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Old 25th May 2009, 00:07   #1
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Default Chandigarh-Dehradun-Chandigarh

Well, not a very long journey with the odo showing mere 376kms (including some 20kms in the city), nevertheless it was quite a pleasure for sure.
Actually, the car is on its way to Bhopal in a car carrier as we have been transferred there and as the whole family shall not be moving before mid of next month, dad needs it while he is there now (as he won't get his company car before july end).

Anyways, coming back to the topic, as of the above reason I would not had been able to drive the car for some days, I thought a short trip would not hurt my almost empty pocket much. I was about to plan to hit some hilly roads but suddenly thought of heading towards Dehradun clicked well with me. Partly because we had some unnecessary but valuable stuff to be brought back from our unused house at D.doon.

Next came the choice of routes-
One was the regular route via Yamunanagar and Saharanpur.
Another was via Nahan (Himachal Pradesh) and Poanta Sahib.

The former is mostly the choice of many and it has some good road surface.
Also, its longer by few kms but that does not matter as long as one is not stuck in traffic.

Latter being less travelled, and also through some valley section somehow had to be the choice for me. Only trouble were a couple of broken bridges resulting into detour that included a road having potholes big enough to swallow a M800 whole and I being always worried about the low clearence of the car was quite unsure how to tackle it.
Another thing that occured to me that it was a favourite route of sorts for the car thieves and as I had plans of returnig the same day, it added to my worries.

Still, I had no intentions of hitting the conventional route and decided to stick to the 'road less travelled'.
The drive started around 6 AM and within minutes found the car doing good speeds on the highways. However, after inital 20 Kms out of the town, due to a sudden outbirst of oncoming traffic (trucks of all sizes) and this being a divider-less road, the speeds were kept around 60-70kmph.

Soon, the broken bridge appeared, and the sight of the alternate path wasn't inviting by any standards. Speed dropped to crawling and 1st gear engaged, I was welcomed with a thud, then another, sound of metal striking the ground hard and my heart sank. Seriously this bridge in question hasn't been repaired since atleast last 3 years! Anyways, managed the small patch of road or the lack of it somehow. Just when I was about to manage carrying some decent speeds a Toll cum Excise check Barrier appeared. Paid Rs.25 and headed towards the valley. Ah! the bliss of motoring, tackled a high speed corner, flowing out smoothly, thought I was doing 100kmph, a look at speedo showed an indicated 120 or something.

Although, the tarmac was fair enough. certain patches of couple of Kms were literally pain in ***.
Soon reached the Hydro-elec project at the border of uttarakhand and it was quite some sight.
Another broken bridge and govt. project off the track, I had to hit another lil detour and this time managed to scrap the underbelly of the car. For the first time I wished I had one of those Scorpios that blokes drive like crazy and seem to enjoy lil off/soft roading.

By little over 9'o clock I was searching for directions in Dehradun, which has changed quite alot in last 2 years. By 9:45 reached our old house. The heat was quite high and I was all praise for the climate control of the car when I had to head to a local newspaper's office regarding placement of a TO-LET classified for our house.
With, all the work done by around 2, I was almost in the mind to hit the Dehradun-mussoorie road and serve my appetite for some serious sideways action. However, a last moment call from Dad, and soon found myself in one of his colueage's residence. Had to collect a couple of CDs and some papers and could not deny his invitation for lunch.

By 4 PM, the traffic on the main road was...well....a bit too much for me. Used to decent traffic mannerism at Chandigarh, it was tough dealing with crazy bikers and some jeeps that displayed some great talent in cutting lanes and jumping lights. Don't know how it led me to it but I parked the car in a secured place and did some window shopping. Dropped in at Barista and after having a look at some of many attractive youngsters of opposite sex (who in turn were in no mood to do the same) grabbed a pie and coffee and browsed into the adjoining English Book Shop which seems to have been renovated since my last visit. Picked up a couple of mags and a novel by Dr.Robin Cook, headed towards the other shops.

One of the best things about the old town is that it quite portrays the british and army culture of the past and that makes it quite a distinctive city.
By 8PM I was tired of walking and hungry again!
Got back to the car and headed towards Pizza Hut, gulped down a couple of mocktails and not to mention a large pizza and bread sticks (suffering from tummy-trouble now, no really).

By 9 PM hit back the road again. The drive back was uneventfull except for a point when a Skoda Octy driver tried to overtake me when I was doing around 90kmph before the valley. In game for some action, I pinned the gas and he was soon out my rear view mirror after his failed attempts of overtaking me. (Okay, maybe he took a different route).

By 11:30 PM I was back in the outskirts of Panchkula (sister town to Chd.) and thanks to dad's advice I took an alternate route which saved me from the cruelty of that alternate path for the broken bridge.

By Midnight I parked the car, and gave it a look. More than two years and 25K kms of abuse, its still a fantastic machine.

Only trouble, with the baleno gone, and esteem being used by other members of family, I found myself with the keys of our old 800 which has been almost unused ever since I had the Baleno. Back to the basics then.

CAR: OCT 2006 Maruti Baleno Vxi
Kms. clocked: 370
Fuel economy: 13.7kmpl (with full use of AC)
Problems faced: Apart from the trouble due to low clearence, none.
Oh! forgot, the sunroof housing has started rattling alot now!

Pics: (Attatched in next post) Just a few i clicked randomly. Pardon me for lack of photography skills.

Comig soon: A short trip in the (t)rsty old 800!

Last edited by YC.BALENO.CHD : 25th May 2009 at 00:13.
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Old 25th May 2009, 00:28   #2
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EDIT-the pics are not being uploaded maybe due to some faulty link or something. Shall upload them as soon as possible.

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Old 25th May 2009, 02:32   #3
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Uploaded the pics.Finally!!

PIC 1/2/3/5/6: Random shots
PIC 4: Lots of such corners meant enough excitement to keep boredom away.
PIC 8&7: Our Ex-Home sweet home
and yes, Am truly in love with that big black thing!!
Attached Thumbnails








Last edited by YC.BALENO.CHD : 25th May 2009 at 02:38.
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