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Old 11th October 2009, 22:53   #1
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Smile An incredible road trip to Velankanni, Kodaikanal and Ooty

This is the first part of my travelogue of my incredible road trip to Velankanni, Kodaikanal and Ooty. As always, wifey dear was my companion!

My wifey and I were planning for a long vacation and a pilgrimage since the past few months. We just cannot resist the temptation of taking a vacation at least four to five times a year, even if they are short ones. My wifey had gone to Germany for a short holiday, to be with her family in July – August 2009. We decided to take a short break after her return from Deutschland. We had already visited all worthy places in north and east India like Shimla, Manali, Nainital, Mukteshwar, Darjeeling, Kalimpong and Gangtok and also visited the magnificent land of Bhutan. I have written an extensive and exhaustive travelogue about that trip in Team BHP.

So it was a simple decision for us to go down south for this trip. We wanted to go to some unexplored territory. After some planning, we decided on Kodaikanal and Ooty. We were always sure about Velankanni being our first destination. And now with the addition of Kodai and Ooty, our itinerary and our trip was finalised.

I was going to make a trip to Kodai and Ooty after a gap of nine long years. I had made a backpacking trip to Munnar, Kodai and Ooty, way back in the year 2000 after I finished college! It was a 10 day trip then and I had thoroughly enjoyed it. The joy I felt then, after undertaking such a long journey all alone, was simply unexplainable!

My wifey had gone to Kodai with her college mates almost ten years back, but she did not remember a thing about Kodai. She had never been to Ooty. So I was really thrilled at the thought of going back to the Queen of Hill Stations, and this time I had a lovely companion!

My Chevy was in immaculate condition after his scheduled service and I bought a new tyre, the day before we started our journey. The replaced tyre had lasted 72000 kilometers without a single puncture!!! I filled up Chevy to the brim and we were raring to go!

We decided to start our journey on the 8th of September. As always, HV Kumar ji sent me his detailed log books. They were as precise as a dictionary and we instantly felt better.

I had made trips on NH4 countless times. So we were very relaxed and spent the two days before the trip, packing and preparing for the long journey that was ahead of us. I had installed two more Hella 500 Comet projectors on my Chevy’s front crash guard a month back. Now I had four Hella projectors of 100W each and my headlights were 130/100W with Philips halogens. Now I was fully prepared for the night drive. A combined light output of 660W was awesome! Actually I love night driving!

Day 1 – The journey starts…..

We woke up on the 8th of September by 3:00 am and freshened up. We loaded up our two suitcases in Chevy and we carefully kept our Sony DSLR camera and our tripod on the second row floor. We also stocked up on water. We were in very good spirits. We hit the road by 4:30 am after a short prayer and some devotional songs. We enjoyed the early morning drive immensely. There was sparse truck traffic on NH4 and we were out of Pune city in 15 minutes flat. I switched on the first set of my Hella projectors for the first time during this trip. The light throw was fantastic. I did not switch on the second set of Hella, out of consideration for the lorry drivers.

We had a smooth drive all the way to the outskirts of Satara. Then out of the blue, disaster struck! My Chevy’s front right tyre burst @ 90km/hr, about 15 kilometers before Satara. I immediately pulled over to the left side and to my horror, my right tyre was completely flat!!! The time was 6 am! It was quite dark and we were in the middle of nowhere!
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An incredible road trip to Velankanni, Kodaikanal and Ooty-my-chevys-headlights.jpg  

An incredible road trip to Velankanni, Kodaikanal and Ooty-my-chevys-headlights-2.jpg  

An incredible road trip to Velankanni, Kodaikanal and Ooty-my-chevys-headlights-4.jpg  

An incredible road trip to Velankanni, Kodaikanal and Ooty-my-chevys-headlights-5.jpg  

An incredible road trip to Velankanni, Kodaikanal and Ooty-my-chevys-headlights-near-katraj-tunnel.jpg  

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Old 12th October 2009, 02:28   #2
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That is a good start. Please provide us about the informations such as names and phone numbers of the places you have stayed in this trip if you can. That help a lot.
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Old 12th October 2009, 03:21   #3
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That is a good start. Please provide us about the informations such as names and phone numbers of the places you have stayed in this trip if you can. That help a lot.
I have all necessary information about hotels. We make it a point to stay in budget 3 or 4 star hotels. I will not post the contact details of hotels in my travelouge. If you are looking for some specific information about some particular place or hotel, please pm me, so that I can send you the details.

I have just started my travelouge. This is day 1. 18 more days to go.....
I have close to 3500 pics from this trip and I will be posting the best from the lot.
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Old 12th October 2009, 05:20   #4
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Chevy_Lover, Thats not so happy start I must say !! I will glue into this travelogue for the rest of the ordeal and pics.
Hope there were no more surprises in the entire journey !!

Abhi
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Old 12th October 2009, 07:38   #5
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Nice start. How did U manage to make it 3 weeks in a row? I envy you. Plus you do that very often, PM me your employer address

I am glued to this thread & on seeing the travelogue title from u promptly clicked 5 starts to this thread. Keep them flowing
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Old 12th October 2009, 07:55   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chevy_lover View Post
we were out of Pune city in 15 minutes flat.
Cool, where in Pune do you stay to get out that fast ? I'm guessing Kondhwa or Aundh.
Quote:
disaster struck! My Chevy’s front right tyre burst @ 90km/hr, about 15 kilometers before Satara. I immediately pulled over to the left side and to my horror, my right tyre was completely flat!!! The time was 6 am! It was quite dark and we were in the middle of nowhere!
Damn! thats bad. This is the only sad part of night/early morning driving. What PSIs per tyre were you running on ?
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Old 12th October 2009, 08:39   #7
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Originally Posted by Chevy_lover View Post
...after I finished college! It was a 10 day trip then and I had thoroughly enjoyed it. The joy I felt then, after undertaking such a long journey all alone, was simply unexplainable!
Yes. Collage days. That should have been a wonderful trip, without any responsibilities or anyone to hold you from anything.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chevy_lover View Post
...The replaced tyre had lasted 72000 kilometers without a single puncture!!! ...
Wow, 72K for a tyre. Great.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chevy_lover View Post
...I had installed two more Hella 500 Comet projectors on my Chevy’s front crash guard a month back. Now I had four Hella projectors of 100W each and my headlights were 130/100W with Philips halogens. Now I was fully prepared for the night drive. A combined light output of 660W was awesome! Actually I love night driving!...
Man, thats something we would like to look at. Hope the car pics comes in your travelogue.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chevy_lover View Post
...My Chevy’s front right tyre burst @ 90km/hr, about 15 kilometers before Satara. I immediately pulled over to the left side and to my horror, my right tyre was completely flat!!! The time was 6 am! It was quite dark and we were in the middle of nowhere!
Sad. But good thing is you were able to manage and stop it.

Now, let the trip keep going, and the pics flowing...
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Old 12th October 2009, 09:17   #8
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Chey lover, the start was good, but sad that you had to face a problem in the begining itslef, hope the rest of travelogue would have the same sprited narrations! looking forward to more on the thread
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Old 12th October 2009, 09:46   #9
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Nice beginning to the travelogue Chevy_lover, although it was not quite a nice beginning to the trip ! Waiting to see and read more !
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Old 12th October 2009, 10:01   #10
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How old was the tyre that burst? Was it an air inflation problem? What make was the tyre?
You were very lucky!
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Old 12th October 2009, 14:17   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by akroy View Post
Chevy_Lover, Thats not so happy start I must say !! I will glue into this travelogue for the rest of the ordeal and pics.
Hope there were no more surprises in the entire journey !!

Abhi
Quote:
Originally Posted by prince_pervez View Post
Cool, where in Pune do you stay to get out that fast ? I'm guessing Kondhwa or Aundh.


Damn! thats bad. This is the only sad part of night/early morning driving. What PSIs per tyre were you running on ?
Quote:
Originally Posted by Surprise View Post
Nice start. How did U manage to make it 3 weeks in a row? I envy you. Plus you do that very often, PM me your employer address

I am glued to this thread & on seeing the travelogue title from u promptly clicked 5 starts to this thread. Keep them flowing
Thanks to everyone for the replies.

Abhi, sadly, that was not the end of our ordeal. I will narrate our harrowing experiences as the travelouge progresses!

prince_pervez, you got it spot on. I stay in Kondhwa. I was running 26 and 35 psi, which is recommended by Chevy. I found out that this could be one of the reasons for the burst.

Thanks to you, Surprise. I have a strange problem of getting bitten by the travel bug every three months or so.
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Old 12th October 2009, 14:26   #12
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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.
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Old 12th October 2009, 14:29   #13
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your chevy was very lucky. A friend of mine had a tyre burst, and his car was totalled ( it rolled quite a bit)
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Old 12th October 2009, 14:39   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mjothi View Post
Yes. Collage days. That should have been a wonderful trip, without any responsibilities or anyone to hold you from anything.

Wow, 72K for a tyre. Great.

Man, thats something we would like to look at. Hope the car pics comes in your travelogue.

Sad. But good thing is you were able to manage and stop it.

Now, let the trip keep going, and the pics flowing...
Quote:
Originally Posted by hvkumar View Post
How old was the tyre that burst? Was it an air inflation problem? What make was the tyre?
You were very lucky!

@ Mjothi, Yes, that trip was really wonderful. I still have fond memories of that journey. I have put a pic of my projectors in my T-BHP garage. Your comments are welcome.

@ Kumar Sir ji, I am really thankful to you for your sincere help. I am happy that we got the chance to speak on Day 3. My wifey also appreciated your advice over the phone, when we were on our way to Salem from Hubli on day 2. I have a caring guardian angel in you, when I am on the highways. Thank you from the bottom of my heart!

Kumar Ji, the tyre was Goodyear GT3 and was only about 35,000 kms and a year and half old. I believe that the tyre burst could have been because of under inflation. I stuck to the company recommended pressure and paid heavily in every sense.....
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Old 12th October 2009, 15:01   #15
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Quote:
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your chevy was very lucky. A friend of mine had a tyre burst, and his car was totalled ( it rolled quite a bit)
Greenhorn, that is a scary thought. I am very luck indeed. I had a similar experience when I went to Goa. My front left tyre burst on a curve @ 90 km/hr and we ended up in a ditch. This incident happened near Kankavali. You can read all about that here. http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/travel...-kerala-5.html

I seem to be a veteran with tyre bursts and always coming out of it unscathed. I hope it never happens again and that God is with us on our way!! It is a bone chilling experience. I pray that no ever experiences it.

One word of appreciation for Chevy's power steering. It was superb, during the crisis.
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