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Old 2nd June 2010, 12:20   #691
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CL and Lalu, i think its best to forget the issue and move on, you both are masters in your field, you both have good readership i think it is best left alone and we move on. Enjoying both your work, don't like to see a fight being started here, that too with two of my favourites!!!!
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Old 2nd June 2010, 12:44   #692
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Yercaud huh? Pretty good place I must say.

However CL is right too - if you end up there in the wrong season, you will be disappointed. Remember that Yercaud is hardly 5000 ft above the sea level while Ooty is close to 7500 ft. So while Ooty might remain pleasant even in Summer, Yercaud will be a good visit only in monsoons, winters and just before/after summer.

When I say Yercaud will be pleasant in other seasons, I mean it will be incredibly pleasant - unlike Ooty, you won't find a zillion people everywhere. You will like Yercaud if you like laid-back non-commerical type hill stations. Some pics from our Yercaud visit -


An incredible road trip to Velankanni, Kodaikanal and Ooty-dsc04950.jpg


An incredible road trip to Velankanni, Kodaikanal and Ooty-dsc04958.jpg


An incredible road trip to Velankanni, Kodaikanal and Ooty-00062.jpg
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Old 2nd June 2010, 13:33   #693
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Majic View Post
CL and Lalu, i think its best to forget the issue and move on, you both are masters in your field, you both have good readership i think it is best left alone and we move on. Enjoying both your work, don't like to see a fight being started here, that too with two of my favourites!!!!
Majic - no fights at all.

I love CL's work. It is just being a serious and tough critique to best the better.

You know as the saying goes,
Good Better Best
Never let them rest
Until your good is better
and your better is best.

All in good interest only .

Quote:
Originally Posted by smartcat View Post
....if you end up there in the wrong season, you will be disappointed.......
When I say Yercaud will be pleasant in other seasons, I mean it will be incredibly pleasant ....
Very true

Last edited by laluks : 2nd June 2010 at 13:34.
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Old 2nd June 2010, 15:35   #694
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Thumbs up Finally Davangere.... What a drive it was....

We drove at fairly high speeds in the Thopur – Hosur section. The road was brilliant and there was very light traffic. There was absolutely nothing to worry about the road condition. The only problem we faced was the numerous two wheelers which used to suddenly enter the highway from the villages en-route!

We were quite hungry by then as the only meal we had that day, was from Yercaud. We decided to have our lunch from our favourite Sagar Restaurant, in 5 – Star pump, near Hosur. We reached the pump by 3 pm. We had to take a U-turn from the highway and went a few metres ahead and stopped at the pump.

An incredible road trip to Velankanni, Kodaikanal and Ooty-1-5_star_petrol_pump.jpg

Our odometer read 88, 802 kms. We had covered a total of 160 kilometres from Salem to reach Hosur. We felt as though we were stepping into a furnace when we got out of our Chevy! It was burning hot in Hosur. We quickly ran inside the restaurant and had Biriyanis for lunch. The food served by the hotel was very tasty and we enjoyed the meal a great deal.

We finished our lunch leisurely and freshened up. We had a long drive ahead of us. We did a brainstorming session as to where to stop for the night. I did not want to go further than Hubli and attempt the Ranebennur stretch after 9 pm. The village roads in RB did not have any lighting and driving there in the middle of the night was hazardous! I knew that aiming for Hubli would be too much of a risk. So we decided that Davangere would be the ideal spot. We were also happy that we would be able to stay in Hotel Pooja International in Davangere. That was one brilliant hotel and their restaurant was fantabulous!!!

We restarted our journey by 4.15 pm. We crossed the Hosur bypass by 4.25 pm and continued our drive. The truck traffic started again with a vengeance. We reached Attibele by 4.35 pm after crossing into Karnataka state. We did not take the toll road leading to Bangalore. We avoided the toll road and drove straight. We took the left turn towards NICE road from the first signal after the toll booth. There were some metal barricades on the road and we had a tough time driving through the heavy traffic. Finally we entered NICE road. The road condition was brilliant. We reached the Banerghatta toll booth by 5.05 pm. We paid a toll of Rs. 83, which was the one-time charge till Tumkur road. The NICE road was fantastic.

An incredible road trip to Velankanni, Kodaikanal and Ooty-2-beautiful_sky-nice_road.jpg
An incredible road trip to Velankanni, Kodaikanal and Ooty-3-nice_road.jpg
An incredible road trip to Velankanni, Kodaikanal and Ooty-4-nice_road.jpg
An incredible road trip to Velankanni, Kodaikanal and Ooty-5-nice_road.jpg
An incredible road trip to Velankanni, Kodaikanal and Ooty-6-nice_road.jpg
An incredible road trip to Velankanni, Kodaikanal and Ooty-7-nice_road.jpg
An incredible road trip to Velankanni, Kodaikanal and Ooty-8-nice_road.jpg
An incredible road trip to Velankanni, Kodaikanal and Ooty-9-nice_road.jpg
An incredible road trip to Velankanni, Kodaikanal and Ooty-10-nice_road.jpg

Pics were taken with my N95. Please excuse the quality.

But there was a small diversion through a village, as a part of the NICE road was not yet complete. Luckily we were able to avoid entering the Electronic City and again rejoined NICE road after a ten minute drive through the bumpy village road.

The drive on NICE road till Tumkur was smooth. There were lots of bumpy stretches later on because of road widening and numerous flyover construction works going on. We reached the KJ Halli toll booth by 7.15 pm and paid Rs. 40. Our odo read 88,970 kms. We decided not to stop anywhere and sped towards Chitra Durga.

We passed the Guilalu toll booth at 8.07 pm, paying Rs. 35. We had covered 399 kilometres from Salem. I was driving at 100 – 105 kmph on that road. The road was brilliant and we were enjoying our drive very much. All of a sudden, we saw a vehicle flashing us from behind. I did not pay much attention to the vehicle and immediately moved to the left lane, thinking that it might be a car or an SUV. Imagine my shock when I saw a Swaraj Mazda truck – KA 16 B** overtaking me at 110 kmph !!! That was the first time I saw a truck being driven that fast. I was astounded and followed the vehicle at a safe distance. What we saw for the next 20 minutes, was an awesome display of high speed driving by the truck driver. We really enjoyed seeing him drive. He used indicators whenever he changed lanes and never used his horn. He depended entirely on his headlights to signal other vehicles ahead of him to move aside. I was so happy to see someone drive so well. We flashed our headlights and the trucker immediately moved aside to the left lane after signaling with his indicator. I drove close to his vehicle’s cockpit and my wifey couldn’t stop herself from rolling down our window glass and she just told the driver, “Super Driving!!!” The poor guy was shocked at first, not able to comprehend what a woman in a speeding car had to tell him! He must have thought that he did something wrong and we were going to abuse him and had a very worried look on his face. So my wifey flashed her 100 watt smile, showed a thumbs-up sign and again complimented his driving. The trucker’s expression changed instantaneously from an anxious one to that of sheer delight! His million dollar smile was worth its weight in gold !! We took off after this incident and soon reached Chitradurga.

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

I was quite apprehensive about the condition of the roads in CD. But to our great relief, the road condition had improved tremendously. Some flyovers had been built since our drive in 2009 and I was able to maintain 70 – 80 kmph most of the time. There was hard mud on the road and the tarred road was not that smooth. But we did not let it affect our spirits and sped towards Davangere.

Soon unmarked bumps started appearing on the road and we had to cut down on speed. There were about 10 – 15 diversions too. The road condition was ok and we were sure that it will get better in a few months' time.

We had a mediocre drive till Davangere and entered the city by 9 pm. We circled the city twice enquiring at different hotels. We finally reached Hotel Pooja International at 9.45 pm. Our odometer read 89,150 kilometres. We had travelled 508 kilometres from Salem in less than 8 hours.

We checked into the hotel immediately. The room we got was fantastic. We quickly freshened up and had our dinner from the hotel’s restaurant. We had a Chinese dinner for a change and as always, the food was remarkable.

We retired for the night after a grand dinner by 11 pm. We were very happy that we would be home the next day!
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Old 2nd June 2010, 15:53   #695
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Nice going CL. By the way 5-star petrol pump in outskirts of Hosur is owned by my close friend (Childhood friend as well)
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Old 2nd June 2010, 17:26   #696
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chevy_lover View Post
I drove close to his vehicle’s cockpit and my wifey couldn’t stop herself from rolling down our window glass and she just told the driver, “Super Driving!!!” The poor guy was shocked at first, not able to comprehend what a woman in a speeding car had to tell him! He must have thought that he did something wrong and we were going to abuse him and had a very worried look on his face. So my wifey flashed her 100 watt smile, showed a thumbs-up sign and again complimented his driving.
You guys did that, I still cant believe. It would have be must fun to watch this incident from the rear seat of your Chevy.

They driver should have felt happy, shy and a little embarrassed..
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Old 2nd June 2010, 22:29   #697
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@Ranjith, oh yes, we had to do what we did! His driving was spectacular! So there was no way we could let him go without a compliment from our side. He was really very happy. My wifey says that he was in his twenties.

@Rabnawaz, any chance of getting a lifetime discount card? ;-)
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Old 3rd June 2010, 10:01   #698
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@C_L, At the outset, I beg to differ with you here. You think he was driving superbly at 110 kmph, on that road, overtaking smaller vehicles and you appreciated him for 'high speed driving skills".! Did he ever realize if some unexpected thing comes in his front how much time he had to control or brake safely with a Swaraj Mazda Truck! I presume the truck was empty. 110 kmph for an empty truck is definitely over-speeding and is sure dangerous driving. And used his head-lights to make other vehicles to give way at that speed! Man, you may not agree with me and call me conservative or whatever, my personal opinion is - He is a dangerous driver.
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Old 3rd June 2010, 10:52   #699
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@Raja ji, NH4 is a lovely highway and one can see the road ahead clearly. The road is arrow straight for long stretches and most of the time, one can see a few kilometres ahead.

110 kmph might seem very high in normal highways, but not in NH4. The time was close to 8pm and there were mostly trucks on the highway at that time.

You have made a very valid point there. But what we appreciated was the fact the trucker drove without causing ANY inconvenience to smaller vehicles. He flashed us and waited till we gave him side. Then he overtook. We saw him do the same thing to other smaller vehicles and trucks. He was not a rash driver. Never did he overtake from the left lane!! Never did he use his horn and all his signalling lights were working! That surely is the sign of a nice driver!

Raja Ji, when one has to drive 600 - 800 kilometres on a highway like NH4, it is virtually impossible to keep doing 80 kmph. And when the highway is nearly empty, there is also no reason to maintain 80 kmph. Everyone wants to reach their destination quickly.

This is what I feel. But I agree with your point too!

I have seen thousands of Tata 407s driven rashly. But even with a much bigger truck, this driver was driving very well.
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Old 3rd June 2010, 13:16   #700
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Adding to C_L's point, it's also impossible to do 80 on the NH4 on it's long straight stretches. Every one does 100 - 110 and you get flashed at if you do lesser than that.
One should see the 18 wheelers in US! Awesome guys. Ofcourse I do admit that no one jaywalks in the interstates, you rarely encounter animals there (however I had 7 - 8 horses crossing the I90, an alligator in I95, loads of gopher tortoises and Pangolins in various other roads of US), and handling those huge 18 wheelers is better than the lorries in India. But driving is not about braking hard when something comes up. It's about anticipating what might come up and driving at a speed accordingly. If the trucker in question did that superbly in this stretch, then I'd join Jess in giving him a thumbs up.
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Old 3rd June 2010, 13:25   #701
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@C_L and MX6,
I am not pointing at the speed (110+ kmph) in general. But, my point is to do that kind of speeds in a Swaraj Mazda truck. You do >110 safely in a good vehicle with ABS and EBD. But, this truck, presumably empty, would just floating at that kind of speeds and any small mistake by the driver could end up a disaster for him and a possible pile up on the high-way. That was my point.
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Old 3rd June 2010, 13:37   #702
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True sir. Accepted your point. But ABS and EBD still can't cover for driver's mistake. I've noticed that on the contrary, ABS and EBD makes the drivers more cocky and push it northside of 130. Not generalizing here. But it's human tendency to start trying to push further once they know they have more safety devices. And at that time, small mistakes of drivers account for more issues.
Finally, it's the nut which holds the wheel that is responsible for 99% of accidents.
Anyway, sorry for the OT.
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Old 3rd June 2010, 15:57   #703
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Lifetime discount may not be available as of now. But its for sure free Petrol/diesel whenever we friends make a trip with him.
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Old 3rd June 2010, 16:58   #704
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Hi CL,

A great TL from your side. I have read your Velankanni trip twice which you did last year and twice the one you did this year. I read your thread very carefully and I feel as if I m reading some Enclyclopedia of that particular place , I really mean it!

I would say your writing style is great (as other have pointed out) which makes interseting while reading. I have read about your other trips to Bhutan and Udaipur etc. I would say overall quality in writing n photograhpy is really great.

I feel really proud that our group has one of the best writer

Your suggestions and exp in ghats section driving is really amazing. Your drive to Ooty ghats is really inspiring me!
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Old 4th June 2010, 13:43   #705
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Thank you very much, Sanju, for your appreciation. I am very happy that you enjoyed my trips and pics so much!!

I try to add as much information about a place, I visited, as possible. It will be of immense help to future travellers who read my travelogue. That is the least I can do for my fellow Team Bhpians!

Ooty is one of our most favourite destinations! You must plan a visit to the Queen Of Hill Stations after the rains!

@Rabnawaz, I was just joking. The fuel in 5star is really good. It has become our regular stop.

Last edited by Chevy_lover : 4th June 2010 at 13:49.
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