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Old 18th March 2010, 17:15   #346
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Originally Posted by sriswe View Post
Very good pics CL, Another trip to south ? So we would be expecting another incredible trip some time soon ...Thanks for sharing all the pics and I enjoyed this log right from day - 1..As someone already mentioned, it is like a tour with you all the way...

If at all you go through Hyd during your south trip, it would be glad to meet you ... Let me know...

Thanks,
Srini...
Thanks Srini. I am happy that you were with us all through our journey!

We are still planning our next trip. I am not sure whether we will touch Hyd. But if we do, we will surely meet!
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Old 21st March 2010, 22:55   #347
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Day 12 – The final part of our journey!

We woke up after a very relaxing slumber by 9 am, on the last day of our journey. We felt totally invigorated and eager to hit the road. My eyes were feeling much better after our strenuous night drive, the previous day. We had had a terrific drive till the penultimate day and we hoped that it wouldn’t be any different on the last day of our journey too! With lots of joy at the thought of finally being able to reach home, we quickly got ready and checked out of the hotel by 10.15 am. We thought of having breakfast from the highway.

We loaded our luggage in our Chevy and finally hit the road in another 5 minutes. Our odometer read 83,541 kms. The city road was very congested due to over bridge work going on and we soon took a U-turn from the junction and drove back towards the highway. We got some help from some policemen and drove very carefully towards the NH8.

The traffic in Surat was unbelievable and was nothing like we had ever seen before. We had been thinking that Salem and Trichy had absolutely the worst traffic. BUT, after driving through Surat, we gladly give the winner’s trophy to that little, incredibly congested city!

There were tens of thousands of vehicles, big and small, jostling for space in a narrow two lane road. I had to be doubly careful and I let everyone, who had the false impression that they were direct descendants of Ayrton Senna, overtake me from the left. I made sure that there was absolutely no space between my Chevy and the median on the right. I never trust the cycle-wallas, with and without engine!

We finally reached the flyover by 10.56 pm, which was the Surat Bypass, and took a right turn from under the flyover and soon joined the beautiful National Highway No: 8. We had covered only 14 kilometres till then and it had taken us 36 minutes. The road was very good and was freshly tarred. There were some diversions at some places due to road widening work and we had to drive very very carefully because of the unmarked speed breakers too. We reached the IRB Surat Dahisar tollway by 12.30 pm. We paid Rs. 45 at the Bhagwada tollbooth and continued our drive non-stop. The road condition improved a bit in this stretch.

We entered Maharashtra state at 12.50 pm after covering 141 kilometres from Surat. We passed the Charoti toll booth by 1.20 pm. The road condition was excellent throughout our drive. We were quite hungry by then and desperately wanted to stop for lunch. There were not too many ‘good’ drive-in restaurants en-route and we had a difficult time finding a good enough place which was not a typical trucker’s dhabba. We checked out many restaurants and finally found a decent one, Hotel Sarover, by 1.35 pm. It was a vegetarian eatery and we had rotis and paneer tikkas. Their service was very bad and one waiter literally flung the menu card away, when we did not accept their ‘offer’ to have ice creams . We were shocked at this behaviour and quickly ended our meal. The owner again played a dirty game by giving me some local sweets instead of the Rs. 5 change he owed me. I just gave the sweets to the waiter, who flung the menu card, as a tip!

We restarted our journey by 2.25 pm. We felt like banging our heads hard, when we saw a Kamat’s Restaurant, JUST 5 kilometres after Sarover. That Kamat was about 26 kilometres after the Charoti toll booth. Future travelers do keep this in mind. We suffered badly at Sarover.

Our drive was very peaceful all the way. Everyone was following lane discipline quite well and we did not suffer any panic attacks. We started seeing signboards warning drivers about the distance to be covered to reach Thane. We passed the Khaniwade toll booth at 2.53 pm after covering another 35 more kilometres from the restaurant. We were very alert as we didn’t want to miss the turn to Thane. We soon saw the signage mentioning about the turn and we left the highway at 3.10 pm. We had covered 249 kilometres from Surat in a little over four hours.

Thane was still 34 kilometres away.

An Incredible Road Trip of a Lifetime to Udaipur, The Most Romantic City in the World-1-highway_to_mumbai.jpg

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An Incredible Road Trip of a Lifetime to Udaipur, The Most Romantic City in the World-18-a_desert_landscape.jpg

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An Incredible Road Trip of a Lifetime to Udaipur, The Most Romantic City in the World-23-a_desert_landscape.jpg

An Incredible Road Trip of a Lifetime to Udaipur, The Most Romantic City in the World-24-brick_factory.jpg

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An Incredible Road Trip of a Lifetime to Udaipur, The Most Romantic City in the World-30-toll_booth_in_maharashtra.jpg

More pics from the Surat - Mumbai section of NH8...

Last edited by Dippy : 22nd March 2010 at 11:12. Reason: On request
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Old 22nd March 2010, 05:35   #348
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Great journey and picture Chevy_lover. It felt as if I am too part of the journey. We wish karnataka roads too had these silk roads you enjoyed.
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Old 22nd March 2010, 13:35   #349
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Great journey and picture Chevy_lover. It felt as if I am too part of the journey. We wish karnataka roads too had these silk roads you enjoyed.
Thank you, Anand, for the appreciation. I am really glad that you travelled with us! That was exactly my intention, when I narrated all the details.

Sadly, Karnataka is notorious for unmarked bumps. Unless and untill they become wise and remove those bumps, your dream will take a long time to materialise!
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Old 22nd March 2010, 15:34   #350
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Those unmarked road humps are the only fun moments we have on Karnataka roads. We give our tyres and brakes a good workout
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Old 22nd March 2010, 15:46   #351
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CL, Simply awesome potos. How come you always end up taking photos of Q7 and nanos in your trip. Any plans of byung a Q7 buddy?

Here is a snap shot my observation:

*The banged up bolero looks really bad? Did you know what happened or your wife just took the snap when you were flying by it.
* The truck coming at you was a nice snap. Were you overtaking a vehicle when the photo was taken
* I have been to nellore once and I have seen the traffic condition there. People come int eh wrong side of the traffic always. According to me Nellore has the worst traffic. reding your info on surat i would say surat is second in line then.
* The photos of the Evil sculptures that you posted earlier scared my son. He did enjoy the photos of the Camels and the cows with big horns.

So when are you planning for the next drive buddy. Dont tell me you are going to end this travelouge soon.
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Old 22nd March 2010, 16:27   #352
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CL, hats off to you man, i am out for one week and it come back to see the travelogue is aldready completed. Sad i was not able to follow it on time as i was out most of the time. But believe, it was like being with you every moment of the journey with the photos and the good narrations, please continue posting more and more...i have become a big fan of yours!
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Old 22nd March 2010, 17:56   #353
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Those unmarked road humps are the only fun moments we have on Karnataka roads. We give our tyres and brakes a good workout
Hey Smartcat, talking about workout for the brakes, eh ? I saw some huge rumbling strips when I was at 80+ kmph, en-route to Yellapore. I had no other option but to literally stand on my brakes. But still it was too late!! So I accelerated at the last moment and Chevy jumped and cleared the bumps. I was warned by our fellow BHPian Spadival. But still the rumbling strips were totally unexpected! And don't even remind me about the bumps in Mysore - Bangalore route!

Quote:
Originally Posted by ElantraGT View Post
CL, Simply awesome potos. How come you always end up taking photos of Q7 and nanos in your trip. Any plans of buying a Q7 buddy?

Here is a snap shot my observation:

*The banged up bolero looks really bad? Did you know what happened or your wife just took the snap when you were flying by it.
* The truck coming at you was a nice snap. Were you overtaking a vehicle when the photo was taken
* I have been to nellore once and I have seen the traffic condition there. People come int eh wrong side of the traffic always. According to me Nellore has the worst traffic. reading your info on surat i would say surat is second in line then.
* The photos of the Evil sculptures that you posted earlier scared my son. He did enjoy the photos of the Camels and the cows with big horns.

So when are you planning for the next drive buddy. Don't tell me you are going to end this travelogue soon.
Thanks Hari. I am glad that you liked the photos. I (actually my dear wifey) end up taking photos of the Nano and Audis and the Volkswagens all the time. I am a huge fan of Audi Q7. In my opinion, it has the best road presence in all SUVs!
As I wrote in my introduction in Team BHP, some years back, I hope someone will gift me a Q7 in the future!!! :-)

We saw the Bolero some distance after Surat. The single lane road was converted to two lane, as you can see in the snap, because of road widening work. The accident happened because the Bolero tried to overtake in that narrow road. Sadly, he ran straight into a truck. And the vehicle was made a total loss. The truck suffered just some minor scratches and dents!!! We lost some five minutes because of the mess!

We were overtaking a trax when that snap was clicked. I stayed on that middle lane for a second more, to enable my wifey to click the perfect snap. Seeing a truck in your lane, coming straight at you, when you are at 120 kmph is a heavenly experience! You feel so close to God!!! Actually it is a sure-shot way of going UP soon!

Agreed! I give the winner's trophy to Nellore, according to your recommendation! :-)

I am sorry that I scared your baby. But that sculpture was so well made, I had to post it.

My next drive might happen soon. I am still planning. But nothing concrete yet! The summer heat is a big deterrent!

Sadly all good things must end, buddy! You were the first one to reply to this thread and has been one of my favourite critics. I will miss you my friend! :-(

Quote:
Originally Posted by Majic View Post
CL, hats off to you man, i am out for one week and it come back to see the travelogue is aldready completed. Sad i was not able to follow it on time as i was out most of the time. But believe, it was like being with you every moment of the journey with the photos and the good narrations, please continue posting more and more...i have become a big fan of yours!
Thank you very much for the encouragement and support, right from Day 1 of our journey. I have posted more than 2000 pics so far. This is the travelogue with the most number of pics. I will post a selection of the best pics with my final post!

The travelogue has not ended yet. The final part of our journey is yet to be posted.

I am very eager to meet you when I come to Ponkunnam!
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Old 22nd March 2010, 23:23   #354
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Talking The end of our incredible roadtrip to Udaipur!

We took the exit to Thane and continued our drive. The road was quite good for some time and then there were lots of stretches where road widening work was going on. Little did we know what was in store for us.

An Incredible Road Trip of a Lifetime to Udaipur, The Most Romantic City in the World-31-field_cricket.jpg
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An Incredible Road Trip of a Lifetime to Udaipur, The Most Romantic City in the World-35-a_stone_quarry.jpg

The road we thought would take us to Thane, was actually leading to Bhiwandi and we found out about it the hard way. All of a sudden, the road became terribly potholed. The time was 3.42 pm and we had travelled 24 kilometres from the National Highway. It was absolutely the worst roads that I have seen anywhere! I thought of calling up HVK sir, but decided to get out of the mess ourselves and not to disturb him.

We got directions from some truck drivers and soon reached Bhiwandi town. We again got directions from a policeman, who was smiling seeing our faces! Maybe we were so angry!!! :-(

The city of Bhiwandi, known for its textile industry, has the largest number of power looms in the country and is sometimes dubbed as 'The Manchester of India'. Bhiwandi is a trucker's town and a purely commercial hub. There are more Lorries in Bhiwandi at any given time than other four wheelers!

The lesser said about Bhiwandi, the better! The road had huge craters and was tarred probably a decade back. We got directions from auto rickshaw drivers and finally took the road to Navi Mumbai by 4.18 pm. Our odo read 83,827 kms. We had driven 13 kilometres inside the city, trying our best to get out of the mess.

Once we reached Navi Mumbai, we were destined for a ‘Mumbai Darshan tour’. We drove around the whole city twice or was it thrice? I do not know!!!

We finally reached the entrance of the expressway to Pune by 5.21 pm. Our odo read 83,863 kms. It meant that we had driven another 36 kilometres near Navi Mumbai. That was the most forgettable part of the journey. There were absolutely no sign boards in Vashi to guide us correctly.

We thanked our lucky stars that we were finally out of the chaotic, confusing, congested roads of Navi Mumbai. I was really tired due to the nonstop drive after our lunch break. If it was a highway I could have driven even for 10 hours without a break, but the potholed roads and the frequent gear changes were too strenuous. I must say that our Chevy exceeded our expectations and handled whatever challenging roads were thrown at him, with élan! We didn’t dare to think what our condition would have been, if we had been in a sedan!! My advice to future travellers is to avoid Bhiwandi AT ANY COST!!

We relaxed almost immediately when we saw the expressway.

An Incredible Road Trip of a Lifetime to Udaipur, The Most Romantic City in the World-36-finally_we_reach_the_expressway.jpg
An Incredible Road Trip of a Lifetime to Udaipur, The Most Romantic City in the World-37-expressway_to_pune.jpg

I had driven on the expressway hundreds of times and I knew it very well. A funny story comes to my mind whenever I think of the expressway.

Once, some years back, we had reserved tickets for a night show of ‘Chak De’ in a theatre in Pune. The show we booked for, was at 9.30 pm on a Sunday. That Sunday morning, we inexplicably got an irresistible urge to see the sea. Off we went to Alibag and Kashid without thinking twice. We left Pune by 10.30 am, took the expressway and reached Kashid beach via Alibag by 2.45 pm. We took more than four hours to cover 200 kms. There was very heavy traffic on NH 17 and we lost an awful lot of time, tailing trucks. We couldn’t overtake for many kilometres at a stretch.

Well, we finally reached the beach and relaxed for some time. We had conveniently forgotten about the movie later that night, for which I had spent 300 bucks. We then had a super tasty lunch which consisted of lots of fried fish and prawns.

We went back to the beach and it was then that I remembered about the movie. The time was close to 5 pm. It looked impossible to reach Pune in time to catch the movie. My wifey was distraught at the thought of missing her favourite star’s movie. Well, I couldn’t see my wifey sad and I assured her, that I would take her for the same movie the next day, if we didn’t reach on time. Little did she know what I had in my mind.

We quickly left Kashid beach and were almost immediately stopped by two policemen who were out to make a quick buck. I showed them all my documents. Then they wanted me to tell them the registration number of my vehicle!!! That was probably to know whether I was intoxicated??? God knows!

When I told him the number, he wanted to see the ‘originals’ of my insurance documents!!! I told him that my documents were printouts sent to me by my insurer and there was nothing like ‘originals’. He still did not let me go. Then I lost my cool and took down his name and bike number. This scared that filthy cop and he let us go immediately!

After wasting ten minutes with those idiots, we quickly made our way back to the highway. We were really frustrated to see the slow moving trucks occupying more than 90% of the road. On top of that, there was a huge block because an Indica car had literally flown off the road at high speed and landed in a big ditch, upside down. There was a casualty and we had to wait till the ambulance left.

After a lot of high speed driving and even more expert maneuvering of our Chevy, we reached the expressway at 8.20 pm. The rest of the story is in fast forward mode. I touched the theatre, in the middle of Pune city, at 9.15 pm. My wifey had enough time to freshen up and we watched the movie at 9.30 pm. That was one hell of a drive!

But this time, we were much more relaxed and did not need to reach Pune very fast. We maintained a steady 100 kmph and soon passed the first toll booth at 5.40 pm. We had covered 34 kilometres from the entrance of the expressway. By then, we were really tired and decided to take a break.

We pulled into the HP pump which was on our left and filled up our Chevy. He drank in 41.92 litres @ Rs. 35.25. We also checked our tyre’s pressure. We had shifted to Nitrogen during our Ooty trip and we had not checked the pressure all through this trip. Amazingly there was a change of only one single point in two tyres. We were thrilled with the reliability of Nitrogen!

We restarted our journey by 6.10 pm. We had relaxed our aching muscles a bit and were ready for the final assault to reach Pune. The expressway was quite empty and we were able to keep up good speeds.

An Incredible Road Trip of a Lifetime to Udaipur, The Most Romantic City in the World-38-bhatan_tunnel.jpg
An Incredible Road Trip of a Lifetime to Udaipur, The Most Romantic City in the World-39-toll_booth_in_expressway.jpg

We passed the Khandala ghats, where we encountered some traffic and finally reached the second toll booth at 6.48 pm. We had covered 410 kilometres from Surat and were very eager to finally see Pune after such a long time.

We exited the expressway at 6.54 pm. We had driven another 11 kilometres from the toll booth. We still had to drive another 30 odd kilometres and were very careful not to get too carried away. I have seen many drivers drop their guard when they exit the expressway. But I tell you, NH 4 is a bigger killer stretch than the expressway. There are hundreds of trucks parked on the roadside and big vehicles always swerve into the right lane whenever they see any obstacle in the left lane. So I gave my Hellas a big workout and scared the hell out of vehicles attempting to cut me off! I had to be very careful there as the drivers just stuck their hand out of the window and cut straight into the right lane.

We decided to go to our home via Dhankawdi. It was a simple decision as the NH 4 runs via Dhankawadi junction. If I had taken the Aundh or the Kothrud exit, I would have had to drive inside the city in peak hour traffic. The last thing I wanted was to cool my heels in a traffic jam after spending a whole day driving.

We reached Dhankawadi junction by 7.40 pm and entered Pune City. The traffic was very chaotic there because of the innumerable long-distance luxury buses making their way in and out of the city. I got out of the highway-drive mode and switched to a very sedate city-drive mode. We reached our junction by 8.05 pm after covering 462 kilometres from Surat. We were very thrilled and even hungrier. After a quick visit to our favourite Biriyani outlet, we felt happier too!

We reached our township at exactly 8.20 pm. Our odometer read 84,006 kms. We had driven an amazing 2243.9 kilometres during our trip. The distance from Mount Abu to our residence was 1009.4 kilometres. We said a prayer of sincere gratitude to the all powerful almighty and switched off our darling’s engine for one final time! Hats off to my dear Chevy baby for protecting us and giving us one brilliant drive all through!!!

One word of sincere gratitude to my dear wifey, who stood by me like the ‘Rock of Gibraltar’, always supporting me and never becoming the ‘Leaning Tower of Pisa’! She has the uncanny ability to warn me of potential traffic hazards in advance, when I drive fast. Without her, I would have lost my sanity at numerous junctures during the trip! She has evolved into a great photographer too! She clicked more than 5000 snaps and each one of them, tells a story! The best part is that she still has the desire to improve her skills!

I was at a loss for words, when she came with me at 6 am, in biting cold temperatures, to the lake to photograph the sunrise. Such was her dedication! And this photo, will forever be etched in my memory!

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Finally, a word of heartfelt thanks to all my dear readers, for coming along with us to all those beautiful places and whose words of encouragement kept me motivated to pen down this travelogue and process and post about 2K photos. I hope everyone enjoyed reading my travelogue as much as I enjoyed writing it! :-)

This trip was arguably one of our best road trips till date! Our Ooty and Kodaikanal trip was brilliant and is still going strong in T-BHP.

But in Udaipur, we truly enjoyed a superb vacation, doing everything at our own pace. We tried out the finer points of photography during this trip and at final count, we had clicked 10,015 photos. We have captured enough scenes to last us a life time!!!

I still remember the day my wifey asked me what was so great about Udaipur! It was just two months back!!! Now, after I made her experience the brilliance of that quaint little city, she swears by the beauty of Udaipur, a truly heavenly place!!! I would call it the ‘Pride of India’!

We are so happy that we were able to fulfill a longstanding dream of ours!
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Old 23rd March 2010, 12:17   #355
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Excellent Travelogue and super Snaps C_L. No words to describe your passion for driving, photography, visiting new place and best of all Sharing it with us in a simple yet very effective way. .

Every time I read your travelogue, I want to jump in my car and drive somewhere. . looking forward to more trips from you.
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Old 23rd March 2010, 12:57   #356
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The road we thought would take us to Thane, was actually leading to Bhiwandi and we found out about it the hard way. All of a sudden, the road became terribly potholed.
Time to buy a GPS for the Chevy

Along with driving directions, you will also get some interesting stats like avg speed, altitude (of Mt. Abu for example) and so on.
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Old 23rd March 2010, 13:07   #357
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clap clap clap clap. Good one C_L. 10015 photos is like 2 hours 46 mins and 55 seconds spent just clicking had you clicked 1 photo per second.
Thank god you were carrying a camera and not a gun.

The yellapura stretch is a lot better. I crossed only 5 or 6 speed breakers this time (I went on another drive to Sringeri and Udupi over last weekend). Anyway, it's a good practice to slow down before and after each village in Karnataka.
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Old 23rd March 2010, 13:31   #358
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Every time I read your travelogue, I want to jump in my car and drive somewhere. . looking forward to more trips from you.
Same here KRRaj, but could not do anything except to enjoy the 35 KM drive between home and office ....

A very good travelogue CL....Its really nice to read the log and travel all the way with you .......

Thanks,
Srini...
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Old 23rd March 2010, 14:59   #359
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CL, that was a heart felt ending to the travelouge. I really wish I could go on a trip to udaipur, but on the other hand you took us for a free ride to udaipur in your travelougue.


You better start writing something or the other soon, else life in office will be really boring for a lot of us .
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Old 23rd March 2010, 15:27   #360
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Well Begun,
Is Half Done.
Once done,
There is a next one!

So where are you going next?
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