 20 min to reach the beach and the beach was awesome, green waters and lot of crowd and one can actually play in the waters, since we didn't expected, we just had photo sessions near the beach , in the Island only fast food is served and Beer with an expensive tag on it,Name:  06__7.jpg
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It was very breezy and few thunders it was scene worth watching and drizzling a bit we had dinner with the Wine which I got it , my friends were happy with Breezer and beer, went back to the cottage by 11pm and the plan was to get up by 5am and head for Hyderabad.
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Old 12th May 2008, 14:45   #11
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Day 3 - Night

Some random Pics of Pondy at night
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Few more random Pics
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Last edited by romyeo4u : 12th May 2008 at 14:48.
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Old 12th May 2008, 14:52   #12
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Day 4 - May 4 - 5am ,
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As usual I was the first one to get up, woke my other friends and we got ready , I bought 2 bottles of Smirnoff Vanilla flavor vodka and was deciding where to hide it, few told that one is allowed upto 9litres to carry, finally with a gut feeling just placed the bottle in the rear seat itself. we started around 5:30 took few photos and driving on the ECR in the morning was a bliss, literally no traffic and I loved the blind curves which were close to 360 degree, nobody checked our car and we reached Adayar by 7:30 and it being sunday still it was chaotic, by the time we reached Red Hills it was 9:30, stopped at outskirts of Chennai for breakfast, and headed towards our homes interesting twist came up , the petrol was almost over when we checked our pockets we had less than 500/- everyone had Cards and tried almost all the petrol bunks till chilakaluripet ,nobody accepts cards, we got it filled for 200/- and we had 200/- after the toll gates we entered chilakaluripet and the only ATM for the town was not working and thanking our stars that we managed to find a bunk which accepts cards, we got it tank full and the amount we had was 200/- went to a hotel and had nice meals it was very hot outside went to the AC section, done with the meals and the bill was 160/- remaining amount 40/- and my wild guess was that there is only one toll gate till vijayawada and it turned out to be true gave the remaining 40/- for the toll gate and entered Vijayawada,

I wanted to push my car to the limits when I saw a straight stretch of road for more than 2KM, I was cruising around 140kmph for 10 seconds and 150kmph for 3 seconds after that I didn't want drive like a maniac came back to the manageable speed of 110Kmph my friend was driving the car and interesting incident was that we passed by the big sign board which says what direction to take to enter vijayawada , and he asked hey what direction should we take , I was !@###%^ , I asked him what were you doing when the sign board was nearing, he was clue less , by the time we reached the heart of Vijayawada it was 15:30 .

after an hour of driving we were invited by a massive traffic jam on the opposite direction more than 50 lorries were waiting in the opposite direction and 4 cars from our direction and the interesting thing was GARUDA driver blocked the way which we were supposed to go - so it was blocked on 4 directions few guys and my friends managed to clear the traffic so that our cars can sqeeuze in and there were 4 lucky cars, ours was the 4th one when I looked back and saw 4 buses were facing each other and I didn't dared to think how long it would take for the traffic to clear.

saw a Montero , it was a beast but the driver was so lame that I overtook him quite easily many times , gave it to my friend to drive took some rest as soon as we entered RFC , I took the charge of it and by finally we reached home by 10Pm.

my total trip meter from Home to Home 1900KM

thank you for reading it patiently!
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Old 12th May 2008, 16:31   #13
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Nice photographs and well written travelogue
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Old 12th May 2008, 16:52   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by romyeo4u View Post
we were very thirsty went to Bar which was adjoined to the hotel and asked for a CHILLED beer and he bought us a cold beer, and the taste was not so good , forcefully completed 2 beers and headed out for the nearest wines to stock our fridge , got half a dozen beers and stocked it in the fridge
What's the difference? Wouldn't the bar at the hotel stock the same beer that is sold in the wine store.

P.S. What is this guy doing? Isnt there a loo in the room? Too many beers eh?
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Old 12th May 2008, 18:50   #15
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Very nice pictures and it is as if we can see pondy completely through this travelogue.

You are lucky to have fellow travellers who think alike as you seem to do this quite often.
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