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Old 12th October 2009, 15:11   #16
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Originally Posted by Prowler View Post
Incredible Chevvy lover. You do a lot of amazing things - 72 k life from a tyre, going on tour every 3 months, going on a trip so early in the morning and so many lights on the front. We are so eager to read the complete travelogue and to see your photos.
Prowler, I have a strong attachment to Hella projectors. I used to hate drivers with Xenons, who drive with their high beams on at all times. They never dip their beams. I once had a nasty experience with a Corolla. He literally forced me to stop and go off-road, because of his high beams. I was so furious that I installed Hella projectors in the next two hours. Now, there is not a single driver in Pune who does not dim his lights for me. BMWs and Mercs included. 660 watts is too hot to handle!
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Old 12th October 2009, 15:23   #17
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Back to the travelouge...

The road was very deserted, with no living thing in sight. There was a lorry or a car passing by every 5 minutes or so. I was not mentally prepared for this sort of an eventuality. The tyre was relatively new, having run just about 35,000 kilometers. The last thing we expected was a tyre burst at 90 km/hr as soon as we started our journey! It was pure bad luck, as I was on the right lane maintaining a steady speed.

The road was uneven and it was a bit difficult to find a good patch to fix the jack and change the tyre. It was really a messy affair and I finally managed to finish the job by 6:40 am and we re-started our journey by 6:45 am. My spare tyre was also about 40K kms old. When I started my drive, I noticed that the steering was wobbly and the vehicle was going left. I understood that the whole wheel alignment had gone for a toss and it was really dangerous driving in such a condition.

I drove about 15 more kilometers and reached Satara junction by 7am. My Chevy was vibrating like crazy and I could not exceed 40km/hr. Luckily there was a puncture shop open, near the junction itself. I got my second shock there. There was a 4 cm long side wall tear on the tyre. I wanted to throw the tyre away, but the guy asked me to repair it and keep it as a spare. A patching was done and new tubes were installed.

We started our onward journey gingerly. We were in really low spirits and hardly spoke to each other. The vibration was still present. Our next destination was Karad, where I wanted to do a balancing and alignment. I was also thinking of buying a new tyre.
By 9:15 am we reached Karad. This drive had to be the worst drive of my life. I had to keep a speed of 40 km/hr. I am usually a very fast driver and never go below 100 km/hr on highways. The frustration I felt driving below optimum speeds cannot be explained by words!!!

We went to Shri Ram Tyres in Karad. I straightaway bought a new tyre to replace my front right tyre, which was in spare earlier, before the tyre burst. They also did wheel alignment and balancing. Even after three trials, I wasn’t happy with the handling of Chevy. I made them adjust the settings again and again. After an awfully frustrating time at the store, we left for Belgaum by 11:05am. Now the car was pulling a bit to the right. I cursed those idiots in Karad and maintained about 90km/hr.

We crossed the MH border and reached Belgaum city by 1:30 pm. The only problem we faced was finding an AC restaurant. It was quite hot in Belgaum and we found it quite agonizing. We were not successful and hence settled on a family restaurant near the city centre. We had Biriyani and enjoyed the southern flavor after a long time.

By 3:45pm, we were finished with our leisurely lunch. I was still not happy with my car’s handling. We went to a wheel alignment centre in Belgaum, which boasted of 3D technology, etc, etc. By 4:40 pm, we finished two trials and finally started our journey again. We wanted to reach Hubli by evening and halt for the night.
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Old 12th October 2009, 16:18   #18
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Great write up!

Waiting for latest updates on Hubli-Bangalore as I may need to drive this weekend.
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Old 12th October 2009, 17:08   #19
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Lightbulb Some interesting pics of NH4 for the newbies

NH4 was simply superb as always! One of the best highways in India.
Attached Thumbnails
An incredible road trip to Velankanni, Kodaikanal and Ooty-national-highway-4.jpg  

An incredible road trip to Velankanni, Kodaikanal and Ooty-nh4-karnataka-near-belgaum.jpg  

An incredible road trip to Velankanni, Kodaikanal and Ooty-nh4-karnataka-near-belgaum-.jpg  

An incredible road trip to Velankanni, Kodaikanal and Ooty-nh4-karnataka-near-belgaum-b.jpg  

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An incredible road trip to Velankanni, Kodaikanal and Ooty-nh4-karnataka-near-belgaum-e.jpg  

An incredible road trip to Velankanni, Kodaikanal and Ooty-nh4-karnataka-near-belgaum-f.jpg  

An incredible road trip to Velankanni, Kodaikanal and Ooty-nh4-karnataka-near-belgaum-h.jpg  

An incredible road trip to Velankanni, Kodaikanal and Ooty-nh4-karnataka-near-belgaum-i.jpg  

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Old 12th October 2009, 17:16   #20
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Talking A Highway "Petrol"ing jeep

A Highway "Petrol"ing jeep near Karad.
Attached Thumbnails
An incredible road trip to Velankanni, Kodaikanal and Ooty-highway-petrol-vehicle.jpg  

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Old 12th October 2009, 17:23   #21
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Chevylover, good narration,excellent photos. The highway is it this good all the way or like Kerala roads, break up after sometime?
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Old 12th October 2009, 18:03   #22
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Another 5 Star rated travelogue in the making I guess!

Chevy_Lover, Hope the Belgaum guys did a good job.
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Old 12th October 2009, 18:47   #23
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Exclamation Hubli... At last...... Whew........

We again joined NH4 from Belgaum by 5 pm. Hubli was still far away. I was satisfied with the wheel alignment job at Belgaum. I had thought of filling up in the highway en-route to Hubli. But to my horror, there are no pumps for approximately 50 kilometers after Belgaum. I saw one or two on the right side, but it was difficult to take a U-turn because of the road dividers.

The only consolation we had was that the highway was brilliant. Just be careful of the occasional cow crossing the road or a bullock cart near an intersection. The drive from Belgaum was really a pleasure.

We had an uneventful drive till Hubli. The last 20 odd kilometers is not 4 laned, so it is difficult to overtake or maintain high speeds. Lorries try to run you off the road at every given opportunity. We finally reached Hubli by 6:30 pm. We paid the entry toll and straight away went to refill. I filled up for Rs. 1200 @ Rs. 37.08 per litre.

We then went to search for a Hotel and finally checked into Hotel Basant. It was a 3 star hotel with very good AC rooms, which was quite cheap by Pune standards. We freshened up and rested for some time. And then we set out to do what we always do. We always explore a new place on foot. Chevy was taking some well deserved rest and I did not want to disturb him.

We went out into the city and did some window shopping. We then had some ice creams from an Arun Ice cream parlour. The time was near to 8 pm by now. One thing we noticed about Hubli was that the city was very dusty. We decided to return back to our rooms. We ordered some chicken snacks for dinner. They tasted awesome. One of the best non-veg snacks I tasted in a long time. We retired for the night by 10 pm after watching an English movie on Star.

We had covered just 495 kilometres on Day 1, which is very bad by any standards. But I was happy that we were still in one piece after the tyre burst!!! We thanked God that nothing untoward happened. Truly “HE” was protecting us!

Here are some more pics of NH4 till Hubli. There is no bad stretch till Hubi.
Attached Thumbnails
An incredible road trip to Velankanni, Kodaikanal and Ooty-nh4-karnataka-near-belgaum-k.jpg  

An incredible road trip to Velankanni, Kodaikanal and Ooty-nh4-karnataka-near-belgaum-s.jpg  

An incredible road trip to Velankanni, Kodaikanal and Ooty-nh4-karnataka-near-belgaum_beautiful-flowers.jpg  

An incredible road trip to Velankanni, Kodaikanal and Ooty-nh4-karnataka-near-belgaum_a-wall-bushes.jpg  

An incredible road trip to Velankanni, Kodaikanal and Ooty-nh4-karnataka-near-belgaum_the-first-drops-rain.jpg  

An incredible road trip to Velankanni, Kodaikanal and Ooty-nh4-karnataka-near-belgaum_lots-animals-road.jpg  

An incredible road trip to Velankanni, Kodaikanal and Ooty-nh4-karnataka-near-belgaum-toll-plaza-.jpg  

An incredible road trip to Velankanni, Kodaikanal and Ooty-nh4-karnataka-near-belgaum-t.jpg  

An incredible road trip to Velankanni, Kodaikanal and Ooty-nh4-karnataka-near-belgaum_ghat.jpg  

An incredible road trip to Velankanni, Kodaikanal and Ooty-chevys-steering.jpg  

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Old 13th October 2009, 09:33   #24
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Good Progress , you have my undivided attention, nice pictures of the highway, really envy that roads like these can't be found in Kerala!
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Old 13th October 2009, 11:53   #25
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Excellent writeup CL. Your highway photographs jump right off the monitor. I could see that you are driving at 100 kmph in one of the photos.

I can hardly wait.
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Old 13th October 2009, 13:11   #26
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Great going, CL. Keep it flowing, in full detail.

So where had you initially planned to halt for day1?
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Old 13th October 2009, 13:25   #27
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Exclamation Please be careful on NH4

Quote:
Originally Posted by Prowler View Post
Excellent writeup CL. Your highway photographs jump right off the monitor. I could see that you are driving at 100 kmph in one of the photos.

I can hardly wait.
Thanks Prowler. More stunning photos coming up. One word of thanks to my dear wifey who spent hours and hours clicking.

One word of caution to my dear team BHP-ians. NH4 is a killer stretch. Please note that I am experienced in highway driving and I regularly maintain 100-120 km/hr.

Newbies to NH4 should never attempt high speed driving. The turns and curves are very sharp at some places and there are no warning signs. The road can also be uneven at some stretches. It is natural for drivers to feel like speeding, when they see the clear stretch of road ahead. But it is very dangerous. Please be careful.
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Old 13th October 2009, 13:28   #28
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Nice catch of the highway petrolling vehicle.
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Old 13th October 2009, 13:31   #29
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Great going, CL. Keep it flowing, in full detail.

So where had you initially planned to halt for day1?
Pjay_in, I wanted to reach atleast Hosur on day one. I had a wild imagination that I might be able to reach Salem by 2am if everything worked to our advantage. But sadly, everything worked so perfectly against us.
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Old 13th October 2009, 14:38   #30
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Default Day 2

Day 2 – Onward journey to Salem.

On Day 2, we woke up by 7am. We had a vegetarian breakfast from the hotel and left Hubli by 8:15 am. The Speedometer read 75798 kms when we started. I wanted to cover good distance and we wanted to make sure that we reached at least Salem by dusk. Salem was about 680 kms away and our goal was realistic. We were warned of very bad roads near Chitradurga by HVK. He had informed us that road widening work is still going on there.

We got a surprise call from HVK enquiring about our whereabouts. The previous night I had mailed him about our little misfortune and that we were staying in Hubli. HVK spoke to my wife, as I was driving. He gave her directions on how to by-pass Bangalore and to take NICE road.

HVK sir, thank you for caring so much and for helping us out.

We passed Ranebennur by 9:50 am and encountered some bad stretches. Road widening is going on everywhere and there were many road diversions that we had to take. We also had to be careful about unmarked speed breakers.

We bypassed Davangere by 10:40am. The road condition was still good. One thing we had to be careful about was the numerous diversions. It is not safe to drive on these roads at night unless you have really powerful headlights. It goes without a saying that you really have to be an expert to even think about attempting these stretches after dark.
Attached Thumbnails
An incredible road trip to Velankanni, Kodaikanal and Ooty-nh4-towards-davangere.jpg  

An incredible road trip to Velankanni, Kodaikanal and Ooty-nh4-after-hubli.jpg  

An incredible road trip to Velankanni, Kodaikanal and Ooty-nh4-near-ranebennur.jpg  

An incredible road trip to Velankanni, Kodaikanal and Ooty-road-work-going-.jpg  

An incredible road trip to Velankanni, Kodaikanal and Ooty-nh4-_-diversion-ahead.jpg  

An incredible road trip to Velankanni, Kodaikanal and Ooty-road-work.jpg  

An incredible road trip to Velankanni, Kodaikanal and Ooty-road-work-.jpg  

An incredible road trip to Velankanni, Kodaikanal and Ooty-stunning-skyscape.jpg  

An incredible road trip to Velankanni, Kodaikanal and Ooty-diversion-again.jpg  

An incredible road trip to Velankanni, Kodaikanal and Ooty-stunning-skyscape-2.jpg  

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