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Old 14th October 2009, 15:07   #46
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Good one! The Trichy Tanjore is bad. First because of extreme traffic and secondly because road blocks every now and then. I had done this stretch last year and this turned to be the only bad part of my whole journey.
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Old 14th October 2009, 15:15   #47
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Chevy_Lover - It was really scary to see the tractor-trailer coming on the wrong lane. When I looked at the image I was like .These morons really scare me to death, they cause numerous accidents in Tamil Nadu. What speed were you at when you saw the trailer. You got me glued to this thread.
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Old 14th October 2009, 15:28   #48
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Default Avoid Karur-Kulitalai-Trchy route

Pls avoid using this route if possible for atleast 1 year as the NH 67 widening work is on.If coming from Sale/bangalore stick to Namakkal- musiri-thottiyam- trichy.
tnx
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Old 14th October 2009, 15:28   #49
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Originally Posted by ElantraGT View Post
Chevy_Lover - It was really scary to see the tractor-trailer coming on the wrong lane. When I looked at the image I was like .These morons really scare me to death, they cause numerous accidents in Tamil Nadu. What speed were you at when you saw the trailer. You got me glued to this thread.
Hi ElantraGT, As I mentioned in my travelouge, I was regularly maintaining 110-120 km/hr. Then suddenly tractors and lorries began coming in the wrong lane, after we crossed some villages.

The image of the tractor coming at me was only the beginning. We had a scare when a petrol tanker came straight at me at 80-90km/hr and I had to swerve quickly to the left lane. At first, because of the reflection from the road, we never realised that the lorry was directly in our lane, speeding towards us.

We were really upset seeing the reckless driving of these idiots.

I would like to add that we never saw a single policeman or a police jeep for over 100 kilometers. Highway patrolling is non-existent.
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Old 14th October 2009, 15:36   #50
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Angry Bad roads and maniacs behind the wheel....

We finally reached a small circle two kilometers ahead after a left and right turn. From the circle, we took a left turn and then joined the highway to Tanjavur.

The roads were very congested with private buses driven by maniacs. Almost 99% of the buses were yellow in colour.

Most of those buses were fitted with 4-pipe air horns. The drivers had a very bad habbit. They would just sneak up behind unsuspecting smaller vehicles in full speed and suddenly blast their horns for 10 seconds or so. That sound is enough to scare the driver in front and cause an accident. This happened to me twice. The second time, I made sure that I followed the bus and honked like crazy for the next five minutes. The passengers in the bus were looking out of their windows to see the maniac following them. The driver finally had enough of my horns and pulled over to the side and let me overtake!!! I never heard even a “beep” from him again, when he overtook me after about 10 kilometers.

Last edited by Chevy_lover : 14th October 2009 at 15:38.
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Old 14th October 2009, 15:45   #51
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There was road widening work going on everywhere and it was real chaos. At some places, roads were non-existent and there was just a dirt track. I used all four of my projectors and felt safer. The roads were completely dark. There were countless diversions and it is not a good idea driving on those roads in the dark, if you are doing that stretch for the first time.

All junctions were completely occupied by people waiting for buses and any means of transport to reach their homes. The cops did a very bad job in controlling the crowd and we narrowly missed a few ladies crossing the road, all the time looking at the opposite side. They were completely unaware of our approaching car. It was hilarious seeing their stunned expressions when I blasted my horn after stopping near them. After this incident, we cut down on speed as soon we saw that we were approaching a junction or a bus stop. There were so many people asking for lifts. But I follow a strict policy of “No strangers in my car”. It was really sad to see so many people suffering and fighting for a small foot hold in buses. Truckers make a fortune offering transportation to those hapless people.

Wifey was fully alert all the time because of the diversions. There were some unmarked diversions also. So we had to be very careful. I would have kissed my Hella Projectors if I could. They turned out to be a lifesaver on more than one occasion.

I noticed that almost all Lorries and buses had installed locally made projector type headlights. They had 4 to 6 of these projectors of different sizes and these lights could not be dimmed. The only thing that the drivers did when I dimmed my headlights was switch off two of their headlights for some seconds, till I passed them. It was really annoying and dangerous at the same time.

I also made it a point to switch off my projectors if the approaching vehicle did the same.
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Old 14th October 2009, 15:48   #52
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Hi Chevy_lover,

Me too had a same issue with the bus drivers(!) on Trichy-tanjore junk road. Please be aware of that it becomes even worse till velankanni. They think like those roads laid only for them, we are just crossing their lines. These things never change, please do NOT argue/look at them while crossing or continuous honking. Their behavior will be even worse. Have a safe journey. Keep rocking..
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Old 14th October 2009, 16:01   #53
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Hi Chevy_lover,

Me too had a same issue with the bus drivers(!) on Trichy-tanjore junk road. Please be aware of that it becomes even worse till velankanni. They think like those roads laid only for them, we are just crossing their lines. These things never change, please do NOT argue/look at them while crossing or continuous honking. Their behavior will be even worse. Have a safe journey. Keep rocking..
Hi Jebs, Thanks for the advice. I am careful not to get into a fight with anyone. But that doesn't mean that I will take anything lying down! These bus drivers are extremely rash. They get the courage to act like this, when people do not react. They have the feeling that they can do anything to cars and get away with it. I just changed the mentality of one driver. Now he will think twice before scaring some other driver. I think he got some hiding from his passengers too.

I can tell you for sure that my Hellas are much more powerful and irritating than most air horns!!!
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Old 14th October 2009, 16:05   #54
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We reached Tanjavur at 8:15 pm after an eventful journey. We did not stop anywhere as there were hardly any street lights in the junction. We reached Needamangalam at 9:15pm and put in Diesel for 300 bucks. I did not find many good pumps along the way.

The road became very narrow after Needamangalam and I had to drive doubly vigilantly because of potholed roads. The road was flanked on both sides by huge trees. We reached Nagapattinam later in the night. I was driving very fast then and at times I touched 90 km/hr. The highway was full of twists and turns.

There was a huge pothole on the left side of the road right after a sharp left turn. I swerved right and avoided it at 80 km/hr. My wifey had her eyes in her hands. She was so scared that she did not allow me to drive fast after that incident. So I slowed down to about 70 km/hr and finally managed to reach Velankanni by 10:20 pm.

The road condition from Nagapattinam to Velankanni was okay. There are innumerable twists and turns at every conceivable location. One word of advice to travelers, stick to the middle of the road whenever possible and stay below 80 km/hr.

We had covered 376 kilometers from Salem. We had driven about 20 kilometers extra because we had lost our way once near Karur and we had also circled Trichy town once looking for the exit to Tanjavur.

We checked out some hotels in Velankanni like Hotel Picnic, Hotel Golden Sand, etc. I had stayed in both these hotels during my earlier visits with my family, before my marriage. We did not find the rooms very clean now.

My brother-in-law had stayed in Hotel Sea Gate, when he visited Velankanni a month earlier and he had recommended it highly. So we decided to check out the rooms there. We finally settled for an AC super deluxe room. The tariff was Ok. But the room was not very worthy of such a high tariff. But since Velankanni is such a huge pilgrim centre, we could not expect to get a better room at a cheaper tariff.

There is a festival of the birthday of Mother Mary in Velankanni from the 29th of Aug to the 8th of September. During that time every year pilgrims from all over the world flock in to Velankanni. During this period, it is impossible to get any rooms in Velankanni, without a prior reservation, after paying fully for the days of stay, by bank transfer. All hotels hike their tariff by 100% during this period and some of the unlucky pilgrims spend their nights in tents and on the ground near the church. Hearing all this, we were a bit scared and thought that the room occupancy might still be high.

Luckily, most of the pilgrims had left by the time we reached Velankanni (10th of September).

We checked into Hotel Sea Gate by 11pm. The Hotel had good parking facility for cars. So I was happy. We were exhausted after the grueling bone-crunching drive from Tanjavur. It was very hot in Velankanni even at 11pm. We were sweating profusely after all the hotel hopping we did. All we wanted to do was sleep. We switched on the AC, freshened up and promptly went to bed. The thought of having dinner did not even cross our minds!
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Old 14th October 2009, 16:21   #55
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Hi chevy_lover,
I have just hooked on to your travelogue. Just went through 1st page. Looks like building up a very nice narration of your trip. Though not a nice start due to that tyre burst. Hope you could overcome it easily.

cheers
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Old 14th October 2009, 17:44   #56
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Smile Velankanni

Day 4 – Velankanni

This was the 4th day of our journey, the 11th of September. We woke up by 7am. We had a long day ahead of us. We wanted to attend the English Holy Mass at 10 am in the Basilica. But I wanted to visit the Tank of Our Lady first. That shrine was about a kilometer away from the Basilica.

We got out of the Hotel by 8:30 am and decided to walk to the church, as I wasn’t too sure about the parking facilities there. We got out of the hotel compound and began walking towards the church. The road was so very filthy that we ran back to the hotel within a minute of walking.

We decided that it is better to drive to the church. The heat was simply unbearable. The temperature must have been 40 deg C with a humidity of over 90%.

We parked our Chevy near the Basilica and walked to the Shine of our Lady. The heat was energy-sapping and we immediately bought a bottle of mineral water. We finished it in 5 minutes. Armed with another bottle of cold water, we started our long walk to the shrine.

The path was cobbled and well maintained. We went to the Shrine, offered our prayers. We also bought holy oil and bought cans for holy water from Our Lady’s tank.

We then walked back to the Church. We attended the Holy Mass at 10am.

Now it was time for our breakfast. Hotel Golden Sand has a very good Kerala Restaurant and I wanted to try it again. I regularly used to visit that restaurant each time I visited Velankanni with my family. We went there in our car. There is spacious car parking area inside the hotel compound. We were looking forward to having some Kerala breakfast.

But sadly, the hotel had just Dosas.

We got out of that restaurant and tried our luck in some other hotels. But breakfast was over in all hotels as it was already 11:15 am. We then went back to our hotel and luckily they had uthappas and omlets.
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Last edited by Chevy_lover : 14th October 2009 at 17:50.
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Old 14th October 2009, 19:35   #57
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Though I have not taken the Tanjore to Velankanni route, I can feel your pain. For my travel I had progressed ahead from Tanjore to Mayiladuthurai, for which the roads were better.

The TN govt. for quite some time have been trying to resurrect the Tanjore-Velankanni railway section as well and its still not completed.

The return for you would also have been through the same route till Trichy, as I can guess ! Double trouble !

Drive safe.
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Old 14th October 2009, 20:00   #58
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Interesting travel parts are about to come - Kodai and Ooty. Expecting more eye catching photos with your detailed writing. So how do you felt at the end of everyday driving? Tried or felt like doing more?.....

Veering off suddenly at high speed on a turn to avoid a pothole/Metal barrier..citing out a high speeding lorry on a wrong side at last moment were few scary incidents in your travelogues. I could feel a sense of rushing in your driving style. If that's true, slow down a bit to increase your safety levels by additional folds & there won't be much of a time difference. Ex. Not attempting eagerly to overtake a vehicle, instead follow at a safe distance till you get a clear road. This is a basic rule, but sometimes as we involve ourselves in highway drive, we tend to forget that. Iam sure this does not apply to a seasoned driver like you, but still...

Last edited by Surprise : 14th October 2009 at 20:02.
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Old 14th October 2009, 20:05   #59
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Hi Chevy_lover...
This thread feels like a thrilling novel, with all those adventures on the road..
Thank God, you didn't had any accidents on those gutters...

Keep going ji, we all are just behind you
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Old 14th October 2009, 21:05   #60
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would like too see pictures os your car, especially those hella lights.
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