Team-BHP > Travelogues


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 7th January 2021, 17:50   #1
BHPian
 
Join Date: Dec 2013
Location: Chennai
Posts: 39
Thanked: 59 Times
Default Chennai - Kumta - Chennai in our EcoSport AT

Hello everybody, Let me start with what I think is the best photo from the trip :

Chennai - Kumta - Chennai in our EcoSport AT-img_3855.jpg

2020 was a difficult year. Like everybody, our travel plans were dented too. Every June for our daughter's birthday, we used to take a beach vacation (Andaman and Goa so far.,). Her third birthday was spent at home with a home made cake and some balloons. While she wasn't very concerned about not doing a beach vacation, me and my wife were! That is one long vacation we look forward to every year.

Planning the vacation:
With the threat of COVID-19 not going away, we were apprehensive of taking a flight. Flights might be a safe option for adults, but it can be extremely difficult with a three year old extrovert, who never misses an opportunity to socialise. The only way was to drive down, and we have visited most of the coastal vacation places on the east coast - at least between Vizag and Kanyakumari.

We decided to drive down to Goa. But it so happened that every second person we knew were in Goa, so we were just scanning resorts along the west coast just below Goa. That is when we spotted this place in Kumta. A new place with just 4 cottages and some open space for camping. We wanted to complete our vacation before the Christmas long weekend crowd kicked in. Luckily we were able to get a cottage between Dec 12 and 20. It was December 9 and we had two days to prepare for the trip. Both our leaves got approved and we were so excited.

Preparing for the trip:
Our current drive is a 2018 Titanium+ EcoSport AT. Have done long drives upto 500kms, mostly on four lane highways to our native place in the south of Tamilnadu. I am acrophobic since childhood and the thought of driving via the ghats was making me nervous too. Nevertheless was very excited and thanks to various route enquiry threads on TBHP, chalked out a route, which I'll be talking more about later in this post.

Took the car to a nearby MRF T&S franchisee and got the wheels aligned and balanced and filled Nitrogen to all the wheels. Then visited the nearby car wash place and gave the car a good wash inside out.

Chennai - Kumta - Chennai in our EcoSport AT-img_3564.jpg

Positioned the T-BHP stickers that I had ordered earlier. The battery health was good as told by my CarIQ OBD2 device that came along with the ICICI Lombard Insurance Policy. The battery was constant in between 14.2V and 12.8V. Topped fuel at the nearest IOCL COCO bunk. Fastag was recharged with Rs 3000 - just to make sure it lasts till the end of the trip. Lot of snacks were procured, given the uncertainty over dining during the course of the trip. Britannia's Croissants were the daughters new favourite during the course of the trip. Got around 30 disposable masks and a 500ml Dettol hand Sanitizer too. All set for the trip!

Chennai - Kumta - Chennai in our EcoSport AT-img_3569.jpg

The onward drive
This was the route that we planned to drive from our residence - Maraimalai Nagar - Oragadam - Krishnagiri - Hosur - Bengaluru - Arsikere - Tarikere - Shivamogga - Sagar - Jog - Honnavar - Kumta.

Chennai - Kumta - Chennai in our EcoSport AT-screenshot-20210107-1.41.31-pm.png

Was planning to start by around 12am. Had went to bed sharp at 7pm. But couldn't sleep till 10pm, given the excitement. Slept till 1:30am and by about 2:30am we were all set to roll!

The drive till Bengaluru was pretty much uneventful. The stretch around Kanchipuram was pretty bad but silky smooth roads followed. There was a bit of fog when we were crossing Hosur, but nothing that would seriously hamper visibility. A picture for the fog condition when we stopped for a stretch break, near Hosur.

Chennai - Kumta - Chennai in our EcoSport AT-img_3582.jpg

We entered the NICE road only to realise that this particular road in the silicon valley of India is at least 20 years behind. I vividly remember - it was in Bangalore, when I was 12 years old, I was amazed by the idea of how the ATM card goes into a POS machine connected to a landline telephone port and how money got digitally credited into the store's account without the need for a currency note and now this. The queue at 7:30am in the morning was crazy. It was a 25 minute wait, with unruly drivers trying to cut in every inch possible, only to realise there's no Fastag provision. The person at the toll had a menu of places to drive to and I was blank. Told him the place with the lowest price ₹40. And as Google Maps guided us, realised that we had to drive till the end of the road to take the Mangalore by pass towards Arsikere. Paid the difference amount of ₹140 (if my memory serves me right) at the final exit and finished our packed breakfast just near the toll. Topped up fuel and used the washrooms at one of the HP bunks en-route and we continued the journey.

The roads towards Arsikere were beautiful. But missing a photo opportunity seemed a much safer bet than dealing with a half asleep & half awake "threenager". Also wanted to deal with the Ghats before it got darker, so we didn't stop much. Here is one my wife shot from the car.

Chennai - Kumta - Chennai in our EcoSport AT-img_3595.jpg

We stopped for some tender coconut near Arsikere and that's when Murphy had other ideas. As I started the car, the car gave a big surprise. An error popped up in the odo that said that the car key's battery is running low and had to be changed immediately. The software engineer in me has dealt with many such Mr. Murphy's tricks and I promptly went the redundancy way by taking the backup key from my backpack. The excitement was short lived though. Even with the backup key, the car threw the same error message. I asked wife to take the original key a bit faraway from the car and tried with just the backup key, but no, the message wouldn't go away. Not sure if it was a false positive alert, but couldn't take chances given the big trip ahead of us. Didn't really have the mental bandwidth to open the key fob by looking up the internet. We decided to look up Ford's nearest service station and it was Cauvery Ford in Shivamogga. Thanks to wife's Karnataka roots, her Kannada ensured we reached the service manager and we started driving to the service station. It was a 5 minute detour from the route. The service manager there asked us not to fret and said it's a 5 minute job. We were about 2 hours away from the service centre. The road between Tarikere and Shimoga was bad with expansion work in progress. Also there were funny speed breakers all over, which my daughter enjoyed, negotiating it was like being on an amusement ride.

We reached the service station and they promptly attended to us. The EcoSport has a CR2045 battery in the key, which they had just one in the workshop. They had a lot of CR2032 batteries though, which are being used in the Figo family. The technician wiped the other battery and re-inserted and voila - the error just went away. Marked the key with the new battery and ordered the CRV2045 after coming back home from Amazon and replaced both the batteries, just to be safe. Looks like a simple issue now, but it was thrilling as it unfolded! The restrooms in the showroom were squeaky clean. They charged ₹300 in cash, and said the billing process might cause a delay in our trip and they'll bill it later . Nevertheless, the folks at Cauvery Ford treated us well and were reassuring, we discussed on our route plan, exchanged pleasantries and were on our way in 25 minutes approx. It's interesting how modern day upmarket push button start systems have a single point of failure. Topped up HP petrol from a bunk in Shimoga city and time was around 2pm, so ordered Dominos Pizza from the petrol station and had it in the car.

Chennai - Kumta - Chennai in our EcoSport AT-img_3606.jpg

The roads were beautiful after Shimoga. Winding ghat roads made the drive enjoyable. The EcoSport negotiated the curves beautifully and was very confidence inspiring. Our previous car was a 2014 Fluidic Verna, so you should probably understand my excitement now. There were not much steep sections, the acrophobic me didn't really come out. Before we realised, the ghat section was over and we were back in the under construction four lane near Honnavar.

Chennai - Kumta - Chennai in our EcoSport AT-img_3604.jpg

Chennai - Kumta - Chennai in our EcoSport AT-img_3609.jpg

We reached our destination at around 8:30pm in the night. The cottage was beautiful with a rustic charm. We could just listen to the sound of the crashing waves, as it was pretty dark. We retired to bed skipping dinner with all the beautiful memories from the drive and the excitement of the do-nothing vacation ahead.

The stay and the Udupi drive
The stay was pretty much uneventful. We enjoyed the fresh fish and spent a lot of time at the beach. The December Sun was pretty friendly too. Let the pictures do the talking.

There were a lot of such arguments like this one during the trip. I had to play the mediator!

Chennai - Kumta - Chennai in our EcoSport AT-dsc_0089.jpg

The place has been a fishing hamlet, but we saw a lot of resorts under construction around

Chennai - Kumta - Chennai in our EcoSport AT-dsc_0222.jpg

We had lots of fun with the setting sun!

Chennai - Kumta - Chennai in our EcoSport AT-dsc_0233.jpg

Chennai - Kumta - Chennai in our EcoSport AT-dsc_0241.jpg

Chennai - Kumta - Chennai in our EcoSport AT-dsc_0250.jpg

The resort had arranged a boat ride along the backwaters and then into the sea upto GoKarna. We spotted Dolphins and the bioluminescence post sunset was an out of the world experience. Unfortunately cameras couldn't capture the bioluminescence

Chennai - Kumta - Chennai in our EcoSport AT-img_3675.jpg

During the fourth day of the vacation, we also did a Kumta-Udupi-Kumta drive and visited the Murdeshwar temple and the Udupi Krishna temple. The 300 kms return journey was beautiful on the coastal road. The food in Udupi, of course gets a special mention. Topped fuel up at a HPCL bunk in Udupi. Fuel in Udupi was relatively cheap, I am guessing, because of the close proximity to the refineries in Mangalore?

Chennai - Kumta - Chennai in our EcoSport AT-img_3743.jpg

Chennai - Kumta - Chennai in our EcoSport AT-img_3753.jpg

The return journey
For the first time in my life, I was looking forward to the return journey from the vacation. Planned to take a slightly different route this time Kumta - Honnavar - Shivamogga - Hosadurga - Hiriyur - Bengaluru - Hosur - Krishnagiri - Oragadam - Maraimalai Nagar. We started at 6:30am after a well rested night sleep.

Chennai - Kumta - Chennai in our EcoSport AT-screenshot-20210107-4.43.02-pm.png

One of the sharavati vally view points on the way

Chennai - Kumta - Chennai in our EcoSport AT-img_3831.jpg

Interestingly we found a small and an authentic breakfast place at Talaguppa - Hotel Shree Guru Prasad. The place had good reviews on Google and we randomly walked in. Initially was shocked to see that there was no parking there, but the food there was out of the world. This is such a hidden gem, in case you're driving to the Jog from Bangalore, would strongly recommend trying this place. We got their awesome Mangalore Buns as a takeaway to munch for Lunch.

Chennai - Kumta - Chennai in our EcoSport AT-img_3874.jpg

Chennai - Kumta - Chennai in our EcoSport AT-img_3875.jpg

Chennai - Kumta - Chennai in our EcoSport AT-img_3873.jpg

The roads were much better this time. The daughter was disappointed that we didn't get as much funny speed breakers as in the onward journey. The 6 lane from Hiriyur was fantastic. Bangalore traffic caught up from as early as Tumkur. We took a pitstop at Shell Tumkur - Have been very happy with the Select outlets in the Shell stations these days. Hope they maintain it the same way.

Chennai - Kumta - Chennai in our EcoSport AT-img_3879.jpg

As we reached the NICE road, we had a restroom situation and asked the toll operator. He pointed us to what looked like the administrative building and we had to use the toilet in there. Hands down the worst toilet of the trip. So much for the toll we pay

Chennai - Kumta - Chennai in our EcoSport AT-img_3880.jpg

Topped up fuel at the Hosur IOC COCO bunk. Made one last pitstop at the cube stop near Krishnagiri. The place was squeaky clean and had some light bites for dinner. There was absolutely no crowd there, while every other F&B outlet were overflowing with cars. Wife was happy with the way restrooms were cleaned and maintained, but was unsure if it would scale as more people start coming in. I hope they maintain it the same way.

Chennai - Kumta - Chennai in our EcoSport AT-img_3883.jpg

The rest of the trip was uneventful. We reached home by 11:30pm and what a trip it was! This trip would definitely stand out in our memories.

If you have read this far, here are a few numbers from the trip, if you are keen.

Total Kilometers : 2007 KM
Total toll paid : ₹1750
Total fuel spend : ₹13240
Avg. Consumption : 13.34 KMPL
Avg. Consumption as on ODO : 13.7 KMPL
Total driving hours as on ODO : 37 hours and 55 minutes
Avg. speed as on ODO : 53 KMPH
Fuel stats from CarIQ app on iOS :

Chennai - Kumta - Chennai in our EcoSport AT-img_e98374c2481a1.jpeg

Thank you for reading my first travelogue on the forum. Wish you all more and more happy miles forever

Last edited by ramprakashr : 7th January 2021 at 18:08. Reason: Formatting
ramprakashr is offline   (28) Thanks
Old 7th January 2021, 19:00   #2
BHPian
 
concorde24's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2016
Location: Chennai
Posts: 79
Thanked: 85 Times
Default re: Chennai - Kumta - Chennai in our EcoSport AT

hi Ramprakash,

Nice travelogue and details !! Good that you were able to cover Eastern coast Chennai to Western coast beaches without night halt in-between, especially when travelling with kid. I was also planning to travel to Udupi/mangalore earlier but always was planning with bangalore as hop to avoid long day journey with kids.

Your trip should have been a welcome relief from Lockdown blues. Looking forward to heading out as well and your trip is an inspiration!
concorde24 is offline   (3) Thanks
Old 12th January 2021, 15:47   #3
BHPian
 
Join Date: Apr 2019
Location: Bangalore
Posts: 86
Thanked: 183 Times
Default Re: Chennai - Kumta - Chennai in our EcoSport AT

Hi, looks like you have had a very memorable trip.
Being a Bangalorean, brings me back memories of my trips to this side of the state of KA. Indeed the locales on the western side are beautiful.
By the way, can you please tell me the exact location of Shell Tumkur, since I regularly use the NH4 up to Vasanth Narsapura(20kms from Tumkur towards Sira) and many a times I need to fill up Diesel around Tumkur region and I am a regular Shell customer.
And yes, the NICE Toll sucks, but the highway is a boon to bypass the city.
Thanks.

Last edited by Pkumarblore : 12th January 2021 at 15:49.
Pkumarblore is offline  
Old 12th January 2021, 20:54   #4
BHPian
 
n_naik's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Bangalore
Posts: 185
Thanked: 188 Times
Default Re: Chennai - Kumta - Chennai in our EcoSport AT

Nice to know that you had an awesome trip. The only suggestion or the concern i have is : You should have taken the following road from bangalore to Kumta :

'Bangalore- Tumkur - Chitradurga - Davanagere - Haveri -Sirsi - Kumta'.

This stretch has better roads since bangalore to haveri falls on golden quadrilateral stretch and hence is far better than bangalore-shimoga stretch. It has 6 lane and 4 lane stretches. Currently road upgradation is happening at few places, though. I hope this info will be helpful in your next trip to this part of the world.
n_naik is offline  
Old 12th January 2021, 22:46   #5
Newbie
 
Join Date: May 2020
Location: Kolkata
Posts: 18
Thanked: 9 Times
Default Re: Chennai - Kumta - Chennai in our EcoSport AT

Nice travelogue. It seems you have enjoyed it throughout.

I am curious to know, how you managed to get the CarIQ device with ICICI Lombard insurance. I had ICICI Lombard in 2019, but I did not get any OBD2 device.
suvrog is offline   (1) Thanks
Old 12th January 2021, 23:51   #6
Newbie
 
Join Date: Dec 2018
Location: Siliguri
Posts: 11
Thanked: 11 Times
Default Re: Chennai - Kumta - Chennai in our EcoSport AT

Nice travelogue. Hoping to see more posts in future. Keep Driving....
sanky is offline  
Old 13th January 2021, 09:50   #7
BHPian
 
Join Date: Oct 2018
Location: Pune
Posts: 68
Thanked: 116 Times
Default Re: Chennai - Kumta - Chennai in our EcoSport AT

Can you please share the name of the resort that you stayed in Kumta?
pandey.jai is offline  
Old 19th January 2021, 13:54   #8
BHPian
 
the_joker's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Bangalore
Posts: 101
Thanked: 70 Times
Default Re: Chennai - Kumta - Chennai in our EcoSport AT

Quote:
Originally Posted by n_naik View Post
Nice to know that you had an awesome trip. The only suggestion or the concern i have is : You should have taken the following road from bangalore to Kumta :

'Bangalore- Tumkur - Chitradurga - Davanagere - Haveri -Sirsi - Kumta'.

This stretch has better roads since bangalore to haveri falls on golden quadrilateral stretch and hence is far better than bangalore-shimoga stretch. It has 6 lane and 4 lane stretches. Currently road upgradation is happening at few places, though. I hope this info will be helpful in your next trip to this part of the world.
Right now, this route is not good. 3 lane conversion is in progress from Chitradurga to Hubli, and it results in a lot of diversions. Even if it were good, it takes similar time to reach - via Shimoga or Haveri
the_joker is offline  
Reply

Most Viewed
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Copyright 2000 - 2021, Team-BHP.com
Proudly powered by E2E Networks