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Old 3rd February 2010, 09:58   #151
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Curiosity is killing me. The maximum that I could manage non-stop was around 15 hours, and the experience was not pleasant towards the end. Weariness and sleep sets in. More like body fatigue takes over, even if mind wants to drive. How do you manage fatigue, sleep?
I took a nap of 20 minutes after Chitradurga.

How do I manage - drink water, eat sugary sweets, eschew regular meals, live off fresh fruits.

Well, I'm used to these long non-stop drives and this drive was not the longest, since I have done many 40+ hour non-stop drives, both in mobike and car. There have been controversies around my non-stop driving styles in this Forum earlier, hence I refrain from saying anything further! All I can say, I have always driven safe. I eat also very little - never stop over for meals during my long drives.
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Old 3rd February 2010, 10:14   #152
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I took a nap of 20 minutes after Chitradurga.
Power nap!!!

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There have been controversies around my non-stop driving styles in this Forum earlier, hence I refrain from saying anything further!
Let me search around.
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Old 3rd February 2010, 11:11   #153
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Trivandrum-Munnar-Bombay

I have driven the 1,700 kms of Trivandrum-Bombay several times, and it has always been non-stop, taking 24-26 hours. ..

...washed down by filter kaapi (our first meal of the day, and our only meal till we reached Bombay!). .
Sir, even saying it awesome, mind blowing, etc, doesn't capture the dimensions of your driving feats! One of your several unique ways that I have observed is your quest for finding/charting out new routes. I mean, anyone would be happy to take a time tested, known route; but not you. And that makes the difference between amateurs and the Master.

Hats off to you for, among several other things, for your curiosity and search for less known roads!

I also enjoy your crisp narrations, not to mention that quality English.
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Old 3rd February 2010, 11:31   #154
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Default Trivandrum-Munnar-Bombay

Trivandrum-Munnar-Bombay

Leaving Coimbatore (7 pm), we said goodbye to our friend, continued our journey and drove off into the night, and I was taking a road that I have not driven in for almost a decade - the Dimbam Ghat, or popularly the "Veerappan jungle" route. For those new to Coimbatore, it is a simple route through the city - go via Gandhipuram/Tatabad and Ganapathy onto what is referred to as the Sathy road or now the NH209. Peak evening traffic is not as bad as you encounter in other Indian cities, but it was almost 20 kms after the city when road began to open up. We reached Sathyamangalam at 815 pm (65 kms). Road was excellent all the way, although there was a 1-way detour inside Sathy town. The jungle roads start at Bannari (famous temple here), and you climb up 27 hairpin bends on what is surely one of the best ghat roads in the country - wide, well aligned and in great condition. We saw some Chital deer as we crossed Bannari, but of tuskers and bison there was no sign - I have encountered both on previous drives in this road.

We were atop the Dimbam Ghat at 850 pm (100 kms, 1.50 hrs). A little after the road started descending from Dimbam, I espied the narrow road going off to the right to Kollegala, definitely one of the more exciting roads, but not for us this time. Immediately after Asanur, you know you have entered Karnataka when the top of the road gets sheared off, simply vanishes and you are rumbling along on rutted roads.Happily, the bad roads did not last much although they continued to be rough. The shoulders were wide and the dense jungles around must be teeming with wildlife. We hit some terrible roads before Chamarajnagar town - it was potholes, detours and rubble. I do not remember any occasion when this road has been any better, I don't think the KA Govt has any intention of surfacing it. This is typical of many roads in the KA border, whether it is Nippani-Ajra, Zalki-Pandharpur, Zahirabad-Homnabad, Virajpet-Iritti, Kutta-Kartikulam or several other roads.

At Chamarajnagar (945 pm, 147 kms), NH209 goes via Kollegala, Maddur and Kanakapura, but I am not trying that, that road is supposed to be a wreck. I went instead via Nanjangud and Mysore. The road to Nanjangud was none too good, but once I reached the famous temple town, I was on the Ooty-Mysore road. I made the big mistake of not taking the Msyore bypass and went through the city (Mysore, 11 pm, 211 kms). Although I am familiar with the city, I missed a turn and found myself circling Mysore city - this city has some of the most insufficient signages, and could be a nightmare for any traveller.

I was now speeding on the Mysore-Bangalore highway, having finally extricated myself from Mysore city 30 minutes later (1125 pm)......but the speedbreakers on this highway are really nasty, never seen such accident-makers anywhere else - poor warning signs, high single breakers (instead of rumble strips) - and I will not be surprised if the number of accidents in this highway is high.

I had reached the NICE Road intersection before Kengeri - crossing Srirangapatna, Mandya, Maddur, Channapatna, Ramnagara and Bidadi without much issue - at exactly 100 am (122 kms from Mysore Ring Road/bypass exit, 1.35 hrs), to find Devdat waiting for us. Dev, that was a pleasure meeting you at this unearthly hour in a place so far from your home. It gave us a welcome break too, as we chatted about roads in MP and AP for the next 40 minutes, and Dev's travels in his Bullet. Thanks for coming, Devdat.

When we left at 140 am from that spot, it was my first drive on the newly-built NICE Road. The interchange from Mysore Road to NICE Road is incomplete, and I had to go a little further down the road, make a U-turn and get onto the NICE Road from the Bangalore-Mysore direction. What a road it was - although the toll of Rs 33 for a distance of 20 kms was a little too much, it saved me over 2 hours bypassing Bangalore, even at this late time of the day, given the messiness of the city roads (and possibly pesky cops looking to harass "terrorists" like us) and the Peenya-Nelamangala section which is seeing construction of the elevated roadway. Distance savings is also considerable. I had covered the 20 kms in under 15 minutes, and I was cruising on Tumkur road (NH4), jostling with the trucks, at 2 am. The road is indeed in a bad shape, but happily at this hour traffic was light, and I reached Nelamangala (12 kms) at 225 am (this after a refuelling break).

NH4 is one of my most-travelled roads and I can only see improvements day by day notwithstanding the long-standing widening exercise that is still underway in Tumkur/Chitradurga/Davangere/Ranebennur bypasses. For a change, the flyover before Tumkur town is open both ways. The Chitradurga bypass is looking much better. The Davangere bypass retains its reputation as the worst road on NH4, and sedans be careful that you do not hit your undercarriage (you will if you do not reduce your speeds). I think now 1 of the level crossings before Ranebennur has been bridged, but the Ranebennur bypass still eludes. Once you cross Haveri, you are on a speedway to Bombay.

My drive details are as follows:
Nelamangala, 225 am
Tumkur, 39 kms, 304 am
Chitradurga, 136 kms, 500 am
Nap, 6 kms, 22 mts, 530 am
Davangere, 54 kms, 615 am
Haveri, 76 kms, 746 am
Hubli, 76 kms, 836 am
Belgaum, 101 kms, 945 am
Kolhapur, 113 kms, 1100 am
Satara, 122 kms, 1223 pm
Pune, 102 kms, 137 pm
Bombay/Kalamboli, 126 kms, 305 pm
Bombay/Thane, 39 kms, 345 pm

The Bangalore-Bombay drive took longer than my normal 12-12.30 hrs, partly because of the short nap.

Thus, we completed our 6,001 km long trip, ending up with the non-stopper Trivandrum-Munnar-Bombay drive (1,962 kms, 36 hours including the 3-hour drive around Munnar, 2-hour meet at Coimbatore, 40-minute meet at NICE Road and 20-minute nap at Chitradurga)

Last edited by hvkumar : 3rd February 2010 at 11:33.
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Old 3rd February 2010, 13:06   #155
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At Chamarajnagar (945 pm, 147 kms), NH209 goes via Kollegala, Maddur and Kanakapura, but I am not trying that, that road is supposed to be a wreck. I went instead via Nanjangud and Mysore.
Mistake - should read as Malavalli, not Maddur.

Thanks, Rahul, for pointing out!
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Old 3rd February 2010, 13:10   #156
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I made the big mistake of not taking the Msyore bypass and went through the city (Mysore, 11 pm, 211 kms). Although I am familiar with the city, I missed a turn and found myself circling Mysore city - this city has some of the most insufficient signages, and could be a nightmare for any traveller.
I think the Mysore bypass option is 25 KMs long while cutting through the city is only 8 KMs. Decision making - whether to take bypass or city has been tricky for me many times, as the lesser distance is tempting.
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Old 3rd February 2010, 13:27   #157
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I think the Mysore bypass option is 25 KMs long while cutting through the city is only 8 KMs. Decision making - whether to take bypass or city has been tricky for me many times, as the lesser distance is tempting.
I agree. Even, Mysore bypass is not fully signed. I got confused twice near Industrial area, there are no clear sign boards for proper direction.
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Old 3rd February 2010, 15:56   #158
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I agree. Even, Mysore bypass is not fully signed. I got confused twice near Industrial area, there are no clear sign boards for proper direction.
When you enter Mysore from the Nanjangud side, the first intersection you will hit is the ring road junction. You will see an arrow that says Bangalore to the left. Just follow and it will bypass Mysore through the outer ring road. Its good clean road, but the only issue is that its far too long.

Instead if one is traveling during the normal hours (not late nights for e.g.) , he/she can just keep asking and go around the city, which is much faster.

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Old 3rd February 2010, 17:12   #159
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HVK Sir wonderful narration, sad part are the pictures of the trip were not available though except for the Neyyar dam meet. I had missed on the timings of your return, i would have loved to come around to meet you....we could have caught up somewhere near Vazhoor. Hopefully a next time! Looking forward to more photos of Munnar. Thanks for the mention of my name in the post, i have defenitely received a couple of hits from the last time that i checked out.
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Old 3rd February 2010, 19:39   #160
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HVK Sir wonderful narration, sad part are the pictures of the trip were not available though except for the Neyyar dam meet. I had missed on the timings of your return, i would have loved to come around to meet you....we could have caught up somewhere near Vazhoor. Hopefully a next time! Looking forward to more photos of Munnar. Thanks for the mention of my name in the post, i have defenitely received a couple of hits from the last time that i checked out.
Majic, thanks. It was so early in the morning that I did not even think of telling you. The Changanaserry-Vazhoor route is a good route to bypass Kottayam. TB has some good photos, and I guess we will wait for him to upload his photoessays. For my part, I have no photos to add.
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Old 3rd February 2010, 20:07   #161
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This was a different travelogue as it was good in narration the details of the trip, last but not the least the spirit of Team-bhp.
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Old 4th February 2010, 14:57   #162
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but the speedbreakers on this highway are really nasty, never seen such accident-makers anywhere else - poor warning signs, high single breakers (instead of rumble strips) - and I will not be surprised if the number of accidents in this highway is high.
They are indeed high, and there have been many instances of cars/buses tailgating cars/buses at these speed breakers, yet the locals in the area just aren't moved. In fact, as you may have observed, the road view too isnt good and there are quite a few blind spots on the road due to improper gradients and banking. The road isnt as good as it looks.

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I had reached the NICE Road intersection before Kengeri - crossing Srirangapatna, Mandya, Maddur, Channapatna, Ramnagara and Bidadi without much issue - at exactly 100 am (122 kms from Mysore Ring Road/bypass exit, 1.35 hrs), to find Devdat waiting for us. Dev, that was a pleasure meeting you at this unearthly hour in a place so far from your home. It gave us a welcome break too, as we chatted about roads in MP and AP for the next 40 minutes, and Dev's travels in his Bullet. Thanks for coming, Devdat.
Was that a 40 minute meet? Boy, I felt we hadnt been together for more than 15-20 mins Sir, It was an absolute delight seeing you in person and getting some knowledge from you. I d love to put up a camera like the one you have in the Absobrute. Just loved it and meeting the God of Indian Road Travel, HVK
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Old 4th February 2010, 20:52   #163
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Post INSIDE Story: How HVK Drives

I am yet to put a lot of content to this thread and am working on them.

In the meantime I wish to list down some of my perceptions on how my 6000 km drive with HVK was like.

[Disclaimer: This is purely a personal observation and opinions if any expressed herein are unbiased and not intended to be construed either as a recommendation or being analytical about it. We all drive our own vehicles independently and have our own ways of doing it. There is no such thing as an ultima-perfect driver.]
  • There had not been a single moment where we had to do wheel-lock braking.
  • He never zigs-zags through traffic.
  • He never decelerates when he has vehicles even remotely behind. How he manages that is his personal skill.
  • He decelerates much in advance when there is any apparent hurdle/slowdown ahead.
  • There had not been a single anxious moment when I felt insecure.
  • He prefers to drive undistracted, without music, GPS ogling etc.
  • Yes he does take power naps, food on the go and the fuel breaks provide additional forced breaks.
  • He sticks to the speeds as the roads permit. An arrow straight empty road like MPE he had touched 150kmph but very gradually. So no over-speeding or aggressive driving.

Conclusion: Contrary to my earlier beliefs, the key to his consistency is more due to the fact that he has had a good homework of his route and his minimal breaks.
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Old 5th February 2010, 10:47   #164
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Thirthankar, salutations to your observations, point taken and would be adapted! Continue with the postings
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Old 5th February 2010, 11:06   #165
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[Disclaimer: We all drive our own vehicles independently and have our own ways of doing it. There is no such thing as an ultima-perfect driver.]

Conclusion: Contrary to my earlier beliefs, the key to his consistency is more due to the fact that he has had a good homework of his route and his minimal breaks.

Well said BT. Very precise observations. I just love the clarity with which you express your thoughts/ observations. Waiting for more updates from you with those pictorial expressions.
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