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Old 17th January 2011, 21:57   #1
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Default My Trip from Bangalore to Cochin

I had booked train tickets for my parents to visit me which was when I was made aware of the 14th January being a holiday, which means a long weekend!

I made a sudden plan to drive down to Cochin and bring my parents along.

They also like this idea as they could be with me sooner.

However the thought of driving to Cochin alone made me feel kind of lonely so I sent out a mail to our internal non-official mailer and within a few minutes I had a gentleman who wanted to join me. So we agreed that I would pick him up and then proceed with the journey.

Of course I made a thorough study in team-bhp on the travelogues made by other members so that I could educate myself on what to expect.

I woke up at 3AM, took a quick shower and a breakfast and started off to pick my newly found friend and travel companion. He was pretty ready and waiting promptly.

We then proceeded to NICE road, then to Hosur road (NH-7). The highway was not busy as I'd expected, except for the trucks and certain vehicles, probably people like me traveling. All the road users were pretty nice, most gave side whenever necessary and kept their road rage aside.

I kept my average speed to 100 kph, though I did sometimes touch 140kph but only for a few seconds.

It was dawn soon and we reached Krishnagiri and climbing down. The sight of the hills was quite spectacular especially under the mentioned lighting conditions.

We reached Salem by 0630 and proceeded to the Cenneys for breakfast. We resumed out journey by about 0715 on NH-47.

The highway was a dual carriage way till around Erode (I believe so) and then dropped to a single carriage way. All the fun of driving was ruined as there were quite a lot of lorries and old vehicles that were dragging on the highway. Overtaking them was a hectic task due to constant oncoming traffic. This was around 0830 onwards. There were also places there flyovers were being constructed and we had to slow down and go around the pillars.

We were passing Coimbatore around 10AM on to the L & T section of the NH-47. This was pretty decent and I would once again derive pleasure out of the driving. We passed palghat by 11 AM. I had initially thought of having lunch at Palghat but 11AM was too early.

Having heard a lot of bad remarks on the NH-47 between Palghat and Trichur, I decided to take the Shornur route. Indeed this was an excellent route to drive, perfectly spotless road! We reached Trichur by about 12:30pm and were welcomed by a traffic jam along shornur road, trichur, especially along the Thiruvambadi Temple road.

I was driving around 20kph as there was a rickshaw ahead of me, which suddenly made halt, forcing me to apply sudden brakes. The next thing I heard was a loud thud from the back of my vehicle. A bike had hit my car! My friend and I quickly got out to find some pathetic looking person on some non-standard modified bike had hit the rear bumper guard and to the left corner of the rear bumper! His bike had infact got stuck and I had to move my car forward to have his bike released!

The rear nudge guard had been pushed to touch the bumper which was slightly dented and the red reflector at the bottom of the bumper was also broken. I was heart broken to see this. However because the biker was some pathetic person, I decided not to squeeze him as I knew that was of no use. In any case, I knew the nudge guard could be repaired and the only worry was the bumper repair cost.

We then proceeded to NH-47 and soon found a hotel to have lunch. I must say, we were pretty hungry so immediately dived into the food and feasted ourselves to neck-level. Our lunch was over by about 2pm and we resumed our journey to Ernakulam.

The highway was not really in a good shape especially because of the diversions due to the never-ending fly-over constructions. I did notice an Audi along with me, from Bangalore and started to wonder how they could drive such a good car along these roads, must have pinched them a lot.

We finally reached Ernakulam by 3 pm. My friend got down at Palarivattom (where I stay) and proceeded to Pala.

I made the return journey on 16th January, started at about 5AM and reached Bangalore by about 3pm.

I decided to try the NH-47 for the Trichur-Palghat route. It wasn't all that bad as many members mentioned. I guess they finally did some repairs, making the road drivable. There weren't any potholes though the road was bumpy and I had to keep my speed to a maximum of 70kph.

We made two stops, one at Palghat for breakfast, at Sri Chakra hotel and for lunch at Cenneys, Salem. I went to Sri Chakra with quite some expectations, only to find the table cloth not washed for at least a few years! The food was below average and the toilet did not even have toilet paper.

I came across two other motorists with quite some ego. The first person was driving a Hyundai Accent and the second one with a Maruti Estilo. They did their level best to be ahead of me. I also had some fun by pretending to participate in the 'race', making them accelerate, though I made sure to keep myself within my safe limits.

I could not take much pictures as I was driving. I would upload whatever was possible.

Hope you liked my travelogue!

I was quite surprised to find out I had paid around INR 600/- just for the toll. One of the toll station mentioned it as "user fee collection" instead of toll. I had a good laugh reading this.

I was driving an Innova and got a fuel efficiency of about 13.5km/liter. At Kerala I made it a point to fill only from Reliance. Surprisingly the cost of diesel at Kerala was much lesser than at Bangalore. 1 Liter of Diesel was INR 43.5 in Kerala while at Bangalore I'd paid around INR 50.5 at Shell. What a difference!
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