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Old 20th January 2010, 18:56   #31
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Hi CL,
This is one awesome travelogue you got here. I am certainly glued and awaiting more snaps. Please sort the snaps at the earliest, cant wait any longer. Thanks for these wonderful pictures and moments.
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Old 20th January 2010, 19:11   #32
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Originally Posted by sami316 View Post
Hi CL,
This is one awesome travelogue you got here. I am certainly glued and awaiting more snaps. Please sort the snaps at the earliest, cant wait any longer. Thanks for these wonderful pictures and moments.
Thanks Sami316. The best is yet to come, but it will take a looooong time! I have to downsize the pics as all of them are above 3 MB. I was doing that for five hours today. I am writing our story now! I hope to start my log shortly!

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Originally Posted by ashthedivx View Post
WOW... another travelogue !!

Getting up popcorn and waiting for next episode, it's going to great one for sure.

BTW, Happy Anniversary
Thanks Ashish. I am sure you will like the pics. I am working overtime to get the log ready.

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Chevy_lover,

Now that I got my travelogue finished..can follow this thread peacefully ( I was also planning to revisit the Bhutan and ooty/kodai incredible travelogues, just cant stop myself reading them again)....looking forward to your log...The Chevy pic is superb...
Thanks Sri. I enjoyed reading your log too! Getting fined in Hyd after the trip was lucky for you! If you had got caught in TN or Kerala, you wouldn't have been let off, before parting with four Gandhiji's green notes!
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Old 20th January 2010, 20:01   #33
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Hi chevy, another travelogue good to start off with nice night photography.I think we can get glued to your travel for the next 10days.
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Old 20th January 2010, 20:22   #34
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Oh Boy!! Another travelogue from C_L Looking at your earlier travelogues and photos, this is going to be very good. Your road snaps are very good and inform your wife also about the appreciations she gets here

Belated Anniversary Wishes too!! Glued to this thread now.
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Old 21st January 2010, 10:24   #35
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Originally Posted by KRRaj View Post
Oh Boy!! Another travelogue from C_L Looking at your earlier travelogues and photos, this is going to be very good. Your road snaps are very good and inform your wife also about the appreciations she gets here

Belated Anniversary Wishes too!! Glued to this thread now.
Thank you my friend. You have been one of my best critics, with an unbiased view. I am sure that you will like my pics, this time too! My wifey reads all the comments. She is happy that her efforts are being appreciated!

Believe me, it is not easy to take 1650 photos in a day! And that too with a heavy SLR, when on the move, with seatbelts on!!! Hats off to my dear 'J'!

My log is about to be started. Get ready for a beautiful, picturesque journey ahead!


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Originally Posted by gajadonga View Post
Hi chevy, another travelogue good to start off with nice night photography.I think we can get glued to your travel for the next 10days.
Thanks Gajadonga. My trip lasted 12 days. So there is not even a remote chance that my logs will end in ten days. Patience, my friend! I also need to upload 3000 odd photos. Writing our story alone is going to take a lot of time!
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Old 21st January 2010, 10:29   #36
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Hey CL, i think you have kept us on tenter hooks for a long time, please come out with the goodies within the next couple of hours or else!!! ( thats threatening)
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Old 21st January 2010, 12:19   #37
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Talking Our Incredible journey starts.....

The preparation for the journey ….

Once we decided on the location and duration of our sixth anniversary celebrations, we started our preparations in earnest! We decided to start our road trip on the 7th of January.

Our first task was to get our Chevy serviced a week before the trip. Since my Chevy is always maintained in excellent condition, the servicing went smoothly. No major work was required. Chevy was returned back to me totally spruced up for the long journey ahead of him. I got the nitrogen levels in the tyres checked. I also adjusted the focus of all my projectors as we would be on the road all night! I had planned to make a very early start from Pune to enable us to reach Udaipur by late evening. I was staring at a daunting task of driving 950 odd kilometres, half of which would be in completely dark and new terrain. But I wasn’t too worried, as I had complete faith in my projectors. I also had a stock of all spare bulbs for my Chevy. I am very finicky about my Chevy being in perfect condition always. I simply cannot drive, if I sense that all is not right with my Chevy baby! One example of the significance I give to safety was when I spent almost the entire day in Karad and Belgaum, on my trip to Kodai, trying to correct the wheel alignment!

I had given Chevy five brand new tyres during our previous trip. So I had absolutely nothing to worry in that department also. But still I kept a spare tube in my Chevy. I love to drive with a calm, unstressed mind! I planned for hours, to make our trip worry-free! Being prepared for the journey is often given least importance. But for me, this part is the most important.

My second task was to chalk out the routes perfectly. As always, HVK sir helped us wholeheartedly. His log of Leh was our dictionary for this trip. Thank you HVK sir for all your help. Without your support and logs, we would have lost our way at least half a dozen times!

We finished our packing well in advance. Since we were used to travelling to extremely cold places, we had our heavy jackets and woolens ready. By the way, our travel kits also are always ready. So we did not lose any time in packing. We also stocked up on lots of mineral water, snacks and juices. I filled up Chevy to the brim and finally, he was fully geared up for the trip.

We loaded our luggage in Chevy and retired for some much needed sleep by 7 pm on the 6th of January. I planned on starting our journey the next day at 2am.

Day 1 – The journey starts…

We woke up on the 7th of January by 1:00 am and freshened up. We were in terrific spirits! The thought of going to one of the most beautiful cities in the world filled us with an extraordinary feeling of enthusiasm. I did my best to hide my glee, but couldn’t stop smiling!!!! We were absolutely thrilled!

We loaded up three of our suitcases in Chevy and we carefully kept our camera on the second row floor. I was sure that my dear wifey will go crazy clicking, once we started our drive! So I wanted the camera to be within one-arm distance! We also loaded our cool box, stuffed with lots of chocolates and juices.

After a short prayer and a photo session with our beloved Chevy, we hit the road at exactly 2.50 am.

An Incredible Road Trip of a Lifetime to Udaipur, The Most Romantic City in the World-trip-udaipur-01.jpg

My Odometer read 81,762 kms. We had the entire road for ourselves. I generally avoid driving inside the city after midnight because of the unruly call centre cabs. Whenever I have to go out of Pune, I go via Katraj towards NH4 or the Expressway.

I took the same route for this trip too. 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. I could maintain speeds of about 80 kmph on that road. There was sparse truck traffic. But they were very well behaved and gave me ample space to overtake. I think their chivalry had something to do with my projectors!!!

We finally touched the expressway at 3.37 am. I had covered 41 kilometres then.

We enjoyed the early morning drive immensely. I maintained a steady 90 kmph and reached the first toll plaza at 3.43 am after covering 11 kms. The toll was Rs 140. It is a bit high considering the toll on other expressways. More on that later.

We passed Lonavala at 4.04 am covering a further 30 kms from the toll plaza. Khandala passed by very soon at 4.08 am. Well, it was just 6 kilometres away. There are some pretty sharp curves here. So I kept my speed below 80 kmph most of the time.

As soon as we passed the ghats, I pumped up Chevy’s accelerator and maintained 90 kmph. The drive was amazing. There were only some trucks keeping us company. But they couldn’t keep up with us.

We thought of taking a coffee and food break at the Mc Donald’s restaurant, before the second toll plaza. It is on the left side itself. So there isn’t a chance that anyone will miss it. We reached the Food plaza by 4.23 am. We had covered a total of 103 kilometres from Pune. Our average speed till then was good.

We carefully parked our Chevy near Mc Donald’s and went in and ordered chicken burgers and bought coffee from a nearby shop for my wifey. Their burger tasted awesome even at 4.30 am. The veggies were so fresh! We loved the food!

We bought some soft sugar candies from a shop inside the plaza and after a short break, restarted our journey at 4.55 am. We quickly passed the second toll plaza in three minutes. We just showed the receipt to the clerk. They used a bar code machine to validate the toll receipt and let us go. We continued our drive. The expressway was completely dark with only some areas well lit, near the tunnels.

We had to use both our projectors in some stretches as some of the trucks were driving without any brake lights and absolutely no reflective stickers. It was a really dangerous scenario. I had heard about countless accidents caused because of smaller vehicles ramming slow moving trucks from behind at full speed! We were very careful and I used my lights and lit up the road like a Christmas tree!

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We soon exited expressway at 5.20 am after covering 139 kilometres from Pune. We really enjoyed the drive in super smooth concrete tarmac. We continued our drive on the road to Mumbai and at 5.35 am took the turn towards Thane after covering 14 more kilometres. Soon, we passed Thurbhe and Airoli. The roads are very well lit en-route to Thane. The corporation has put up floodlights instead of the usual street lights. The road condition after Airoli was a bit bumpy and uneven. There were also numerous well disguised speed breakers all over the road. We had numerous heavy trucks for company. It was still pitch dark, with sunrise an hour away. We finally reached Thane junction at 5.58 am. The town was just waking up. We did not stop anywhere and I gunned my Chevy forward!

After a maze of left and right turns, we reached the Ghodbunder tollgate at 6.28 am. We had covered 187 kilometres from Pune. There were some trucks ahead of us and we managed to cross the tollgate in five minutes after paying Rs. 15.

Just one kilometre later, we took the right turn to Surat and joined NH8. We felt a huge relief to be finally on the NH and hoped to cover good distance soon. But our hopes were dashed soon. The road was very bumpy, mainly due to the patch work done to cover up potholes.

There was heavy truck traffic on NH8 all the way. We must have seen some 200,000 trucks in one hour! I am not kidding! :-)

I also had to drop down to 70-80 kmph, partly because of the narrow road and partly because of the truckers driving in the right lane.
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Old 21st January 2010, 12:46   #38
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Hi CL,
Fantastic start to the travelogue. Amazing write-up and photogrpahs to follow with.
Your Hella's did light up the road like a christmas tree.
Do commend your wife for the wonderful job that she has done with the camera.
I am glued.
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Old 21st January 2010, 13:41   #39
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Chevy_lover... I m amazed with your flawless write up. I ve gone through your previous threads numerous times and still feel like reading it manier times.
I m sure this one is going to be equally good.I m glued.

BTW,where do you stay in Pune? I m from Pune too.
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Old 21st January 2010, 15:15   #40
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Good Start as Usual I really feel I am travelling on the road with you. Good Photos and nice detailed travelogue. Looking forward to continue the onward journey
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Old 21st January 2010, 15:20   #41
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Smile The drive continues....

We continued our drive without making any stops. My wifey was wide awake and we weren’t too hungry because of the burger we had. So we decided to take a break only after 9 am. I was maintaining a speed of 90 - 95 kmph. A huge number of trucks were being driven at a snail’s pace and occupying almost 90% of the road. Overtaking those monsters was an issue at first because of the patchy road conditions. But that too improved after about ten kilometres. We saw some amazing scenes en-route. Those were typical examples of life in rural India.

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We reached Khaniwade toll plaza at 7.07 am after covering 216 kilometres from Pune. The toll amount was Rs. 45. We were delighted to see that the roads improved tremendously and I increased my speed to 100 kmph. We enjoyed the drive and were glad to note that the truck traffic had also eased up a bit. We reached Charoti toll plaza at 8 am sharp and paid a toll of Rs. 41. We had covered 262 kilometres from Pune in a little over five hours.

I continued speeding on the freshly laid NH8. There was road widening work going on at some places. But we were not inconvenienced because of that. The construction company had put up signs and temporary dividers and was efficiently manning the traffic.

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We were able to maintain a steady speed of 100 kmph most of the time. We crossed Gujarat border at 8.40 am. We had covered 316 kilometres, in 6 hours. I thought that we might be checked at the border. But it was a smooth ride all the way. I had stuck yellow sticker on my right head lamp. So we did not face any issues with the cops too! I was so delighted to enjoy a totally worry-free drive all the way to Gujarat!!!
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Old 21st January 2010, 16:17   #42
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Finally CL , you heeded to my threatenings and came up with the travelogue, looking out for more form your side....
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Old 21st January 2010, 16:44   #43
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CL,
Nice details and good snaps but will you please explain me how a yellow sticker on the right head lamp helps??
I mean is it anything to do with the police?Pardon my ignorance!!.
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Old 21st January 2010, 16:56   #44
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CL,
Nice details and good snaps but will you please explain me how a yellow sticker on the right head lamp helps??
I mean is it anything to do with the police?Pardon my ignorance!!.
Dear Fordmanchau, Gujarat has a strange rule. A vehicle needs to have a yellow sticker on the right head light. If not, the cops will impose a fine! It is a strange rule! I agree! Maybe anyone from Gujarat can explain the logic behind it?

You can see the sticker strip on my Chevy's first and second pics!

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Old 21st January 2010, 17:19   #45
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Hey CL, Great start and excellent snaps. I was also puzzled by the yellow sticker on the right head lamp. Atleast black stickers would help, yellow really strange.
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