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Old 25th August 2009, 00:50   #1
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Default Ooty - my first on MY LINEA, probably the first LINEA TO CLIMB famous 36 hairpin bent

Its 2 yrs since me & my wife has gone out of Bangalore for a vacation, number of reason for it. Don’t want to bore anyone with it but I remember correctly, while going through travelogue section on Aug 3, I suddenly realize that I can take one day off and can plan to go to Ooty (Thanks to all the travelogue of Ooty in Team-bhp). As I was waiting for a chance or reason to take out my beauty on highway, I convinced my wife and friends to join me for Ooty. So decided to take an off on 14 Aug and travel to Ootteeeeeeeeeee.
So started looking at Ooty travelogue from a travelling point of view and noting down all the different routes. But I was having trouble of booking in any good hotels. I was expecting it as it was a Independence day weekend. And on 11 Aug, my friend pulled off as his leave didn’t get approved. But I was decided and so was my wife now . Finally got a confirmation from Hotel Taj Savoy for one cottage. Put a question on different route to Ooty and came to know that fellow team-bhpian ‘gadhadhar’ is also traveling on the same day on his Elantra and luckily staying in the same hotel. We exchanged few PM and decided to meet on Mysore highway based on each other comfort. Route was
Bangalore (Whitefield) – Nice Road – Mysore Highway – Chanapatna – Mysore – Gundalpet – Jungle Lodges, Bandipur – take left at Theppekaddu –Masinagudi – 36 Hair pin -- Ooty.
On Aug 13 morning (day before travel) took the car for washing.
Ooty - my first on MY LINEA, probably the first LINEA TO CLIMB famous 36 hairpin bent-prep.jpg
Ooty - my first on MY LINEA, probably the first LINEA TO CLIMB famous 36 hairpin bent-prep2.jpg
Ooty - my first on MY LINEA, probably the first LINEA TO CLIMB famous 36 hairpin bent-prep3.jpg

But, as it always happens with me, evening got some official work and by the time I finished it, it was 1 AM and wifey, she packed her bags and slept. Spend ½ hr to put all my cloth and other required stuff and by the time I slept it was 2 AM. Got up at 4 AM and prepared the car for the trip, put the luggage in the boot and at 4:30 AM, we were at apartment gate coming out to the whitefield road. Realized that pocket is empty, stopped at ATM near Kundalahalli gate. When we started again it was 4:50 AM in my wrist as well as in my Linea clock. And a red Linea overtook us and then we followed it and found that it is also going to Outer ring road. Followed and overtook (seems the red Linea was diesel, assumed as it had a good pickup) and then with lot of left and right turn, we reached Nice road toll gate at 5:50 AM. And then for the first time, my Linea touched 120 KM/hr. wanted to take a pics but didn’t took the risk. Came out of Nice road and was flying on Mysore highway, not much traffic and car was behaving perfectly. Didn’t tried to take it beyond 100 Km/hr and allowed most of the car to overtake. At around 6:45, got a call from Gadadhar that he is waiting at McDonalds. Now, I was confused, did I crossed Mac, wifey also didn’t had the idea. So we decided to meet at Pugmarks. And I continued at around 100 and soon I was in front of Mac and realized that a Elantra is just starting from there, called Gadadhar and yes, its him with wife and son. He soon overtook me and his was waving at me. And then zoooooooooooom, gone. I didn’t thought of chasing him, know that its Elantra man, and after sometime saw that Gadadhar was slowing down. And then I just followed him till Mysore where we have to stop for a Breakfast, wifey was after me as she was hungry. So Gadadhar suggested that Pugmark will be the meeting point and we stopped for BF. had a nice coffee with idli/wada and started toward Pugmark.
Soon good road were transformed into bad road with pot holes and lot of truck traffic. And suddenly a Honda city started following us and wanted way to go ahead. I have read few posts of Linea flying past city and same came to my mind. But I decided to let him fly and I kept driving on highway and soon others like Verna/Indica etc overtaking me. Finally reached the famous bad road section and saw all those who overtook me still struggling in this section. I first started driving at 50Km/hr on this section but soon found Linea handling the road very well and then I was overtaking them, without any issues….it was a smooth sailing over those patches and finally reached Pugmark where Gadadhar and family were waiting for us.
Ooty - my first on MY LINEA, probably the first LINEA TO CLIMB famous 36 hairpin bent-pumark-1.jpg

Sighting details at Jungle lodges on Aug 14
Ooty - my first on MY LINEA, probably the first LINEA TO CLIMB famous 36 hairpin bent-pumark-2-.jpg

Ooty - my first on MY LINEA, probably the first LINEA TO CLIMB famous 36 hairpin bent-pugmark-3.jpg

For the first time, I shook hand with a team-bhpian and immediately felt that we both have the same taste of car and driving. With coffee we had some chit chat. Came to know that I am actually meeting someone who is master of highway driving. Gadadhar, ufff Bobby (the first name) IT’S A PLEASURE MEETING YOU. At that time, I didn’t know that I am meeting a good friend who shares almost the same frequency as mine. And his son, a very good friend of mine now.
Bobby gave me an idea on the route and what all we can see on the way. We decided that I will follow him till Ooty. He gave me tips on how to take the Linea through 36 hair pin, Oh! I forgot to tell you about my Linea, it was just 600 Km old when we started from Whitefield at Bangalore.
Soon we were passing through Bandipur . Saw the deer as we entered Bandipur forest range.
Ooty - my first on MY LINEA, probably the first LINEA TO CLIMB famous 36 hairpin bent-deer.jpg

As we proceeded, we saw a lot of vehicle parked on the road side and people out and then when we went ahead, we saw this big tusker with a female and baby elephant. Some People, I mean to say some fools were going near to tusker to take pics. (Next day, i.e. Aug 15 times newspaper had the story of French lady being killed by elephant. It happened near to this spot.)
Ooty - my first on MY LINEA, probably the first LINEA TO CLIMB famous 36 hairpin bent-elep1.jpg
Ooty - my first on MY LINEA, probably the first LINEA TO CLIMB famous 36 hairpin bent-elep2.jpg

We went ahead and we saw something, which made us laugh like anything. A langur was sitting on side rear view mirror of a baleno.
Ooty - my first on MY LINEA, probably the first LINEA TO CLIMB famous 36 hairpin bent-monkey.jpg

We didn’t want to invite the langur on our car so we crossed them and soon we entered TN and madhumalai. Rest of the journey was peaceful and we crossed Masinagudi and found us part of big chain of cars going towards Ooty. And soon we were climbing up slowly and then came the first steep climb. My Linea was running with AC ON and I never realized it. Tried to climb on third gear but it gave up after sometime. Slowed, put it on second gear, allowed others to overtake and started climbing up slowly. So the climb got more steeper near the first halt point(don’t remember the point name, I think its bison point), Linea was saying what the hell you doing, first you going slow, second AC is ON, do you wanna kill me, by the time I realized the end of the climb came and we parked at the point.
Ooty - my first on MY LINEA, probably the first LINEA TO CLIMB famous 36 hairpin bent-point-1.jpg
Ooty - my first on MY LINEA, probably the first LINEA TO CLIMB famous 36 hairpin bent-point2.jpg
Ooty - my first on MY LINEA, probably the first LINEA TO CLIMB famous 36 hairpin bent-point3.jpg

Halted for 15 min, took some pics. Watch was showing 11 AM and we are yet to climb 34 hairpin to the top. And then, we decided to start again, I switched off the AC and slowly gathered pace for the next turn and then with all second & third gear, yes no first gear anymore, Linea just went up as it is just driving on a normal. And yes, I had driven across different ghats including the Pachmari of MP and kodai but never been to anything like this. It was just a steep climb and hair pin turn one after the other. You finish one and other is ready. So it was a Zig Zag till the top. We stopped once more after 30 haripin and took out our jackets as it was getting cold and misty.
Ooty - my first on MY LINEA, probably the first LINEA TO CLIMB famous 36 hairpin bent-sec-point-1.jpg
Ooty - my first on MY LINEA, probably the first LINEA TO CLIMB famous 36 hairpin bent-sec-point-2.jpg
Ooty - my first on MY LINEA, probably the first LINEA TO CLIMB famous 36 hairpin bent-linea-slanting.jpg
And with next 4 turns, we were at top and all 36 hairpin bents were a HAIR RAISING bents.
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Old 25th August 2009, 03:41   #2
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Nice travelogue there Vinay. Waiting for the rest of it. Your black Linea looks awesome...
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Old 25th August 2009, 04:04   #3
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I remember doing the same stretch on my 1.2 Palio long time back. We were 5 huge adults and the boot fully loaded. The 1st gear felt like overdrive! I couldn't dare to switch the AC on and risk descending backwards!
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Old 25th August 2009, 09:09   #4
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Nice writeup...thanks for sharing. Your Linea looks hot in black ! Kalhatti ghats are one of my favourite too. Going up is ok, but coming down punishes your brakes...you can smell the burning pads all the way down...yours and others!
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Old 25th August 2009, 09:15   #5
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The black Linea looks amazing.Does it run equally fast as well ? Nice photos. Hope there are more
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Old 25th August 2009, 09:22   #6
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this is exactly the trouble with most drivers who dont understand hill driving.

you're supposed to always use the same gears while coming downhill, that you used to go up. this way you use the natural retarding effect of low gear and hence,dont end up with burnt out brake pads. In other words, if you smell burning brake pads, then quite simply, you've been driving in the incorrect gear and probably too fast.

for safe downhill driving in ghats like Kalahatti, the proper gear for the most part would be 2nd - sometimes 1st, especially when negotiating hairpin bends with traffic coming up hill in the opposite direction. Only very occasionally should you get into 3rd. Never 4th or 5th. All this may slow you down completely, but to me, that extra 15 minutes or 20 minutes is worth investing in, in the interests of life - one's own, as well as others.

Most city drivers Ive seen do not follow this simply because they dont know any better. Ask any hill-dwelling person - I would say 9 out of 10 would have some odd story to relate concerning the bad road habits of the "plains-drivers".

plus, unfortunately, maybe we all watch too many James Bond Movies with some phenomenal hill driving in those beautiful Aston Martins etc and maybe get a tad influenced by such. However, it is certainly not recommended to emulate/ imitate such things, especially on the kalahatti ghat.

As a sobering thought, just a month and a half ago, I visited SKS Auto in bannerghatta road to get some work done on my Scorpio. I saw there a Black Bolero which when it was alive, was fully jazzed up etc - unfortunately I saw it after its death throes - the poor beast had been hurtled off one of the self same kalahatti cliffs owing to poor driving, wrong gear, incorrect behaviour PLUS the influence of the "sauce". Occupants - 6 young chaps from BLR City. By the grace of god, none were hurt. However, the poor Bolero was wrecked.


Quote:
Originally Posted by NIP View Post
Nice writeup...thanks for sharing. Your Linea looks hot in black ! Kalhatti ghats are one of my favourite too. Going up is ok, but coming down punishes your brakes...you can smell the burning pads all the way down...yours and others!
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Old 25th August 2009, 09:46   #7
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@ vinay.pillai - Nice write up there. Your Linea looks awesome, post more pics of the Linea pls.
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Old 25th August 2009, 09:50   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shankar.balan View Post
this is exactly the trouble with most drivers who dont understand hill driving.

you're supposed to always use the same gears while coming downhill, that you used to go up. this way you use the natural retarding effect of low gear and hence,dont end up with burnt out brake pads. In other words, if you smell burning brake pads, then quite simply, you've been driving in the incorrect gear and probably too fast.

for safe downhill driving in ghats like Kalahatti, the proper gear for the most part would be 2nd - sometimes 1st, especially when negotiating hairpin bends with traffic coming up hill in the opposite direction. Only very occasionally should you get into 3rd. Never 4th or 5th. All this may slow you down completely, but to me, that extra 15 minutes or 20 minutes is worth investing in, in the interests of life - one's own, as well as others.

Most city drivers Ive seen do not follow this simply because they dont know any better. Ask any hill-dwelling person - I would say 9 out of 10 would have some odd story to relate concerning the bad road habits of the "plains-drivers".

plus, unfortunately, maybe we all watch too many James Bond Movies with some phenomenal hill driving in those beautiful Aston Martins etc and maybe get a tad influenced by such. However, it is certainly not recommended to emulate/ imitate such things, especially on the kalahatti ghat.

As a sobering thought, just a month and a half ago, I visited SKS Auto in bannerghatta road to get some work done on my Scorpio. I saw there a Black Bolero which when it was alive, was fully jazzed up etc - unfortunately I saw it after its death throes - the poor beast had been hurtled off one of the self same kalahatti cliffs owing to poor driving, wrong gear, incorrect behaviour PLUS the influence of the "sauce". Occupants - 6 young chaps from BLR City. By the grace of god, none were hurt. However, the poor Bolero was wrecked.
You are spot on Shankar, previously they used to check cars for heated discs on the bridge and made them wait a while and instructed them on the correct gears to slope down. Now this is not done.
Every time I on the roads there is at least one instance of a "plains car" belting down in third or fourth gear.
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Old 25th August 2009, 09:55   #9
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Vinay, i must say Linea is a looker! no matter how you you look at it wont get bored
nice pics and writeup...

Shankar very well said, i guess this is the same story on all the hills.
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Old 25th August 2009, 10:09   #10
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Nice writeup. The place where you guys stopped is called Bison's Valley View Point. I have done the trip quite a few times on my 6 year old Indica - it managed to clear the ghats without much of a problem. I find going up much easier than coming down (using engine braking and ensuring that the car doesn't gather too much momentum).

If you do the Kalhatti Ghat trip in the evening or early morning, then you have a good chance of seeing wildlife crossing the road e.g. Gaurs.

I usually stay at Wild Haven that is 7 km from Masinagudi on the way to Kalhatti Ghats. It takes just 45-5o min to reach Ooty from Wild Haven - so I can cover the jungles (Mudhumalai, Bandiput drives) as well as Ooty easily - and multiple times - in one trip.
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Old 25th August 2009, 10:30   #11
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Linee looks great in black n then red n then grey n then..... It just looks great in every color. Waiting for more pics of the beauty!!
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Old 25th August 2009, 10:54   #12
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nice travelogue vinay!

OT: If I was the owner of the Linea, I wouldnt have got those mudflaps at first place... they spoil the lines and the looks of the car. Can't Fiat design something more subtle like the one's on the Accent or the SX4.
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Old 25th August 2009, 12:57   #13
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I was there in Ooty too with family on 14th,15th & 16th and even dropped in at The Savoy a couple of times to meet up with fellow travellers since I could managee a booking only at Sterling on short notice. Don't recall seeing the Linea of the Elantra though. Sorry I did'nt plan better, could have met up with you guys and made it a threesome at least for some visits. BTW - Nice travelogue and pics Vinay !
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Old 25th August 2009, 14:51   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by beejay View Post
You are spot on Shankar, previously they used to check cars for heated discs on the bridge and made them wait a while and instructed them on the correct gears to slope down. Now this is not done.
Every time I on the roads there is at least one instance of a "plains car" belting down in third or fourth gear.
That used to happen earlier. In fact there is a board when you enter the ghat section from Ooty, urging the drivers to use second or first gear while going down. Having driven in that stretch a few times, I would vouch for that. Even though I was driving a Corolla that can take those turns in 3rd, I preferred 2nd while going up because it gave me better control and no fear of stalling for what ever reason. While coming down it was only 2nd and at times first and use the brake only when required.

On another note I heard that this road is blocked for coming down from Ooty recently. Only local vehicles are allowed to come down and all vehicles are allowed to go up. Has that changed?

Nainar
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Old 25th August 2009, 14:56   #15
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Did this stretch last month on my Linea, the route and the sorroundings are just breath taking! Vinay congrats on the faboulous looking linea, black sure looks different. Good luck and drive safe.
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