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Old 4th November 2019, 01:29   #1
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Default Long weekend trip to Puri Beach in an Innova Crysta

The Planning
It was pre-planned that post the delivery of our Innova Crysta by last week of July 2019 that we would be making a trip to Puri, Odisha. Also my hands have been itching to burn some rubber. After the last trip to the beaches (Beach tours from Talsari to Mandarmani) in our Hyundai i10, this time, we planned out this family trip to Puri around mid of August during the Independence Day. Getting a hotel was a difficult ask considering the all season rush at Puri. But eventually we found a place per our liking. Also this time we evaluated Mandarmani and Digha too as potential options but room rents were so high that we decided it was not worth.

The trip was special because I would be travelling with my 2 year old kid and my mother who is 70 and has previous history of becoming easily fatigued to road travels. Yes of course, me being novice in terms of such trips, never went past beyond Digha / Talsari..

Additional Considerations
A lot many of our acquaintances had been raising concerns that Puri is still recovering from the havoc caused by the cycle Phani and that cell network is still not working and so is card based payments. Additional confusion was caused by travel websites which were flashing messages while booking that some / many facilities will not work due to the damages caused by the cyclone Phani. So I decided to call up the hotel (our preference was Holiday Resort) and they assured that its business as usual. So made the booking directly through their website and we were good to go.

Day 1
On 16th August early in the morning by 5 am sharp we started our journey. Myself, and wife with kid at the front and my mother and sister in the middle seat. Since I did not opt for a side step for the Innova for its protruding presence, I had brought along a small wooden stool to act as a elevated footstep for my mother in aiding easy climb and descent to the middle row seat. It worked like a charm during the entire trip. The 3rd row seat were up and even then 300 litres of boot sufficed us greatly for the luggage and utilities.

Our reason for early start was to avoid the long queue of trucks in and around Satragachi and we were lucky to pass this area quite smoothly. It was a breeze in the early hours to cross the city boundaries and touched NH soon.

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By 6-15 am we reached Kolaghat Express Food Plaza for that tried and tasted B&T (breakfast & toilet) hop. But we may still need to find a worthy alternatives as this place is getting repetitive, but not sure if in the vicinity / or NH if there are any worthy alternatives.

By 7-30 am we resumed our journey to Puri.

The route we took was Kolkata --> Kolaghat --> Debra Toll Plaza--> Rampura / Lakshannath Toll Plaza (Kharagpur Balasore Expressway) --> Bhadrak --> Cuttack --> Bhubaneshwar --> Puri

The usual route via GMaps does not take into consideration the route via Rampura / Lakshannath Toll Plaza but from our past tour to Talsari we have learnt about the excellent scenic beauty of this route and hence never miss a chance to go via it.

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Apart from another short stop of 15 mins around Soro (Balasore) we did not make any long halts. We did find a nice highway side temple in Soro.

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Eventually around 1 pm we were passing through the outskirts of Bhubaneshwar and I was certain that I can reach Puri by another 1.5 hours but the others demanded a stop for lunch in and around Bhubaneshwar.

Since my mother and sister had high inclination for Bengali food so instead of relying on Highway Dhabas and Restaurants we took a 5-7 mins pause around Urali on NH-16 and looked up online and made our mind to visit to Sampark Vihar of Bhubaneshwar en route to Shohala Ana Odia the top rated Bengali restaurant in Bhubaneshwar. The detour took another 40 mins of time as we had to get inside the city, although our entire route was sunny or cloudy it is here we met some heavy afternoon downpour. Eventually by 2 pm we entered the restaurant, its a bit tricky finding the exact place though with two restaurants side by side along with Lal Qila. Remember there is limited parking at the front but most important they share a common but clean toilet which is inside Lal Qila. For the next 1 hr 15 min they proved that our decision to detour was not only worth but we ate some cuisines that we still cherish even months after that trip, a must try for everyone, desserts were awesome too somewhat fusion types between Bengali and Odishi sweets and most important the pricing being very reasonable.

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Around 3-15 pm we started again for Puri and while on the way the journey was uneventful but the road was awesome with nice view around.

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while entering Puri I refueled my car. Eventually we checked in to our hotel Holiday Resort by 5-10 pm. The car parking is in the open front lobby within the security guarded boundary of the hotel.

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The room was descent with sea view

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After some recharge we freshened up and while my mother decided to stay back in the room we came out in the private lawn overlooking the sea beach, where Mr Junior warmed himself up .

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But it was already dark, so we did not prolong our stay outside. Ordered our lunch at the room from their famous underground restaurant Gajapati and called it a day. The other family restaurant Fusion they had at the ground floor is still under repairs from the damages caused by Phani.

Last edited by BlackPearl : 29th November 2019 at 16:40. Reason: Updating thread title on request
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Old 5th November 2019, 01:55   #2
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Day 2
While at Puri we always long to have at least a day's morning outing for the breakfast along the beaches from the street stalls and we chose our 2nd day to be the best choice to venture this out. Started off from the hotel around 8 am and in no time came to the Marine Drive Road along the beach which is the most happening place in Puri. I parked the car in front of a closed shop as the street shops reassured me that till 11 am there is nothing to worry from the authorities.

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We had our breakfast from a nearby stall and in the process met a gang of Harley D bikers at the same place who are on a casual tour of Odisha.

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Thereafter we sat on the paid chairs in the beach and enjoyed the sea with the pleasant sun. There was scarcity of coconuts, we concluded its the after storm effect. The beach sand had taken peculiar stepped shape which we were told to be normal for July-August tides. We had a solid fun time here for next few hours and returned by 1130 am to our hotel.

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After some rest and refreshing up again set out for lunch around 2 pm. This time our destination was Victoria Club hotel and they have, apart from excellent food, a big parking lot too.

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It was rush time, yet we were lucky to find a place. After completing lunch started off again around 330 pm and decided to venture towards the Marine drive road past Swargadwar. It is here we witnessed that the place is much much quieter during the day and the hotels are much closer to the sea. The downfall? they took the maximum hit due to the cyclone with several buildings still under repair even months after the storm.

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Owing to the heavy lunch and the heat outside nobody was willing to step out of the car leaving me no choice but to head towards Konark.

The journey through the Puri-Konark Marine drive road was smooth with considerable signs of cyclone damage on both sides still being evident.

We just one halt for some clicks and moved ahead.

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We reached Chandrabhaga beach around 530 pm.

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Once again no one was willing to go on the beach so after strolling around for some time headed towards Konark Temple as we had intended to see the light and sound show in the evening.

The Temple is nearby to the beach and we reached there around 6 pm. Here is where the surprise came, they are no longer allowing cars to go near the temple and the road block was placed by police around 500 metres from the temple and we are supposed to take a walk from here. Rest of us were fine but this would never work out for my mother so after making several requests the police officer said the other side entrance will be 300 metres from the temple so either we try that or the local police station being just less than a KM if we can get a permission issued from there, they would allow our car to go beyond the checkpoint. We thought for a while but then the uncertainty did not seem worthy so decided to return to Puri.

It was dark and the Marine drive road was not having any street lights so maintained a reasonable speed and set course for Puri Jagannath Temple hoping to buy some Khaja

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But there were more setbacks waiting, Google Map took us haywire and in some wrong road where half of our time was spent on crossing stretches completely occupied by herds of cows and a lot of honks and lights had to be exercised with local help to ge1t past. We dropped the plan and returned back to our hotel by 8 PM.

We had our dinner ordered at the room and called it a day as next morning we have to start for Kolkata. The car was parked overnight inside the guarded hotel compound

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Long weekend trip to Puri Beach in an Innova Crysta-img20190817wa0031.jpg

Last edited by haisaikat : 29th November 2019 at 15:50.
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Old 5th November 2019, 02:04   #3
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Day 3
Morning we woke up at 7am and packed our stuff to complete the checkout by 9 am from the Hotel. We had our breakfasts ordered in the room to make things quicker. After some last minute departing clicks in front of the hotel we hit the roads.

We still needed to buy Khaja from Kakatua so set course for the Swargadwar road but since it was raining lightly instead of parking outside decided to take the car inside the narrow lane. To say the least this act doubled my pulses during the entire duration we were inside that lane just behind Swargadwar as several close encounters of Totos and Autos happened and luckily the car was saved. Went straight ahead after finishing our purchases and came out through the Marine Drive Road by taking a left turn in some hundred metres from Kakatua. It was 10-15 am we finally started towards Kolkata from Puri.

The roads were all the way very nice.

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We arrived at around 1 pm to Hotel Orion of Bhadrak for our lunch following several BHPian's recommendation. Unfortunately it was difficult place for my mother since the Lift service is only from the 1st floor and the restaurant is also at the first floor. But we were out of options so helped her climb the stairs. Overall food was average, the important aspect being if you have preference for Bengali style cuisine this is the last place you should look for and also if you have strict preference for fish over chicken like my mother and sister, keep your distance. The parking space is limited but it should not be a problem as ample space is there in the service road in front of the hotel.

We resumed our return around 230 pm.

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Approaching Balasore


The glimpses of Nilgiris near Balasore was beautiful

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Thereafter the usual highway continued

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Two more halts in between were at a fuel pump at Jaleshwar for refueling around 10 mins by 4 pm and again a 90 mins halt at Express Food Plaza of Kolaghat at 6 pm. From 7-30 pm drove non-stop to Kolkata and while we entered Kolkata we encountered heavy rain from Park Circus onwards. Eventually reached home around 9-15 pm with the rain settling down by 9-30 pm. It was an excellent achievement that I felt completing this trip so smoothly and comfortably, although many have done this in the past. Looking to overcome myself in the days to come. Thanks everyone for all the inputs in different Travelogues which acted as great source of guidance to me in making this happen.

Last edited by haisaikat : 29th November 2019 at 15:58.
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Old 9th November 2019, 20:43   #4
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Default re: Long weekend trip to Puri Beach in an Innova Crysta

Some Closing thoughts and observations
  1. During the onward trip from Kolkata to Puri it was an overall 12 hour long journey covering 528 KM and the exact car drive time as per GMaps was 9 hours and 9 mins. Because of our Bhubaneshwar lunch detour I believe we clocked some extra miles and extra hours.

  2. I have driven my Getz on occasions over entire day like during our previous Bishnupur Trip (https://www.team-bhp.com/forum/trave...mallabhum.html (A trip to Bishnupur : Revisiting the history of the epicentre of Mallabhum)) on the day of return to Kolkata and I was highly fatigued switching gears and clutch over only 200+ KM distance. But here things were different, driving the automatic Crysta is so effortless that even after 12 hours of drive with 500+ KM on the ODO I feel like going more, its addictive too. I did not engage Cruise Control, may be over next long trip I will try it.

  3. The HDFC Fastag worked flawlessly at every toll gate where Fastag is enabled except one where sensors were out of order but they accepted payment over credit card, a mode of payment I was not aware of in Toll Plazas. I did not face any issue of reading Fastags by sensors due to the sunfilm on the front windshield.

  4. For the complete Kolkata - Puri - Kolkata journey the total toll paid was Rs 1290.

  5. Fuel spent was around 7000 rupees of Diesel for a total distance of 1150 KM. Considering 4 adults (discounting the kid), per person return fare would be around 1750 rupees which is 25% less than Taxi + 2 AC Train Fare + Taxi for the same journey (even including the detours Konark, Bhubaneshwar, etc we did with the car)

  6. Considering some spirited Power mode driving, the mileage was around 11 KM / Litre in the whole trip combined of which 20% was in city, 10% Power Mode on highway and remaining 70% Highway. Maintaining a sedate driving at 80-90 km.hr can yield better FE is what I have read.

  7. I did notice the car moves slightly to the left if the steering is kept straight and this happens when the speed increases and some amount of running from a cold start happens even if the road is flat and straight. This problem is separately taken up by me with Toyota.

  8. The AC is super chilling, considering we also has films, the 2nd and 3rd row passengers complained several times they are feeling cold at blower speed 1. I had to reduce the temperature knob to compensate. AC is as powerful as the engine it seems.

  9. Talking about the 2.8 litre 1GD-FTV engine, it is a monster, especially in Power mode it can silence most of the cruisers. Only contender I found is the EcoSport diesel, I have developed a respect for how its engine pulls at high speeds. But being the smaller engine it runs out of juice at higher speeds where bigger engines can ace it. Of course my suggestion always is that highway is not for racing and if you travel at the revised speed limits of 80 -100 km/hr as per the guideline there is no more significant gain of time by going any faster. So control the adrenaline and enjoy a safe ride.

  10. The ride and comfort this car offers is excellent. With the additional advantage of our family members being of average height my mother and sister did the major part of the road travel lying down flat in the 2nd and 3rd row seats (3rd row had some compromises). The stability even at higher speeds is outstanding.

  11. While writing this TL, I referred to the Google Map timeline view to ascertain where and when I was months back during the journey. Google is watching and tracking us fellas unlike anything

  12. I noticed that Google Map showed 10% less speed than what is showed on the car speedo all the time, this may be a calibration issues with Toyota having 16 and 17 inch variants of tyres and mine being the smaller 16 inchers.

  13. My first servicing was due midway in the trip so I decided that even if the car has not completed 1000 KM I got it serviced around 700 KM to make sure there is no warranty issue later on as otherwise getting servicing at Bhubaneshwar was an option but it would cut short our time to enjoy the trip.

  14. The driver must get a good sleep before long travels, I could not while going from Kolkata to Puri, only 2-3 hours overnight. I felt damn sleepy prior to the lunch hours, luckily my wife kept me awake all the way, even pulled over to a side of the NH around Bhubaneshwar to keep the eyes closed for 5 mins. A lesson learnt, the hard way.

  15. If you are at highers speeds and approaching Toll Gates on a highway be cautious that there will be a series of bumpers to ensure the slowdown. I did bump at a few of them and as I did not anticipate them, luckily no perceptible damage to suspension, Toyota reliability.

  16. We did not visit Jagannath temple this time as someone had passed away in the family and 2018 December only we had a puja at the temple.

MOD NOTE: Team-BHP strongly discourages unsafe driving practices that put yourself and other road users at risk. Please do NOT post about illegally high speeds on public roads.

We advise you to read the Forum Rules before proceeding any further.

Last edited by Sheel : 1st December 2019 at 12:36. Reason: Putting spaces for better readability.
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Old 29th November 2019, 17:48   #5
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Default re: Long weekend trip to Puri Beach in an Innova Crysta

Thread moved from the Assembly Line to the Travelogues Section. Thanks for sharing!
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Old 1st December 2019, 00:43   #6
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Default Re: Long weekend trip to Puri Beach in an Innova Crysta

Great travelogue.
This particular travelogue is pure nostalgia for me!

I have visited Puri 'N' number of times but during the period from 1990-2004, our only place for staying was at Holiday Resort. Have some great childhood memories from this hotel.
In-fact a local photographer named Lakhia, used to take pics on that beach. Every time we used to stay there, he clicked our family pics.
Now a days we do not stay at Holiday Resort but whenever we visit Puri, we visit Holiday Resort at-least once to meet the locals whom we knew for years! Starting from the local tea Vendor to Lakhia quite a few of them come to have a chat with us (specially my father).

Seeing my wife with me last time, their comment was - Babu boro hoye geche! (Our kid has grown up!)

Pics from 2017.

Lakhia

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Beach in front of Holiday resort

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Last edited by Samba : 1st December 2019 at 00:46.
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Old 1st December 2019, 09:06   #7
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Default Re: Long weekend trip to Puri Beach in an Innova Crysta

Quote:
Originally Posted by haisaikat View Post
Some Closing thoughts and observations
  1. I noticed that Google Map showed 10% less speed than what is showed on the car speedo all the time
I think this happens to all cars. In my car also the gps speed is about 7-8 kmph less than speed on speedometer. I think this is done to keep people within speed limit as everyone tries to maintain 80 kmph in a zone limited to 80. So it is done so that we do not cross 80 kmph actually thereby attracting fines.
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Old 1st December 2019, 11:30   #8
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Default Re: Long weekend trip to Puri Beach in an Innova Crysta

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Originally Posted by haisaikat View Post
....[*]While writing this TL, I referred to the Google Map timeline view to ascertain where and when I was months back during the journey. Google is watching and tracking us fellas unlike anything
Unless you prefer it this way, you can turn off location history on you Google account. You can also set how many days of data should be saved if you leave it on.
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Old 1st December 2019, 11:59   #9
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Default Re: Long weekend trip to Puri Beach in an Innova Crysta

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Originally Posted by haisaikat View Post
I noticed that Google Map showed 10% less speed than what is showed on the car speedo all the time
It happens with me also during my last both trips (Agra and Puri). https://www.team-bhp.com/forum/trave...ahal-agra.html (Drive from Chittaranjan, West Bengal to see the Taj Mahal, Agra)

And for information it happens in UAE also. But for GPS location it is very accurate in g-maps.

Needs to find out what is the reason?
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Old 1st December 2019, 13:25   #10
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Default Re: Long weekend trip to Puri Beach in an Innova Crysta

Thanks for sharing your travelogue. It was a pleasure to go through your write and photos.

Quote:
Originally Posted by haisaikat View Post
Myself, and wife with kid at the front and my mother and sister in the middle seat.
A 2 year old kid at the front? Please avoid it at all cost. Ensure that the little one is at the back and preferably in a booster seat.

Quote:
Originally Posted by haisaikat View Post
With the additional advantage of our family members being of average height my mother and sister did the major part of the road travel lying down flat in the 2nd and 3rd row seats (3rd row had some compromises).
Sorry to say but this is again unsafe. In case of even hard braking, they won't stay at their place and may end up injuring themselves and other passengers. [Precisely the need for booster seats for kids].

Passengers need to stay in their respective seats at all times with their seat-belts. In case anyone wishes to lie down etc, car should be stopped and they can lie around in seats if there are no places nearby for rest.

This should ensure everyone's safety which I think is of importance to each of us .
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Old 1st December 2019, 16:48   #11
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Default Re: Long weekend trip to Puri Beach in an Innova Crysta

Quote:
Originally Posted by Samba View Post
Great travelogue.
This particular travelogue is pure nostalgia for me!

Pics from 2017.

Beach in front of Holiday resort
Wow, once again the picture has your signature all over it, which is awesome. Puri is always a nostalgic for Bengalis for its easy accessibility (very convenient overnight journey), Bengali friendly food habitat, an awesome beach that is safe and loved favourite from kids to elders and of course the blessings of Lord Jagannath. It is still a popular honeymoon spot among a large chunk of Bengali couples.

Quote:
Originally Posted by indrasis_gun View Post
I think this happens to all cars. In my car also the gps speed is about 7-8 kmph less than speed on speedometer. I think this is done to keep people within speed limit as everyone tries to maintain 80 kmph in a zone limited to 80. So it is done so that we do not cross 80 kmph actually thereby attracting fines.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sukanta73 View Post
It happens with me also during my last both trips (Agra and Puri). https://www.team-bhp.com/forum/trave...ahal-agra.html (Drive from Chittaranjan, West Bengal to see the Taj Mahal, Agra)

And for information it happens in UAE also. But for GPS location it is very accurate in g-maps.

Needs to find out what is the reason?
I think its because of tyre size related calibration issues.

@indrasis_gun I read your introduction post that you have a Innova Crysta 2.8 Z, may I know if it is having the 16 inch tyres as compared to the 17 inches ones? I would be surprised if you have speed mismatches even with 17 inch ones.

@Sukanta_73, I liked your Agra trip and it will be certainly be a guide for me to make an attempt myself sometimes in 2020 or 2021. May I know if you have the Marazzo in its 16 inch tyres or 17 inch version? Try checking the speed mismatch issue with respect to GPS with some Marazzo owner who has the 17 inch tyres. Whatever difference you will find in 17 inch version would be the actual intended speed reporting mismatch for inducing safe driving, beyond that its calibration issue for certain.

In my Hyundai Getz, the same being the top model came with 14 inch rims as against lower models that came in 13 inch tyres. My observation was that its speed calibration w.r.t GPS was almost dead accurate. My wife's i10 base version comes with 13 inch tyres as against 14 inch in top trims and there I have seen 3- 5 % mismatch. So my conclusion is that car manufacturers may be potentially calibrating Speedometers w.r.t the higher sized tyres of their top trims. What I am more concerned about is if the distance measurement is also flawed and overstated like the speed it will eventually make me reach my warranty miles limit quicker.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chetan_Rao View Post
Unless you prefer it this way, you can turn off location history on you Google account. You can also set how many days of data should be saved if you leave it on.
I know, I think it is better turned on for longer journeys as that helps tracing time while writing TLs later

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sheel View Post
A 2 year old kid at the front? Please avoid it at all cost. Ensure that the little one is at the back and preferably in a booster seat.

Passengers need to stay in their respective seats at all times with their seat-belts. In case anyone wishes to lie down etc, car should be stopped and they can lie around in seats if there are no places nearby for rest.

This should ensure everyone's safety which I think is of importance to each of us .
Thank you for the kind words and reminding about the safety precautions. I am in agreement with you. The problem with my kid is he is very adamant and be it child seat or the Isofix mount / 5 point restraint seem to be against his liking, we have tried and failed. At least managed to persuade him to at least not stand on the seat and hope this will improve with age. While at times he has made this journey sitting in the 2nd and 3rd rows also but at times 1st row could not be avoided even if limited. I will see how this can be improved further.

But I absolutely have no solution for the elder lying down for example of the likes of my mother who due to spine problems cannot sit upright for more than an hour at a stretch. We have to move forward and stopping every 30 minutes may not be practical for me with limited vacation time. I believe advertised inflatable car beds are also at par. I did see few bed options with belts. So I am open to options from all on what other measure can be taken to make this happen.
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Old 1st December 2019, 17:45   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by haisaikat View Post
I think its because of tyre size related calibration issues.

@indrasis_gun I .....know if it is having the 16 inch tyres as compared to the 17 inches ones? I would be surprised if you have speed mismatches even with 17 inch ones.
@haisaikat It happens in 17 inch wheels also.
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