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Old 4th June 2010, 17:35   #706
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Thumbs up Day 9 – Journey back to Pune…

Day 9 – Journey back to Pune…

We woke up on day 9 of our journey after a terrific slumber by 11 am. We had decided to do a predominantly night drive on the last day of our journey. That way, we would get ample rest and would be able to steer clear of the heavy traffic near Kolhapur and Pune. We always prefer night drives and we wanted to avoid driving during daytime, when the harsh summer was at its scorching best! We were completely exhausted after the day drive from Yercaud to Davangere and decided to take it easy.

We got ready by 1pm and went for a short drive in the city. Davangere was quite crowded and the zillions of bumps dotting the city streets drove me crazy. We needed to buy some stuff and were able to find a shop after sometime. After our shopping, we decided to top up our fuel tank. Our Chevy drank in 24.84 litres @ Rs. 42.26 per litre.

We returned back to the junction where our hotel was situated. We thought of having lunch from a different eatery and had tasty Biriyanis (again!!!) from a restaurant near our hotel.

Davangere was boiling hot at that time and we had a tough time sitting in the open restaurant. We quickly finished our lunch and drove back to our hotel. We swiftly packed up our luggage and were ready to roll by 3pm. We completed all the payment and checkout formalities and finally hit the road at 3.30 pm. Our odometer read 89,160 kms.

The road from Pooja International took us straight to NH4 through some villages. The drive through the ‘bumpy’ road was tiring.

We finally reached Ranebennur at 4.20 pm. We had covered 24 kilometres from D’gere. We straight away got stuck in the railway crossing. We spent close to 15 minutes idling there. I hope that the Ranebennur bypass gets completed soon. We lost close to one hour because of the inferior road conditions in and around RB.

We left Ranebennur behind us and joined the spectacular NH4 again. It felt so good to be back on our favourite highway. There was very little traffic in NH4 and we decided to cruise at 110 - 120 kmph. It was really a wonderful experience driving on the arrow straight highway.

We reached the Bankapur toll plaza by 5.25 pm. We had covered 92 kilometres from Davangere. We soon got out of the four laned highway and for about 20 odd kilometres, we had to drive on 2 laned highway. The four laning of this stretch is still in progress. We had to shift gears. I was cruising at a very high speed till then. But on two laned roads, we had to be doubly vigilant and I decreased my speed to 80 – 90 kmph.

One word of caution to future travellers, trucks are the most dangerous vehicles in this stretch. They try to overtake anytime they see a possibility and don’t care about the vehicles coming from the opposite lane. It is advisable to keep your headlights on even during day time. It always works for me. My Hella power horns are utilized incessantly here. Try the headlight trick. It has worked for me consistently!

We soon came across a brilliant sunset. We stopped by the roadside and my wifey captured these snaps.

An incredible road trip to Velankanni, Kodaikanal and Ooty-1-brilliant_sunset.jpg
An incredible road trip to Velankanni, Kodaikanal and Ooty-2-brilliant_sky.jpg
An incredible road trip to Velankanni, Kodaikanal and Ooty-3-brilliant_sunset.jpg
An incredible road trip to Velankanni, Kodaikanal and Ooty-4-brilliant_sunset.jpg
An incredible road trip to Velankanni, Kodaikanal and Ooty-5-brilliant_sunset.jpg

The sunset was really captivating!!

We continued our drive shortly and the setting sun was giving us company throughout. It almost seemed as though the sun was playing hide and seek with us!!!

An incredible road trip to Velankanni, Kodaikanal and Ooty-6-brilliant_sunset.jpg
An incredible road trip to Velankanni, Kodaikanal and Ooty-7-brilliant_sunset.jpg
An incredible road trip to Velankanni, Kodaikanal and Ooty-8-sunset_near_belgaum.jpg
An incredible road trip to Velankanni, Kodaikanal and Ooty-9-sunset_near_belgaum.jpg
An incredible road trip to Velankanni, Kodaikanal and Ooty-10-brilliant_sunset.jpg
An incredible road trip to Velankanni, Kodaikanal and Ooty-11-brilliant_sunset.jpg
An incredible road trip to Velankanni, Kodaikanal and Ooty-12-superb_nh4.jpg
An incredible road trip to Velankanni, Kodaikanal and Ooty-13-sun_playing_hide_and_seek.jpg
An incredible road trip to Velankanni, Kodaikanal and Ooty-14-brilliant_sunset.jpg
An incredible road trip to Velankanni, Kodaikanal and Ooty-15-brilliant_sunset.jpg

The different shades of red and blue in the sky were really amazing!!!
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Old 4th June 2010, 17:42   #707
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C_L, your love for clouds truly reflects in all these photos. Absolutely stunning sunsets and magic clouds. I have spent during my childhood days hours of cloud watching at sunset. You have brought the memories back with these pictures.
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Old 4th June 2010, 19:07   #708
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chevy_lover View Post
One word of caution to future travellers, trucks are the most dangerous vehicles in this stretch.
Point noted.

+1 for the different shades of red and blue in the sky were really amazing!!! Your wifey has become a professional photographer.
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Old 4th June 2010, 21:52   #709
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@Raja Ji, thank you very much for your words of appreciation. I have been an ardent fan of cloudscapes ever since I was old enough to appreciate its beauty. Stay tuned. Coming up later, a 'once in a lifetime' spectacle!!

@Ranjith, thank you friend. Now it has become impossible to identify who took the pic, just by looking at our snaps!!

Last edited by Chevy_lover : 4th June 2010 at 22:04.
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Old 4th June 2010, 23:24   #710
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What a brilliant travelogue! Since you do such a lot of mile munching I could not help wondering if you have modified your seats as well for better comfort?
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Old 5th June 2010, 11:58   #711
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Originally Posted by CARvalho View Post
What a brilliant travelogue! Since you do such a lot of mile munching I could not help wondering if you have modified your seats as well for better comfort?
Thanks for the compliment, Carvalho!

I haven't done any special modifications on the seats. But I did some extra cushioning work in the front seats, before our Udaipur trip. Now the ride is as comfortable as ever!
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Old 5th June 2010, 13:30   #712
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@CL,

Try listening to "Ghost Riders in the Sky" by Johnny Cash, and think of clouds!
Nice snaps.
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Old 6th June 2010, 13:55   #713
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Thank you, Ampere. I will try listening to the song you recommended. Anything special about the song?
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Old 7th June 2010, 12:46   #714
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Wonderful Travelogue CL. I am taking notes avidly. Your travelogues are so popular that several biggies like ampere, MX6 and laluks participate in the conversation.

Many a times you have mentioned about Hella horns and the way you effectively used them to clear the way. Some details about them will help people like me.
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Old 7th June 2010, 13:06   #715
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Talking

Thank you very much, Prowler, for your words of appreciation.

I have installed Hella Red Grills in my Chevy. They are incredibly powerful at 118 decibels. I use them a lot in highways and in ghats. It does wonders to the concentration levels of drivers in the opposite lane!!!

I use my horns at night also, 'coz I never can be sure about the alertness of other drivers. Once I literally woke up a trucker from his beauty sleep, behind the wheels, in the Pune - Mumbai Expressway.
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Old 7th June 2010, 14:29   #716
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Originally Posted by Chevy_lover View Post
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!
Hi CL,

I see in both of your TL to Velankanni you could able to cover Hubli to C'durga in ~3hrs and from C'durga to NICE road (Bangalore) in ~3hrs. So totally you could able to drive from Hubli to Bangalore in 6~7hrs.

Is it just the Tavera or any other car can also do it in this time frame?(just kidding)

I just wanted to know whether it's possible to cover Bangalore to Hubli in 7hrs? say I plan to leave home by 5am and can I reach Hubli latest by 1pm (considering Factors of Safety like for b'fast or nature call etc)?

I am planning to drive down to Hubli next week, I drive WagonR and my wife will also accompany me (she won't drive), so please throw some light on road condition b/w C'durga till Ranebennur. I guess the road is good till C'durga from Bangalore and also good after Ranebennur. Any good hotel in C'durga for B'fast(roadside)? Also any suggestions you would like to give.

Many Thanks

Sanjeev
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Old 7th June 2010, 15:23   #717
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Thumbs up The end of an incredible journey!!!

Our drive on the NH4 was really superb. We bypassed Belgaum in a short while, after the sunset and continued our drive without any breaks. We reached the Kognoli toll booth at 8.25 pm and paid a toll of Rs. 25. That was the last toll booth in the state of Karnataka.

We entered Maharashtra state at 8.28pm. Our odometer read 89,500 kms. We had covered 340 kilometres from Davangere. We were very happy with our progress and our aim of reaching Pune after midnight appeared realistic. We decided to take a break and have our dinner in a restaurant near Kolhapur bypass.

We reached the famous Mc Donald’s Restaurant at Kolhapur at 8.45 pm.

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

There was spacious car parking facility inside the premises and the fresh rooms in the restaurant were also top class. We quickly ordered two value meals and satiated our hunger. That was our first stop after over 5 hours of intricate driving. We relaxed a bit over our dinner, but the hordes of boisterous children running around and fighting for their ‘Shrek’ caps made our dinner stop very interesting!

We restarted our journey by 9.30 pm. We stopped at an HP pump nearby and quickly filled up Diesel for Rs. 1000. Diesel costs less in MH state and its price was Rs. 38.92 in Kolhapur that day.

We started our drive by 9.50 pm and had a super smooth drive from Kolhapur. There were some transport buses and trucks giving us company. But overall, the highway was quite deserted most of the time. We were able to maintain 110 – 120 kmph consistently.

We reached Taswade toll booth by 11 pm after covering 101 kilometres from the Maharashtra border. The road condition was excellent throughout. There were no two wheelers on the highway and we faced no hindrances whatsoever!

An incredible road trip to Velankanni, Kodaikanal and Ooty-5-nh4.jpg
An incredible road trip to Velankanni, Kodaikanal and Ooty-6-nh4.jpg

We reached Shivapur toll booth at 12.44 am. That was the last toll booth of our entire trip. And we were very happy that we had finally finished paying tolls and soon we would be home after a fantastic journey!

We entered Pune city at 1 am sharp. Our odometer read 89,746 kms. We had covered 586 kilometres from Davangere in just over 9 hours of driving. We reached our home in another 15 minutes.

We finally switched off our dear Chevy’s engine at 1.17 am. Our odometer read 89,756 kms. We had travelled an incredible 3673 kilometres during our trip.

We thanked God from the bottom our hearts for giving us such a wonderful journey . There was not even a single glitch during our entire journey. Thanks to our Goodyear Assurance tyres, we felt totally safe during our occasional sprints of 140+ kmph.

And finally, a word of gratitude to my dear wife, who supported me enthusiastically during our journey. She is the most brilliant navigator I could have ever wished for!!! She did not sleep even a wink when I was at the wheel!

And last but not the least, a sincere word of thanks to my dear Team Bhpians, who read my travelogue with such keen interest and whose constant words of appreciation and encouragement, helped me post all those pics and made me put in that extra effort in making this travelogue exciting. Thanks to each one of our readers!

This is Chevy Lover signing off! I hope to take all of you on another interesting journey soon!
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Old 7th June 2010, 16:05   #718
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"Stay tuned. Coming up later, a 'once in a lifetime' spectacle!!
C_L, where is it? Is it your culmination of the incredible journey you meant by that?
What a journey it had been mate, In fact, next week I am visiting your best fav place Ooty and Pykara. I don't think I could match your narration and photography, but would sure come up with my experiences along the way.
God Bless your family with many more wonderful journeys. Salutes.!
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Old 7th June 2010, 16:09   #719
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Cool stuff. So when and where's the next trip?
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Old 7th June 2010, 16:14   #720
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RajaTaurus View Post
"Stay tuned. Coming up later, a 'once in a lifetime' spectacle!!
C_L, where is it? Is it your culmination of the incredible journey you meant by that?
What a journey it had been mate, In fact, next week I am visiting your best fav place Ooty and Pykara. I don't think I could match your narration and photography, but would sure come up with my experiences along the way.
God Bless your family with many more wonderful journeys. Salutes.!
Thanks a ton for your words of appreciation and good wishes, Raja Ji! I am eagerly awaiting your travelogue, sir ji! No matter how many times I see pics of Ooty, I am always looking out for more!

The 'once in a lifetime' spectacle is coming up shortly! It is not the culmination of our journey, but something we saw and captured, soon after we finished this journey!

@ MX6, nothing planned yet. But I have my sights on Gulmarg!

@ Sanjeev, You can easily do Bangalore Hubli in 7 hours. The highway till Tumkur is still not good. There are lots of bumpy stretches, because of the flyover construction. The stretch between CD and Hubli has also improved. There are still about 20 odd diversions, but it shouldn't slow you down too much. But if you get stuck in the railway crossing in Ranebennur, then add 30 - 45 minutes to your journey time! The rest of the highway is brilliant.

You have to go inside Davangere town to find good restaurants. I do not remember seeing any good eateries in CD, on the highway. You should plan to have a break in Davangere, if possible.

If anyone can suggest any eatery in CD, please feel free to do so!

Last edited by Chevy_lover : 7th June 2010 at 16:27.
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