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Old 14th May 2010, 23:43   #541
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NH4 looks in good condition even now. And the trees and plants on the divider has grown as well!

And about the tutorial, please do stay indoors as CL stated. Don't expect to get powers like Mel Gibson when hit by a lightning bolt!
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Old 14th May 2010, 23:56   #542
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hvkumar View Post
Ideal hotels to stay in:
Chitradurga bypass - Ravi Mayur
Davangere bypass - Genesis Resorts
Davangere town - Pooja International/ Sai
Hubli city - Ayodhya/ Hans
Dharwad City - Hoysala
Belgaum bypass - Sankam Residency
Kolhapur + 13 kms - Sai Resorts
Karad - Kinara
Satara bypass - Mahendra Residency
Pune bypass - Viva Inn + several expensive hotels
Kumarji, can you please tell us good place to eat along NH4 ?
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Old 14th May 2010, 23:59   #543
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Boss, I was looking forward to your next expoits and voila here it is.
Thrilled really yaar.
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Old 15th May 2010, 00:02   #544
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Nice (re)start ... specially the black and white photo with tree with background in color. but somehow the color in photos are looking too saturated, i am not sure could be issue with my monitor.
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Old 15th May 2010, 00:09   #545
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ampere View Post
With every passing day, NH4 seems to be increasing its smoothness. Now what is needed are some good eat-outs.
The problem is - private cars travelling long distances are a minority here. Most of the traffic is trucks, buses and sumo/qualis taxis, and most of the eateries cater to them.

You do see some private cars, but most of them are short distance runners between two cities on NH4.
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Old 15th May 2010, 00:54   #546
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Quote:
Originally Posted by a_mukherji View Post
Nice (re)start ... specially the black and white photo with tree with background in color. but somehow the color in photos are looking too saturated, i am not sure could be issue with my monitor.
Thanks a_mukherji. I took these pics in the middle of the day in harsh sun light and had to bring down the AV compensation and increase the shutter speed. Otherwise the pic would have looked white. I had to increase the saturation a bit for these set of pics. It was a very tricky situation.

@ MX6, the Mel Gibson part was hilarious.

@ Rajeev, thanks. Watch out for more!
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Old 15th May 2010, 01:45   #547
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Default The drive continues.....

We bypassed Bangalore, took the Nice road, jumped all the 1000s of bumps in the Electronic City and finally reached 5-Star Pump at Hosur after an uneventful drive at 4.30 pm. This pump has been our regular stop for supper whenever we go via Bangy. They have Fleur's Toilets which are very clean.

We were really famished as we had not had lunch. We straight away went inside the restaurant there and had a scrumptious meal of Kerala Parottas and Chicken 65. My wifey was very keen to try out their Biriyanis and sampled one with Chicken. The food was really tasty and we relaxed a bit over some really cool soft drinks.

Very cute birds!

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An incredible road trip to Velankanni, Kodaikanal and Ooty-2-what_marvelous_colours.jpg
An incredible road trip to Velankanni, Kodaikanal and Ooty-3-a_blackie.jpg

The Pump and the sky scape!

An incredible road trip to Velankanni, Kodaikanal and Ooty-4-5_star_pump.jpg
An incredible road trip to Velankanni, Kodaikanal and Ooty-5-restaurant_in_the_pump.jpg
An incredible road trip to Velankanni, Kodaikanal and Ooty-6-evening_sky.jpg
An incredible road trip to Velankanni, Kodaikanal and Ooty-7-evening_sky.jpg
An incredible road trip to Velankanni, Kodaikanal and Ooty-8-evening_sky-did_it_catch_fire.jpg
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Old 15th May 2010, 12:21   #548
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Incredible couple are back with a Incredible Travelogue.
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Old 15th May 2010, 13:15   #549
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You are not only a Chevvy Lover but also a Cloud Lover.

Reading your travelogue is like reading Fredrick Forsythe. The details really matter. It is easy for someone to plan the route based on the details you provide.
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Old 15th May 2010, 18:33   #550
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Prowler View Post
You are not only a Chevvy Lover but also a Cloud Lover.

Reading your travelogue is like reading Fredrick Forsythe. The details really matter. It is easy for someone to plan the route based on the details you provide.
Thank you Prowler. I love clouds ever since I walked on them!

http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/travel...tml#post841198 (An incredible journey of a lifetime to Bhutan, Kalimpong, Darjeeling and Gangtok!)

Please see the Bhutan travelogue of mine. Ever since I saw such an out of the world scene, I cannot prevent myself from clicking cloudscapes wherever I go! Sometimes I wish I were a bird so that I would be able to see those heavenly clouds up-close!

I am still a novice in road travel, when compared to some of the big heavyweights here! I will try my best to be as clear as possible.

Quote:
Originally Posted by vikram.vns View Post
Incredible couple are back with a Incredible Travelogue.
Oh yes, Vikram. By the way, your travelogue is still stuck somewhere, right? When are you gonna breathe some life into it?
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Old 15th May 2010, 19:11   #551
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After a leisurely meal and ice creams, we decided to fill up Chevy from the pump. I usually fill up from HP or BP pumps. En-route, I had to fill up from an IOC pump near Bangalore. The fuel in that pump was really bad. There was a marked difference in the performance of my Chevy after that.

We filled up Chevy to the brim from 5 – Star Pump. Chevy drank a total of 41.99 litres for Rs. 1625. The mileage I got from Pune, after running 979 kms, was approximately 14.65 kms/litre. I was very happy with Chevy’s performance and knew that the mileage would have been even better if I did not have to drive about thirty kilometres through Ranebennur and Chitradurga in second gear. We were using the AC in full blast most of the time. So I had nothing to complain about.

We restarted our drive by 6.20 pm. The break was very much needed as we had been driving continuously from Hubli and we had not taken any long breaks in between. We were totally invigorated and were eager to reach Salem. I think the numerous ice creams we had from the restaurant in Hosur had something to do with it!!!

I knew that the roads ahead of us were one of the best in the country! We were so excited at the thought of driving on that brilliant highway again!

We soon started our drive in earnest. Then out of the blue, we got lucky. I happened to look at my rear view mirror and the scene I saw blew me away!!! I was driving at 100 kmph, but immediately pulled over to the side of the road after indicating properly and captured these wonderful scenes!

An incredible road trip to Velankanni, Kodaikanal and Ooty-1-sunset_at_hosur.jpg

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

An incredible road trip to Velankanni, Kodaikanal and Ooty-3-sunset_at_hosur.jpg

An incredible road trip to Velankanni, Kodaikanal and Ooty-4-sunset_at_hosur.jpg

An incredible road trip to Velankanni, Kodaikanal and Ooty-5-what_a_brilliant_cloudscape.jpg

An incredible road trip to Velankanni, Kodaikanal and Ooty-6-the_sky_caught_fire.jpg

An incredible road trip to Velankanni, Kodaikanal and Ooty-7-sunset_at_hosur.jpg

An incredible road trip to Velankanni, Kodaikanal and Ooty-8-brilliant_clouds.jpg

An incredible road trip to Velankanni, Kodaikanal and Ooty-9-an_old_world_charm.jpg

An incredible road trip to Velankanni, Kodaikanal and Ooty-10.jpg

An incredible road trip to Velankanni, Kodaikanal and Ooty-11-amazing_clouds.jpg

An incredible road trip to Velankanni, Kodaikanal and Ooty-12-sunset_at_hosur.jpg
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Old 15th May 2010, 19:30   #552
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I must say you would have been on cloud nine after all those snaps.
NH7 beyond Bangalore is a drivers delight.

Though the same status is being tried to be achieved on the Hyderadad side as well.
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Old 15th May 2010, 21:08   #553
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ampere View Post
I must say you would have been on cloud nine after all those snaps.
NH7 beyond Bangalore is a drivers delight.

Though the same status is being tried to be achieved on the Hyderadad side as well.
You bet, Ampere!

The joy I felt when I was able to capture such a scene cannot be explained in words.

NH7 is brilliant in every way. Simply superb experience. The best part is that there are lots of drive in restaurants en-route. No need to worry about anything!
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Old 15th May 2010, 23:52   #554
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Talking Finally... OOTY....The brilliant OOTY.....

We continued our drive on the super smooth NH7. The road was brilliant and we maintained a steady 100 kmph. The only problem, if it can be called so, was the heavy trucks maintaining 40 kmph and driving on the right lane. Salem was still about 158 kilometres away and we were really enjoying the drive. I dislike overtaking from the left. But on this highway, there was no option but to overtake from the wrong side. I gave my Hellas a very good workout, but still the trucks did not care about giving side.

We reached the outskirts of Krishnagiri soon and drove through the Thoppur ghat section slowly. The highway was quite well maintained and there were markings before all the bumps. I think there were a total of 8 bumps/ rumbling strips in the ghat section to prevent vehicles from over speeding. In spite of all these precautions, we saw a Sumo overtake us from the left very recklessly and fly over the bump/ rumbling strips. Thankfully nothing unpleasant happened and the vehicle sped off!

There were about 8 -10 toll booths till Salem, charging about Rs. 25 – Rs. 48 for particular sections of the highway. The toll booth assistants were very well dressed. You can see them here;

http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/travel...ml#post1226732 (Bangalore - Salem One Day trip)

Snaps taken by Team BHPian snaronikar.

We enjoyed the drive tremendously and reached Salem by 8.20 pm. We had covered 158 kilometres in less than two hours and our average speed was approximately 80 kmph. Such was the excellent condition of the roads, that I achieved this speed without crossing the 110 kmph mark even once. Simply brilliant NH7!

We bypassed Salem and took the right turn towards Avinashi and Coimbatore. The signages are very good and there is no chance that one will miss the turn.

We had decided earlier not to take the Mysore route to Ooty. HVK sir had recommended that route highly, but my past experiences have left a permanent hatred towards the bumps in Karnataka roads. I have decided not to drive in Mysore as far as possible. I still remember the wretched time I spent traversing through CR Patna and many other small towns.

I had to brake really hard at 80 kmph, when one bump appeared out of nowhere! I tried very hard and avoided screeching my tyres then. So it is bye bye Mysore for me as far as possible. Anyway, my sincere appreciation to the folks in Bangy who drive to Ooty through this route! Hats off to you, guys!!! As I mentioned in another thread in Team BHP, I would rather drive 100 kilometres more, just to have a comfortable drive. I love reaching a place refreshed!!

Coming back to our story, we were enjoying the drive till Salem tremendously. It was a breeze. But once we took the right turn to Avinashi, the road became single laned for some time. We decided that it was the perfect time to take a break. We parked our Chevy by the road side and stretched our tired legs. I washed my Chevy’s windscreen and other windows.

My wifey was a bit hungry and soon she spotted a roadside eatery. They were frying and selling Cauliflower Chilly. We bought a small quantity from them. It tasted very good. We bought some more chocolates and juices from a nearby shop and spent time just watching all the yellow coloured buses zooming past us.

We decided to restart our drive by 9.15 pm. We felt invigorated after drinking some juices. I washed my face with cold water and was ready for the final assault to Ooty.

We started our drive immediately and soon reached the toll booth. The road soon became four laned and the road resembled NH7. But we were shocked to see wrong entrants coming from the right side sometimes. We also saw a gruesome accident. A carrier auto had run into a parked lorry. There was broken glass everywhere. But there was no one in the vicinity. So we guessed that the injured were already en-route to a hospital.

The road was superb all the way till Annur. From Annur, the road again was single laned and we had to follow a bus for about 15 kilometres at 60 kmph, without any chance to overtake. The traffic was super heavy in this stretch. We reached Coimbatore after 12 am. We were so engrossed in driving and watching the road.

Soon, we bypassed Coimbatore, took some right and left turns and reached the Mettupalayam road. There were not many vehicles on the road and we enjoyed a peaceful drive all the way till Mettupalayam. There were numerous trees flanking the highway and we stopped by the roadside to take some snaps. The road was so beautiful!

An incredible road trip to Velankanni, Kodaikanal and Ooty-1-highway_to_ooty.jpg
An incredible road trip to Velankanni, Kodaikanal and Ooty-2-highway_to_ooty.jpg
An incredible road trip to Velankanni, Kodaikanal and Ooty-3-wifey_in_chevy_highway_to_ooty.jpg
An incredible road trip to Velankanni, Kodaikanal and Ooty-4-chevy.jpg

We soon started our ascent towards Coonoor and Ooty. There were 14 hairpin bends in the Mettupalayam – Ooty route. I had driven through that route earlier so I was confident that the hairpins would be a piece of cake. There was sparse traffic in the ghats. Every ten minutes or so there would be a truck or another four-wheeler coming downhill.

We were stopped by policemen near a check post, before reaching the hairpins. The Inspector spoke very sternly in English and asked me to show them my license and registration papers. I just replied to him in Tamil and the change that came about in his demeanor was stunning. He softened down almost instantly and spoke to me for five minutes in Tamil asking me all the time, how I could speak fluently. I just told him that my 6-month stint in Chennai is to be thanked for that. Finally, he asked a constable to note down my details and let ‘SIR’ go. I was astonished seeing this complete change.

The constable was an elderly gentleman and was so good when he spoke to us. He did not even look at my license or papers. He just noted down my address and told us why they were so alert. It seems that a brand new Indica car, which belonged to a tourist from Chennai, was stolen from a hotel in Coonoor. The policemen were still not able to trace the car. So they were very alert about all outstation vehicles going to Ooty.

They were really happy when I told them about the hotel in which we would be staying and also about the hotel where my brother-in-law and sister were staying. They let us go with a warm smile and a ‘drive slowly’ message.

I negotiated all the hairpins in second gear and had a terrific drive all the way to Ooty. I enjoyed the drive so much that my wifey had to remind me all the time to control my speed. She also relaxed soon and we had a quick drive to Ooty.

I have one word of caution to anyone who may attempt this stretch at night. The trucks coming down hill rarely honks. So if you drive with AC, like we do, make it a point to honk like crazy at ALL turns. You never know what might be lurking around the corner!!!

We reached Ooty town by 2.30 am. The town wore a deserted look. We straight away went to our favourite hotel, Nilgiri’s Inn and checked in immediately. They recognized us and gave us a superb discount and gave us a very spacious room. There was guarded parking in front of the hotel and we were very happy that we got accommodation there itself.

An incredible road trip to Velankanni, Kodaikanal and Ooty-5-nilgiris_inn_ooty.jpg
An incredible road trip to Velankanni, Kodaikanal and Ooty-6-nilgiris_inn.jpg
An incredible road trip to Velankanni, Kodaikanal and Ooty-7-a_view_of_the_town.jpg
An incredible road trip to Velankanni, Kodaikanal and Ooty-8-room_in_nilgiris_inn.jpg
An incredible road trip to Velankanni, Kodaikanal and Ooty-9-room_nilgiris.jpg

After a quick, mandatory check of Chevy’s tyres and his engine, we retired back inside the hotel and fell into a deep slumber almost instantaneously. The weather in Ooty was very cold that night, probably about 8 or 9 degree Celsius. We love Ooty!!!
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Old 16th May 2010, 00:01   #555
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The old two laned highways with trees on both sides had a real charm about it. I really miss that in the GQ.
The reason why I took the sasvad route to satara can be well appreciated by people if they see your photos showing the two lane highway up here!
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