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Old 2nd October 2009, 22:53   #1
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Default From Humming @ Hampi to Jogging at Jog to going Gaga over Goa to ambling over Amboli

Folks, I've just returned from a 6-day trip of 1900 kms, and now recovering from intertia of motion. Therefore I'll be updating this travelogue in bits and pieces over the next few days. Thank you for your patience.
Places covered were Hampi/ Hospet, Shimoga/ Jog Falls, Goa, Bijapur via Amboli ghat, Bidar and finally back to Hyderabad.

The Car

From Humming @ Hampi to Jogging at Jog to going Gaga over Goa to ambling over Amboli-canon-441.jpg

From Humming @ Hampi to Jogging at Jog to going Gaga over Goa to ambling over Amboli-canon-520.jpg

Yep, you've guessed it right---it is a Sonata Embera 2005 petrol model owned by a pal--that comes with a 2.4 litre engine, 160 bhp (or 180, don't remember) and oodles of space for 5 adults. It has a very refined engine that is super silent even at speeds of 150 kmph, and has tremendous pull at all rpms, despite 5 adults sitting in it. Many have commented on its light steering in other threads, but I did not find it nervous at all---it was as good as my Fiesta at high speeds, and far more silent. The Michelins also contributed greatly to the stability and silence.

As in our earlier trip, we'd planned for 2 cars (including my Fiesta) and 6 adults, but since one of them had to drop out at the last moment, economies of scale and comfort made us choose the Embera and drop the Fiesta.

To be continued...

Last edited by vnabhi : 2nd October 2009 at 22:56.
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Old 2nd October 2009, 23:57   #2
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Default Some more pics

I'll let the pics do the talking---pardon the resolution---they are from my Canon SD200 mini camera. I'll upload better pics from my pal's Nikon later, after I get them.

Road ,greenery & rocky hills between Raichur and Gangawati:-

From Humming @ Hampi to Jogging at Jog to going Gaga over Goa to ambling over Amboli-canon-347.jpg

From Humming @ Hampi to Jogging at Jog to going Gaga over Goa to ambling over Amboli-canon-346.jpg

From Humming @ Hampi to Jogging at Jog to going Gaga over Goa to ambling over Amboli-canon-349.jpg
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Old 3rd October 2009, 00:07   #3
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The Tungabhadra Dam at Hospet:-

From Humming @ Hampi to Jogging at Jog to going Gaga over Goa to ambling over Amboli-canon-359.jpg

From Humming @ Hampi to Jogging at Jog to going Gaga over Goa to ambling over Amboli-canon-362.jpg

From Humming @ Hampi to Jogging at Jog to going Gaga over Goa to ambling over Amboli-canon-371.jpg

That ends day 1 of our trip (Sep 26th). Total distance from Hyd to Hotel Malligi at Hospet was 380 kms, and we did this in 6 hours owing to great roads. However, the last 30 kms from Gangawati to Hospet were riddled with potholes and trucks.

Last edited by vnabhi : 3rd October 2009 at 00:10.
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Old 3rd October 2009, 02:02   #4
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vnabhi, again the same emberra which you did the Tirupati with. Looking forward for some more pics.

Abhi
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Old 3rd October 2009, 14:46   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by akroy View Post
vnabhi, again the same emberra which you did the Tirupati with. Looking forward for some more pics.

Abhi
Wow Abhi---what a splendid memory! Yes, it is the same car.
Will post pics later today---right now I am trying to rescue our Hyd members who are stuck at Goa (mobike008, Naveen KK, etc)
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Old 3rd October 2009, 14:52   #6
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Great start vnabhi, waiting for more ! Heard that NH17 was closed, is this the rescue you are talking about ?
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Old 3rd October 2009, 18:41   #7
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I envy those who do such road trips. Bring it on.
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Old 3rd October 2009, 22:08   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kannan666 View Post
Great start vnabhi, waiting for more ! Heard that NH17 was closed, is this the rescue you are talking about ?
Partially correct. AFAIK, the NH17 is closed near Ankola, but the Hyd guys need to travel northwards on N. Goa. I heard that most of the northward routes to Hyd are flooded, and that there were landslides at Amboli ghat.

Edit: I just heard that the Kolhapur->Solapur road has been reopened.

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I envy those who do such road trips. Bring it on.
Hold on, buddy, will do.
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Old 3rd October 2009, 22:26   #9
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Default Day 2: Sep 27th (Sunday)

We got up early and had breakfast by 8 am, and left for Hampi. We noticed that the car cleaner had done justice to the 30 bucks he had charged.
Hampi was a mere 20 minutes away, but after reaching there and spending 30 minutes, we realized that we were clueless without a guide. There were too many structures there spread over a large area of several kms.
So we hired a guide for 4 hours and agreed to pay him Rs 500. He took us to the most important places like the Virupaksha temple, Queen's palace, Elephant's stable, Vitthal temple etc.
We were done with him by noon, so we went back to Malligi hotel for lunch by 1 pm, and decided not to spend another day there. Our next halt was Shimoga, so I contacted the expert of that area, Ravi Bhat, who gave us a wealth of information.
Here are some pics of Hampi:-

From Humming @ Hampi to Jogging at Jog to going Gaga over Goa to ambling over Amboli-canon-385.jpg

From Humming @ Hampi to Jogging at Jog to going Gaga over Goa to ambling over Amboli-canon-391.jpg

From Humming @ Hampi to Jogging at Jog to going Gaga over Goa to ambling over Amboli-canon-393.jpg

From Humming @ Hampi to Jogging at Jog to going Gaga over Goa to ambling over Amboli-canon-409.jpg

From Humming @ Hampi to Jogging at Jog to going Gaga over Goa to ambling over Amboli-canon-413.jpg

From Humming @ Hampi to Jogging at Jog to going Gaga over Goa to ambling over Amboli-canon-421.jpg
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Old 3rd October 2009, 22:34   #10
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Some more pics of Hampi and the pool at Malligi Hotel:-

From Humming @ Hampi to Jogging at Jog to going Gaga over Goa to ambling over Amboli-canon-378.jpg

From Humming @ Hampi to Jogging at Jog to going Gaga over Goa to ambling over Amboli-canon-381.jpg

From Humming @ Hampi to Jogging at Jog to going Gaga over Goa to ambling over Amboli-canon-408.jpg

From Humming @ Hampi to Jogging at Jog to going Gaga over Goa to ambling over Amboli-canon-422.jpg
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Old 3rd October 2009, 23:01   #11
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Hampi is a place i want to visit since ages
this will certainly help me plan my trip

thanks for sharing

nice pictures
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Old 3rd October 2009, 23:10   #12
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Venu Saab, Awesome pictures!!!
Hampi has been on the cards for a long time, may be soon.

Look forward to the other parts of the trip.
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Old 4th October 2009, 12:19   #13
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Thanks guys. I shall be posting some more pics soon.

@MC---I've just noticed that even you have had a helluva trip to Leh. Keep posting!
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Old 4th October 2009, 14:10   #14
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We had initially planned to stay 2 nights at Hampi, but since we'd seen both the Tungabhadra dam and the Hampi ruins by 12 noon on day 2, we thought it would be good to move on to Shimoga after lunch.
So we packed quickly and went to the restaurant to unwind, while the kids had a quick swim in the Hotel pool. We finished lunch by 1400 hours and checked out. We were glad to know that the hotel accepted credit card payment. We asked for the route to Shimoga and also for the nearest petrol bunk. Ravi Bhat had given us 2 options to Shimoga:-
  1. Via Chitradurga and straight to Shimoga on the same National Highway
  2. Via Chitradurga, then turn right towards Hubli, take left at Harihar after Davangare, and then go to Shimoga via Malebennur and Sovalanga, which was around 40 kms longer.
Surprisingly the hotel staff were talking of a direct route to Harihara, which we discarded as we felt they were talking of truck routes. I spoke to Ravi Bhat and he contacted his people at Chitradurga, and quickly got back stating both option 1 and 2 have rough patches, therefore take option 1 as it is the shortest.

We then set out and filled up petrol at a HP bunk adjacent to the hotel--they accept only cash. As soon as we neared the dam, we had to turn left towards Chitradurga (right takes one to Gangawati and Hyderabad). We soon found the same heavy 18-wheeler trucks slowing us down on rough and curvy roads. But the sight of the mighty Tungabhadra river held us in awe for a few kms.

The signboard said Chitradurga was 115 kms away afte we'd crossed the goliath trucks, but the road was still horrid, forcing us to drive only in 3rd gear. Speeds above 50 were not possible for nearly 40 kms, and we were getting a bit anxious as it was already 1530 hours. Luckily the roads improved after that, and we were doing 100 to 120 speeds, but that is when the first scent of trouble emanated, which we unwittingly ignored.

It began with the engine sounding a wee bit hoarse at high rpms--a sort of sporty sound that I was used to in the Fiesta at high revs. But the Sonata is a super silent car, and that sound was unusual. My pal also said the pickup was marginally lower, but laughed it off saying people spend lots of money on FFEs to get that kinda sound. After a while, it dawned on us that the quality of fuel at Hampi was suspect---it took some distance for the Hyd fuel to get over, and the Hampi fuel was most probably causing the problem.

We continued undaunted, and I took over the wheel. I too noticed the engine getting coarser and the pickup dropping more, but not alarmingly low. However the sight of scores of windmills when we were nearing Chitradurga offered some respite. We stopped for tea on the outskirts of Chitradurga at around 1700 hours, and sought directions from some truckers. They too reccomended the direct route to Shimoga.

We set out again with my pal on the wheel. That is when the real tension started.

To be continued..
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Old 4th October 2009, 17:14   #15
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Great start Venu...looking forward to it
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