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Old 13th October 2009, 12:51   #1
MX6
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Default 1800 kms 60 hours

Dear all,

It was a tough week in office and I was at the ebb of my morale. Very few things act as confidence booster for me. And a long drive on trying conditions ranks on the top of them. I decided to take a sudden driving trip from Pune to Udupi (coastal karnataka), braving inclement weather and pathetic roads. I had to surmount other challenges too. First time I'd be leaving behind my wife and my 8 month old daughter all alone in Pune. To make matters worse, I'm the only driver (and the only passenger as well), on my ford ikon flair which I bought second hand just 2 months ago. I still don't know how the car performs on such extreme trips.

To start with, everyone in my family was against this trip. Long trip. 60 hours is the total time I have for driving, resting etc. And to make matters worse, parts of Karnataka and almost all of Andhra was flooded. But beyond all, my wife assured that she'd be fine for those 60 hours all alone with our baby. Hence I got in to my ford and set out.

I reached Hubli after 5 hours of manic driving. Wanted to catch the climax of the movie Gandhi. How can I miss Gandhi, my hero, on Gandhi jayanti especially? Stayed overnight at the first lodge with a decent car park that caught my eye. Also managed to catch 30 mins of Gandhi.

Surprisingly the next morning, I was up earlier than my alarm time. I wanted to move out immediately and hog the road. However, I desisted as this would be a challenging drive. I decided to relax and take it as it comes. Hence I moved out of the lodge by 6:30 am and started on my journey to Yellapura. Hubli to Yellapura was a breeze and I could manage 80 - 90 kmph on the stretch. Thanks to posts of fellow BHPians I managed to catch the speed breakers before and after each village. The road was very scenic and I stopped to allow my car to cool down and I did some stretching myself. Golden fields next to the roads were very inviting.

I moved on to Yellapura and decided to avoid the yellapura honnavara route as road from Honnavara to Udupi vanished (NH17 is in tatters). I decided to move from Yellapura to Sirsi. Once again, the road was good and I did a decent 80 - 90 kmph in this stretch. Sirsi, I stopped for Breakfast. Aromatic coffee (it was pouring buckets outside), in that weather with good idly, wada and sambhar was sumptuous.

I started to Sagara, only to find the board to Jog falls. Hence did a detour. The roads were surprisingly smooth and the ghat section was a treat. I stopped at Jog to take photos. I was proud that my car was in the photo along with Jog, the highest waterfalls in India! It's a milestone nevertheless.

Startign from Jog, I went on to Sagara and post sagara, I made the first and pathetic mistake of my drive. Decided to move to Hosanagara and from there to kallianpura. the road from Sagara to Hosanagara was pathetic. It was too bumpy that my stereo jumped off and came loose. I had to keep one hand on it for some time, finally decided to forsake good music and just removed it all together.

I got lost and decided to take a path to Hebri, which was a landmine. It was volcanic craters all around. Finally I managed to reach hebri, from where, the road is oft travelled one. I reached Udupi on Saturday evening 6 pm, negotiating craters which proved to be killer ones. Thank god the journey came to an end.

Had to go for shopping that evening. So went to sleep around 1 in the night. Next morning it was my friend's wedding in Udupi. Left Udupi at 5 pm on sunday to start on a non stop drive back to Pune (got to go to office on a wretched monday morning).

I decided to take the route of Udupi, Hebri, Agumbe, Thirthahalli, Sagara, Jog, Sirsi, Yellapura, Hubli and pune. The Agumbe ghats were onceagain breathtaking. The mist descended and it was very panaromic. Pity I couldn't stop much to take photos around. Have a long and arduous journey ahead. Especially, I tried walking barefoot in Someshwara and cut my leg (left leg. ouch). I had trouble shifting gears as everytime I pressed the clutch, I can feel that wet squelchy feeling on my left leg. I reached Tirthahalli and washed the wound and wrapped up Band-aids. Never get down barefoot again was what I learnt.
The route was so scenic that I forgot the speed and now was enjoying the drive at a leisurely pace. That's where I lost the route and entered shimoga. Shimoga to Sagara was a breeze again. The moon accompanied me throughout. Once I crossed Sagara, I stopped for dinner and drove right on to sirsi. I missed the Sirsi yellapura route and made a blunder of driving to Hubli directly. 100 odd kilometers of lunar craters awaited me. The bus drivers were kind enough to pull over, stop and let me over take them. I reached Hubli after a horrenduous journey of pot hole ridden pathetic roads. Once on the GQ, I started on to a manic speed. While overtaking a truck, fresh of the country roads, one of the stones came real fast from under the wheel, smack on my windshield leaving a 8" long crack.
Blasted luck of mine. Had it hit 1" to the right, it would have missed my windshield altogether. I have a date with ford to replace my windshield post diwali. Thanks to my comprehensive insurance, I'd be spending only 2000 bucks (which is still too much considering my diwali shopping).
The fully loaded car did beautifully on the expressway. I had a 32" lcd tv on the back seat (poor thing had the seat belts on the whole journey), 100 kgs of luggage in the boot and a couple of coconuts my father gave me to break at temples on the way.
I reached Pune at 8:00 in the morning, after long and arduous journey of non stop driving on pathetic roads, all by myself. Now my spirits are up. The confidence is back. I love my car. People might find me crazy embarking on such a journey with no plans, no support, no back ups what so ever. But as I've mentioned in my signature, I'm the Nut that holds the wheel!
Sharing some photos of the trip. Will take better one's if I find another person to travel and drive with me. Thanks for taking time to read my post.
Attached Thumbnails
1800 kms 60 hours-near-yellapura.jpg  

1800 kms 60 hours-near-yellapura-2.jpg  

1800 kms 60 hours-rains-sirsi.jpg  

1800 kms 60 hours-towards-sirsi.jpg  

1800 kms 60 hours-water-water-everywhere.jpg  

1800 kms 60 hours-jog.jpg  

1800 kms 60 hours-jog-falls-1.jpg  

1800 kms 60 hours-jog-falls-2.jpg  

1800 kms 60 hours-jog-falls-3.jpg  

1800 kms 60 hours-jog-falls-4.jpg  

1800 kms 60 hours-scenery.jpg  

1800 kms 60 hours-towards-sagara.jpg  

1800 kms 60 hours-temple.jpg  

1800 kms 60 hours-agumbe.jpg  

1800 kms 60 hours-mist-descends-agumbe-ghats.jpg  

1800 kms 60 hours-towards-thirthahalli.jpg  

1800 kms 60 hours-moon-shines-brightly.jpg  

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Old 13th October 2009, 14:57   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MX6 View Post
People might find me crazy embarking on such a journey with no plans, no support, no back ups what so ever.
Not at all! These impromptu trips have their own charm! Nice pics, by the way.
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Old 13th October 2009, 15:46   #3
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Good writeup MX6.If you plan and travel there is no thrill.Good photos.Ford looks great how many kms has it done.
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Old 13th October 2009, 16:14   #4
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That`s just the way i like it man. Who cares attitude and to leave the world behind, take the key off the key hanger, drive out of the garage and head on to unknown strange highway. way to go man.
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Old 13th October 2009, 17:32   #5
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MX6: Thats an amzing long drive for starters. Now that you got the taste of long distance driving, hope you do many more trips with aplomb.

Cheers
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Old 13th October 2009, 18:05   #6
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Hi there,

Excellent car,long stretch of smooth roads,no fellow passengers to bother, cool songs to surround you,(like Lionel Richie's -Road to Heaven, :my favourite) what else you need ? Its my kind of life.

Regards.
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Old 13th October 2009, 18:15   #7
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Nice and lovely photographs.
Nice car too - why not,because it is ford !
Cheers
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Old 13th October 2009, 18:15   #8
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Great Man. I wish i had the guts to go out on a journey like that.
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Old 13th October 2009, 18:22   #9
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Cool dude, you're a vagabond or what!

But then, when you gotta go, you gotta go.

Nice pics of the waterfalls, and you machine man & great narration about the flux of emotions.

Last edited by lordofgondor : 13th October 2009 at 18:23.
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Old 13th October 2009, 19:14   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PearlJam View Post
Not at all! These impromptu trips have their own charm! Nice pics, by the way.
Thanks Pearl. Thanks for the comment.

Quote:
Originally Posted by gajadonga View Post
Good writeup MX6.If you plan and travel there is no thrill.Good photos.Ford looks great how many kms has it done.
It had done 32K kms when I bought it. It's done 41 now in 2 months. By the way, Gajadonga means Elephant thief? I love the ford. So smooth. And guess what, it returned 18 kmpl on this whole trip, including the bad roads!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Abbas View Post
That`s just the way i like it man. Who cares attitude and to leave the world behind, take the key off the key hanger, drive out of the garage and head on to unknown strange highway. way to go man.
Thanks Abbas. I used to do that more often in US. Incidentally I drove all the way from Orlando till New orleans (stopping only to refuel) and back. That was almost 7 years back! Will dig in to my archives to search for photos. Might put up a travelogue of that one if I find interesting pics.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MileCruncher View Post
MX6: Thats an amzing long drive for starters. Now that you got the taste of long distance driving, hope you do many more trips with aplomb.

Cheers
Thanks for the wishes Mile. I've been doing such long drives in US before. I've done Orlando to New orleans and back non stop. I even drove from boston to new york when a hurricane blew over halifax. I've done orlando to keywest non stop. WIll try to put up travelogues of those. Especially, driving over the 7 mile bridge over atlantic ocean was speacial!

Quote:
Originally Posted by B.R.S.Rao View Post
Hi there,

Excellent car,long stretch of smooth roads,no fellow passengers to bother, cool songs to surround you,(like Lionel Richie's -Road to Heaven, :my favourite) what else you need ? Its my kind of life.

Regards.
Wow! Another person who lives like me! Thanks for your comments Mr Rao.

Quote:
Originally Posted by nairrk View Post
Nice and lovely photographs.
Nice car too - why not,because it is ford !
Cheers
Thanks Nair. I'm in love with the ford! Totally!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Archish View Post
Great Man. I wish i had the guts to go out on a journey like that.
Dear Archish,
A journey of a thousand steps begins with the first one. Just sit inside your car and move out. There are enough travelogues that would motivate you to come with your own!

Quote:
Originally Posted by lordofgondor View Post
Cool dude, you're a vagabond or what!

But then, when you gotta go, you gotta go.

Nice pics of the waterfalls, and you machine man & great narration about the flux of emotions.
Thanks for your comments. And yes, I wish I was a nomad or a vagabond. But came back missing my daughter sorely. Can't take her on such long stretches without checking out the facilities and how the car does. I'm planning a trip in dec. Pune to Udupi on same route, followed by udupi, bangalore, chennai and back to pune. That would make my daughter the youngest vagabond I guess

Thanks for your encouragement. By the way. I like your name Lord of Gondor. I love Gollum the most!

Last edited by Aditya : 13th October 2009 at 19:42.
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Old 13th October 2009, 19:57   #11
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Great Trip, I am glad the trip re-jeuvenated you.

Tell me do the jog falls have so much water all year around or does it lessen during summers or something?
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Old 13th October 2009, 21:26   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by deky View Post
Great Trip, I am glad the trip re-jeuvenated you.

Tell me do the jog falls have so much water all year around or does it lessen during summers or something?
Jog falls goes almost barren during the non-monsoon months. Best time to visit is July - Sept. Yes. I'm now raring to go on another big trip.
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