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Old 12th July 2010, 17:23   #1
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Default A LongHorn™ Travelogue - Weekend getaway to Pondicherry, Karaikal and Velankanni.

This thread will describe the weekend trip made by longhorn’s extended family to Pondicherry, Karaikal and Velankanni. It will comprise of various experiences and incidents during the trip.

So what’s cooking?

We have been staying in Chennai for 2 years and hadn’t yet been to Pondicherry. It was decided in the beginning of June that we should head out to this place soon. Wifey’s grandma was visiting us so we decided to make that trip before she headed back to God’s Own Country. This was communicated by wifey to her folks back home and F-I-L decided to join the show.
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Old 12th July 2010, 17:31   #2
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Looking forward to the trip notes. What route did you take? Do we have ECR till Karaikal?
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Old 12th July 2010, 17:54   #3
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Yeah there will a good number of posts though the photographs are limited. Please bear with me for that and also for the delay between posts. I'll try to make it worth the while. The ECR is only upto Pondy. Took NH45A from there to Karaikal and onto Velankanni.
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Old 12th July 2010, 17:57   #4
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Default The Prelude - Part1

A quick check with F-I-L whether the 3rd weekend of June could be finalized as the trip dates revealed that it was raining cats and dogs in Mallu land as the monsoon had set in with all its fury. He had to sell the tapiocas he had planted before they became unfit for human consumption due to the excess water fed to it by nature. The trip dates got pushed further by a week.


Me : Can we fix the 3rd weekend of June as the dates for the trip?

F-I-L : Are you nuts? It’s raining cats and dogs here. My tapiocas are under water. I need to get the water drained out and sell it off to someone before it rots away.

Me : Okay fine which weekend would be convenient for you?

F-I-L : Push it by a week and I’m fine.

Me : Done. Let me know when you’ll be here, but not later than Friday, since we will be making our move on Saturday morning.

F-I-L : Fine. I’ll be there on Friday. Can’t spend much time away from home right now. Got some things that need to be taken care of.

Me : Fine. I’ll pick you up on Friday morning.
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Old 12th July 2010, 18:39   #5
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Default The Prelude - Part 2

Meanwhile grandma, who is with us, decides to make a call to her relative in Pondicherry since we are visiting the place.


Granny : Howdy folks. Long time no see. How are you all doing?

Relative : We are all fine. How are you doing?

Granny : I’m fine. I’m in Chennai now. Came here 2 weeks back. I’m visiting my grand daughter here.

Relative : Vow that’s great. Good to hear from you. It’s been quite some time.

Granny : We are heading to Pondy next weekend. Since you are staying there thought we’d pay you a visit as well.

Relative : That’s awesome. When are you here.

Granny : We are planning to do the trip next weekend. If you can give your approximate location to my grand daughter, we’ll try and make it to your place.

Relative : We are at Karaikal, which is a part of Pondicherry but not at Pondicherry itself. Do make sure you come and stay with us for a few days. It’s near to Velankanni. We’ll put you on a train back to native. No worries on that front.

Granny : We are planning to do the trip next weekend, we’ll try to make it. I’ll let you know before we start from here.


We decide that since its being a long time since we went to Velankanni, we would replan the trip to include a Velankanni vist with a halt at Grandma’s relative’s place at Karaikal. Grandma is very excited.
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Old 13th July 2010, 10:35   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by longhorn View Post
Me : Can we fix the 3rd weekend of June as the dates for the trip?

F-I-L : Are you nuts? It’s raining cats and dogs here. My tapiocas are under water. I need to get the water drained out and sell it off to someone before it rots away.


Nice start longhorn, waiting for the photo part of it since PY-Velankani is in my wishlist too.
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Old 13th July 2010, 11:19   #7
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Default The Prelude - Part 3

3 days to go. I have heard that once you hit the East Coast Road, it’s one straight road all the way till Pondy. So not much worries on that front. I just had to figure out the exact route to take from my house to reach the ECR. Since I’m staying in South Chennai, I figured that would not be much of a task, but I wasn’t prepared for Karaikal. The only cities I have seen in TN where Chennai, Coimbatore and Madurai. Karaikal is something I just vaguely rememebr hearing, but in the excitement of going to Velankanni after a long time, I knew I could not afford to miss this chance.

I head to Google maps and figure out the route to Pondy, and from there onto Karaikal and Velankanni. That’s when I realize that Velankanni is just a half an hour drive from Karaikal. I’m happy I’m doing this trip, cause at the back of my mind I always had this feeling of guilt for not heading to Velankanni, inspite of being in Chennai for 2 years.

Googling the route is one thing, but being prepared for the road is another. Knowing the local language is always an asset, it makes communication easy. If you are travelling in Kerala, its very difficult to get stuck in the middle of nowhere, unless you are in Idukki or Wayanad districts. TN or the other southern states for that matter, is a different ball game. Once you are out of the city, its just miles and miles of either barren or agricultural land, with no facilities whatsoever to speak of till you reach another town.
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A LongHorn™ Travelogue - Weekend getaway to Pondicherry, Karaikal and Velankanni.-py030.jpg  

A LongHorn™ Travelogue - Weekend getaway to Pondicherry, Karaikal and Velankanni.-py050.jpg  


Last edited by longhorn : 13th July 2010 at 11:21.
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Old 13th July 2010, 12:01   #8
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Hey, good start. will be making a Pondicherry trip with colleagues this weekend. Waiting to read more details and sure this one will be handy.
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Old 13th July 2010, 12:03   #9
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Default The Prelude - Part 4

1 day to go. The alarm goes off. I hit the snooze button.

5 minutes pass.

The alarm goes off again !

I say to myself - Wake up !.

5 more minutes.

But that was 10 minutes ago.

OK 5 more minutes.

15 minutes after the alarm first goes off I finally wake up. Sheesh, I need to reach the railway station in time to pick up my F-I-L. I quickly finish off the morning chores and head to the railway station which is about 20 kms away. I’m late. Thankfully, so is the train. The train is just rolling in as I reach the platform. Whew! that was close. A quick check with F-I-L regarding the coach number and I’m there just as he is detraining. He has quite a few bags with him although he has come alone.

Me : What’s with the bags? Why so many of them? Are you sure these are all yours?

F-I-L : Oh! Nothing much. M-I-L had a small chat with her niece about what she would like to get from mallu land.

Me :

M-I-L and her niece (my daughter) had a chat. The number of bags are a direct result of that 5 minute chat. We quickly get into the car and head home. F-I-L is excited at the prospect of seeing his niece after a long time.
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Old 13th July 2010, 12:26   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jacs View Post


Nice start longhorn, waiting for the photo part of it since PY-Velankani is in my wishlist too.
Thanks jacs. The photos will come along the way though I must warn you in advance that they are in very limited numbers.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Lightening-Fast View Post
Hey, good start. will be making a Pondicherry trip with colleagues this weekend. Waiting to read more details and sure this one will be handy.
Thanks Lightening-Fast. Good to hear that you are enjoying my travelogue. Pondy is a nice place to spend a weekend.
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Old 13th July 2010, 14:16   #11
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Default The Prelude - Part 5

With one day to go, I plan to get out of office on time in the evening to tank her up and also get the tyre pressures checked. Unfortunately, things don’t go as per plan, and I get bogged down with work. I finally get out of office at 8 pm and reach home by 9 pm. I don’t take the car to office. The car rolls out only on Saturdays and Sundays. Rest of the time she’s parked under wraps.

As I reach home there is a slight drizzle going on. I switch on the news and in comes the headlines – Petrol and diesel prices increased from midnight tonight. What a way to start the trip! I decide that I’d rather keep the car clean than head to the bunk tonight and get her dirty from the rain. Moreover fuel prices are at least a good 5 rupees cheaper in Pondy. So I just need enough petrol to get there. I drop the bunk visit plan and concentrate on getting this ready for D - day.

I get the required things packed and assembled at a single location, but do not load them into the car. That will happen tomorrow. This way there won’t be any wastage of time searching for what is kept where.
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Old 13th July 2010, 14:49   #12
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Default D-Day 26/06/2010

The alarm goes off. I hit the snooze button.

5 more minutes.

The alarm goes off again.

I say to myself - Wake up you have a long journey ahead of you !

I’m up in no time. We are all up and ready to roll. I load the things into the car and we start out from the house at 7:00 AM. We head to the nearest bunk. They were out of stock due to the high demand for fuel the previous night on account of the price increase in force from today.

There is a new BP bunk very close to this one, so I head there and fortunately they have fuel. I fill petrol for 700 bucks and also get the tyre pressures checked. Just a week ago I had filled air set to 33 psi. Today I find that all four tyres are showing 31 psi. I suspect the meters at the bunks are not calibrated properly. I ask to attendant to pump 34 psi on all tyres including the stepney. Now we are good to go. We start moving and I immediately realize that the rolling resistance is much lesser now. I guess this being a new pump, he’s got his goods calibrated properly.
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Old 13th July 2010, 15:12   #13
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@longhorn. Nice hilarious start. I think longest prelude I have seen of a TL! But, it all was a good reading. Guess what, your expression 'mallu land' made me do this . Looking for more of the story with pics.
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Old 13th July 2010, 15:30   #14
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Longhorn , nice start there!! Looks like your FIL is a pretty fun person to be around. Now move fast man, get over with the prelude and start with the story.Expecting to see lots of green and clean photos.
Quote:
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M-I-L and her niece (my daughter) had a chat.
One doubt but, how come your daughter is NIECE to your MIL, Shouldn't be in MIL and her granddaughter??

p.s: BTW, you seem to be making good use of the chrome extensions
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Old 13th July 2010, 18:20   #15
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Originally Posted by LongDrive lover View Post
@longhorn. Nice hilarious start. I think longest prelude I have seen of a TL! But, it all was a good reading. Guess what, your expression 'mallu land' made me do this . Looking for more of the story with pics.
thanks pal. Nice to see that you are are enjoying the show.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fordmanchau View Post
Longhorn , nice start there!! Looks like your FIL is a pretty fun person to be around. Now move fast man, get over with the prelude and start with the story.Expecting to see lots of green and clean photos.

One doubt but, how come your daughter is NIECE to your MIL, Shouldn't be in MIL and her granddaughter??
You got that right. It should have been MIL and grand daughter.
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