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Old 24th May 2009, 21:37   #16
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Been really busy over the weekend, without access to internet - just finished work in Pune and landed up at Mumbai. Drove down in 2.5 hours. Very relaxed and comfortable journey, since I was trailing my cousin's Alto and needed his guidance to get into Mumbai, which I am totally unfamiliar with.

@Star: We'd taken a few breaks of course, along the way, but I really didn't count! The longest was a 30 minute break at Valsad for lunch, but it was so hot out of the car, we decided to have 2 glasses of lassi each - topped with ice cream! That was amazingly refreshing and tasty. And no, there was no one else who shared the driving, though my wife does drive. She's the emergency substitute driver, just in case I break a leg!

@ gowda: This time we decided to skip the food experience on NH-8! There was some good stuff packed into the car, and we needed to cover as much ground as possible, so breaks were minimal. But I must say that, in Gujarat, it is more advisable to switch from tea to lassi while on the highway. I've never liked the tea one gets in Gujarat (no offence to anyone, please!) and it really puts me off to be served an overflowing cup of tea with some more of it in the saucer. And I am yet to discover a non-veg eatery on the Gujarat section of NH-8.

@ goandude: Naah - rear end's fine . The usual route - GQ - NH-8, divert to NH-79 and NH-76, back to NH-9 at Udaipur, NE-1, NH-8 again. Then to Pune via Thane and the Mumbai-Pune expressway. Got lost between Thane and the expressway, but that's because my GPS phone's storage card was accidentally formatted by my daughter! The car is an Accent Viva CRDi.

Last edited by SS-Traveller : 24th May 2009 at 21:39.
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Old 24th May 2009, 22:44   #17
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I laughed aloud when I read your tea in saucer viewpoint.
Last month I had stopped at the mouth of the Vadodara/Ahmedabad expressway,for tea. The guy asked me if I wanted a 'full' cup, instead of what I guess is the equivalent of a cutting' in Mumbai. As I gaped open mouthed he poured the 'extra' tea over the top of the glass and it trickled down the sides into the saucer!

Needless to say I never ordered a 'full' tea after that!
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Old 24th May 2009, 23:30   #18
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@ genesis: Yes - I plan to remember never to order another 'full' tea in Gujarat again! I knew about this since my days in Ahmedabad over 13 years ago, but forgot to recall the knowledge when I entered Gujarat...

Incidentally, in the first 12 hours (overnight), we covered about 900 km, while in the remaining 12 hours, during daylight, we covered 700 km.

The advantages of overnight hauls...
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Old 25th May 2009, 20:58   #19
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Spent some leisure time today, catching up on sleep, food and Pune, in that order. The Kharakwasla dam and its reservoir was a very pleasant way to spend the late afternoon - and I had some of the best corn on the cob ('bhutta') @ Rs.10 there. Soft and juicy kernels, and very, very tasty. Found the politically correct 'samosas' here, with a filling of green peas and grated coconut.

Why are they politically correct, you say? Don't you remember that age-old poetry, about "Jab tak rahega samose mein aaloo, Tab tak rehega Bihar mein Laloo"?
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Old 26th May 2009, 07:49   #20
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SS-da, wonderful drive. Where are the pics?

Abhi
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Old 26th May 2009, 10:08   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SS-Traveller View Post
And no, there was no one else who shared the driving, though my wife does drive. She's the emergency substitute driver, just in case I break a leg!
Amazing that you drove for 24 hours, it is tough.
Yeah, having wife as emergency substitute driver is good. in fact
on such long drives wife plays several roles, bartender (for juices, water, etc), navigator (looking at map, making note of the distances, name of the towns etc), treasurer (for paying to tolls etc), disk jocky (for changing the music/cd/ etc apart from emergyency substitute driver.
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Old 26th May 2009, 11:06   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by genesis View Post
I laughed aloud when I read your tea in saucer viewpoint.
Last month I had stopped at the mouth of the Vadodara/Ahmedabad expressway,for tea. The guy asked me if I wanted a 'full' cup, instead of what I guess is the equivalent of a cutting' in Mumbai. As I gaped open mouthed he poured the 'extra' tea over the top of the glass and it trickled down the sides into the saucer!

Needless to say I never ordered a 'full' tea after that!
'Cutting' goes in Gujarat too . I used to love the 'cutting' served by roadside chaiwalas there. Yes the 'full' version looks clumsy and messy and can turn you off!
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Old 26th May 2009, 14:15   #23
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hey buddy great to read about your journey,

Ive been planning this drive and onto goa for a while, now with the new scorpio i intend to do it this year.
Ive been trying to convince my friends thats its possible to do Delhi-Mumbai in a day or less , as you have proved it.

A question how is the road once past Jaipur and in Gujarat ?

The food bit i can understand, having done extensive highway driving in north india , where the food is so good that at times it delays the trip; the western highways must be a real change.

All the same wishing you luck for the rest of the trip..

cheers

K
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Old 26th May 2009, 14:25   #24
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Spending another day doing nothing at Pune. The highlights of today included a trip to Chitle Bandhu for Bakarwadis, and another to an excellent sweetmeat shop in Aundh called Mithas.

@ Abhi: I'm unable to upload pics because of a really slow internet connection, and I've left the laptop to download the SatNav GPS software and map files, which were lost when the phone's storage card was accidentally formatted. The GPS software is now loaded and installed, I am waiting for the map (a 71 MB zip file) to download completely. Broken connections are making that difficult.
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Old 26th May 2009, 14:31   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SS-Traveller View Post
Why are they politically correct, you say? Don't you remember that age-old poetry, about "Jab tak rahega samose mein aaloo, Tab tak rehega Bihar mein Laloo"?
Lol! So who are the green peas & grated coconuts of Maharashtra?
Hope you are enjoying your stay @ Pune.
I hade those delicious Bakarwadees day before.
Someone had bought them over to Bangalore
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Old 26th May 2009, 14:39   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ksingh544 View Post
Ive been trying to convince my friends thats its possible to do Delhi-Mumbai in a day or less , as you have proved it.

A question how is the road once past Jaipur and in Gujarat ?
Sure, Delhi-Mumbai is doable in less than 24 hours. I had entered Mumbai by 4:30PM, which is a little more than 20 hours. But unfortunately I lost my way in the city and spent a long time going round in circles and asking for directions (which were not provided properly or willingly, I must say!).

The run from Delhi to Bharuch is all smooth, but once across the Narmada river, the dual carriageway and about 6 flyovers from Ankleshwar to Surat are not complete. The road surface in MH is worse and bumpy than in Rajasthan and Gujarat, especially after Manor.
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Old 26th May 2009, 14:40   #27
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Originally Posted by SS-Traveller View Post
Spending another day doing nothing at Pune. The highlights of today included a trip to Chitle Bandhu for Bakarwadis, and another to an excellent sweetmeat shop in Aundh called Mithas.
I hope you tried their Bhakarwadi and Amba Burfi
my faily returned on sunday, i am having it daily now last 3 days
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Old 27th May 2009, 10:41   #28
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Great thanks for that infor , I hope to be doing this drive at some point in the year , probably december.
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Old 27th May 2009, 18:16   #29
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Good news. The Sat Nav / SatGuide GPS software for my Asus P527 finally downloaded and was re-installed - started working since this morning. Left Pune at 11 AM, reaching Shirdi at 3 PM. I was so happy, I let the GPS do the routing for me - and as expected, it routed me through Sangamner. Ok, so it wasn't a bad route, quite scenic, except that it was single carriageway from 40 km after Pune. Decent surfaces too, except the last 12 km through really narrow lanes between villages. Enjoyed the drive.

Planning to watch the aarti at the Saibaba Temple at 4:30 am, for which one apparently needs to reach the temple and stand in a queue at 2 am. Also learnt now that a must-visit is the Shani Shingnapur temple, some 70 km away, for which we must go back towards Ahmadnagar! Debating about what to do... Do we do the 140 km tomorrow morning, or not?

Wanted to take off in the afternoon and come back by 10 pm, but was advised by the hotel manager not to, since it is supposed to be unsafe after dark, with a risk of dacoities. Hmmm... dacoits on a road to a Shani temple in a village, where doors and locks don't exist, because no one dares steal, for fear of Shani's curse falling on him...

@ Pune we picked up Bakarwadi from Chitle Bandhu, Shrewsbury biscuits and Madiera cakes from Kayani Bakery, and had a great shawarma and roasted chicken at a small joint called Casa Lola (don't recall the name of the street immediately).

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Old 28th May 2009, 18:56   #30
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Checking in from Ahmedabad - stopped here around 4:30pm today, and checked in to a small hotel with an air-conditioned room. Was on the way to Mount Abu, but aborted rather reluctantly. But before telling you why, let me recount what happened at Shirdi last evening.

Around 7:30 pm, we went for a 'darshan'. Bought some offerings from a fellow, who told us there wasn't much of a crowd, so we should be through in less than half an hour. Sounded good, and we entered this large hall with railings to guide the crowd into queues. By the time we went around and were in position for 'darshan', it was 1 hour and 45 minutes of standing in that queue. 'Darshans' are supposed to be super-quick, I know, and mine lasted for about 6.3 seconds, I suppose.

Prayer over, I was on my way out, when I got hurt. As it is, my back was starting to play up despite wearing a lumbosacral support belt, after being pushed and jostled in the very unruly and poorly managed queue. Then there were these uncouth guards at the end of the queue, herding people out (like cows) after their 6.3 secs. One of them managed to shove me exactly where my back hurts, and the sudden pain almost made me stumble and fall.

After this experience, our plans to visit the temple again to watch the morning 'aarti' at 4:30 am stood aborted. We returned to our room at 10 pm after a decent dinner which I didn't enjoy. A Voveran has made some of the pain go away, but the memory of that 'darshan' still lingers...
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