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Old 29th July 2020, 00:14   #1
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Default Breaking the monotony: A day trip during Covid-19 in a Ford Freestyle

This year had started off on a great note for us. We had saved and bought our first car together on 1st Feb 2020 with so many travel plans in our kitty! The sole reason for not travelling extensively last year was to save money for the car. Our Ford Freestyle TDCi Titanium+ a.k.a GOLDBERG.

Breaking the monotony: A day trip during Covid-19 in a Ford Freestyle-img_20200201_152001.jpg

The first servicing was done on 20th March, by then we had driven 2500kms within Bangalore. The first trip was supposed to be to Hyderabad in April followed by a trip to Calcutta via Puri during the Rath Yatra in June. But lo and behold, upon came the lockdown and all plans slowly went down the drain.

All we did was drive on the outer ring road (ORR) of Bangalore. Finally with unlock phases starting we planned an overnight trip to Chikmagalur/Kabini. Again our plans got thwarted as the cases started to rise drastically in Karnataka and my wife got scared and backed out.

Weeks passed by and seeing me restless to travel somewhere apart from ORR she suggested a same day trip. So we started to plan. The agenda was to zero in on a location from where we can reach bangalore by 8 pm (curfew started from then). We zeroed in on Chikmagalur approx 265 kms from our place. The next challenge was to find a restaurant which was entertaining walk-in guests for lunch. All the resorts stated they were serving only in house guests, that didn't let us down. After a lot of calling we found a restaurant called The Estate Cafe which was only for walk-in guests! Jackpot hit. The plan was made on a Saturday and as our luck would have had it the Monday newspaper reported that Chikmagalur locals pressured authorities to stop all tourist visits as no one was following the guidelines given by the government!

Determined not to give up this time, I decided to go to Chitradurga. Researched about it and saw people visiting the beautiful windmills. I had crossed this place a couple of times, once while driving down to Hampi in 2016 and again when I did a ride from Bangalore to Pune in 2017. Friends agreed to tag along as well.

The plan was not to buy anything from outside and carry everything. From water to food and everything in between. The trip was planned for 11th July. We planned to pick our friends from their residence and drop them back later in the evening.

Route: Home→ Thubarahalli → Koramangala → Tumkur → Hiriyur → Chitradurga → Home→ Thubarahalli → Koramangala → Home

Breaking the monotony: A day trip during Covid-19 in a Ford Freestyle-annotation-20200728-224916.png

Items we carried with us:
  • Hand Sanitizer
  • Sanitizer spray
  • Tissues
  • Disposable Glasses for coffee
  • Drinking Water
  • Hot water in flasks
  • Pre mixed coffee sachets
  • Butter sandwich ( made the day before and cling wrapped)
  • Aloo bhujia (bought from the supermarket below our apartment and sanitized)
  • Homemade muffins( baked the day before)

Everything was packed carefully in different bags. The only thing we did early morning was boil the water and fill it in the flask.
Started at 6:40 am from Hennur Bande, reached Thubarahalli at 7:01 and waited 15 mins for friends, filled up the tank from HP COCO HAL(my favourite bunk). Was at Koramangala by 7:45 am and picked up my last friend.
Soon we were on the open roads. After so long!

Breaking the monotony: A day trip during Covid-19 in a Ford Freestyle-20200711_082859.jpg
Breaking the monotony: A day trip during Covid-19 in a Ford Freestyle-20200711_084436.jpg

We stopped for breakfast in front of CCD at Dabaspet around 9:00 am which is just beside a closed HPCL petrol pump. Had a hearty breakfast & used the toilet in CCD to freshen up a bit.

Breaking the monotony: A day trip during Covid-19 in a Ford Freestyle-20200711_092531.jpg

Started again at 10:00 am and reached Chitradurga around 11:45 am via Tumkur, Hiriyur. The view was mesmerizing and NH 48 was smooth as butter with almost zero traffic!

Breaking the monotony: A day trip during Covid-19 in a Ford Freestyle-20200711_100510.jpg
Breaking the monotony: A day trip during Covid-19 in a Ford Freestyle-20200711_102720.jpg

We missed the exit to go to the windmills so had to detour and Google showed another road which took us through Chitradurga town. We were in for some off-road. Goldberg’s 190mm GC helped.

Breaking the monotony: A day trip during Covid-19 in a Ford Freestyle-img_20200711_11442701.jpeg
Breaking the monotony: A day trip during Covid-19 in a Ford Freestyle-img_20200711_11450001.jpeg

After navigating through the gravek track we reached a point where there was nothing and the road was cut off completely! Post speaking to some villagers nearby we learned that the only access road to the windmilss wasthe road we had missed out. We went back and took the correct turn this time but guess what? A big pole blocks the path with a lone security person sitting there to tell you "No Entry to outsiders, employees only". This was around 12:15 pm.
Do we go back home now after coming all the way? NO WAY!

Google map was set to the Chitradurga Fort. From the windmills to the fort it took around 15 minutes to reach. The place was deserted so we decided to enter. No human interaction was needed. The tickets were bought for Rs 20 per head via a QR code set up on a board in front of the entry gate. Our temperature was checked & the tickets that I got on email were scanned upon entering. Never expected such a small place to have such an advanced ticketing system.

And you get greeted by history! Such a well maintained place is the first thing that will pop up in your mind. They have guides inside for a detailed understanding of the fort but we didn't want to interact with anyone so proceeded on our own. We roamed around the fort for an hour. It's huge to say the least and when you go up on top the view is breathtaking. Be prepared to climb a lot of stairs though. The fort has ample dustbins,water dispensers, toilets strategically placed around.

Breaking the monotony: A day trip during Covid-19 in a Ford Freestyle-20200711_121749.jpg
Breaking the monotony: A day trip during Covid-19 in a Ford Freestyle-20200711_124313.jpg
Breaking the monotony: A day trip during Covid-19 in a Ford Freestyle-20200711_125412.jpg
Breaking the monotony: A day trip during Covid-19 in a Ford Freestyle-20200711_13023301.jpeg

We started back for our place around 1:45 pm. Although there was a prediction of rain, nothing happened. It was a bright, sunny and windy day. Took a 30 min break somewhere around 60kms from Chitradurga to have some muffins(no eating in my car!) and fresh air under a tree.

Rains at a distance
Breaking the monotony: A day trip during Covid-19 in a Ford Freestyle-20200711_151155.jpg


We were back home around 5 pm. A sumptuous lunch(we had cooked the day before) was waiting for us. I dropped off my friends to their homes and was in my parking at 7:59 PM(1 min to curfew)!

This has made us raring to go for more short trips till we can do proper trips, but given the current situation in BLR we are not venturing out anymore unless it's absolutely necessary.

Hope everyone is staying safe and praying for the vaccine to come out soon.

Starting ODO: 4670Kms.
End ODO: 5167Kms.
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Old 29th July 2020, 05:08   #2
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Default re: Breaking the monotony: A day trip during Covid-19 in a Ford Freestyle

Nice travelogue and pictures, I think most BHPians completely understand how it feels to have all road travel plans literally wiped out for us driving enthusiasts and having to watch our lovely steeds sit idle in the parking lot for months together, but for that occasional commute here and there . Looks like you managed to wrap up the entire trip just before the Sunday curfew began, lol!

Going ahead I think this should be the best way to have some kind of compromised travel (with packed food and short picnics) to start off with. Doing these short daytrips to open spaces helps break the monotony whilst still refraining from the risks of eating at restaurants or staying overnight anywhere (yet!). Sometimes we just drive/ride without stopping anywhere (no food breaks even) and come home after a couple of hours or 100 km. At least it helps to cure the driving/riding itch for a while
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Old 29th July 2020, 15:52   #3
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Default Re: Breaking the monotony: A day trip during Covid-19 in a Ford Freestyle

There was a time when I had driven all the way to Chitradurga to have dosas at the famous Lakshmi Bhavan Tiffin Room. Looking back now, I can only dream about such unplanned drives. The mention of the word Chitradurga is enough and my mouth starts watering.
I guess till things get back to normal we have to resort to short drives. I feel as if I have completely forgotten highway driving
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Old 30th July 2020, 12:29   #4
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Default Re: Breaking the monotony: A day trip during Covid-19 in a Ford Freestyle

Quote:
Originally Posted by Abhinav V View Post
There was a time when I had driven all the way to Chitradurga to have dosas at the famous Lakshmi Bhavan Tiffin Room.
Thanks for the info. I will surely visit this place whenever I am on this route again.
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Old 30th July 2020, 14:34   #5
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Default Re: Breaking the monotony: A day trip during Covid-19 in a Ford Freestyle

Nice post buddy. I thoroughly enjoyed reading it and could totally relate as a Ford Freestyle TDCi owner.

What's the reading on the odo? Please do write an ownership review since there are not many in our forum.
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Old 30th July 2020, 17:23   #6
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Default Re: Breaking the monotony: A day trip during Covid-19 in a Ford Freestyle

Congratulations. That's a nice travelogue. Wish you many more happy miles with the Freestyle.
But I am puzzled about the google map. Is Chitradurga fort 490kms from Bangalore? I have traveled many times to Hospet via Chitradurga. It is under 200kms from Yeshwanthpur and I never took more than 2.5 hours to reach Chitradurga from Yeshwanthpur. I just googled, it is 191 kms and takes 3 hours 10 mins as of now.

Last edited by Pkumarblore : 30th July 2020 at 17:24. Reason: Grammar correction
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Old 30th July 2020, 20:01   #7
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Default Re: Breaking the monotony: A day trip during Covid-19 in a Ford Freestyle

Well written travelogue.

I have to say this "new normal" has really messed up everyone's plan especially for us BHPians, who like to travel by road and explore new places.

Your travelogue atleast made me travel virtually to some place and it was a break from the monotonous time that we all have been subjected to.

Hope we get to see a lot more of your 'one day trips' in the future.
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Old 31st July 2020, 07:03   #8
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Default Re: Breaking the monotony: A day trip during Covid-19 in a Ford Freestyle

Quote:
Originally Posted by bigDaddy_In View Post
This year had started off on a great note for us. We had saved and bought our first car together on 1st Feb 2020 with so many travel plans in our kitty!
Congrats! Great choice of a car. If you don't mind me asking, how much did it cost you OTR? Asking since I'm also planning on buying one but don't see much discounts right now.


Quote:
Originally Posted by bigDaddy_In View Post
I decided to go to Chitradurga. Researched about it and saw people visiting the beautiful windmills.
Place looks beautiful! Thanks for the travel tip. It's now on my bucket list.
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Old 31st July 2020, 12:40   #9
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Default Re: Breaking the monotony: A day trip during Covid-19 in a Ford Freestyle

Quote:
Originally Posted by SK01 View Post
What's the reading on the odo? Please do write an ownership review since there are not many in our forum.
The ODO sadly sits at 5.4k. A strict no from the home ministry on going out for joy rides. :(

I'll try to pen down my ownership experience soon. This was my first post here.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pkumarblore View Post
But I am puzzled about the google map. Is Chitradurga fort 490kms from Bangalore?
Screenshot of maps on this post is for the to-fro distance with destinations within Bangalore. Straight from my place Chitradurga should be around 210kms.

Quote:
Originally Posted by batladanny View Post
Congrats! Great choice of a car. If you don't mind me asking, how much did it cost you OTR? Asking since I'm also planning on buying one but don't see much discounts right now.
PPS Ford had initially quoted OTR INR 10,31,993/-.
I got a 2019 BS-IV model which I booked on our first anniversary in Dec 2019, but had specifically mentioned that would take delivery only by Jan end 2020. We had some travel plans in that period and I did not want to take the risk of waiting for BS-VI as Ford was supposed to stop their BS-IV production from year end. Now when I look back, I feel that was the right decision as I wanted the Sync3 system(to have a clutter free space, I'll attach a photo of how well a third party TPMS system got installed with a feeling of stock equipment because of AA) for which I did not opt for Figo Blue. The car was with the dealer from Dec 19th till I took delivery. The sales guy was very anxious through the period. I did my PDI once I was back to BLR around Jan End and did the complete payment.

OTR price breakup in my case:

Exshowroon: INR 7,80,401/- instead of INR 8,36,400/-
RTO: INR 132514/-
Insurance: INR 35499/- instead of INR 47,600/-(including zero dep)
Extended Warranty: INR 14541/-

I got net discount of around 69K plus accessories(engine guard and pillows) worth 5.5k at 1k. All these without any negotiation(I am real bad at it ), so I was happy. Let me know if you would want to speak to the guy from PPS who handled my purchase.

Picture of the sensairy TPMS working on android auto.

Breaking the monotony: A day trip during Covid-19 in a Ford Freestyle-img_20200730_153846.jpg

Last edited by bigDaddy_In : 31st July 2020 at 12:46.
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Old 2nd August 2020, 23:05   #10
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Default Re: Breaking the monotony: A day trip during Covid-19 in a Ford Freestyle

Quote:
Originally Posted by bigDaddy_In View Post
The ODO sadly sits at 5.4k. A strict no from the home ministry on going out for joy rides. :(


Let me know if you would want to speak to the guy from PPS who handled my purchase.
Thanks for your answer, but in a change of plans I found a really good-condition used-model and snapped it up. Attaching a pic of my ride below

As you also said, Android Auto was an important feature and the example I found had it. (Had the current versions had AA, I would've likely booked it already but was teetering. Ford's idiotic cost cutting cost them)


Quote:
Originally Posted by bigDaddy_In View Post
Picture of the sensairy TPMS working on android auto.
This is a super-useful accessory tip. I'll install it soon. Did you get the external one or the internal one?

My ride…
Attached Thumbnails
Breaking the monotony: A day trip during Covid-19 in a Ford Freestyle-foto_no_exif.jpg  

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Old 4th August 2020, 00:14   #11
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Default Re: Breaking the monotony: A day trip during Covid-19 in a Ford Freestyle

Last Sunday(02/08/2020) I managed to convince my wife again for a short breakfast drive, but this time not with friends but with my father in law.

We did not want to travel far. I googled a bit and found this place called Dandiganahalli Dam around 80Kms from our place in BLR. We decided to start relatively early(for an 80Km drive) to avoid the crowd.

Like the previous trip, we packed our breakfast and did not need to interact with anyone else through the trip to stay safe.

While going we took NH7 and took the route via Chikkaballapura. Roads were pretty okay till we were around a kilometre or two from the dam. It was a narrow mud track from then on with a few gravel patches. We reached around 8:30 AM and had the whole lake for ourselves. I could drive Goldberg down to the lake bed and parked by the water. We had two dogs giving us company for breakfast(they ate most of it). Soon after we had a few bikers coming in and a Mahindra Thar 4x4. But everyone had their own space by the lake and it was beautiful. Some pictures by the lake.

Breaking the monotony: A day trip during Covid-19 in a Ford Freestyle-5.jpg

Breaking the monotony: A day trip during Covid-19 in a Ford Freestyle-1.jpg

Breaking the monotony: A day trip during Covid-19 in a Ford Freestyle-4.jpg

Breaking the monotony: A day trip during Covid-19 in a Ford Freestyle-2.jpg

Breaking the monotony: A day trip during Covid-19 in a Ford Freestyle-20200802_092554.jpg


Around 10:00 AM we had more people coming in, that's when we decided to leave for home.
On our way back, google routed us via SH94 and then onto SH9. The state highways were scenic, in excellent condition and had tolls. Enjoyed the drive home way more than the onward journey.

Breaking the monotony: A day trip during Covid-19 in a Ford Freestyle-3.jpg

Breaking the monotony: A day trip during Covid-19 in a Ford Freestyle-20200802_101926.jpg

Breaking the monotony: A day trip during Covid-19 in a Ford Freestyle-20200802_102326.jpg

Route Map:

Breaking the monotony: A day trip during Covid-19 in a Ford Freestyle-annotation-20200803-232746.png

More than the drive it was the smile on my father in law's face after coming back home that made us happy. A well-spent Sunday for sure.
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