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Old 1st February 2011, 15:37   #31
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Default Re: What I learnt from my chennai-bombay-chennai drive and happy to be alive!


I did a Mumbai-Chennai-Mumbai trip back in March-May 2009.

With two stops both ways at Belgaum& Hosur the trip was enjoyable ( i had my wife and teenage son along with me).

I was the only driver but the overnight breaks at Belgaum and Hosur helped especially since part of the golden quadilateral section (around 200 kms) was not ready then.

With proper rest the journey was enjoyable and cheap. A journey by flight back in 2009 for the 3 of us would have cost atleast 30K but my total cost by road was less than 18K + plus savings on travel in chennai.
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Old 12th February 2011, 16:39   #32
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Default Re: What I learnt from my chennai-bombay-chennai drive and happy to be alive!

I have done so many overnight drives but I go by one cardinal rule. I sleep the moment I feel too drowsy to drive. The telltale signal for me is my eyelids flickering, so I try to find the nearest tollbooth/petrol pump/well lit place having other people around and then take a power nap which can range anywhere from 10 minutes to 2 hours, depending on my exhaustion.

Sometimes, when I wake and I find I am still drowsy, I sleep for some more time and never push the boundaries. Probably the reason why i am still in one piece, after thousands of kilometres of night drives.

Once when I was sleeping near a tollbooth on the Mumbai-Pune expressway, a policeman comes and taps on the door. When I told him that I am sleeping out of exhaustion, he told me that I am not allowed to park my car on the side of the expressway like that(though lot of trucks were) and asked me to process to the nearest restaurant a couple of km's away.

Usually, I carry couple of can's of RedBull during night drives and they surely help, but the body gives up beyond a point, especially if you have not had proper sleep the night before.

To the original poster - You should never have avoided telltale signs of weariness and soldiered on despite close calls. It was a moment of madness and thank god you live to tell the tale. Also, kudos to you for coming up on an open forum and admitting your mistake.
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Old 12th February 2011, 18:12   #33
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Default Re: What I learnt from my chennai-bombay-chennai drive and happy to be alive!

I was planning to do NH4 today morning from Pune via Goa on a bike. But I realized that i did not have much sleep and further I will have to drive back tomorrow itself to Mumbai. Finally I decided against the drive and headed back for Mumbai instead.

This stretch is very crowded at night what with all the Trucks carrying most of the vehicles made in India apart from other stuff. Majority are long vehicles making overtaking a challenge.

After reading your post I realized that you started the drive on a wrong note. First driving without a proper night sleep is a very very bad idea. It creates a lot of undue stress Further your choice to do nonstop is a task difficult for even expert drivers. 1500km is a long long drive in Indian conditions. Even GQ or the expressways in India do not allow you to cruise.

Glad that you and your fellow travelers are safe.
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