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Old 21st January 2020, 17:28   #1
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Default An impromptu solo drive to the end of the land - Kanyakumari in my BMW

I love all types of driving trips, but more than anything, I love solo drives.

There is something truly magical about solo drives. Cars often represent personal freedom, and driving gives you the sense of being liberated, being in control of your destiny. Nothing resonates with these feelings more than a solo drive. When you drive alone, you feel a unique sense of freedom - you can stop wherever you want, you can go as fast or as slow as you want, you can stop for a food break or you can skip it, you can visit any location that appeals to you - there is nobody else to judge you and you do not have to conform to the set notions of what to do and what not to do.

It is also a great mental exercise in introspection, and getting to know yourself better. When you are traveling alone, you talk to yourself, you reflect on your own life and thoughts, you reflect on what you enjoy and what you don't, all without any distractions of the company. This is a magical experience. I always come back refreshed and recharged from a solo drive.

Solo drives are also great to get to know your car. Just as talking to yourself, in solo drives you are constantly talking to your car. And you car, if you have ears for it, keeps talking to you all the time. This continuous dialogue between the driver and the car, when they are cruising alone in the middle of nowhere, is an amazing experience and a great way to grow the bond between the man and the machine!

In every solo drive I rediscover myself and I rediscover my car. I always have these magic moments which are otherwise impossible to have in a group drive.

While I did several group drives recently with my friends, and of course enjoyed every one of them to the fullest, it had been a while since I went for a solo drive. And I was missing that purest joy of taking my car and cruising down the highway at my own pace, and experiencing the oneness of the man and the machine!

I had been crazy busy on the work front lately, and that was also one of the reasons why I could not do any solo drives recently. However, last Friday, it somehow appeared that, for a change, my work was getting wrapped up for the weekend, and I could actually take the weekend off. My wife had to attend some conference over the weekend and she was busy with that. That left me alone, over a weekend, and that realization came to me all of a sudden on Friday afternoon. And a thought suddenly struck me that this was the perfect opportunity for that long overdue solo drive.

So with that, the planning started Friday afternoon. All I had was the weekend, and I had to rush back to work before Monday. As my mind started searching for destinations, Kanyakumari quickly came to my mind. I had never been to Kanyakumari before, and always wanted to go. Even weather wise this was the perfect choice, since January is probably the best time to visit Kanyakumari. It would be too hot rest of the year. So with all that, I quickly made a decision to drive down to Kanyakumari.

My companion on this drive would be my beloved BMW 320d. She would be as happy as I when we cruise down those beautiful highways down South. I immediately started searching for hotels in Kanyakumari on MakeMyTrip, and quickly found one (Sparsa Resort) that seemed to have good and safe parking space - something that is not easy to find in Kanyakumari hotels, and something that was as important to me as clean bathrooms in my overnight hotel selection criteria.

So with that, the impromptu drive plan got firmed up around Friday evening. I would start next day - Saturday - morning as early as possible, and come back on Sunday. A very simple plan indeed.

Now this 320d, touch wood, is as reliable as my old Maruti Sx4. So there was no special preparation required for the car. All I did in the evening was filled a tankful of diesel, checked and topped up air in the tyres, and dusted off the car using my Jopasu. That was all. We were all set for the weekend drive to the end of the land!

Last edited by Dr.AD : 21st January 2020 at 22:31.
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Old 21st January 2020, 18:13   #2
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Default re: An impromptu solo drive to the end of the land - Kanyakumari in my BMW

Saturday morning Drive to Kanyakumari:

I got up early, got ready and cranked the engine at 5:30am sharp. By the time I slotted the car in "D" and drove off, it was 5:31am:

The start time recorded in trip computer:
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By around 7:45am, I crossed Salem, and just a few minutes past 8am, stopped for breakfast at this Adyar Ananda Bhavan, about 25km after Salem:
An impromptu solo drive to the end of the land - Kanyakumari in my BMW-img_20200118_084200.jpg


My 320d did not want to stop and was still raring to go on, but I had to make her wait and let her bathe in the morning sun while I had a quick breakfast:
An impromptu solo drive to the end of the land - Kanyakumari in my BMW-img_20200118_084516-2.jpg


And in true South Indian style, this is what I had for breakfast:
An impromptu solo drive to the end of the land - Kanyakumari in my BMW-img_20200118_082415.jpg


As 'we' (we as in I and the car) continued on NH44, the weather became cloudy, the traffic became thin, and the road continued to stay smooth and nice - absolutely the perfect conditions for driving:
An impromptu solo drive to the end of the land - Kanyakumari in my BMW-img_20200118_121729-2.jpg


In no time we passed Madurai, and were soon cruising towards Kanyakumari at an earlier than expected arrival time. Passing through a tiny hill near Tirunelveli, TN:
An impromptu solo drive to the end of the land - Kanyakumari in my BMW-img_20200118_123742.jpg


By now it had been more than three hours of driving since breakfast break, and I felt like having a small coffee break. I saw this place on the side and pulled over here for a coffee:
An impromptu solo drive to the end of the land - Kanyakumari in my BMW-img_20200118_130902.jpg


The landscape in last 80km or so to Kanyakumari is full with windmills all over the place. On all sides of the road, wherever your eyes go, you see windmills. It was nice driving through them. Some photos of the car posing next to windmills:
An impromptu solo drive to the end of the land - Kanyakumari in my BMW-img_20200118_133321-2.jpg


An impromptu solo drive to the end of the land - Kanyakumari in my BMW-img_20200118_133355-2.jpg


An impromptu solo drive to the end of the land - Kanyakumari in my BMW-img_20200118_13395301.jpg

Since by now it was clear that I would arrive in Kanyakumari ahead of my estimated time (I was about arrive at 2pm instead of what I had estimated to be past 3pm), I decided to make a quick new plan. I decided to stop at "Vattakottai Fort", a seaside Fort about 8km before Kanyakumari.

When I reached the Fort, I had driven for exactly 7 hours and 30 minutes, at and overall average speed of about 89km. Thanks to all the smooth and empty roads! This was way faster than I had estimated:
An impromptu solo drive to the end of the land - Kanyakumari in my BMW-img_20200118_135012-2.jpg

Last edited by Dr.AD : 21st January 2020 at 22:35.
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Old 21st January 2020, 19:03   #3
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Default re: An impromptu solo drive to the end of the land - Kanyakumari in my BMW

Vattakottai Fort:

Acknowledgements: I had read about this fort in mpksuhas's travelogue quoted below, and hence this visit was possible. Thanks to him for his detailed travelogue which had immensely helped me plan my trip at the 11th hour. I had indeed re-read his travelogue just the evening before I started and that helped me a lot :-)

Quote:
Originally Posted by mpksuhas View Post
Vattakotai
This beachside fort is located around 7 KM's from Kanyakumari town. Constructed by king of Travancore in 18th century, it's a less crowded but beautiful location near to Kanyakumari.

When I reached the fort, contrary to the above observation, I actually found it to be very crowded. Everyone was there for a Saturday afternoon picnic. The parking lot was overflowing with parked cars and tourist buses. Even many school buses were parked there and many groups of school kids were visiting the fort.

After circling around the area searching for a parking spot, I finally had to park a bit away from the fort, behind this tourist bus, on the side of the road:
An impromptu solo drive to the end of the land - Kanyakumari in my BMW-img_20200118_141628.jpg


The entrance to the fort:
An impromptu solo drive to the end of the land - Kanyakumari in my BMW-img_20200118_141518.jpg


The middle courtyard in the fort (I had to wait some time to get a shot without people; otherwise this area had many picnic parties going on):
An impromptu solo drive to the end of the land - Kanyakumari in my BMW-img_20200118_135522.jpg


Broad pathways around the fort, and these also lead to the outer walls which had great views of the sea and the beaches:
An impromptu solo drive to the end of the land - Kanyakumari in my BMW-img_20200118_141325.jpg


Views like this, on the north side of the fort:
An impromptu solo drive to the end of the land - Kanyakumari in my BMW-img_20200118_135748.jpg


You can see one temple and a few windmills windmills peeking from behind the trees:
An impromptu solo drive to the end of the land - Kanyakumari in my BMW-img_20200118_140153.jpg


The ubiquitous windmills, far away in the distance:
An impromptu solo drive to the end of the land - Kanyakumari in my BMW-dsc04815-2.jpg


Zooming in on the windmills, it looked as if there were hundreds of them:
An impromptu solo drive to the end of the land - Kanyakumari in my BMW-dsc04828-2.jpg


Beach on the south side of the fort:
An impromptu solo drive to the end of the land - Kanyakumari in my BMW-img_20200118_140451.jpg


An impromptu solo drive to the end of the land - Kanyakumari in my BMW-img_20200118_140448.jpg


The top "terrace" (for lack of a better word) on the fort:
An impromptu solo drive to the end of the land - Kanyakumari in my BMW-img_20200118_140513.jpg


The trees looked beautiful on the backdrop of the distant mountains:
An impromptu solo drive to the end of the land - Kanyakumari in my BMW-dsc04825-2.jpg


This is how that "terrace" looked from a bit away:
An impromptu solo drive to the end of the land - Kanyakumari in my BMW-img_20200118_141118.jpg


Thick forest on the shoreline:
An impromptu solo drive to the end of the land - Kanyakumari in my BMW-img_20200118_141138.jpg


And now the crowds are back again in the courtyard:
An impromptu solo drive to the end of the land - Kanyakumari in my BMW-img_20200118_140848.jpg

After walking around for about 30 minutes on the fort, I returned to the car.

After more than 650km of driving (and that was a spirited drive at good average speeds!), the fuel level was still at about 35%, and the range was still about 300km more! The beauty of this engine! I never have to worry about refueling at some random fuel station on the way. I would refuel her at Kanyakumari tomorrow:
An impromptu solo drive to the end of the land - Kanyakumari in my BMW-img_20200118_141907.jpg

Last edited by Dr.AD : 21st January 2020 at 22:43.
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Old 21st January 2020, 19:35   #4
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Arrival in Kanyakumari and Checking in the hotel:

After about 15 minutes of driving from the Vattakottai Fort, I reached Kanyakumari at about 2:35pm

Just as I took a left turn to enter the town, this beautiful view unfolded in my windscreen:
An impromptu solo drive to the end of the land - Kanyakumari in my BMW-img_20200118_143000.jpg


Now I have to take this left turn towards the "beach road" and my hotel:
An impromptu solo drive to the end of the land - Kanyakumari in my BMW-img_20200118_143022.jpg


And after next left I suddenly found myself on the public parking area next to the sea, which was all empty at this hot afternoon hour:
An impromptu solo drive to the end of the land - Kanyakumari in my BMW-img_20200118_143148-2.jpg


And very well located, right on the main beach road, and very easy to find, was my hotel, Sparsa Resort Kanyakumari. As I mentioned in the opening post, the main motivation for choosing Sparsa was the secured and spacious parking, which is a rarity in Kanyakumari.


Sparsa Resort where I stayed.
An impromptu solo drive to the end of the land - Kanyakumari in my BMW-img_20200118_143655.jpg


The parking lot was indeed spacious and well maintained. I was happy:
An impromptu solo drive to the end of the land - Kanyakumari in my BMW-img_20200118_143634.jpg


The main entrance of the resort right opposite the beach and on the main beach road, with spacious parking on both sides inside the main gate:
An impromptu solo drive to the end of the land - Kanyakumari in my BMW-img_20200118_143741.jpg


This is not a very fancy resort, although on the expensive side compared to other hotels in Kanyakumari. But in return you get nice parking, clean and comfortable rooms, and all the basic amenities you need for an overnight stay. I was more than happy with this resort as I did not need anything more than clean basic room for one night. The staff was very courteous and helpful, and food was decent too. Overall, I liked the place and would stay there again in next trips.

The room was small and basic, but clean and comfortable. No frills and luxuries, but had all the basic amenities:
An impromptu solo drive to the end of the land - Kanyakumari in my BMW-img_20200118_144529.jpg


Sadly, there was no sea view from the room. The view was this, just the garden. This is in contrast to the view of the sunset and sunrise, and even the Vivekananda Rock Memorial that other hotels in the town offer:
An impromptu solo drive to the end of the land - Kanyakumari in my BMW-img_20200118_144716.jpg


The swimming pool in the resort:
An impromptu solo drive to the end of the land - Kanyakumari in my BMW-img_20200118_150917.jpg


I left the car here for the rest of the stay, and did not take her out until my return journey the next day:
An impromptu solo drive to the end of the land - Kanyakumari in my BMW-img_20200118_143830.jpg
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Old 21st January 2020, 19:59   #5
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Default re: An impromptu solo drive to the end of the land - Kanyakumari in my BMW

Walk through the town:

It was about 2:45pm when I checked in my room. After about 30 minutes of rest, and freshening up, I stepped out of the hotel at 3:30pm for walking around the town and visiting the Vivekananda Rock Memorial. I was not going to take the car out now. The hotel is very conveniently located and all main visiting points are within a couple of km from there. In general, the best way to explore Kanyakumari is walking. There is no point trying to take your vehicle in the crowded streets with no parking.

As I started walking, it was still hot and sunny, and the crowd was sparse (later in the evening, the same area would get jam packed with people and vehicles):
An impromptu solo drive to the end of the land - Kanyakumari in my BMW-img_20200118_151457.jpg


I walked through the street market:
An impromptu solo drive to the end of the land - Kanyakumari in my BMW-img_20200118_151733.jpg


And on the side of the street, was this small park/beach:
An impromptu solo drive to the end of the land - Kanyakumari in my BMW-img_20200118_151849.jpg


And there in that park is this view tower. I made a note in my mind to return here later in the evening for watching sunset:
An impromptu solo drive to the end of the land - Kanyakumari in my BMW-img_20200118_151845.jpg


A variety of arts and crafts items were being sold through the street market:
An impromptu solo drive to the end of the land - Kanyakumari in my BMW-img_20200118_152318.jpg


And of course, there were tons of small food shops:
An impromptu solo drive to the end of the land - Kanyakumari in my BMW-img_20200118_152335.jpg


These chilies, waiting to be fried into bhajjis, looked very tempting:
An impromptu solo drive to the end of the land - Kanyakumari in my BMW-img_20200118_1524210101-2.jpg


And the chili bhajjis being fried on the next stove:
An impromptu solo drive to the end of the land - Kanyakumari in my BMW-img_20200118_152426.jpg


The narrow road at the other end that takes you to the jetty point for the Vivekananda Rock:
An impromptu solo drive to the end of the land - Kanyakumari in my BMW-img_20200118_152554.jpg

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Old 21st January 2020, 20:55   #6
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Vivekananda Rock Memorial:

When I reached the jetty point for the boat to the Vivekananda Rock Memorial, I saw this huge line for buying tickets. The ticket is ₹50 for the round trip:
An impromptu solo drive to the end of the land - Kanyakumari in my BMW-img_20200118_153117.jpg


This line was really long, and it was getting very close to the time of the last boat, which was 4pm:
An impromptu solo drive to the end of the land - Kanyakumari in my BMW-img_20200118_153127.jpg


I was wondering what to do. Luckily, I saw this sign saying "Special Ticket" for ₹200, and there was no line for this. This counter was totally free. So without second thought, I quickly bought this Special Ticket:
An impromptu solo drive to the end of the land - Kanyakumari in my BMW-img_20200118_153144.jpg


With this "Special Ticket" I got an immediate entry and I was on my way to the boat. It was hot and sunny, and I got my first glimpse of the memorial while walking to the boat:
An impromptu solo drive to the end of the land - Kanyakumari in my BMW-img_20200118_153327.jpg


The boats ready to ferry the tourists to the memorial:
An impromptu solo drive to the end of the land - Kanyakumari in my BMW-img_20200118_153347.jpg


As the boat departed the jetty, I got a better view of the memorial:
An impromptu solo drive to the end of the land - Kanyakumari in my BMW-img_20200118_154102.jpg


The Vivekananda Rock Memorial and the Thiruvalluvar Statue clearly in the frame now:
An impromptu solo drive to the end of the land - Kanyakumari in my BMW-img_20200118_154248.jpg


A close-up of the rock memorial. I could already see the line of people waiting for boarding the return ferry:
An impromptu solo drive to the end of the land - Kanyakumari in my BMW-dsc04836-2.jpg


As soon as we touched down at the rock jetty, everyone got out and dumped their life jackets in the bin provided there:
An impromptu solo drive to the end of the land - Kanyakumari in my BMW-img_20200118_154947.jpg


There was one more ticket counter there, for ₹20 ticket to visit the memorial. This was not included in the ferry ticket. Luckily, there was no big line here and I got this ticket almost immediately.


Before entering the memorial, you have to keep out your footwear:
An impromptu solo drive to the end of the land - Kanyakumari in my BMW-img_20200118_161820.jpg


The place to keep footwear:
An impromptu solo drive to the end of the land - Kanyakumari in my BMW-img_20200118_162345.jpg

Leaving footwear out was fine and I totally respect that. However, it was painfully hot to walk on that stone flooring in that scorching heat, without shoes. For this one reason alone, I would recommend NOT to visit this place in the mid-afternoon. Best time to visit would be 4pm (as I did), or 8am (when it opens in the morning).

The magnificent structure of the rock memorial:
An impromptu solo drive to the end of the land - Kanyakumari in my BMW-img_20200118_155814.jpg


Some external views:
An impromptu solo drive to the end of the land - Kanyakumari in my BMW-img_20200118_155925.jpg


An impromptu solo drive to the end of the land - Kanyakumari in my BMW-img_20200118_160829.jpg


Then I went inside (photography is not allowed inside), and spent some quiet 15 minutes meditating in front of the Swami Vivekananda Statue. The interior was very quiet and peaceful, and it was amazing to stand there and think of the great thoughts taught to us by Swami Vivekananda and what it meant. It was a magical experience!


Then I walked around there. Nice views of the sea all around:
An impromptu solo drive to the end of the land - Kanyakumari in my BMW-img_20200118_155932.jpg


The Vivekananda Rock Memorial was completed and dedicated to the nation in 1970. So year 2020 is the 50th year of this Memorial, and I was fortunate to visit this in the 50th year, as this board said. I felt very happy reading this board:
An impromptu solo drive to the end of the land - Kanyakumari in my BMW-img_20200118_160750.jpg


Then I spent some time watching the beautiful motion of the boats come and go. Notice the nice architecture of the buildings in the backdrop:
An impromptu solo drive to the end of the land - Kanyakumari in my BMW-dsc04841.jpg


Boats were coming and going very frequently - about 5 minutes apart in each direction:
An impromptu solo drive to the end of the land - Kanyakumari in my BMW-dsc04844-2.jpg


Their timings were matching perfectly. As soon as one boat departed, the arriving boat was arriving in a couple of minutes. They were working like a clockwork. I loved watching this:
An impromptu solo drive to the end of the land - Kanyakumari in my BMW-dsc04845-2.jpg


A close-up of the boat in action:
An impromptu solo drive to the end of the land - Kanyakumari in my BMW-dsc04848-2.jpg


A beautiful church on the shore:
An impromptu solo drive to the end of the land - Kanyakumari in my BMW-dsc04857-2.jpg


And of course, the ubiquitous windmills were visible from here too, far away in the distance:
An impromptu solo drive to the end of the land - Kanyakumari in my BMW-dsc04859-2.jpg


And then there was this huge line to board the return ferry. It looked big, but thankfully it was moving very fast.
An impromptu solo drive to the end of the land - Kanyakumari in my BMW-img_20200118_162018.jpg


While standing in the line, I could see various quotations by Swami Vivekananda written there above the line. This particular one somehow touched my heart:
An impromptu solo drive to the end of the land - Kanyakumari in my BMW-img_20200118_162743.jpg


The line moved very fast and in about 10 minutes I was back in the return ferry. The management of the crowd and the ferry operations there is very good. There was no confusion, no mess. Everyone followed the queue and very quickly boarded and de-boarded the ferries. Everything worked like clockwork!

I spent some time admiring the nice architecture on the shore after we landed:
An impromptu solo drive to the end of the land - Kanyakumari in my BMW-img_20200118_164331.jpg


And finally, although it was past 4pm, I still could see a long line for boarding the ferries to the rock. So it looks like the 4pm is either not the final time, or it was extended that day for some reason:
An impromptu solo drive to the end of the land - Kanyakumari in my BMW-img_20200118_164920.jpg


Again, kudos to the management there for managing this so well. The crowd was moving very quickly and in very disciplined manner, and there was no confusion at all about any thing. Very neatly managed operation!

Overall, visiting the Vivekananda Rock Memorial was a wonderful and spiritual experience. I loved every moment of being there. I felt very happy that I made it there on this impromptu plan.

However, unfortunately, there were no boats going to the Thiruvalluvar Statue, for some reason. Maybe it was closed for some construction/repairs. So I could only see it from distance and but could not visit that structure.

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Old 21st January 2020, 21:43   #7
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The evening and the sunset:

By this time, I was feeling hungry and I started looking for a restaurant. Luckily, there are several nice restaurants in the main road of the town. I saw this place, and again remembered it from mpksuhas's travelogue:
An impromptu solo drive to the end of the land - Kanyakumari in my BMW-img_20200118_165502.jpg


I went in and had one dosa, and this awesome filter coffee:
An impromptu solo drive to the end of the land - Kanyakumari in my BMW-img_20200118_17054701.jpg


Feeling refreshed, I started my next wandering. While exploring Google Maps of this area, I had seen a point labeled as the "Southernmost Point of Mainland India":
An impromptu solo drive to the end of the land - Kanyakumari in my BMW-capture.jpg


I was a bit curious as to how this point actually looks, and decided to walk to that point following Google Maps on my phone. On the way to that point, the maps took me to this point, which I presumed was the Thiruvalluvar Statue View point, as labelled in the map above:
An impromptu solo drive to the end of the land - Kanyakumari in my BMW-img_20200118_172354.jpg


And from here, I actually got an excellent view of the Rock Memorial and the Thiruvalluvar Statue, in the golden light of the evening hour:
An impromptu solo drive to the end of the land - Kanyakumari in my BMW-img_20200118_1723540101.jpg


Zooming in on the Rock Memorial shows that it was still abuzz with people, even at 5:30pm:
An impromptu solo drive to the end of the land - Kanyakumari in my BMW-dsc04888.jpg


And then, after some further walking to South, I reached precisely the point I was looking for:
An impromptu solo drive to the end of the land - Kanyakumari in my BMW-screenshot_20200118173206-2.jpg


I was precisely at the Southernmost Point in India. I felt thrilled, and really enjoyed that moment: These are precisely the joys of solo travels! Such simple moments, which you can enjoy on your own, while getting lost in the crowd, may not be appreciated by a company, or rather, would feel silly in a group! And if you go there in a group of people, you will lose the whole beauty of being there and instead get focused on the group dynamics.

For me, I just stood there, alone, looking northwards towards my country, and southwards towards the ocean. The place was crowded and there were a thousand people around me. But I ignored the crowd, and just stood there, lost in my own thoughts. As one quote I read somewhere on the net said, "when you travel alone in a new city, you feel invisible". Oh, the joy of being invisible in the middle of a large crowd! I cherished every moment of being there.

And by the way, this is how that point actually looked. I believe that rock there is technically the southernmost point in India:
An impromptu solo drive to the end of the land - Kanyakumari in my BMW-img_20200118_172922.jpg


After spending some time there, I started walking back to the view tower I had seen earlier, with the idea of watching sunset from there.

I reached that tower, and this is how it looked just a short while before sunset:
An impromptu solo drive to the end of the land - Kanyakumari in my BMW-img_20200118_174036.jpg


Somehow, I decided to walk further to a point shown on the map as the "Sunset Park", and it took me to this beautiful and clean park, with enough benches to sit on and surprisingly no crowd at all. This was the ideal spot for watching sunset:
An impromptu solo drive to the end of the land - Kanyakumari in my BMW-img_20200118_174939.jpg


I spent next half an hour enjoying the sunset from here:
An impromptu solo drive to the end of the land - Kanyakumari in my BMW-img_20200118_175106.jpg


Some sunset photos using a zoom lens:
An impromptu solo drive to the end of the land - Kanyakumari in my BMW-dsc04904.jpg



An impromptu solo drive to the end of the land - Kanyakumari in my BMW-dsc04908-2.jpg


And finally, just moments before the sun actually went down:
An impromptu solo drive to the end of the land - Kanyakumari in my BMW-dsc04909-3.jpg


I was really surprised that the best spot to view the sunset had no crowd at all, whereas there was a huge crowd all over the place just a few hundred meters from this spot. Really strange, but good for me, since I enjoyed a very quiet and peaceful sunset without any crowds!

After the sun went down, I walked back to the hotel. By the way, this sunset park is just opposite Sparsa Resort, so one more reason why I would say Sparsa is ideally located.

I went back to my room, ordered some dinner in the room, and fell asleep soon after dinner.

Last edited by Dr.AD : 21st January 2020 at 23:04.
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Old 21st January 2020, 22:08   #8
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Default re: An impromptu solo drive to the end of the land - Kanyakumari in my BMW

Drive back to Bangalore on Sunday:

Saturday was action-packed, and I pretty much visited all spots I wanted to visit in Kanyakumari on Saturday itself. My relatively early arrival in Kanyakumari helped a lot in that. So with that done, the only plan for Sunday was to drive back to Bangalore.

It was still important for me to start relatively early and reach Bangalore before the Sunday evening traffic mess between Krishangiri and Bangalore.

I started my return journey immediately after breakfast, at exactly 8:30am.

As I started driving back, the windmills looked lovely in the morning light:
An impromptu solo drive to the end of the land - Kanyakumari in my BMW-img_20200119_083934-2.jpg


There were windmills everywhere:
An impromptu solo drive to the end of the land - Kanyakumari in my BMW-img_20200119_084506.jpg


An impromptu solo drive to the end of the land - Kanyakumari in my BMW-img_20200119_085224.jpg


I could not resist clicking some pictures of the car with the windmills:
An impromptu solo drive to the end of the land - Kanyakumari in my BMW-img_20200119_090125-2.jpg


An impromptu solo drive to the end of the land - Kanyakumari in my BMW-img_20200119_090202-3.jpg


And then, in a short while, my car reached an important milestone: 40,000km on the odo!
An impromptu solo drive to the end of the land - Kanyakumari in my BMW-img_20200119_092925.jpg


I stopped for a quick coffee break at Hotel Temple City, after Madurai:
An impromptu solo drive to the end of the land - Kanyakumari in my BMW-img_20200119_114828.jpg


And then I drove non-stop till Krishnagiri, trying to avoid the dreaded Sunday evening traffic as much as possible. I took a quick snacks break at this Sarvana Bhavan, just after Krishangiri toll (which by the way took me 10 minutes to cross in spite of me having a FastTag and using FastTag lanes):
An impromptu solo drive to the end of the land - Kanyakumari in my BMW-img_20200119_163951-2.jpg


After that, the dreaded Attibele toll plaza took another 10 minutes to cross (which was not bad for a Sunday evening; I was expecting worse), and I reached home around 6:11PM.

The final trip stats. The return journey took a lot more time than the onward journey, mostly due to much worse Sunday traffic, but nevertheless, I was happy with the average speed of more than 80km/h, door to door, including all local traffic, over a distance of more than 1300km:
An impromptu solo drive to the end of the land - Kanyakumari in my BMW-img_20200119_181151.jpg


This overall drive turned out to be reasonably quick. In just a bit over 36 hours since I started from home, I was back at home. And that included driving both ways, visiting the Vattakottai Fort, Kanyakumari, and sightseeing in Kanyakumari. It was faster than I expected. I was actually prepared to stay in Salem on Sunday night and return to Bangalore Monday early morning and go straight to office (as I often do to avoid the Sunday evening traffic chaos), but that was not required. I "gained" sufficient time in my driving times to eliminate the need to stay back in Salem.

And finally, to conclude this travelogue, I must say that I once again fell in love with my car in this drive! What a car! It took me so effortlessly and so quickly over such a long distance, and in spite of spirited driving, returned a mileage of more than 16km/l. I enjoyed every moment of driving her. She can cruise comfortably when required, and with a slight tap on the pedal, she can accelerate ahead of most other vehicles on the road without breaking sweat! I loved every moment of this journey.

So coming back to my opening post, yes, this solo drive was 100% successful. I once again rediscovered myself, and once again, fell in love with my car all over again!

That's all folks. Thank you very much for reading!

Last edited by Dr.AD : 21st January 2020 at 22:15.
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Old 22nd January 2020, 01:12   #9
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Default re: An impromptu solo drive to the end of the land - Kanyakumari in my BMW

Thread moved out from the Assembly Line. Thanks for sharing!
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Old 22nd January 2020, 02:05   #10
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Default re: An impromptu solo drive to the end of the land - Kanyakumari in my BMW

Nice quick drive! And that was some very good timing on the onward journey. I've always loved that route - ridden many times from Bangalore.

You are lucky to get such a beautiful sunset. Usually the clouds play spoilsport with sunsets in Kanyakumari.
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Old 22nd January 2020, 07:29   #11
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Default re: An impromptu solo drive to the end of the land - Kanyakumari in my BMW

Cool thread. Nothing like a solo journey, I always say! Anyone know what’s the actual distance between the Vivekananda Memorial and the Thiruvalluvar statue? When we visited Kanyakumari a decade back, due to shortage of time we couldn’t visit the latter.
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Old 22nd January 2020, 09:35   #12
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Default Re: An impromptu solo drive to the end of the land - Kanyakumari in my BMW

Excellent choice of destination/route to introspect :-).

A bit off-topic, I live in Bangalore and drive to Madurai occasionally to visit my parents. I maintain decent highway speeds, but somehow I am never able to achieve what team-bhp travelogue writers regularly achieve. I'd have reached Madurai by the time you reached Kanyakumari. IIRC, there was one more such road trip posted recently by a couple who went to Kanyakumari in a motorcycle. You must be the guys who weave and zip past me in the highways ;-)
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Old 22nd January 2020, 10:01   #13
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Default Re: An impromptu solo drive to the end of the land - Kanyakumari in my BMW

Awesome write up AD. A solo drive gives lots of alone time and helps in discovering oneself. I am now tempted to drive to Kanyakumari
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Old 22nd January 2020, 10:02   #14
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Default Re: An impromptu solo drive to the end of the land - Kanyakumari in my BMW

Nice travelogue and pictures, AD! You chose the perfect time to visit Kanyakumari.

Coincidentally, we too covered Kanyakumari, Vattakottai Fort, and Mathur Aquaduct during December last week (due to date compulsions, this was unavoidable), and it was a terrible terrible mess. Lots of crowd, dirty, chaotic, and to add to this, the President decided to visit on the same day - so the ferry was closed. Not at all a place worth going again (atleast that's what we felt after seeing the chaos). Just adding 1 pics with your permission.

An impromptu solo drive to the end of the land - Kanyakumari in my BMW-img_20191226_055944195.jpg

But Vattakottai fort was good - There's a small path to go to the beach, right around where you parked. There's a river joining the sea there, and it was nice. The Mathur Aquaduct was amazing too, a bit off route but was worth it
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Old 22nd January 2020, 10:26   #15
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Default Re: An impromptu solo drive to the end of the land - Kanyakumari in my BMW

Awesome drive AD. If I'm not mistaken this is your first solo sojourn after Dusty.
Couldn't wait for your typical monsoon drive? Can make out from the exposure of your pics that it was a searing hot trip but nevertheless the roads must have kept you highly entertained. Smooth long straights with the occasional long sweeping curves almost make your brakes redundant.

I must have missed you on your start , I left Bangalore at 6am but was on my bike.


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[b] Passing through a tiny hill near Tirunelveli, TN:
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Originally Posted by graaja View Post
Awesome write up AD. A solo drive gives lots of alone time and helps in discovering oneself. I am now tempted to drive to Kanyakumari
February? I want to ride down.

Last edited by deepfreak15 : 22nd January 2020 at 10:28.
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