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Old 10th December 2010, 09:56   #46
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Default Re: Around India in 7 Days - GQ Drive!!

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Originally Posted by Sheel View Post
You need to keep your cool in these places. (Go very slow when approaching a village/crowded area)

Doesn't Slime help in much?
(Not when there is a deep cut and is recommended to carry tubes at places where it is irreparable)
We approached villages or crowds keeping in mind that some one would cross. Speeds were invariably kept slow. Maybe in the over all trip this did cost time, but time well spent!

Slime might've helped in the situation we had. It was a half inch piece of sharp metal pin, similar to a nail that had caused the puncture.
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Old 10th December 2010, 20:56   #47
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Default Calcutta – Kharagpur – Jaleshwar – Baleshwar

Stage 4

Calcutta – Kharagpur – Jaleshwar – Baleshwar

Start Time – 1530hrs 2nd Dec, Calcutta
Stop Time – 2100hrs 2nd Dec, Baleshwar
Distance – 250kms

It was supposed to be a day when we could afford to get up late. But, as luck would’ve it, I was up around 6:30am. With nothing to do, I went for a quick walk, withdrew some money for the onward journey since ATM facilities are hard to come by in Orissa. Around 0900hrs we started of for the service center and found the place without much difficulty. It was just regular service that needed to be done, engine oil, oil filter, air filter and ORVM needed to be replaced.

Around India in 7 Days - GQ Drive!!-img_4170.jpg

Around India in 7 Days - GQ Drive!!-img_4174.jpg

I was surprised by the very less in-flow of vehicles that they had. They had barely 10 vehicles that day to work on. Work got done without much hassle and got the car by about 1400hrs. Went on to get the tyre puncture repaired, at Indo Royal tire shop on Park Street. Filled up fuel, and got on to the highway. Had a very late lunch and targeted Bhubaneswar. Little did we know how our plans would get trampled on.

Around India in 7 Days - GQ Drive!!-img_4178.jpg

Kharagpur by-pass junction had us running round in circles. We went in almost all the four directions atleast once before finding the right route out. HVK and group had trouble at the same spot too. Signages are pretty bad, or we missed on one at night. We run into another huge traffic jam right after Dantan by-pass. Trucks filling all the lanes. We asked around and got to know that the block is all the way till Orissa border and might actually take days to clear. Turned around and tried the opposite lane. That too was blocked. We had heard of stories about Orissa not being very safe to drive at night, and there we were blocked on all sides, practically, with no way forward.

Around India in 7 Days - GQ Drive!!-img_4183.jpg

I remembered seeing a path going of the highway like a service road on the GPS (I’ve a Sat Guide unit). Went back to a petrol pump that we had seen enroute and enquired. He said we could take a road that goes through Jaleshwar, which was the service road marked in the GPS. My hindi is not good and fluent, and I get confused with directions in Hindi! I ended up asking left or right to the people there!! Confirmed atleast twice about the directions. The petrol pump attendant was apologetic and told, “sir, we don’t know English, that’s why we cant explain properly”. I so wanted to tell him, “it really doesn’t matter if you know English well, look at me, I know English pretty ok, and am falling short of Hindi!”

That road thankfully took us past the border and into Orissa!!

HVK had told us to stay some where around Baleshwar. But the over-confident us decide Bhubaneswar was more like it. And the roads proved us wrong! Change of plans and we ended up staying at a place called Staff Hotel, off Baleshwar by-pass. Here, we were saved the ritual of going around to 2 more before hitting jackpot!

This was the day when we covered the least distance for any day. And tomorrow…. tomorrow was going to be long!!

Around India in 7 Days - GQ Drive!!-img_4188.jpg
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Old 10th December 2010, 22:36   #48
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Default Re: Around India in 7 Days - GQ Drive!!

I think you were lucky to find the alternative route to get out of the WB-OR traffic jam. Looking back at the live Google Latitude images, I find that what you took was actually the old NH60 (prior to widening), since the new 4-laned road is a different alignment from the old road.

Details of the hotel at Baleshwar? I think it was right on the highway, so a good place to recommend?
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Old 10th December 2010, 22:45   #49
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Default Re: Around India in 7 Days - GQ Drive!!

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Originally Posted by hvkumar View Post
I think you were lucky to find the alternative route to get out of the WB-OR traffic jam. Looking back at the live Google Latitude images, I find that what you took was actually the old NH60 (prior to widening), since the new 4-laned road is a different alignment from the old road.

Details of the hotel at Baleshwar? I think it was right on the highway, so a good place to recommend?
Yes, it is the old NH60. The roads are narrow, and there is some construction going on. Also, there are plenty of speed bumps on the way. Not that any one can drive fast there!!

The hotels name is Staff Hotel. It is on the right hand-side, after a fly over. Don't have the kilometer count since we did a bit of up and down looking for Hotel Suman, before we settled for this one. It was well lit at night, and cannot be missed. One of the biggest buildings in that area and painted green. There is no enclosed parking, which might be a cause for concern. They do have a security though. Otherwise, the place is decent enough. I wouldn't outright say its good to stay with family, but if you are running out of options, it is suitable. They have an attached restaurant, that serves superb Chilli Chicken!! Sounds a bit like Highway On The Plate eh!!
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Old 10th December 2010, 23:44   #50
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Default Re: Around India in 7 Days - GQ Drive!!

This part was short, wb-or traffic might takes days to clear? so next coming up orrisa, ap and tn in a single day?
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Old 11th December 2010, 02:58   #51
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Default Re: Around India in 7 Days - GQ Drive!!

Liked the trukkers message - Log apne dukh se dukhi nahin hein, dusre ke sukh se dukhi hein!
Remember another one from a log saying something like 'Ager moton sukh nei' with a attrective picture along.
I think truck writings would make a good subject for a pictorial.
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Old 11th December 2010, 14:26   #52
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Default Re: Around India in 7 Days - GQ Drive!!

Unni, we are following you. Now waiting in Baleshwar, may be because of weekend?

Sorry for the kissing incident with Tata ACE which left Fiesta with one ear. American vs Indian? Lucky that nothing catastrophic happened. Keep going .

+1 to HVK, I ensure atleast one spare tube is with me even if its a tubeless.
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Old 11th December 2010, 16:04   #53
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Default Re: Around India in 7 Days - GQ Drive!!

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Originally Posted by jacs View Post
Unni, we are following you. Now waiting in Baleshwar, may be because of weekend?
The break in the TL is longer than the longest break that Unni and JK took!!!
Maybe our man is on his weekly drive to KL?
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Old 11th December 2010, 23:06   #54
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Default Re: Around India in 7 Days - GQ Drive!!

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Originally Posted by motomaverick View Post
This part was short, wb-or traffic might takes days to clear? so next coming up orrisa, ap and tn in a single day?
Yes, this was short day, owing to time spent at Calcutta in servicing the car. The next installment is the all the way home!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by San Phrangmung View Post
Liked the trukkers message - Log apne dukh se dukhi nahin hein, dusre ke sukh se dukhi hein!
Remember another one from a log saying something like 'Ager moton sukh nei' with a attrective picture along.
I think truck writings would make a good subject for a pictorial.
Good to see that you noticed the writing, the reason why i put the pic up. Very meaningful at that. Yes, remember seeing something similar to a collage somewhere on the forum with truck writings.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jacs View Post
Unni, we are following you. Now waiting in Baleshwar, may be because of weekend?

Sorry for the kissing incident with Tata ACE which left Fiesta with one ear. American vs Indian? Lucky that nothing catastrophic happened. Keep going .
.
Yes, the weekend!! Was on a trip to Lepakshi!! We were truly lucky that it was just that. Things could've taken an ugly turn had it been more major.

Quote:
Originally Posted by hvkumar View Post
The break in the TL is longer than the longest break that Unni and JK took!!!
Maybe our man is on his weekly drive to KL?
not on a KL drive. Thats happening next weekend! This time had gone to Lepakshi.
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Old 13th December 2010, 08:30   #55
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Smile Re: Around India in 7 Days - GQ Drive!!

Hi Unni,

Your travelogue is getting more like a Alfred Hitchcock movie, lots of suspense and on the edge thrills.

Glad to know that you could get out of the mega jam and into Orissa. Just imagine your itenary going for a toss had you stayed put in the jam.

BTW how was the service experience in Kolkatta? What did it cost you for replacing the OVRM. How much for getting the puncture repaired.

This is getting more interesting than the Saas-bahu serial, so I am glued for now.

I have rated this thread a 5 star. Keep it coming Unni.

Last edited by ghodlur : 13th December 2010 at 08:32.
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Old 13th December 2010, 11:14   #56
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Default Re: Around India in 7 Days - GQ Drive!!

Amazing Drive and a wonderful wrtie up , Unni. And HVK really gave some good support to make your Drive successful.

Awaiting to read more of last lap, other incidents, the ambulance story etc . . .
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Old 13th December 2010, 14:46   #57
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Default Re: Around India in 7 Days - GQ Drive!!

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Originally Posted by unni.ak View Post
Yes, the weekend!! Was on a trip to Lepakshi!!
You forgot to mention you took to Lepakshi a car which had dust on it from 6 states! You were saying you wanted to collect more dust from AP, right? Hope you arent complaining now.
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Old 13th December 2010, 18:57   #58
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Default Re: Around India in 7 Days - GQ Drive!!

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Originally Posted by unni.ak View Post
They have an attached restaurant, that serves superb Chilli Chicken!! Sounds a bit like Highway On The Plate eh!!
"Chilly chicken, chilly chicken and nothing but chilly chicken" would be apt, i think. I still get the comfy feeling I told you about whenever I think of that hotel.
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Old 13th December 2010, 20:06   #59
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Default Baleshwar – Bhubaneswar – Behrampur - Vijaywada – Guntur - Chennai – B'lore

Stage 5

Baleshwar – Bhubaneswar – Behrampur – Srikakulam – Vizag – Rajahmundry – Eluru – Vijaywada – Guntur – Ongole – Nellore – Chennai – Vellore – Krishnagiri – Hosur – Bangalore

Start Time – 0650hrs 3rd Dec, Calcutta
Stop Time – 1930hrs 4th Dec, Bangalore
Distance – 1892kms

After a good rest, we started off on another marathon drive. Not having breakfast specifically was getting to be a norm by now. It was more of a brunch. Settled for some biscuits, and kept going. Bhubaneshwar came and went in quick time. There is a lot of traffic though between Cuttack and Bhubaneshwar. Approaching Balugaon, we got caught up in two level crossings, loosing close to an hour in them, and it seems to have been the market day or something of that sort at Balugaon, which added to the delay. It was already close to 1300hrs and we decided to visit Chilka Lake and have lunch there. A detour from the highway of about a kilometer and we reached the lake. Had sumptuous lunch at the OTDC Panth Nivas near the lake. Started of around an hour later from there, and we were looking forward to getting out of Orissa. We had had enough of road work, and bad roads.

Around India in 7 Days - GQ Drive!!-img_4197.jpg

Around India in 7 Days - GQ Drive!!-img_4206.jpg

Around India in 7 Days - GQ Drive!!-img_4209.jpg

Orissa border was coming up and we were discussing on ways to get through undetected, so to speak!! HVK had told us of the chances of the border being jammed up and we were worried. Modus operandi was to follow an AP registered private vehicle and get through, hopefully with out issues. As we neared the border, we started tailing AP vehicles, but one after the other kept turning off to by roads and lanes deviating from the highway. And then, we got an AP registered ambulance going at a pretty decent clip. Here begins our tale of crossing the Orissa border in a jiffy! We kept following the ambulance and as predicted, got in to a jam, about a kilometer or two away from the border. Even though the ambulance was empty at the time, the driver put on the siren and trucks slowly started making way. We just tagged along! He got onto the wrong lane and we shadowed. The lane switching kept happening a couple more times and…. We were in AP.

Around India in 7 Days - GQ Drive!!-img_4210.jpg

Around India in 7 Days - GQ Drive!!-img_4221.jpg

The roads changed. The scenery changed, and we were all smiles. Got an SMS from HVK congratulating us on entering the 12th state, and we sailed on. We had not made any concrete plans on whether we would keep driving till Bangalore or whether we would stay some where for the night. We just kept going. Vizag came and went. Stopped some where after for dinner. And we just kept going. There is a lot of road widening work happening between Vizag and Vijayawada, so watch out for deviations. They are well paved, but slows you down

Around India in 7 Days - GQ Drive!!-img_4232.jpg

We had kept seeing accidents on the way, but the one I saw after dinner break left me numb for a while. Doing the usual 90-100kmph I approached a bridge, the approach to which had broken tarmac. Braked, passed the bridge and was accelerating to cruising speed when I noticed the rear bumper of an M800 lying on the fast lane. I was alert and looked to see if there was a car on the road which had met with an accident and broke the bumper. Moved to the left lane and as I neared the bumper, realized that it was in fact a motorbike. Slowed down and that’s when the body caught my eye. It was lying perpendicular to the divider in a pool of blood, head smashed, just a lump actually, body twisted out of shape and no movement. Looked like a hit and run. And I did nothing. Jotted down the odo reading so that maybe I could inform some toll booth nearby, thought of calling up 100… thoughts were aplenty, but no actions. It was an eerie feeling, JK was asleep, and the roads empty. Just kept going.

Before Vijayawada, we stopped by the road side and grabbed some shut eye. Started of again in about 2 hours. Stopped for some breakfast at BPCL Ghar after Ongole by-pass, and had some superb dosas.

Around India in 7 Days - GQ Drive!!-img_4233.jpg

By then it was the feeling of being on home stretch. Chennai came and went around 1300hrs, had some difficulty with the new fly over construction happening, but was not painful. We actually slowed down a bit instead of speeding up after Chennai. Kept talking about the last few days and had a leisurely drive. Krishnagiri, Hosur, Electronics City flyover, and Bangalore traffic jams.

Around India in 7 Days - GQ Drive!!-img_4248.jpg

Home. We had barely parked when we got HVK’s message congratulating us on completing the drive. And then, the enormity of what we had done sunk in. The last 7days had been exhilarating. This was an experience truly worth cherishing.
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Old 13th December 2010, 20:13   #60
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Default Re: Around India in 7 Days - GQ Drive!!

The Baleshwaroooo-Bengalarooooo drive must be ranking a sone of the looooongest non-stop drives! Great show, Unni & JK.

Which State do you rate has the best GQ roads? Would that be AP?
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