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Old 20th April 2021, 18:14   #1
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Default Friends, Cars and an Idyllic Weekend in Coorg

Friends, Cars and an Idyllic Weekend In Coorg



It had been a really long time (two weeks to be precise ) since my previous road trip. That meant I was desperately looking for another drive.

Thankfully, our friends at "WindowsDownMotoring" (bhpian megazoid being one of them) had announced their next drive, this time to Coorg. Knowing how much fun their past drives were, I and my wife signed up as soon as it was announced.

Now drives with WindowsDownMotoring (WDM) are never really straight drives. They are also neither the shortest nor the fastest routes to the destinations. Those routes are for destination seekers, not necessarily for driving enthusiasts. Instead, the WDM routes include an intoxicating concoction of some fast highway sections, countryside roads with several twists and turns, some hilly roads for sure, and then some inevitable broken patches that one must encounter in order to achieve the above combination.

This trip was no different. What made this special was a fantastic group of friends and their families (our families have also by now become, willingly or unwillingly, car enthusiasts; my wife can now recall each car precisely which she could not two years ago, and even knows which car has what qualities, all due to my running commentary during driving), a set of wonderful cars all driven passionately by their owners (and this quality is what makes them wonderful cars - not their manufacturing make or model, which is just incidental) and of course, the lovely driving circuit chosen by the WDM team. And as if this was not enough, the destination was an incredibly beautiful bungalow - booked entirely for our group - that was located in the middle of some lush green plantations in Coorg.

Anyways, I will keep this "travelogue" (if this can count as one) short time time, and let the pictures do the talking.

My car at our first photoshoot point on some specifically chosen rural roads, where we had the whole road to ourselves for photoshoot:
Friends, Cars and an Idyllic Weekend in Coorg-dsc_2952.jpg


Our convoy parked alongside this road that passes next to this charming temple on that small hill:
Friends, Cars and an Idyllic Weekend in Coorg-dsc_2962.jpg


robimahanta's M340i looking stunning as always:
Friends, Cars and an Idyllic Weekend in Coorg-dsc_2969.jpg


This fast Laura belongs to Baiju of WDM:
Friends, Cars and an Idyllic Weekend in Coorg-dsc_2975.jpg


The mighty Fortuner, of megazoid (those who follow team-bhp classifieds would have seen his red hot GTI on sale; now he is a full-time off-roader with this butch machine. But do not let it deceive you into thinking this is any slower than the GTI. At the hands of a rally driver, every car is fast, as I saw first hand in this drive):
Friends, Cars and an Idyllic Weekend in Coorg-dsc_2978.jpg


My car looked tiny parked behind the Fortuner:
Friends, Cars and an Idyllic Weekend in Coorg-dsc_2993.jpg


Let me get the Fortuner out of the frame to make my car look better:
Friends, Cars and an Idyllic Weekend in Coorg-dsc_2997.jpg


The rare moment when I could see the front of the M340i in my mirror; usually only in parked positions. Once in motion, I could only see the back of that car, and that too only when there were speedbreakers or other hurdles:
Friends, Cars and an Idyllic Weekend in Coorg-img_20210417_09494301.jpg


What? Was there some sideways action? No, he is just taking a peaceful U-turn while I await my turn to do the same:
Friends, Cars and an Idyllic Weekend in Coorg-img_20210417_091630.jpg


A close-up shot of that temple of the nearby hill:
Friends, Cars and an Idyllic Weekend in Coorg-dsc_29983.jpg


A couple of weeks ago I was looking for wildlife hidden behind trees. This time, it was this beast behind the trees:
Friends, Cars and an Idyllic Weekend in Coorg-dsc_3001.jpg


At some random stop on the road somewhere ahead, where the three reddish (well, two red and one orange to be precise) cars came next to each other (I could finally catch these guys only when they had stopped; BTW that is zebo's vRS at the lead) :
Friends, Cars and an Idyllic Weekend in Coorg-img_20210417_1236573.jpg


Next part of the drive was through a lush green forest, with some really smooth and scenic roads:
Friends, Cars and an Idyllic Weekend in Coorg-img_20210417_130808.jpg


A random solo shot of my car in that picturesque location:
Friends, Cars and an Idyllic Weekend in Coorg-dsc_30242.jpg


And this was our destination. A dreamy bungalow in the middle of the plantations:
Friends, Cars and an Idyllic Weekend in Coorg-dsc_3043.jpg


A beautiful dining room in the bungalow:
Friends, Cars and an Idyllic Weekend in Coorg-dsc_3030.jpg


An incredibly picturesque corner, with a small dining table on the side of the main dining table:
Friends, Cars and an Idyllic Weekend in Coorg-dsc_3032.jpg


Another angle to show the picturesque arrangement:
Friends, Cars and an Idyllic Weekend in Coorg-dsc_3033.jpg


The bungalow had these charming open areas with very inviting seating arrangements:
Friends, Cars and an Idyllic Weekend in Coorg-dsc_30352.jpg


Another view of the bungalow, from another corner:
Friends, Cars and an Idyllic Weekend in Coorg-dsc_3053.jpg


The two BMWs parked next to each other outside the bungalow (one is right arm fast, and the other is right arm medium pace, to use cricket terminology):
Friends, Cars and an Idyllic Weekend in Coorg-dsc_3039.jpg


While the mighty Fortuner overseeing the parking arrangement from another corner:
Friends, Cars and an Idyllic Weekend in Coorg-dsc_3038.jpg


And finally, an evening shot of the place to wrap this first day's report:
Friends, Cars and an Idyllic Weekend in Coorg-img_20210417_185242.jpg


I will cover Day 2 of this memorable weekend in the next post.

Last edited by Vid6639 : 20th April 2021 at 20:02.
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Old 20th April 2021, 19:10   #2
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Default Re: Red-Hot BMW: Story of my pre-owned BMW 320d Sport Line (F30 LCI). EDIT: 1 year update

Day 2 of the Idyllic Weekend



This day included a morning drive with a customary photoshoot of the cars (only those who got up early enough) and of course, a morning walk through some incredibly picturesque landscapes while breathing in some fresh and clean air, a routine that is now an integral part of the WDM drives.

As most of you could relate to, on these driving weekends, when I wake up, I first go and take a round of walk around all cars, for no reason (or maybe for sort of saying good morning to them).

This time I found our cars bathed in the morning dew:
Friends, Cars and an Idyllic Weekend in Coorg-dsc_3068.jpg


Our convoy looked beautiful under that mist and dew (that is zebo's vRS, another car that I saw only in parking lots, never in motion as it is impossible to catch that):
Friends, Cars and an Idyllic Weekend in Coorg-dsc_3072.jpg


A solo shot of the right arm superfast:
Friends, Cars and an Idyllic Weekend in Coorg-dsc_3070.jpg


While the Fortuner, parked a bit away from the other cars, was enjoying its own peaceful morning:
Friends, Cars and an Idyllic Weekend in Coorg-dsc_3075.jpg


As we drove away for our morning walk-cum-photoshoot, we could not miss a shot on this trail, where a Fortuner would have been more at home than a BMW, but anything is fair for a photo (this trail was way too easy for the Fortuner anyway):
Friends, Cars and an Idyllic Weekend in Coorg-dsc_3080.jpg


And then, while continuing our morning drive, we found this lovely little corner where it was impossible not to spend some time admiring the perfection of that setting:
Friends, Cars and an Idyllic Weekend in Coorg-dsc_3088-2.jpg


My favorite photo of the weekend:
Friends, Cars and an Idyllic Weekend in Coorg-dsc_30982-2.jpg


An inviting view for any driver, for any car:
Friends, Cars and an Idyllic Weekend in Coorg-dsc_3106.jpg


And now, the Ertiga (driven by Dr. Nithin - this is another car that is faster than one would think; this was driven incredible well by Dr. Nithin and it kept pace with other machines boasting better numbers on paper) joined the early morning gang:
Friends, Cars and an Idyllic Weekend in Coorg-dsc_3119.jpg


Our location for morning walk was the Tata Coffee Golf Course, located in the Tata Estates there around Pollibetta, Coorg.

As I parked my car and entered the Golf Course, I could resist clicking this through the barbed wires:
Friends, Cars and an Idyllic Weekend in Coorg-dsc_3125.jpg


And then we were greeted by this dreamy sunrise scene:
Friends, Cars and an Idyllic Weekend in Coorg-img_20210418_0750252.jpg


The golf course was indeed very pretty, ans was an amazing place to spend that morning in:
Friends, Cars and an Idyllic Weekend in Coorg-dsc_3141.jpg


Small water bodies which make any golf course more interesting (and maybe challenging for the golfers):
Friends, Cars and an Idyllic Weekend in Coorg-dsc_3167.jpg


One cormorant posing for us in that lovely setting, which some of us, jokingly named as "water crow":
Friends, Cars and an Idyllic Weekend in Coorg-dsc_31992.jpg


Reflections in the water:
Friends, Cars and an Idyllic Weekend in Coorg-dsc_32412.jpg


Those ponds were full of lotuses and other flowers:
Friends, Cars and an Idyllic Weekend in Coorg-dsc_32642.jpg


Friends, Cars and an Idyllic Weekend in Coorg-dsc_3276-3.jpg


We walked around aimlessly on such picturesque paths:
Friends, Cars and an Idyllic Weekend in Coorg-dsc_3253.jpg


Another view of the greens through these trees:
Friends, Cars and an Idyllic Weekend in Coorg-dsc_3294.jpg


And then, the highlight of that landscape was this huge and majestic tree that was the centerpiece of attention of the walkers:
Friends, Cars and an Idyllic Weekend in Coorg-dsc_33122.jpg


This tiny little "stadium" with some the colorful trees for company was way more pretty than some of the international level concrete stadiums:
Friends, Cars and an Idyllic Weekend in Coorg-dsc_3315.jpg

After this morning routine which turned out to be memorable both for us and our cars, we came back to the Bungalow for breakfast, and then another customary photoshoot of the cars before starting our drive back to Bangalore.


The hottest car first. The M340i posing for us:
Friends, Cars and an Idyllic Weekend in Coorg-dsc_3322.jpg


Then my car joined it:
Friends, Cars and an Idyllic Weekend in Coorg-dsc_3330.jpg


Some more shots of the two BMWs:
Friends, Cars and an Idyllic Weekend in Coorg-dsc_3332.jpg


Friends, Cars and an Idyllic Weekend in Coorg-dsc_3366.jpg



And then the vRS joining us:
Friends, Cars and an Idyllic Weekend in Coorg-dsc_3338.jpg


The three reds (well, one is orange, but please forgive me for my approximation - it is just easier to call them three reds) posing together:
Friends, Cars and an Idyllic Weekend in Coorg-dsc_3345.jpg


My obsession with the red cars continues in this shot:
Friends, Cars and an Idyllic Weekend in Coorg-dsc_3383.jpg


And finally, a parting shot of our entire convoy:
Friends, Cars and an Idyllic Weekend in Coorg-dsc_3369.jpg


With that, let me conclude this. What an incredible weekend this turned out to be! Lovely drives, some great company, some fun photographs, and tons of pleasant memories that I will never forget. Thanks to all my friends in this drive and special thanks to WDM gang for yet another memorable weekend!

Last edited by Dr.AD : 20th April 2021 at 19:24.
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Old 20th April 2021, 20:39   #3
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Default Re: Red-Hot BMW: Story of my pre-owned BMW 320d Sport Line (F30 LCI). EDIT: 1 year update

This drive was fun due to the enthusiastic drivers and the roads on offer and made for a great outing.

A little about the steeds and the characters that sit on the driving seat.

The M340i has so much poke that if not for rhythm breaking obstacles, it would be a mere speck on the horizon. It was a joy to see it move and corner. Rides flat and the proportions are just wow. Robi was extremely comfortable taking the car on those curves and was mentioning the grip on offer and the effort required to break traction compared to his earlier 328i. A wonderful driving machine! He just managed to break the run in shackles during the drive.

Zebo (vRS) is a naturally fast driver and one who comes alive behind the wheel of the car. His pace is car agnostic and he is one who makes the most of these roads and derives copious amounts of joy doing it. A true driving enthusiast who wants unadulterated pleasure while he is at it. He doesn't need remaps and loud exhausts to extract performance.

Nithin clearly showed what a talented pilot behind the wheel does to a car. The Ertiga was easily doing the course effortlessly and making many a guy sit up and take notice. It had good speeds on the highway stretches and when the tighter sections appeared, it was equally at ease there too. Clearly the difference was the driver.

Baiju in the Laura diesel is an extremely potent mix of sharpness and car control. He just enjoys driving the Laura and can keep pace with almost anything without breaking sweat. His limits are clearly very high. Also is an excellent guy with routes and directions.

Dr AD is just a brilliant concoction on unbridled driving enthusiasm and car love. He never gets bored taking car pictures and discussing cars. We spent the night talking 328i, 330i, 320d, 340i and all kinds of combinations and his knowledge and ability to articulate his points really had us sit up and listen. His 320d is one of the best looking examples of a desirable "3", zips around effortlessly and was doing duty as the shoot car on this drive. An ardent advocate of putting the driving machines to good use and not be kept as garage queens.

A small idea of the setting.

Friends, Cars and an Idyllic Weekend in Coorg-vlcsnap2021041822h30m29s789.png

Last edited by megazoid : 20th April 2021 at 21:05.
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Old 20th April 2021, 21:02   #4
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Default Re: Red-Hot BMW: Story of my pre-owned BMW 320d Sport Line (F30 LCI). EDIT: 1 year update

@Dr.AD, what a fantastic writeup and beautiful pictures. The VRS, 320D and 340i look grand in those matching colors. Feeling really bad for having missed this drive.

@megazond, fantastic video compilation of the drive.
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Old 20th April 2021, 21:02   #5
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Default Re: Red-Hot BMW: Story of my pre-owned BMW 320d Sport Line (F30 LCI). EDIT: 1 year update

Dr.AD, your post brought back some wonderful memories. After seeing the photo of this bungalow on someone's Flickr stream, I went on a wild goose chase to find this place. This was in 2008 when the holiday ravel related info on the internet was not yet mainstream. Finally managed to find out more details and contacted Tata coffee office in Bangalore. They just opened this place for guests and it was not in public domain. I was determined to visit this place and finally managed to do it the hard way.

Back then no Google maps, no trip advisor, etc. After a lot of suspense and losing my way several times, when I finally reached the top of the hill and had the first glance of the bungalow, I was blown away. That image was etched forever in my mind. Few years later when I was building my house, I sent this photo to my architect and told him this what I wanted. Of course, the architect gave it a completely different tune like a bad remix song but it has the same spirit of this bungalow, at least to me :-)

Sadly they made some extensions to this bungalow and ruined it a bit but still the feel of a hill top bungalow is just awesome. I visited almost every coffee and tea estate bungalow since then but this being the first was truly special.

Friends, Cars and an Idyllic Weekend in Coorg-img_1459.jpeg

Friends, Cars and an Idyllic Weekend in Coorg-img_1775.jpeg
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Old 20th April 2021, 21:14   #6
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Default Re: Red-Hot BMW: Story of my pre-owned BMW 320d Sport Line (F30 LCI). EDIT: 1 year update

Quote:
Originally Posted by megazoid View Post
A little about the steeds and the characters that sit on the driving seat.
Great observations and very good commentary there! And thank you for your kind words!

Quote:
Originally Posted by graaja View Post
@Dr.AD, what a fantastic writeup and beautiful pictures. The VRS, 320D and 340i look grand in those matching colors. Feeling really bad for having missed this drive.
Thank you graaja. We missed you and your 3GT too. The blue car would have added a nice variation to the colors of the convoy, and with you, we would have loved to have that primer on astrophotography that we are so eagerly awaiting :-)

Quote:
Originally Posted by androdev View Post
Dr.AD, your post brought back some wonderful memories.
Oh Wow! Great memories and a great story there! Thank you for sharing that.

Yes I agree the bungalow in your picture (without the extensions) looks much cleaner and better than what it looks now.
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Old 21st April 2021, 04:12   #7
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Default Re: Red-Hot BMW: Story of my pre-owned BMW 320d Sport Line (F30 LCI). EDIT: 1 year update

Dr.AD, fantastic write up and pictures. There is so much passion you have for weekend drives and your posts inspiring us all. Good to see these fast machines being put to brilliant use in tight corners and rather empty roads. Could you please post the route map if thats ok with WDM drives team.
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Old 21st April 2021, 08:12   #8
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Default Re: Red-Hot BMW: Story of my pre-owned BMW 320d Sport Line (F30 LCI). EDIT: 1 year update

Quote:
Originally Posted by nikhil_pon View Post
Dr.AD, fantastic write up and pictures. There is so much passion you have for weekend drives and your posts inspiring us all. Good to see these fast machines being put to brilliant use in tight corners and rather empty roads. Could you please post the route map if thats ok with WDM drives team.
Thank you very much!

Regarding the routes, I do not have the exact routes we took because we also took lot of small detours and deviations for photoshoots etc. However, I can roughly tell you the routes we took and some of the best routes around there.

We stayed in Pollibetta region. The onward route was somewhat like this: Bangalore-NH75-Bellur Cross - Srirangapttana - Hunsur -Piriyapatana - Siddapura - Pollibetta. In this area, the best forest roads (that you see in the pictures) are between Piriyapatana- Siddapura-Pollibetta stretch.

The return route was Gonikappa - Piriyaptana - Arakalagud- CR Patna - Bangalore. This is my usual road to Coorg, and this is quite faster than the onward route.

If you want to enjoy fast and smooth roads, then Gonikappa-Piriyapatana-Arkalagud section is perfect. It also has some scenic forest sections near Piriyapatana. However, the onward route was slower but lot more scenic as it goes through some thick forests.
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Old 22nd April 2021, 07:22   #9
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Default Re: Friends, Cars and an Idyllic Weekend in Coorg

Dr.AD, thanks a ton for sharing! Moving your lovely travelogue into a new thread. Will go to our homepage today .
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Old 22nd April 2021, 09:57   #10
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Default Re: Friends, Cars and an Idyllic Weekend in Coorg

Beautiful pictures Dr.AD and not to forget the cars which made pictures look more beautiful. Beauty of Coorg is in places like these which is far away from maddening crowd. There are a plenty of 5 star resorts which are good, but places like these take my top honors for Coorg.
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Old 22nd April 2021, 10:02   #11
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Default Re: Friends, Cars and an Idyllic Weekend in Coorg

Thanks for penning the travelogue, Dr. AD

Those pics of soothing, lush greenery and trails with the "reds", ofcourse are a treat to the eyes (specially nowadays, when all that we get to see or read is only about the pandemic).
Super clicks, I would say.

Not sure if WDM have a Pune chapter. Would have loved to hang out with them.

Speaking of trails, how did your "red" fare on the ground clearance part? Did you slush around / take her on the cliff, or was it more of a relaxing rendezvous?
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Old 22nd April 2021, 10:47   #12
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Default Re: Friends, Cars and an Idyllic Weekend in Coorg

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Originally Posted by GTO View Post
Dr.AD, thanks a ton for sharing! Moving your lovely travelogue into a new thread. Will go to our homepage today .
Thanks a lot, GTO!

Quote:
Originally Posted by PrideRed View Post
Beautiful pictures Dr.AD and not to forget the cars which made pictures look more beautiful. Beauty of Coorg is in places like these which is far away from maddening crowd. There are a plenty of 5 star resorts which are good, but places like these take my top honors for Coorg.
Thank you! Yes, such bungalows and homestays always make the experience more special than the 5 star resorts. Especially if you have a nice group of close friends and families, then renting out a full bungalow for the group is much better option than staying in 5 star resorts. Further, in the unfortunate covid times, staying in such independent place away from anything else is also a bit safer than staying in a big resort.

Quote:
Originally Posted by JoshMachine View Post
Thanks for penning the travelogue, Dr. AD

Those pics of soothing, lush greenery and trails with the "reds", ofcourse are a treat to the eyes (specially nowadays, when all that we get to see or read is only about the pandemic).
Super clicks, I would say.

Not sure if WDM have a Pune chapter. Would have loved to hang out with them.
Thank you! I don't think they have a Pune chapter, but nothing stops you guys from driving to Bangalore (well, I meant once covid is over and travel restrictions are gone) and joining these drives. I am originally from Pune and now settled in Bangalore, and I love Bangalore for the amazing options it offers for a weekend drive. There are hills, forests, wildlife sanctuaries, some heritage places like Hampi, and most importantly, awesome roads to drive around everywhere. Bangalore is a heaven for weekend road trips.

Quote:
Speaking of trails, how did your "red" fare on the ground clearance part? Did you slush around / take her on the cliff, or was it more of a relaxing rendezvous?
The car is totally fine on the ground clearance side. I have by now got used to handling this, and as long as I am careful, it can manage pretty much everything. We had mostly smooth roads on this drive, but in the previous drives, I am driven on some terrible roads with huge potholes and big bumps, and it managed everything without issue. So yes, I do take it out on bad roads too, and never had any major issue. Of course, one has to be very careful and slow in doing this. This can not be treated like an SUV at any time :-)
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Old 22nd April 2021, 10:52   #13
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Default Re: Friends, Cars and an Idyllic Weekend in Coorg

Nice write up Dr. AD and lovely location selected by the WDM team -Baiju and Hari !! Keep up the good work guys

Unfortunately could not make it to this outing due to the board exams time and will definitely do a catch up on the next outing. My 320D also needs to stretch its legs and is bored of the bad Bangalore roads !!
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Old 22nd April 2021, 11:10   #14
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Default Re: Friends, Cars and an Idyllic Weekend in Coorg

Some more pictures from the drive.

Friends, Cars and an Idyllic Weekend in Coorg-dsc08539.jpg
Poetry in motion

Friends, Cars and an Idyllic Weekend in Coorg-dsc08555.jpg
Both ends of the power spectrum

Friends, Cars and an Idyllic Weekend in Coorg-dsc08558.jpg
Hitting apexes

Friends, Cars and an Idyllic Weekend in Coorg-dsc08578.jpg
curves neutralize horsepower

Friends, Cars and an Idyllic Weekend in Coorg-dsc085841.jpg
driving through greenery

Friends, Cars and an Idyllic Weekend in Coorg-dsc08593.jpg
tunnel vision

Friends, Cars and an Idyllic Weekend in Coorg-dsc08613.jpg
Timeless appeal

Friends, Cars and an Idyllic Weekend in Coorg-dsc086761.jpg
Discipline

Friends, Cars and an Idyllic Weekend in Coorg-dsc08755.jpg

Friends, Cars and an Idyllic Weekend in Coorg-dsc08884.jpg
squeezing through available space

Friends, Cars and an Idyllic Weekend in Coorg-dsc08910.jpg
morning vibes

Friends, Cars and an Idyllic Weekend in Coorg-dsc08946.jpg
sun peeping through the branches

Friends, Cars and an Idyllic Weekend in Coorg-dsc09017.jpg
serene setting

Friends, Cars and an Idyllic Weekend in Coorg-dsc090341.jpg
Horsepower overload

Friends, Cars and an Idyllic Weekend in Coorg-dsc09071.jpg
carpet of flowers

Friends, Cars and an Idyllic Weekend in Coorg-vlcsnap2021041821h16m42s735.png
a quaint setting
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Old 22nd April 2021, 11:12   #15
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Default Re: Friends, Cars and an Idyllic Weekend in Coorg

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr.AD View Post

Thank you! I don't think they have a Pune chapter, but nothing stops you guys from driving to Bangalore (well, I meant once covid is over and travel restrictions are gone) and joining these drives. I am originally from Pune and now settled in Bangalore, and I love Bangalore for the amazing options it offers for a weekend drive. There are hills, forests, wildlife sanctuaries, some heritage places like Hampi, and most importantly, awesome roads to drive around everywhere. Bangalore is a heaven for weekend road trips
Thanks for the offer to drive down to B'lore. Sounds great!

Just out of sheer curiosity, I contacted WDM and was promptly responded to. Yes, they confirmed they don't have a Pune setup but were willing to share upcoming trip plans, as and when the covid situation becomes normal. I did mention that I got to know about them via this travelogue and they were super happy to know that!

Quote:
The car is totally fine on the ground clearance side. I have by now got used to handling this, and as long as I am careful, it can manage pretty much everything. We had mostly smooth roads on this drive, but in the previous drives, I am driven on some terrible roads with huge potholes and big bumps, and it managed everything without issue. So yes, I do take it out on bad roads too, and never had any major issue. Of course, one has to be very careful and slow in doing this. This can not be treated like an SUV at any time :-)
Thanks for letting know.
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