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Old 28th December 2010, 14:40   #16
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Default Re: Two Trips -Down Memory lane - Pune - Udupi

Travelogue shaping up to be interesting.

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Originally Posted by MX6 View Post

"Timber. It fetches money. So whether you have plans for 4 laning now or not, they'd chop it at the available moment. Now the challenge is in ensuring that there are no encroachments on the cleared area beyond Kundapura"
OT: The gentlemen is right. Bangalore is a prime example of a once green city losing most of its green cover due to this. Everyday, my eyes bleed seeing the destruction, the price we pay for development.
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Old 28th December 2010, 16:24   #17
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Default Re: Two Trips -Down Memory lane - Pune - Udupi

I log on to TeamBhp after almost 4 days to find your travelogue on your latest (rather one more) sojourn to Udupi and Sringeri.
I did read your SMS and for a while I felt if I was ignorant to a place you mentioned - Hosa Bhatkal till I actually got it from you that you were referring to the dreaded Honalli Shimoga stretch .

Photos saar!
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Old 28th December 2010, 17:19   #18
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Originally Posted by hvkumar View Post
MX6, did anyone tell you - at this rate, you are going to be in the list for the Booker Prize, on the footsteps of Salman bhai (not the Dabbhang guy, silly......the Rushdie one).

It must have been weird to see Malaika still while you guys were gyrating in the Volvo as it flew across the air pockets at Bhatkal.

Does the McD after Khatraj have clean loos? (not mentioned in your TL)
Saar. We stopped at the McD between Kolhapur and Kagal (towards Pune). It was for Breakfast. We spent around an hour there relaxing and stretching. Restrooms were clean there. It was perfect time for breakfast as my daughter just declared that she's hungry. So while zooming I saw this McD, and decided to take a U-turn to come here.

And Salman and me? I've not read his works. But then I should be careful not to invite a fatwa!

But this is a big accolade seeing Salman Rushdie's name and Booker kind of things here from you!

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Originally Posted by anilisanil View Post
^^ Will the real MX6 stand up?

Speed testing a bike!!!!??? now I know how you meant "The movie has some plots which will be revealed slowly."
The Real MX6 still has trouble standing up
Yes. But I got a bit delayed due to a prolonged break in Kagal. So couldn't see the "Dog" personally. But then, the modified Bullet (500cc) apparently did 162 kph!

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Originally Posted by libranof1987 View Post
A very pleasant read! More so, because it is coming from someone who's been at Manipal and then a BHPian!

Which institute did you study in and when did you graduate?

I am a class of '09 alumni from MIT! Almost made it to the Alumni Meet, had it not been for some other plan.

It has been close to 2 years since I left Manipal, but every and then I find myself going there to refresh my memory!
You should have come over to the Alumni meet! I'll pm you the details you have asked here.

Quote:
Originally Posted by KRRaj View Post
Travelogue shaping up to be interesting.



OT: The gentlemen is right. Bangalore is a prime example of a once green city losing most of its green cover due to this. Everyday, my eyes bleed seeing the destruction, the price we pay for development.
Thanks KRRaj. And incidentally, sorry for not quoting that comment. The "Gentleman" who spoke about felling of trees is Your's Truly!

Quote:
Originally Posted by paragsachania View Post
I log on to TeamBhp after almost 4 days to find your travelogue on your latest (rather one more) sojourn to Udupi and Sringeri.
I did read your SMS and for a while I felt if I was ignorant to a place you mentioned - Hosa Bhatkal till I actually got it from you that you were referring to the dreaded Honalli Shimoga stretch .

Photos saar!
Yeah. I get to hear that you sneaked a quickie to Palghat.
Yes. The Honnali stretch is now even worse. We'll take it when we come to that part of the story.

Photos will come in a flood shortly.

Thanks for the growing patronage people!

11th Dec 2010 - Chaitya Hall - Manipal
It was an inspiring session. The people on the dias included greats like Dr. Cherian (Cardiothoracic Surgeon), Dr. Ramanna Rao (personal physician of Matinee idol Dr. Rajkumar), Dr. Ramdas Pai (Chancellor - Manipal Academy of Higher Education), Dr. HS Ballal (Pro-chancellor) and other dignitaries.

Dr. Cherian is accredited with great records. He is the only Indian physician who's name is engraved in the Island of Kos, Greece, along with world famous doctors. He is the person behind Cherian foundation which gives lives to many troubled hearts. He is an Alumni of Manipal too!

Dr. Cherian came to the function late! Not without a reason. They found a donor for an Iranian at the last moment and he declared, that this is one heart we can't let go. After a marathon open heart surgery spanning hours, he still makes it to the airport just 5 minutes late and they didn't let him board the plane.

So how does Dr. Cherian make it to Manipal? The good old T-BHPian way. He hops in to a cab and motors along all the way. He wasn't too late to the function. just 40 minutes!

18th Dec 2010, Kagal
Time does fly fast. Every trip down that road, my daughter grows up. She quickly finished off her idlies and was running all around McD carrying her tiny little hanuman chanting, "Fly, fly Hanuman".
Two Trips -Down Memory lane - Pune - Udupi-2.jpg

After an hour of relaxing in McD, we were on the quest to find a bunk this side of the border that accepts credit cards. As we drive, my daughter was at her best enjoying the great long drive sitting in her car seat!
Two Trips -Down Memory lane - Pune - Udupi-3.jpg

Most of the bunks replied in negative for card. Finally I managed to find a BP bunk that does, but then they had only premium petrol. So I move out to tank up in the HP bunk nearby.

Again the phone call. Can't pick it while tanking up. I lost over 30 mins searching for a bunk, tanking up, paying up, checking tire pressure and what not.
"Saar. I'm delayed. I should be near Tawandi in 30 mins from now. Where are you people?"

"Sankeshwar. We will be leaving back in 30 mins."

"Hope we catch up saar. I shall call when crossing Tawandi ghats".

15 kms down the road, it struck me. Damn. I forgot to collect the bill from the bunk. I need to turn around. Also near the border I saw 10 - 15 buses decorated carrying photos of some "spiritual" leader and loads of followers pouring in mini vans, trucks etc. I need to cross this damn place before they clog the highway.

I did a quick U-turn and went back to the same pump and collected the bill for petrol.

"It's almost an hour. Where are you?"
"Saar. Got delayed. Had to come back to collect petrol bill. Now crossing the border. Are you still in Sankeshwar?"
"We are returning shortly. Take a U-turn after you cross Tawandi ghat and wait for a black Honda accord"

I floored the pedal. shortly after mid day I'd crossed Tawandi.

Upon calling again, I found they are still at Sankeshwar. So I motored along a bit more and found a nice place to pull over on the other side and stopped.

in 10 minutes, the honda pulls over.
Who do we find here! The great HVKumar! Along with him are some real cool people. For speed testing a modded bullet these people drive all the way to Karnataka from Mumbai/ Pune.
Two Trips -Down Memory lane - Pune - Udupi-sankeshwar-meet.jpg

And we have a nice time talking. Then HVK goes over to my wife and asks, "How did you let him drive in this condition?"
Saar. With MX6 - there is no permission from home ministry kind of statements!


And then HVK was very exuberant and allayed my mother of all fears. "Driving works as a tonic", he said. That, dear saar, is an understatement. Driving works as Nectar. Remember what's there in the bonnet of my car? Live to Drive. It's actually to be read backwards.

Drive to live.

"Take the Chitradurga - Bhadravati route", said HVK again.

We bid adieu to our friends from T-BHP at Sankeshwar and were soon pottering along at a gentle pace towards hubli. Next question in mind was where to have lunch.

Last edited by MX6 : 28th December 2010 at 17:28.
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Old 28th December 2010, 17:49   #19
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Default Re: Two Trips -Down Memory lane - Pune - Udupi

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Originally Posted by MX6 View Post

Yeah. I get to hear that you sneaked a quickie to Palghat.
Yes. The Honnali stretch is now even worse. We'll take it when we come to that part of the story.

Photos will come in a flood shortly.
Actually I drove to Muvatipuzah which eventually (rather co-incidentally) turned out to be the ancestral place of argee who is now road tripping and will be visiting my hometown (Belur). Can't get better than this.

By the way, really good to know that you could meet up with the speed testers on one of those stretches on GQ where one can actually do a speedtest.

And yeah, you and HVK are right indeed. Driving works as a Tonic, Nectar and what not. Except for the missing sticker on my car, I also "Drive to Live" !! Looking at my odo show 129000Kms today in 4.8 years, most of them end up asking what do I do in life?

Please help the members including me with a pictorial introduction of "Hosabhatkal" if you have any captured.
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Old 28th December 2010, 19:40   #20
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Default Re: Two Trips -Down Memory lane - Pune - Udupi

Team-bhpians all -
gsferrari (Guru)
MX6
tigerranch (Kishor Chhabria)
hvkumar ( H V Kumar)
Kunal Bhaskaran

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Old 28th December 2010, 21:30   #21
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Default Re: Two Trips -Down Memory lane - Pune - Udupi

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Team-bhpians all -
gsferrari (Guru)
MX6
tigerranch (Kishor Chhabria)
hvkumar ( H V Kumar)
Kunal Bhaskaran (Motocamp)

Just added Kunal's T-Bhp handle!
All T-Bhp "MAHARATHIS" and Ram Bahadur Kunal's man friday on the extreme left.
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Old 28th December 2010, 21:43   #22
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Default Re: Two Trips -Down Memory lane - Pune - Udupi

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Actually I drove to Muvatipuzah which eventually (rather co-incidentally) turned out to be the ancestral place of argee who is now road tripping and will be visiting my hometown (Belur). Can't get better than this.
Please help the members including me with a pictorial introduction of "Hosabhatkal" if you have any captured.
Just google for lunar craters! That's all there is to Hosabhatkal. I was in no mood of taking any photos. My wife spotted a bright Kingfisher on a wire and wanted to click. She couldn't get it clearly in the Point and Shoot. I was in no mood to touch my DSLR. That's what Honnali aka hosabhatkal does to you.

And indeed it's a small world. Aargee is currently in Sringeri and had a lot of trouble finding a place to stay. Just spoke to him and managed to find a room for him there!

Quote:
Originally Posted by hvkumar View Post
Team-bhpians all -
gsferrari (Guru)
MX6
tigerranch (Kishor Chhabria)
hvkumar ( H V Kumar)
Kunal Bhaskaran
Isn't Ram Bahadur on T-bhp? Man Friday's need to be there!

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Originally Posted by BolBolero View Post
Just added Kunal's T-Bhp handle!
All T-Bhp "MAHARATHIS" and Ram Bahadur Kunal's man friday on the extreme left.
MAHARATHIS? I'm on this list too?

Interestingly, barring Ram Bahadur, did you notice the progression of weight and size as you proceed from Kunal to Guru?

Incidentally, Tigerranch just did a non-stop ride to Kanyakumari and back! Waiting for a gripping epic from his side. Don't think there are photos in his trip though.
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Old 29th December 2010, 18:55   #23
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Default Re: Two Trips -Down Memory lane - Pune - Udupi

Good one sir! I am looking forward to the next chapters in your story. It is great to know that your little one is enjoying these long drives too
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Old 30th December 2010, 12:52   #24
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Default Re: Two Trips -Down Memory lane - Pune - Udupi

@Selfdrive. Thanks. My little one has been enjoying these journeys every since she was 2 months old.
When you get free time, do have a look at my trip bigger and more grand last year
http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/travel...runelveli.html (A trip close to heart - Pune to Tirunelveli)

11th Dec 2010 - Pune
Finally managed to get an Auto to go to Manipal. Every place had loads of police and they'd cordoned off most of the roads as CM was to arrive. No matter how much I tried to convince them that I need to go to the hospital, did they open up roads for me.
Alas, in a democratic nation called India, the common man is the biggest loser.
for a 4 km trip, we had a 10 km detour. Eventually I managed to reach the venue.
The associate director saw me and was moved to tears nearly.
"You managed to come in this condition? I'm really sorry to see you like this"
"Actually sir, it's like homecoming. Morning I spent the time in good old Kasturba hospital! Now back in the evening to this wonderful function. Nothing has changed in over a dozen years!"
I was given prime seats.
While my university works on the photos taken by them of that eve and send me, let me give a sneak peak of the people on stage!
Two Trips -Down Memory lane - Pune - Udupi-alumni.jpg

18th Dec 2010, Sankeshwar
We were cantering along smoothly. Crossing the Ranebennur stretch was slightly easier this time. But two monstrous speed breakers means, "welcome to karnataka, have your bottoms scraped!"

We stopped at the Hubli end of the toll and asked the guy.
"Oota elli siguthade?"

Soon we were off another 15 kms to find Kamath. I flopped on the chair giving rest to my tired body and let my daughter do all the running. It was almost 7 hours since we left Pune. Around 5.5 hours of drive time got us 450 kms or so from home. Not a bad time.
As we polished off thalis, my wife asked me, "How much more to go?"
She was visibly tired. My daughter was as fresh as a daisy.

We have two options. Travel all the way to Chitradurga on good roads. Turn off towards Bhadravati as HVK said which he says are good.
That might ensue over 80 - 90 kms extra travel.
Or we can turn off at Harihar and take the dreaded honnali shimoga route.

"Extra distance doesn't matter", said she, for the first time wanting to go further just to avoid bad roads.
"But then I don't know how good actually the chitradurga - bhadravati stretch is. What if we travel extra only to hit bad patch there. It will easily add 1.5 hour more to the honnali stretch.

We left shortly after lunch and stopped by a tender coconut shop.
"Road hege idhe?"

He possibly didn't know what good roads are. What can we expect from poor farmers and street side vendors? He showed us how to branch off at Harihar to be on the road to Honnali.

The prospect of travelling around 60 odd kms to shimoga looked inviting. If we reach Shimoga by 4 even, we can retire for the evening in Sringeri by 6! Between now and shimoga, there's 60 kms and 2 odd hours.

And when we turned off at Harihar - we ran in to the worst of the possible scenarios.
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Old 30th December 2010, 13:34   #25
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Default Re: Two Trips -Down Memory lane - Pune - Udupi

You disobeyed HVK? That must be a nasty decision!!
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Old 30th December 2010, 18:57   #26
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12th Dec 2010 - Ankola
The gentleman asked me, "Would you be in a position to come down to have dinner at Kamath's?"
"No sir. It's very cumbersome. I'll have my dinner in the bus."
I also shifted from my seat to the one ahead thanks to the younger gentleman who gave up his seat with emergency exit that had larger leg space.
After having packed food that I got from home, I settled down to sleep. Dabangg was loud and deprived me of sleep.
Found it difficult to sit without slipping.
The next morning I got off at Swargate and took an Auto rickshaw home.

"Oh my god. What happened to you?", screamed my wife when she saw me.
"Nothing. It's not as bad as it looks".
"You didn't tell me one word. You shouldn't have travelled back like this from Udupi, that too alone in a bus", pitched in my mother.
My daughter was pushed in to slight gloom and as she sensed something is wrong. So I had to cheer up my wife and mother so that my daughter relaxes.
"I'm completely fine", I declared.
And about the coming weekend drive to Udupi?
"We shall take a call on that on Friday, whether we can go on Saturday the 18th of dec or not".

I had 5 days to recuperate.

"Can't we postpone the 18th dec trip? Or get a driver? Or search alternate mode of travel?", asked my wife.

I distracted her by showing some photos.

"Do you want to see the pic of the new 4 wheel drive I test drove in Manipal?", I asked her, "It's extremely fuel efficient. And it's all terrain. I could easily get in and out of it. Amazing turn radius, and could fit in anywhere!".
Two Trips -Down Memory lane - Pune - Udupi-4x4.jpg

She had a look at that photo and amidst tears, smiled a little.
"How can you still joke?", she asked.

"Well, it's not actually a joke. Once a driver, always a driver!", I retorted.

18th Dec 2010 - shortly after the turn from NH4 on the road to Honnali

I ran in to huge crowd. Huge traffic jam. All villagers in all kinds of vehicles. Tractors full of people.

What on mighty earth is this? Soon I figured it's a opening of a new temple coming up there. Guess it's associated with the Adichunchanagiri trust.

I was frustrated seeing villagers chew sugarcane from their open tractor trailors and spit all over my car.
No inch to move. The share auto behind comes and rear ends me. I get off to see the damage and there's none thankfully. Not a scratch. Then I realised that this bugger did it deliberately so that I will inch ahead.

Ahead where? There's absolute chaos.

He starts screaming at me to move ahead. There are over tens of thousands of people there adding to chaos. Can't run over people. I started first advicing him not to bump me from behind because he doesn't have a horn. When he screamed more, I screamed back. Was losing my patience there.

The whole community was up against me and I didn't flinch. Word for word. He shut up.

Got back in to the car and it took 20 mins or so to cross 100 meters.

At the corner of the junction, there was a poster of the temple.

"What a beautiful temple", commented my wife.
"We don't need temples dear. We have plenty of ancient great temples that are dilapitated and uncared for. We don't need any more temples. What we need are schools. I'd have loved it had these guys built schools instead".

Once the road was clear, it was 80 all the way to Honnali. I was pleasantly surprised at amazing road till Honnali. Updated facebook to reflect that. Hoped that honnali to Shimoga was the same too.

Saw one of the craziest sights. KA18 registration ford ikon ahead of me, having the stickers reading Veeresh and Doctor (the red cross).
The driver turned on the indicator at every turn! Beautiful. Next 40 mins I was just following him and saw at every turn, he turns on his indicators. But hey, it's just one road that winds around. Some one please tell him that one doesn't need to turn on indicators for curves on a single road!

We stopped by a tea stall at Honnali to boil milk for our daughter. Another hour we should be in Shimoga. 3 more hours to Sringeri. Looks like we are doing good time.

It was 4 or so in the evening and a prospect of reaching Sringeri by 7 loomed large.

Then the biggest horror of Karnataka started. Honnali to Shimoga road was in tatters. The roads were so bad that Bhatkal would be put to shame. I officially renamed honnali stretch as Hosabhatkal (new bhatkal).
25 kms of the stretch was so pathetic that it took me around 3 hours to cross it. After a while, my wife couldn't sit anymore in the car. As such she is not used to long drives. 400 kms max on good roads is all she can take. She started cramping up. Her back was sore and couldn't sit. My mother was next to go. Cramps in her legs. My daughter was still energetic and gung ho! Good roads/ bad roads/ no roads. Nothing deters MX6 and his junior!

I stopped mid way to let my family stretch.
"Look a kingfisher", said my wife cheered up now. I felt disgusted. I should have taken the Chitradurga - Bhadravati route.
Anyway, we have another 11 kms to do to shimoga. Once there, we are good. Guess we'll stop there for dinner or for the night itself.

the last 10 kms was amazingly bad that I was looking out searching desperately.
"What are you searching for?", asked my mother.
"Neil Armstrong", was my terse reply.

around 7:30 pm, I guess, we entered Shimoga. Oh dear. This is atrocious. Last year around it was Bhatkal stretch. This year it's Honnali. And Karnataka collects maximum registration fee and tax. Damn.

"Dinner?". We had some Idlies for my daughter and wife and they finished it in the car itself. Shimoga town roads were all dug up and concretisation was happening. Thanks to my garmin, I was able to navigate around and finally got on to the road that takes me to Thirthahalli.

Shimoga - Thirthahalli - Koppa - Sringeri is heaven! It took me just little over 100 minutes to traverse that distance.

What else will you do when you are out of war zone and get on to such inviting roads as these?
Two Trips -Down Memory lane - Pune - Udupi-5.jpg

Once at Sringeri, I dropped off my wife and daughter at the choultry room and then went in search of dinner. 10 in the night, there's just one place. Udupi restaurant opposite the reception office. After dinner, we retired for the night.

Over 800 kms done in one day. 30 kms of that 800 took over 3 hours. rest 770 kms took 8 hours. with 4 hours of break time, we left Pune in the morning and after over 15 hours of travel, we reached Sringeri.

I'm yet to pull out the gps logs to get exact timings. As usual will do that at the end of the log.

Road conditions till now.
Pune to Kolhapur - Some deterioration on NH4 around Satara.
Kolhapur to Sankeshwar - Dream section.
Sankeshwar to Dharwad - good section again.
Dharwad - Hubli bypass - good two lane road.
Hubli to Harihar - good except for ranebennur stretch.
Harihar to Honnali - Surprise section.
Honnali to Shimoga - Shockingly bad. Atrocious. New Bhatkal.
Shimoga to Sringeri - Amazing stretch as the photo shows.
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Old 30th December 2010, 20:36   #27
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I heard from Aargee about your new 4-wheel drive . Roads in Karnataka have always remained bad as far as I can remember :-(
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Old 30th December 2010, 21:57   #28
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This ikon you know who it lauds & celebrates

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My daughter was still energetic and gung ho! Good roads/ bad roads/ no roads. Nothing deters MX6 and his junior!
and the one below
is to ward off the evil eye
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Old 30th December 2010, 22:37   #29
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Default Re: Two Trips -Down Memory lane - Pune - Udupi

Everyone in your FB came to know of your 4-wheeler, except....ahem.......your wife!

"Once a driver, always a driver", you say! This leg accident would never have happened if you had not deserted your Ikon for a Volvo! So dangerous, travelling in buses. Next time, avoid trains, buses and planes, stick to cars!

Next time you travel, please let us know which roads you will travel in - whichever you drive around in appear to be mysteriously cracking up, we should avoid them! BUt I guess now Bhatkal has improved, but has Honnali?
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Old 31st December 2010, 11:31   #30
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. KA18 registration ford ikon ahead of me, having the stickers reading Veeresh and Doctor (the red cross0.
I certainly need to check who IS Dr Veeresh in Chikmagalur

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Then the biggest horror of Karnataka started. Honnali to Shimoga road was in tatters. Honnali to Shimoga - Shockingly bad. Atrocious.
There are actully 2 roads from Honnali to Shimoga . First one you have to deviate near the petrol bunk at the entrance of Honalli when coming from Harihar side, other is via Honnali town.
First route is via Holalur -Shimoga
2nd Via Savalanga - Shimoga.
Probably you might have taken the first route, which is in worst possible condition.
2nd route via Savalanga was in very good shape some time back, particularly from Savalanga - Shimoga.
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