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Old 13th July 2009, 20:53   #1
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Default Just a weekend drive

It was just a routine work which needed me to near Chandigarh on Saturday late afternoon. Next day being Sunday it was perfect excuse to enjoy a night out in the hills. Had called my better half giving her advance notice of half an hour to get a over-nighter packed and she was ready to jump in to the car as soon as I was outside the home.

What both us wanted was to drink a hot cup of tea while sitting at some road side stall in the hills enjoying the monsoon clouds waft past. In other word we just wanted to escape from Delhi's sweltering heat. This is what we ultimately got

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Last edited by sudev : 13th July 2009 at 20:55.
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Old 13th July 2009, 21:00   #2
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waiting..... this is gonna be good like your other travelogues
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Old 13th July 2009, 23:18   #3
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So it took me almost two hours to reach the other side of Delhi. Faridabad is south of Delhi and I was going north. The new clover leaf interchange on the outer ring road is great. Although for the life of me I can not figure out two things peculiar to Delhi.

One. Why auto-rickshaws in Delhi can not drive in the outer lane? They will drive in middle or the fast lane - or even better right on the line dividing two lanes - at stately speed of 20kmph. And this ends up blocking traffic behind them.

Two. Who is the great road engineering marvel advising the Delhi government to have bus stops right at the lane interchanges under the bridges? As it is these are areas of most traffic interaction and you have added danger of bus stops.

Any which ways it was getting to 1400hrs and I had to meet my contact near Chandigarh before 1700hrs. So it was three hours to cover 200 odd kilometres! The GV responded to the push on the pedal and soon I was cruising constant 120+ I was also keeping a look out for speed traps that Haryana Police is often keeping on NH1 to keep check on vehicles over the official limit of 90kmph. There is too much traffic on the NH1 to get average much beyond 65kmph during the day without going over board and throwing safety out.

A quick stop at Karnal lake side too grab two burgers and coffee from drive-in MacD. What convenience for likes of me trying to keep a schedule. Otherwise I would have surely sampled food at one or the other dhaba's all along the NH1.

The map attached from my Vehicle Tracking System shows the exact distance (195kms) I covered between 1400 and 1700hrs. The reds are where I was over 90kph and the yellow call out is where I stopped to pick up burgers at MacD.
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Old 13th July 2009, 23:20   #4
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@extreme-torque: Not really as this is more about driving fun and observations. Less of pictures. As lost of driving took place at night there were less chances of pictures. However I am going to append maps from tracking system to show roads travelled and my take on the traffic and road conditions.
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Old 13th July 2009, 23:34   #5
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This is fun. I also had a similar weekend!

Drove to Mcleodganj, ascended Triund and came back

PS: That is SLOW. My graph would've been full on red all through - 120+ in driving rain near kurukshetra yday!!
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Old 14th July 2009, 07:49   #6
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Looks great especially the log of your travel through delhi..
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Old 14th July 2009, 07:59   #7
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@phamilyman: I did not say what speed I was at only that the screen grab shows where all I was above the legal 90kmph! Did hit the needle beyond 140kmph but really traffic did not allow that during the day.

@headers: Thanks for liking my output.
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Old 14th July 2009, 08:11   #8
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Now that we had satiated our hunger pangs some what, and the bad traffic was behind us, we started thinking. ;-)

Okay so after my meeting what? Where are we headed? Shimla Hills? Mussorie? Chakrata? This was going back and forth between me and my better half who was this time armed only with great map book - Eicher Road Book. Having left the Garmin unit behind in a hurry to pack and had been topic of some recriminations earlier.

Me(loudly): GPS kyu nahin pack kiya?
She(challenging): Waqt per plan kyoon nahin banate?
Me(superior tones): Adhe ghante ka notice diya to tha
She(chilly): Adhe ghante me kapde latte pack karoon yaan GPS.
Me(slightly exasperated): But you know how useful it is
She(getting edgy): To khu kyoon nahin leliya? Waise to hamesha side table par rakha hota hai.
Me(exasperated): Paar main to jaldi me thaa

And then she give the most convincing argument to shut me up:
She(??????): Itni jaldi thi to mujhe bhi nahin late

Okay so I end up apologising for the late notice and for making her hurry and for not taking her to movie last weekend and also for not buying her valentine gift ten years back. What ever to get to topic at hand.
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Old 14th July 2009, 09:57   #9
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Only one thing was decided that we want to sit by a road side in hills sipping tea from warm cups in our hands and feeling the fresh and cool mountain air around us. Okay that was also the starting point but where? All this while we were rushing towards my business meeting point.

As a lark I said it would be nice to visit our newly re-located friends at Bhimtal. We both liked and admired their action in chucking off the Delhi comfort and to go live in this, not too remote, hill town. While she looked up the road book to see what sort of distances and route would be involved I gave a call to our intended but unsuspecting host to be.

Me: Kitni baaar aap ne bola ki Bhimtal aao
He: Tum sunte to ho nahin busy rehne ka bahan dete ho
Me: Nahin yaar main to abhi yeh poochne ke liye phone kar raha hoon ki raat ko aap ke yahan aa jayen?
He: Most welcome paar tum ho kahan?
Me: Chandigarh jaa raha hoon
He: Sir jee Chandigarh ki taraf nahin hai Bhimtal. Yeh to Nainital ke pass hai. Aap to bahut door ho Shimla ki taraf ja rahe ho
Me: Ki farak painda hai. Gaadi di direction change kar lete hain.
He: Sach!
Me: Sirf ek mushkil hai raat 2 baje tak ayeenge
He: Are you mad travelling through bad lands of UP/UK at night?
Me: Matlab mera invite aise hi tha! Tum nahin chahte ki main wahan aaun?
He: Nahin nahin you are most welcome but...
Me: Chalo abhi phone karta hoon final program kya hai

Thus we had tetative booking at Bhimtal for the night. All this at cost of disturbing the poor couple at last moment and also making sure that they also get sleepless till we arrive. That is if we finally decided to go there.
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Old 14th July 2009, 10:12   #10
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This is going to be a good one! A heck of a script from what I can see!!
Quote:
Originally Posted by phamilyman View Post
PS: That is SLOW. My graph would've been full on red all through - 120+ in driving rain near kurukshetra yday!!
Do you have ABS? If not, take it a little easy in the rains. Don't want to become a part of the scenery so early in life do ya?
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Old 14th July 2009, 11:09   #11
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Whatay script. Batao - from ambala to bhimtal go on ji!!

@suman: It was actually funny - like about 3-4 km of driving rain and then none for the next 5. So before you'd know it'd be over!! And well, I know what you're talking about. Don't have ABS - but have internalized the next best thing - pumping the brakes
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Old 14th July 2009, 11:26   #12
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As soon as this was over my wife was on phone with my son (home on saturday with broadband) and switched to speaker phone. This is what went on

She: Please open up mapmyindia.com
Son: Kyooon? Dad rasta bhool gaye?
She: Koi rasta nahin bhoole just do it naa.
Son: Haan ab?
She: Dad says there is a link for finding directions go to that
(I am being good conscientious driver and concentrating on road hogs, who will remain in the fast lane even when they are @60kmp, and other animals of miscellaneous species only found on Indian highways)
Son: Kyoon rasta bhool gaye kya?
Me: Abe nahin jo kehtein hai wo kar. Hum ko Bhimtal jane ka rasta dhoondna hai!!
Son: Bhimtal kahan hai? Shimla ke pass?
She: Nahin Nainital ke pass
Son: Tum to Chandigarh NH1 pe jaa rahe ho. I can see your car on tracker site. Shahbad ke pas.
Me: Haan yaar haan..Please do what I am saying
Son: Dhik hai gussa kyoon hote ho...yeh directions ka link nahin dikh raha..
Me: Yaar dhyan se dekho upaar left side mein hee to hai
Son: Okay got it now?
She: Enter Ambala in from field and Haldwani in To field.
Son: Okay it is showing 478kms
She: WHAT!!
Me: Achacha read out the major towns on the suggested route...
Son: Yamunanagar, Saharanpur, Rorkee, Haridwar...
She: WHAT!! Thats 500kms (She is good at maths and already added 25odd kms to Bhimtal from Haldwani)
Me: Nahin nahin this is not the way it should be. It should be Saharanpur Muzzafarnagar...
Son: Okay...but this is showing route through Haridwar..
Me: Yaar there is a via link some where on the left side column bottom find it and enter Muzaffarnagar
Son: Okey dokey....yep this is showing 410Kms
Me: You sure?
Son: Yes but dad the estimated time is more although KM's are less
Me: MapmyIndia ki to...this is the route.

You must be getting gist of my high funda planning that went in to the weekend drive. And my better half was slowly getting reconciled that after it is 100kms less than what she initially thought. I did not put in any words atthat critical juncture to suggest that it is still 400plus Kms and that too to Haldwani. Conviniently not reminding her to add the extra 25kms.

In all this back and forth we reached our destination for my business meeting just a few minutes past 1700hrs. And now I was in a hurry to get this through with 450kms of drive looming ahead.
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Old 14th July 2009, 11:29   #13
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Beautiful Beautiful, very interesting.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sudev View Post
All this at cost of disturbing the poor couple at last moment and also making sure that they also get sleepless till we arrive. That is if we finally decided to go there.
And that is what friends are for, you can take liberties with them for not calling them for ages and then all of the sudden land at there door step . Doo peg, thodi gali shali and scores settled

Waiting for more.......

Last edited by rkbharat : 14th July 2009 at 11:30.
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Old 14th July 2009, 12:01   #14
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New Murphy law: Some times Murphy suspends his laws

The meeting was over in a jiffy (less than 30 minutes) and we walked back to the car after shaking innumerable hands (actually only two but seemed so) and exchainging polite getaway quips.

Seatbelt check
Starter check
No traffic on road check
Slot first gear check
Move check
Got to petrol bunk and got it all filled up and then the phone call -
Me: Okay so it is fixed we would be there by two in the morning
He: serious?
Me: What do you mean? Nahin ayen?
He: No boss but of course we would love to have you. Just that XXX(another common friend) is also coming
Me: To kya jageh kum padegi?
He: Wo to manage kar lenge
Me: Zaroorat hai to zamin pe let lenge
He: No no just make sure you come and keep me posted on phone from time to time
Me (suspiciously): Say do you have your wife's permission to do this?
He (laugh): Of course here talk to her
She: Sudev do you think he will have himmat to do this without high command approval (laughter all around) And you will have dinner.
Me: Nahin negative on last. We would be too hungry to continue without dinner. As it is hardly any lunch went in. We will have ot on the way.
He: Okay so once you reach Bhimtal you need to call me else you will not find the way to our cottage. It is a bit to the side and people get lost during the day. And you are going to come middle of night!

With that over and gas tanked up we started on this route of 416kms
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Old 14th July 2009, 12:58   #15
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Ambala to Yamunanagar was crowded and once you do get to the town you have to take a bye-pass which can no longer justify this name. Going around the town in stop and go traffic with virtually no discipline. Just like nay other town on north India. I very patiently stopped at an intersection as the light turned red. I was zapped at being angrily honked by the guy behind. Then he reversed andwent ahed from left side giving me dirty looks.

Oh well Yamunanagar to Sharanpur brought a new element in to play. The annual "Kawaria" yatra has begun and we found hordes of people walking back from Ganges river carrying the "ganga jal" to their village temple. There on the day of Shivratri the Shivalingam would be bathed in this pure water.

In the last few years the rush of "Kawariya" has grown so much that even some of the main national highways are shut to prevent accidents. Now we were facing slow traffic conditions as the oncoming lane was half blocked for pedestrian movement and traffic in both directions was being squeezed into one and half lane. Not the best time to drive around here.

We crossed the yamuna river and entered U.P. - Ulta Pradesh - and in to a check post where all vehicles were being stopped and searched. While cooperating with the police guy I learnt this was on account of liquor smuggeling that is rampant. Cause is that U.P. charges much higher taxes so the tipplers find it better to travel 5/10kms across the border state for the favourite brand.

Next was through and past Saharanpur - no bye-pass even in name - and continued towards Rorkee. Again I was missing my GPS as I wanted to go to Muzaffarnagar and no road sign said so. So couple of stops for asking direction were made. No were not on wrong road. Yes this was right road. The trun off will be ahead. Thank you "bhaiya".

Turning off would also mean end of Kawariya route for us. The road we were wanting to take connects Saharanpur to Deoband to Muzzafarnagar. And no sooner had we truned off the previous highway I could see the difference between a national highway and state highway. As we went further the road condition deteriorated. The road would have excellent surface for a kilmeter and then without warning the whole road would be potholed - maybe I am shaming the word pothole by using it here.
And this when the night has just fallen and the oncoming traffic has no sense to use or even touch the dipper. It is really amazing to see oncoming (cars especially) come to virtual standstill (no small thanks to excellent head lampson GV) but refuse to touch their dippers even when you pointedly and repeatedly use your dipper switch.
Anyway in the darkness we proceeded and crossed Deoband while having this discussion -
She: We have heard so much about Deoband
Me: Yeah you have to read about division of India and how before that this was seat of muslim clergy even for Pakistand
She: So now where is seat of clergy in Pakistan
Me: That is part of the problem. They do not have one. So there are too many (self?) proclaimed bodies claiming supermacy
She: Where did this knowledge come from?
Me: The last definitive word I read about our neighbouring country was autobiography of Gen. Musharraf.....

The road improved after this and soon we were 10~15kms from Muzzafarnagar when I had to again stop and ask for directions. I was told very precisely by a truker to take the left fork and after three junctions again a left for Bijnor.

There goes the return on invetsment proposition for investing in a onboard GPS for direction when:
a: You can ask people anywhere
b: the maps beyond major cities are not good

Now this is what a bye-pass is. Totally out of the city and diverting all traffic away from the dense population. And the guy was correct in his excellent directions.
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