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Old 26th May 2019, 22:50   #1
h14
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Default Italian Invasion: A group of Fiats drive to Kalhatti, Ooty

After the drive to Vagamon (Italian Invasion: Vagamon) the activity among the FIAT aficionado was lukewarm. Everyone was busy in their own way and drives just didn't happen.

After a lot of deliberation we did plan Nelliyampathi, but had to drop that due to the floods and it was business as usual and we just didn't plan anything.

Fast-forward to 2019 and the usual rumors of FIAT shutting shop was back again! I say again since I have been hearing that news since my childhood days

Anyways, would like to dedicate this amazing drive to Kalhatti to all those noble souls out there who were having a field day writing obituaries for FIAT. Those guys were the inspiration for us to get back on drive mode!

The plan:

As usual it started over whats app and after discussing multiple options we settled out with Ooty (as it often happens). We started hunting for accommodation options and stumbled upon a property in the Kalhatti ghat. The property looked good and all were fine for it, but then, we were unable to contact them! Maybe we thought the place was shutdown but recent reviews on the place meant otherwise. So with double mind, we started planning alternatives and luckily we get a response back from them on whats-app.

That is when we came to know that the property owner was an Italian and was away in Italy! They were very happy to have a FIAT group coming over and the deal was finalized. As people would be aware the Kalhatti ghat is being restricted for downhill traffic after some fatal accidents. Since this place was midway, there was no other option, but the owners said they will issue passes and that it would not be an issue.

With accommodation taken care of, we were all itching for the D day! We had to gather from Chennai, Bangalore and Coimbatore. All of us decided to take the Friday off. People were supposed to reach Coimbatore either Thursday night or Friday morning. Plan was to reach Kotagiri for lunch which meant we reach the property only by evening. A good half a day gone!

I have to blame only myself for this. It was due to my hype on the Hari mess in Kotagiri so guys wanted to lunch there! But then, no regrets either as for us the journey is what matters than the destination.

Day 0:
Thursday late evening myself and DRIV3R start from Bangalore in his Punto. I was taking my Palio for the drive from Coimbatore. So the compass was left behind in Bangalore. We were pretty late to start.

Same evening the Chennai guys too started. Some of them were to halt at Annur / Kumarapalayam and all of us were to catch up at Mettupalayam the next morning.

Chennai boys were turning heads already. It was a Punto Abarth and Palio S10!

Italian Invasion: A group of Fiats drive to Kalhatti, Ooty-img_20190328_173614.jpg

Last edited by h14 : 6th June 2019 at 00:23.
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Old 27th May 2019, 00:02   #2
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Default re: Italian Invasion: A group of Fiats drive to Kalhatti, Ooty

Day 1: Coimbatore to Kalhatti via Kotagiri

Since most of reached late, it was a relaxed start post breakfast. But we got up early as usual to prep the cars. DRIV3R gave his Punto a full blown foam wash while i settled with proclear wipe for my Palio.

Italian Invasion: A group of Fiats drive to Kalhatti, Ooty-9f7eda5f815d43f98869abd119e63cc3.jpeg

Italian Invasion: A group of Fiats drive to Kalhatti, Ooty-402f253029a5450282f2d209575e297d.jpeg

Naveen started from Banglore on friday morning and was revving the tjet to full glory! He caught up with the Chennai gang.

The jet getting a breather

Italian Invasion: A group of Fiats drive to Kalhatti, Ooty-img_20190329_091329.jpg

A quick stop near Karamadai

Italian Invasion: A group of Fiats drive to Kalhatti, Ooty-img_20190329_104524.jpg

Catching up with the rest

Italian Invasion: A group of Fiats drive to Kalhatti, Ooty-76565c0728d1465894a65a2f88bfb84d.jpeg

Not only the Abarth, even the Abarth owner had to cool off

Italian Invasion: A group of Fiats drive to Kalhatti, Ooty-img_20190329_112400.jpg

The S10's spun-off for some quite time together!

Italian Invasion: A group of Fiats drive to Kalhatti, Ooty-img_20190329_121359.jpg

Italian Invasion: A group of Fiats drive to Kalhatti, Ooty-img_20190329_121349.jpg

All set to start off post lunch. The lunch at Hari mess was a disappointment this time. Left the place thinking if the place was best visited on weekends even if crowded.

Italian Invasion: A group of Fiats drive to Kalhatti, Ooty-9ecadd34b9df45bb9dc3c45b80fb9828.jpeg

Italian Invasion: A group of Fiats drive to Kalhatti, Ooty-e88174c0782a46c3b6eb521fb5b83def.jpeg

Final stop at Doddabetta for regrouping.

Italian Invasion: A group of Fiats drive to Kalhatti, Ooty-6babd9b283ac4e09a4c770c0f4f0e84d.jpeg

As always Gmaps wanted to gather data on some roads less traveled and routed us into this. Though the road was broken, it was scenic nevertheless!

Italian Invasion: A group of Fiats drive to Kalhatti, Ooty-img_0768.jpg

We reached the property comfortably and the first 45 odd minutes was spent on parking

Italian Invasion: A group of Fiats drive to Kalhatti, Ooty-0ff2c72c18f240e2be1ea0f012afdf8c.jpeg

Italian Invasion: A group of Fiats drive to Kalhatti, Ooty-b7b1a6f21bef4147a55bab605859f6fa.jpeg

Italian Invasion: A group of Fiats drive to Kalhatti, Ooty-img_20190329_160651.jpg

It was this wide open space that excited us.

Italian Invasion: A group of Fiats drive to Kalhatti, Ooty-pano_20190329_160702.jpg

The house

Italian Invasion: A group of Fiats drive to Kalhatti, Ooty-img_20190329_163245.jpg

Spent the reminder of the day at the lawn until it was BBQ time!

Italian Invasion: A group of Fiats drive to Kalhatti, Ooty-img_20190329_190642.jpg

Italian Invasion: A group of Fiats drive to Kalhatti, Ooty-img_20190329_190630.jpg

Italian Invasion: A group of Fiats drive to Kalhatti, Ooty-df6416de27b54e238f1398f97e28e294.jpeg

We ended the day very late lingering in the open under the eucalyptus trees.

Last edited by h14 : 27th May 2019 at 01:14.
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Old 27th May 2019, 00:48   #3
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Default re: Italian Invasion: A group of Fiats drive to Kalhatti, Ooty

Day 2

Day 2 was spent at the property itself. Some of them woke up early and strolled around while some of us woke up late.

Italian Invasion: A group of Fiats drive to Kalhatti, Ooty-img_20190330_075244.jpg

Italian Invasion: A group of Fiats drive to Kalhatti, Ooty-img_20190330_062630.jpg

Italian Invasion: A group of Fiats drive to Kalhatti, Ooty-img_2799e.jpg

Italian Invasion: A group of Fiats drive to Kalhatti, Ooty-img_2794e.jpg

Italian Invasion: A group of Fiats drive to Kalhatti, Ooty-img_20190330_072953.jpg

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Italian Invasion: A group of Fiats drive to Kalhatti, Ooty-img_20190330_104829.jpg

Post breakfast it was nonstop cricket (with crazy rules) till noon.

Italian Invasion: A group of Fiats drive to Kalhatti, Ooty-18f48a8cb7754122a366d0f9ec9323af.jpeg

Some slow-mo video clips of the game



We then headed out for some tea to recharge ourselves

Italian Invasion: A group of Fiats drive to Kalhatti, Ooty-img_20190330_115152.jpg

Italian Invasion: A group of Fiats drive to Kalhatti, Ooty-img_20190330_115727.jpg

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Old 27th May 2019, 01:11   #4
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Default re: Italian Invasion: A group of Fiats drive to Kalhatti, Ooty

Day 2 Continued...

We ventured into Ooty town for Lunch and that was a bad decision. Traffic was heavy and it was crowded everywhere. We planned to lunch at blue hills, but parking seemed to be impossible until we found one paid parking. It was an old theater which has been shut down. The place brought back memories of the movie viewing experiences of the old times.

Decent area for parking:

Italian Invasion: A group of Fiats drive to Kalhatti, Ooty-img_0796.jpg

S10 number 363 alongside what was probably the last Palio 1.6 to be made by FIAT India!

Italian Invasion: A group of Fiats drive to Kalhatti, Ooty-img_5134.jpg

The theater

Italian Invasion: A group of Fiats drive to Kalhatti, Ooty-img_0787.jpg

Italian Invasion: A group of Fiats drive to Kalhatti, Ooty-img_0794.jpg

Lunch at Blue Hills

Italian Invasion: A group of Fiats drive to Kalhatti, Ooty-img_20190330_140540.jpg

Italian Invasion: A group of Fiats drive to Kalhatti, Ooty-6990c0404f5e41ada81b735d6009fcc8.jpeg

Italian Invasion: A group of Fiats drive to Kalhatti, Ooty-1006f50775e9488a81582972769cc622.jpeg

Italian Invasion: A group of Fiats drive to Kalhatti, Ooty-ad2e8e4fdc2b431fb2901a1e16a24774.jpeg

Followed by desserts at Prabha sweets!

Italian Invasion: A group of Fiats drive to Kalhatti, Ooty-img_20190330_151711.jpg

Killing sometime at the theater while the others were busy buying chocolates

Italian Invasion: A group of Fiats drive to Kalhatti, Ooty-img_20190330_152116.jpg

Italian Invasion: A group of Fiats drive to Kalhatti, Ooty-img_0791.jpg

Time to head back!

Italian Invasion: A group of Fiats drive to Kalhatti, Ooty-img_20190330_155312.jpg

Italian Invasion: A group of Fiats drive to Kalhatti, Ooty-img_0809.jpg

Italian Invasion: A group of Fiats drive to Kalhatti, Ooty-img_0811.jpg

Shot enroute

Italian Invasion: A group of Fiats drive to Kalhatti, Ooty-img_0244.jpg

Back to the property and it was more of parking changes and photography!

Italian Invasion: A group of Fiats drive to Kalhatti, Ooty-img_0819.jpg

Italian Invasion: A group of Fiats drive to Kalhatti, Ooty-img_20190330_170039.jpg

Italian Invasion: A group of Fiats drive to Kalhatti, Ooty-c93043e015bd4aa584d6a7321a1b8c9b.jpeg

Italian Invasion: A group of Fiats drive to Kalhatti, Ooty-c829312a1ca2488c803a17b924e31aa3.jpeg

Italian Invasion: A group of Fiats drive to Kalhatti, Ooty-img_20190330_170126.jpg

All in a line

Italian Invasion: A group of Fiats drive to Kalhatti, Ooty-370f934af29c456f8865540331e95911.jpeg

From the top

Italian Invasion: A group of Fiats drive to Kalhatti, Ooty-88d0916275d44d61bca4694b5480f390e.jpeg

From behind!

Italian Invasion: A group of Fiats drive to Kalhatti, Ooty-cc2cbf6faae84ad48bf0a8b928559425e.jpeg

Italian Invasion: A group of Fiats drive to Kalhatti, Ooty-img_5137e.jpg

The photographers at work!

Italian Invasion: A group of Fiats drive to Kalhatti, Ooty-img_2912e.jpg

Italian Invasion: A group of Fiats drive to Kalhatti, Ooty-img_2950e.jpg

Last edited by h14 : 6th June 2019 at 00:06.
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Old 27th May 2019, 01:12   #5
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Default re: Italian Invasion: A group of Fiats drive to Kalhatti, Ooty

Day 3: The drive back

Woke up early on what was the final day. Two days had flown by and we were already thinking on where next!? It was by far the coldest morning.

Italian Invasion: A group of Fiats drive to Kalhatti, Ooty-beca31815b444706943fbac32bf4efa6.jpeg

Italian Invasion: A group of Fiats drive to Kalhatti, Ooty-fd738c13d68b41898d0e3946329e52f9e.jpeg

Italian Invasion: A group of Fiats drive to Kalhatti, Ooty-ae29dc4aead34cf38d9a199dcfcfd90ae.jpeg

Italian Invasion: A group of Fiats drive to Kalhatti, Ooty-img_2883.jpg

Italian Invasion: A group of Fiats drive to Kalhatti, Ooty-img_20190331_072607.jpg

Italian Invasion: A group of Fiats drive to Kalhatti, Ooty-img_0873.jpg

Talk of the trip was the paint quality on the Abarth! This is stock paint, no detailing what so ever.

Italian Invasion: A group of Fiats drive to Kalhatti, Ooty-96567d05d0ef45ac899e31f84bb35b8b.jpeg

Italian Invasion: A group of Fiats drive to Kalhatti, Ooty-0bbf913f256b44bf98ad288e52ca073b.jpeg

We halted for tea few kilometers after doddabetta and we were in no mood to stop for lunch. Decided to get to Mettupalayam and then think.

It was at the tea stop that we realized that we did not click any pictures of ourselves
Hence, after a couple of clicks, we started off.

Italian Invasion: A group of Fiats drive to Kalhatti, Ooty-img_20190331_140525.jpg

Italian Invasion: A group of Fiats drive to Kalhatti, Ooty-img_20190331_140516.jpg

While few guys decided to get home for lunch, some of us grabbed some sandwiches in Coimbatore and headed home thereby concluding yet another wonderful drive with the FIAT's

Italian Invasion: A group of Fiats drive to Kalhatti, Ooty-img_20190331_154947.jpg

Italian Invasion: A group of Fiats drive to Kalhatti, Ooty-b67661100aae4f7fa1552065a7e2bd8f.jpeg

Italian Invasion: A group of Fiats drive to Kalhatti, Ooty-img_20190331_160531.jpg

Last edited by h14 : 6th June 2019 at 00:09.
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Old 6th June 2019, 00:30   #6
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Default re: Italian Invasion: A group of Fiats drive to Kalhatti, Ooty

Thread moved from the Assembly Line to the Travelogues Section. Thanks for sharing!
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Old 8th June 2019, 06:20   #7
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Default Re: Italian Invasion: A group of Fiats drive to Kalhatti, Ooty

Nice travelogue and great clicks. A travelogue where cars are more photographed than the places. No I am not complaining, in fact I am loving it more. Punto was always in my heart, and even I ventured to buy one as my first car. But you know it happens ‘pressure and horror stories from family and relatives’ and for the sake of not being a ‘rebel’, I went for another car which is also very close to my heart (yes, the profile pic says it all). I keep my hands on top of my heart and say ‘no Punto has missed my second gaze’. It still remains as a car with beautiful propositions and I just admire it all the time. I would say ‘a car can be an art or a car can be a Punto’.
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