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Old 21st January 2011, 12:59   #136
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Default Re: Expressway-Sand-Gravel-Snow: 5500kms in a Chevrolet Cruze

Avi, you could have gone, visited the TAJ and have some amazing Aloo Chat at Mall Road and proceeded.

Now please unleash the next phase of your travel through Bolero suitable surface in a Cruze
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Old 21st January 2011, 17:52   #137
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Default Re: Expressway-Sand-Gravel-Snow: 5500kms in a Chevrolet Cruze

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Originally Posted by SS-Traveller View Post
"Cruze offroading" - LOL. Edit: Could we have some more instalments please? I am loving it...
Thanks SS for posting those pictures. These pictures nearly sum up most of my return journey especially through UP and even worse for one particular long sector in MP

Quote:
Originally Posted by MileCruncher View Post
Avi, you could have gone, visited the TAJ and have some amazing Aloo Chat at Mall Road and proceeded.

Now please unleash the next phase of your travel through Bolero suitable surface in a Cruze
As mentioned, I was damn tempted but, it was already 1pm and we had covered only 300kms and not sure of what roads lay ahead so decided to skip that urge.

Btw, Ani, you seem to enjoy my beloved WA's predicament through horrible patches. Well, this is where i would like to announce to all that "Milecruncher" is the main culprit in guiding me through roads ahead which were meant for his Bolero

After Agra, we kept our fingers crossed and praying to god to give us roads to drive on and not "no roads" to fume through.

Once on the highway, we had targetted Seoni which was roughly 400+kms for night halt in Madhya Pradesh. But, as if only again wishes were horses.

We passed through some terrible stretches before Morena (Phoolan Devi ilaka, posting some pictures of some weird landscape in Morena area, truly different) and at one place which i dont remember we saw there was atleast 2kms truck jam. There was an Indica Vista ( Silver and almost new) with MP plates and he made a quick U-turn and we said wanted to go to Gwalior and he asked us to follow him.

My cousin was driving who's not an agressive driver had a tough time keeping up with that overtly hyper Indica fella who was driving at breakneck speeds and dangerously swearing in and out of traffic.

At one point, I spotted a cow jumping of the left pavement on to the road and a truck ahead of Indica stopped suddenly ( We were slightly behind so i had clear angle to view) and screamed to my cousin to slow down and this is where the Cruze brakes come into picture. I can safely confess that best feature of the Cruze is its tremendous brakes. It stops so fast, if your not prepared it can dazzle you.

Our Indica friend was not so lucky as all through that 8km-10km he was dangerously tailgating other vehicles and overtaking them.

This time when the truck stopped suddenly, his left fender completely went in and caved almost half way through the bonnet. Nothing happened to occupants. We stopped 3-4 feet behind them....Wheww

Driver calmly got down and " Mera accident hogaya. Aap ek kaam karna. Seedhe jaana phir ek chowk aayega, seedhe mud jana etc..etc. I thought..Wow, he seemed like an epitome of coolness!

After that incident which was a close call for us as well, Jai (cousin) handed over the wheel to me as he got a bit shaken up and we continued our journey through lot of by roads asking people directions every now and then as it was not the regular highway. From there on, the roads continued to worsen and our speeds got even slower and we reached Shivpuri in MP at around 6:45pm

Overall, 8:30am to 6:30pm we covered roughly 500kms ONLY due to bad roads and lots and lots of truck traffic. We were so tired that we didnt have the courage to go up to Seoni which was another 170kms as we thought we will reach close to midnight considering the road conditions. Now it was clear that we cannot do Hyderabad at end of 2nd day. We got even more complacement with that thought.

We decided to stop at Shivpuri, Madhya Pradesh for the night and checked out couple of places which looked very shady and then found a place which was less shady and got a room for Rs.800 bucks for the night.

Here everyone seems to tote a gun. The watchman had a gun, manager at reception had a gun and some folks in the bar and restuarant were counting a large pile of cash with gun on the table. We looked at each other and decided to go back into room early and leave this place as early as possible

Some pictures enroute until Shivpuri, MP
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Old 21st January 2011, 18:16   #138
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Originally Posted by mobike008 View Post
Btw, Ani, you seem to enjoy my beloved WA's predicament through horrible patches. Well, this is where i would like to announce to all that "Milecruncher" is the main culprit in guiding me through roads ahead which were meant for his Bolero
So every one of us falls into this trap of believing everything we hear?

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Originally Posted by mobike008 View Post
Driver calmly got down and " Mera accident hogaya. Aap ek kaam karna. Seedhe jaana phir ek chowk aayega, seedhe mud jana etc..etc. I thought..Wow, he seemed like an epitome of coolness!
Maybe it's routine for him to crash his car.

Happy for you guys and WA that you left the scene with just shaken nerves and nothing else.

I once saw a truck in front of me suddenly take a U-turn on the Bengaluru - Mysore highway by actually climbing over the wide and high median! Since then I drive on any road as if everyone out there is out to kill me and nothing else. That also explains why I'm very conservative even on straight, empty, flat, smooth, divided roads with total clear weather and visibility.

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Originally Posted by mobike008 View Post
Overall, 8:30am to 6:30pm we covered roughly 500kms ONLY due to bad roads and lots and lots of truck traffic.
That's still *pretty* good time, I say. Overall average of 50 kmph including breaks is not to be scoffed at given the conditions you've described.

Your description of that hotel in Shivpuri seemed straight out of some shady crime thriller . I'm sure the thought of taking pictures there didn't cross your mind for even one instant.

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Old 21st January 2011, 18:39   #139
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Default Re: Expressway-Sand-Gravel-Snow: 5500kms in a Chevrolet Cruze

Thanks AVI for the compliments .

But it was me who was guiding you through telephone about route and directions. BTW you were supposed to go upto Biaora and not Seoni. Seoni falls on the N-S link and is only about 120 Kms from Nagpur. And believe me if you guys had gone on that route, your Cruze wouldn't have been happy at all.

Cheers
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Old 21st January 2011, 21:36   #140
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Default Re: Expressway-Sand-Gravel-Snow: 5500kms in a Chevrolet Cruze

Quote:
Originally Posted by mobike008 View Post
Thanks SS for posting those pictures. These pictures nearly sum up most of my return journey especially through UP and even worse for one particular long sector in MP
That's why, after driving the same car, you and I, the switch to the next car was so radically different! ...your WA vs. my H-4ģ. Experience counts! This was from MP, back in 2007...
Expressway-Sand-Gravel-Snow: 5500kms in a Chevrolet Cruze-mp-road.jpg
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Originally Posted by mobike008 View Post
Driver calmly got down and " Mera accident hogaya. Aap ek kaam karna. Seedhe jaana phir ek chowk aayega, seedhe mud jana etc..etc. I thought..Wow, he seemed like an epitome of coolness!
In his place, you'd be cool too - he doesn't own the car, and doesn't have to pay for the damages! Most cabs drive so crazy because the owner does not understand how seriously the driver compromises safety, and any accident is considered an act of God, not the fault of the driver.
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Old 23rd January 2011, 11:58   #141
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Default Re: Expressway-Sand-Gravel-Snow: 5500kms in a Chevrolet Cruze

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Originally Posted by mobike008 View Post
We decided to stop at Shivpuri, Madhya Pradesh for the night and checked out couple of places which looked very shady and then found a place which was less shady and got a room for Rs.800 bucks for the night.

Here everyone seems to tote a gun. The watchman had a gun, manager at reception had a gun and some folks in the bar and restuarant were counting a large pile of cash with gun on the table. We looked at each other and decided to go back into room early and leave this place as early as possible
We had stopped at MPTDC, Shivpuri. Anywhere else is not considered safe - and I was with my wife and daughter, just the 3 of us.

Infact the MPTDC hotel is like a Oasis in the middle of the desert - so calm and aloof from the real Shivpuri
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Old 23rd January 2011, 18:45   #142
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Default Re: Expressway-Sand-Gravel-Snow: 5500kms in a Chevrolet Cruze

Have been following this thread and had thought to comment once the log was over but the weird landscape got the better of me. It appears as if somebody painted the thing.

We have better roads in Bihar wrt to MP and for sure UP. Yipee!

Glued to your thread and now its nearing completion, have discovered a new found respect/love for your WA. Cheers!
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Old 24th January 2011, 15:51   #143
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Default Re: Expressway-Sand-Gravel-Snow: 5500kms in a Chevrolet Cruze

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Originally Posted by spadix View Post
That's still *pretty* good time, I say. Overall average of 50 kmph including breaks is not to be scoffed at given the conditions you've described.

Your description of that hotel in Shivpuri seemed straight out of some shady crime thriller. I'm sure the thought of taking pictures there didn't cross your mind for even one instant
Come of think of it the kilometers covered wasn't too bad at all. 50kmph average seems good now in retrospect despite being in a low-slung sedan with maybe 1-2 bottom scrapes

You have said it, it seemed exactly like a scene from "Satya" and there was a table occupied by 4 foreigners and they too were pretty uneasy all the time. Another thing i noticed it that everyone there keeps staring for no reason and we simply decided not to lock eyes with them and finish our dinner and hit the bed.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MileCruncher View Post
Seoni falls on the N-S link and is only about 120 Kms from Nagpur. And believe me if you guys had gone on that route, your Cruze wouldn't have been happy at all.
Thank god, i didnt use your recommendation. Else, i would have to come to Hyderabad in a truck along with my car in it's load bay

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Originally Posted by SS-Traveller View Post
That's why, after driving the same car, you and I, the switch to the next car was so radically different! ...your WA vs. my H-4ģ. Experience counts! This was from MP, back in 2007....
Yes, i agree after the Viva, our cars were radically different and good step above. That picture you posted gives me the jitters. I would love to be in someone else's car and in a passenger seat to enjoy it's beauty

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Originally Posted by SS-Traveller View Post
In his place, you'd be cool too - he doesn't own the car, and doesn't have to pay for the damages! Most cabs drive so crazy because the owner does not understand how seriously the driver compromises safety, and any accident is considered an act of God, not the fault of the driver.
It wasn't a taxi plate Indica Vista. Anyways, the damage was quite bad to his car and had I been in his shoes, would have taken out my angst on the person asking for driving directions..lol

Quote:
Originally Posted by kingshukt View Post
We had stopped at MPTDC, Shivpuri. Anywhere else is not considered safe - and I was with my wife and daughter, just the 3 of us. Infact the MPTDC hotel is like a Oasis in the middle of the desert - so calm and aloof from the real Shivpuri
We realized that later. And, you rightly said that entire town is quite shady and especially scary to stay at night.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sheel View Post
Have been following this thread and had thought to comment once the log was over but the weird landscape got the better of me. It appears as if somebody painted the thing.
We have better roads in Bihar wrt to MP and for sure UP. Yipee!
Glued to your thread and now its nearing completion, have discovered a new found respect/love for your WA. Cheers!
After seeing the clear road condition pictures posted by SS-Traveller, you can now imagine what WA has gone through and it came out in flying colors.

That weird landscape is a sight to be seen in person. Never ever that i saw such landscape in our country and this can be seen only for a short duration, maybe for about 5km-10kms only just before Morena

We got up early ( 5:30am) and decided to leave by 6:00am but, could only head out at 6:30am and we hadnt evenc crossed the hotel premises the watchman called out loudly.

I stopped and he came close and said--Saab, Tyre puncture

I thought---Shucks, Not now

We got down and realized it indeed was completely flat.

Now, here is the good part. I dont know how to change a flat so now the onus of replacing the tyre was on the watchman and my cousin. I took a picture while they changed the tyre which made my cousin even angrier..lol

Lost time---30 minutes
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Last edited by mobike008 : 24th January 2011 at 15:53.
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Old 24th January 2011, 16:34   #144
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Originally Posted by mobike008 View Post
Now, here is the good part. I dont know how to change a flat so now the onus of replacing the tyre was on the watchman and my cousin. I took a picture while they changed the tyre which made my cousin even angrier
Changing tyres is actually very simple and a usefull "skill" (if I can call it that) to learn. Do it once just for the heck of it and you'll get a hang of it.

Another very useful thing to learn is the jump start. I'm procrastinating on this count and hope it doesn't come to bite me where it hurts. There, I've said it.

Regards,
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Old 24th January 2011, 17:33   #145
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Default Re: Expressway-Sand-Gravel-Snow: 5500kms in a Chevrolet Cruze

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Changing tyres is actually very simple and a usefull "skill" (if I can call it that) to learn. Do it once just for the heck of it and you'll get a hang of it.
I am waiting for that opportunity but, to be honest I didnt get a chance to change tyre in the last 6 years. Here are some facts :-

Santro Zipplus ( Jan'03-Oct'06) : `Approx 40,000kms. 0 Puncture
Viva CRDi ( Oct'06-July'10) : 58,000kms. 1 Puncture (a friend changed it)
i10 Kappa ( Nov-2008-Till date) : 9000kms. 0 Puncture
Cruze ( Aug'10-Till date) : 10,500kms. 1 Puncture

So you see, god has been kind when it comes to punctures

It was just over 7am when we re-commenced our drive and i was expecting some horrible roads and braced myself for the same. But, i was pleasantly surprised that roads where quite good until Guna which was about 100kms from Shivpuri.

We stopped there for a quick breakfast of Poha, Samosa and Tea around 8:30am and continued our journey and we reached Bhopal around 12:30pm and spent another 45mins to get the spare repaired. Driver got changed and from here the horror started.

From Bhopal onwards until you cross Betul this was the worst section of our entire trip. We went through heavy traffic, ghat section, bad roads and all other ingredients to make a nice drive into a nightmare. Some of the pictures in this post will give you a fairly good idea. My cousin was cursing at me all the time for handing him the wheel at Bhopal as there was so much truck traffic on that route, it was almost impossible to overtake at most times. I couldnt do anything but, feel sad for him

My cousin took the brunt of it as from 1pm until 5pm, we covered only 170kms or so and this stretch easily was the worst in our entire trip.

I took over at around 5pm and until we reached Nagpur at 8pm, we went through some amazing and dangerous twisty ghat section. A couple of times I was taken aback with some really twisty ( almost U-turn) type of turns as i was at reasonably high speed and CPC2's were screaming but, made sure we didnt go off-track

We reached Nagpur at 8pm and we had covered 680kms since morning. Our plan was to chill out in Nagpur and enjoy some barbeques from the famous place " Barbeque" and start the next day for hyderabad.
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Last edited by mobike008 : 24th January 2011 at 17:36.
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Old 24th January 2011, 19:35   #146
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Default Re: Expressway-Sand-Gravel-Snow: 5500kms in a Chevrolet Cruze

Mobike, I think I should have spent over 3hours checking your travelogue. If I equate it with the hours spent in a theater or a mall, definitely you had saved me a few hundred bucks. So, I owe you that. Thanks for taking your time out to present us a detailed travelogue.

Last edited by CliffHanger : 24th January 2011 at 19:36.
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Old 24th January 2011, 22:58   #147
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Default Re: Expressway-Sand-Gravel-Snow: 5500kms in a Chevrolet Cruze

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Another thing i noticed it that everyone there keeps staring for no reason and we simply decided not to lock eyes with them and finish our dinner and hit the bed.
Sadly this scenario remains unchanged at rural and semi rural or semi-urban (coin your apt term) places.

Quote:
It wasn't a taxi plate Indica Vista.
Private taxis (all sorts) do the rounds weaving in and out of traffic. You will see hatchbacks upto 5L and SUV/MUV upto 10L doing the rounds as private taxis.

P.s.-Have managed to convince a cousin of mine to go in for a Cruze LTZ in black.
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Old 25th January 2011, 12:27   #148
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Default Re: Expressway-Sand-Gravel-Snow: 5500kms in a Chevrolet Cruze

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Originally Posted by CliffHanger View Post
Mobike, I think I should have spent over 3hours checking your travelogue. If I equate it with the hours spent in a theater or a mall, definitely you had saved me a few hundred bucks. So, I owe you that. Thanks for taking your time out to present us a detailed travelogue.
That's really a very nice thing to say. Appreciate your comments.

To be honest, patience is not one of my virtues but, for this travelogue not sure how I was able to showcase the same

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P.s.-Have managed to convince a cousin of mine to go in for a Cruze LTZ in black.
I am delighted to know that so many members/friends of members are buying this power oozing monster based on my feedback. I am sure they would love every moment of its ownership

As we reached Napur at 8:00pm, I was pleasantly surprised to see this city is truly cosmopoliton with lot of glitzy signboards and development in this city seems to be at a growing pace. Liked this city a lot.

We spent close to an hour searching for a decent hotel. There seemed to be none in the area that we were searching for anything less than 3K. Finally, our impatience got the better of it and checked into Hotel Dua International for Rs.2200/Night which is on same street as the famous place " Barbeque" in Nagpur.

We freshened up and walked straight to Barbeque and were astonished to see a long queue for dining and take-aways. We spent 15 minutes and got a take-away of Tandoori Chicken, Meat Sheek Kebabs and Rumali Roti to be enjoyed back in cozy environs of our hotel room after spending some more time out on the streets window shopping et.all

We slept blissfully that night and decided that we ain't in a hurry to reach Hyderabad. So got up at 10am and had our first south indian breakfast in 15 days which we enjoyed thoroughly and again spent some time checking out Nagur city which we both liked.

Finally, we checked out at 1:30pm and headed out fo city by 2:00pm and Hyderabad was about 485kms from Nagpur. The roads until Hinganghat were really good but, there were lot of diversions in between and my cousin enjoyed WA to full extent on this stretch.

Most of the roads were total bliss and this stretch is equal to GJ and RJ stretches. And, I took over the wheel some 200kms before Hyderabad and from Kamareddy to Hyderabad its one of the finest roads in our country. Cat marks on left shoulder, middle lane and edges of divider made the entire road stand out in pitch dark enabling us to do some mind boggling speed at night

Nagpur-Hyderabad ( 485kms) was covered in a little over 6 hours. By 8:15pm I was home and chatting with my mom excitedly giving her updates of our entire trip.

Posting some pictures of amazing highway from Nagpur-Hyderabad. Well, this post brings my story to an end of a road trip that was truly memorable that will stay with me forever. I hope you all enjoyed living the moments as I was thrilled in sharing the same with you.

Do keep tuned for a little bit more time for a small tribute that I have in mind before I completely put a lid on this travelogue

Thanks again for reading up and making this story even more interesting with your encouraging comments.
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Old 25th January 2011, 14:38   #149
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Default Re: Expressway-Sand-Gravel-Snow: 5500kms in a Chevrolet Cruze

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Now, here is the good part. I dont know how to change a flat
Invest in a electric compressor which can be connected to your 12v socket and it will pump air even into a flat tyre and run for howmuchever you want with frequent refills.It costs around 600-700 and most of the wheel alignment shops sell it,I bought mine from Wheelocity and its been a worthwhile investment,as it has saved me from a flat on a couple of ocassions.

Lovely TL and lovely potoos as well
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Old 25th January 2011, 16:45   #150
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Invest in a electric compressor which can be connected to your 12v socket and it will pump air even into a flat tyre and run for howmuchever you want with frequent refills.It costs around 600-700 and most of the wheel alignment shops sell it,I bought mine from Wheelocity and its been a worthwhile investment,as it has saved me from a flat on a couple of ocassions.
Sounds good. Will check them out soon.

Here are a couple of videos of us enjoying some songs while basking in a peaceful drive on the highway




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