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Old 29th July 2021, 12:31   #16
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Default Re: With friends to Pondicherry | 2 Thars, Octavia vRS230 & Sonet

Excellent pictures. Thank you. No body definitely went hungry on this trip :P
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Old 29th July 2021, 12:43   #17
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Default Re: With friends to Pondicherry | 2 Thars, Octavia vRS230 & Sonet

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Originally Posted by Maky View Post
I have a question, in entire the state of TN you get petrol at 43 a Liter? : o
It's 93.57 for a litre of diesel..
Not 43 and not petrol

PS: Had it been 43, the queue from bunks would have reached Bangalore..
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Old 29th July 2021, 13:52   #18
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Default Re: With friends to Pondicherry | 2 Thars, Octavia vRS230 & Sonet

Very well written and equally supported by great pictures. The best part is that you enjoyed variety of local food. The like minded group of friends make these trips more memorable and enjoyable. Myself planning to visit Pondy as i have never visited our southern part of country.

Between are you sure the wind shield damaged due to crow hitting or someone hunting that crow with slingshot which eventually hit windshield?
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Old 29th July 2021, 19:21   #19
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Default Re: With friends to Pondicherry | 2 Thars, Octavia vRS230 & Sonet

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Originally Posted by harish View Post
Day 2:

Went for a walk by the beach in the morning, saw a few people surfing. Even before the trip I had enquired with Kalialay Surf School for surf lessons. They did have one day lessons but I wanted to get a 5 day one. We were short of a day to complete the surf lesson. Hence dropped the plan, it is due to be done in the next trip to Pondi

Attachment 2184596

After the walk and breakfast at a nearby food joint, I had to spend half a day finishing my last exam of the academic year. After that I had finally gotten my sense of freedom back

Our other 2 friends had also arrived by that time:
Attachment 2184597

Decided on a South Indian Place for lunch; Kamatchi Mess.

Attachment 2184598

Food was great, highly recommend you try their Biriyani, Kamatchi Prawn, Mutton Kola Balls etc.

Well, what next? Back to the BEACH!
Walked by the shore line on ROCK BEACH...
Attachment 2184599
Attachment 2184600

To get some Gelato at "Gelateria Montecatini Terme" aka GMT
Attachment 2184602

I got the Strawberry and it was Okay, The best that you could get there are "Bacardi" and "Dubai Cream". They have the best Gelato in town!

Back to the AirBNB;
Attachment 2184603
and then later for dinner we had to shuffle between restaurants as 9PM was the curfew time and a lot of restaurant had already started closing at 8:30. Finally ended the hunt when we arrived at Celine's Kitchen in White Town. Food was good. Sorry I have no pictures from there.

Chilled at the AirBNB for a while and at around 2:30AM 5 of us weren't able to catch sleep. So decided to head out to Mahabalipuram which was a 93km drive on way, so round trip totalling to 186kms. It's a nice drive on ECR except for the lack of lighting in some stretches and being single lane as well. Luckily there weren't many vehicles on the road, which allowed us to cruise at a healthy pace throughout. Also I had just got ARB Intensity driving lights so it was the perfect occasion to test them out extensively.

Thar Lights and the ARB's at 5% brightness with amber lens cover:
Attachment 2184604

The lights lit up the road so well, I had a two way switch wired to the brightness controller (that comes with the lights) which let me switch between high beam and always-on. So when I spot on-coming vehicles in the opposite direction I just have to flip the high beam off and these aux-lights will turn off.
https://www.Youtube.com/watch?v=YSnG2eQpz-I

At 4:00AM reached Mahabalipuram, few bakeries were just opening up. Got some Tea/Bournvita:
Attachment 2184605

Then drove to the beach, parked outside and had to walk about a kilometre into the beach. It was pitch dark and started to get scary as well walking through the alleyway of shops to the beach. Once we got to the shore, sat there with plans of waiting to catch the sunrise and then leave. But after an hour boredom started to get to us and we had to leave. Walked back to the car and left to our AirBNB.

Say 45kms away from Mahabalipuram, when I was cruising at 100kmph with my eyes set straight on the road. Suddenly I heard a loud "PHATTT", the next moment I see a cracked windscreen straight to my head and I also am able to see a crow slide away from my A-Pillar into a bush on the right side. 4 of my friends who were sleeping had woken up thinking we had gotten into an accident. I pulled over, had some water and assessed the damage.
My friend got behind the wheel for the rest of the way back.
Attachment 2184606
Attachment 2184607

Stopped to refuel:
Attachment 2184608
Attachment 2184609
Attachment 2184610
At that point the Thar had run 590kms so 590/50.61=11.65kmpl. That was our real mileage for highway cruising, city driving and 4H/4L usage in the beach.

Back at the AirBNB reunited with the other Thar:
Attachment 2184611
Attachment 2184612

And there comes the end of Day 2.
A good concise report on your trip. Somehow never got to visit Pondi even though being a southerner. Maybe soon.
The windshield getting cracked would have been a scary situation. But am wondering - why cant they make windshields a little more stronger to withstand such hits - i understand the science of force cum speed impacts, but a crow!! Man, one sure needs to be careful!! Good that you all were safe.
Cheers !
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Old 29th July 2021, 20:41   #20
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Default Re: With friends to Pondicherry | 2 Thars, Octavia vRS230 & Sonet

Excellent write-up Harish, and quite informative too regarding eateries in Pondy. I am bookmarking your thread to serve as a guide the next time I'm there. Will try the surf sessions too! The Kallialay Surf School India website seems under maintenance as of my posting this but they have provided the contact number of a person for queries.
The Thar looks sweet by the way, perfect for a trip to the beach, the sort you guys undertook. I can almost picture it with surfboards strapped to the roof.

Cheers,
hmansari
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Old 29th July 2021, 22:25   #21
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Default Re: With friends to Pondicherry | 2 Thars, Octavia vRS230 & Sonet

Very good writeup and excellent photos.
Must say the shots from the drone were amazing.
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Old 29th July 2021, 23:33   #22
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Default Re: With friends to Pondicherry | 2 Thars, Octavia vRS230 & Sonet

Great write up, Harish! Let's do a CBE Thar catch up sometime!

Yours is the second Thar that I know of, that's needed windshield replacement - the other friend's yet to get it done. Did the replaced windshield also have the detailing of Thar desert with ajeep, camels, a cactus plant and sand dunes?
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Old 30th July 2021, 07:29   #23
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Default Re: With friends to Pondicherry | 2 Thars, Octavia vRS230 & Sonet

First of all congratulations on finishing your college life.
Your travelogue has brought back my college memories, thank you for that!
Both the Thars looking good and also love ARB lights that you have got.
Cheers. Drive safe.
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Old 30th July 2021, 08:29   #24
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Default Re: With friends to Pondicherry | 2 Thars, Octavia vRS230 & Sonet

Congrats on completion of College. It would have been a welcome break for you all - a long drive, with some fun, good food & place to stay. Nice photos too. I got reminded of my college days. We too did a trip but not by car. That time car was a luxury.

Hope you have got your windshield replaced as well. All the best.

Drive safe, Keep safe, Stay safe.
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Old 30th July 2021, 08:46   #25
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Default Re: With friends to Pondicherry | 2 Thars, Octavia vRS230 & Sonet

It's not often I read a travelogue, but this one's very well written with a fantastic destination, great company (living and non-living), and delectable food!

CAVEAT: A lot of readers envy you for being in college! In your 30s, it's so very difficult to get 10 friends together on a road trip.

Thanks for sharing...
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Old 30th July 2021, 11:41   #26
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Default Re: With friends to Pondicherry | 2 Thars, Octavia vRS230 & Sonet

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fateh Salim View Post
Firstly, I'm glad you're all right. The sound of the windshield shattering is enough to startle us.

It seems that this was the same accommodation that was covered in a previous Team-BHP travelogue.

We may meet up in Ooty whenever you are available. Your new Thars and my old beat up jeeps will undoubtedly provide us with a wealth of knowledge and, more significantly, memories to treasure in the future.
Thank you! I've heard horror stories about how glass breaks and shatters on the occupants faces. Really glad nothing like that happened especially at that speed.

Yes, it seems he stayed in the villa in front of ours, the smaller one albeit with a better view. Both are owned by the same french national.

I've been frequenting Ooty for a year now, will definitely hit you up when I'm there the next time! Thank you!

Quote:
Originally Posted by parathmaniraja View Post
Wow you had a great time in Pondy. By the way what happened to the fastag. Can we peel off and use it?
Yes sir! Thank you. The fast tag is one time use, can't be peeled off. I contacted the bank and I should have the same fast-tag with a new tag in a day or two.

Quote:
Originally Posted by JoshMachine View Post
Nice crisp travelogue there .
How was the overall Thar ride & handling? Am assuming you would have encountered all sorts of roads.
The crow hit must have been some scare, it happening in the dead of the night.

Liked the "calling aliens" drone shots
Thank you!

The Thar did great through-out. The more I drive it more I love it. Ride is quite bouncy/unsettled at high speeds. But I don't think not many are going to be doing those speeds constantly. Handling is great, it's quite sharp I have to say if you're right with your steering inputs. The gearbox on the Automatic is amazing! So good.

The crow hit was indeed scary, horror movie like haha.

Aliens Drone shots credits, once again to BHPian Jayendra.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mugen_pinaki27 View Post
Great writeup! I went to Pondicherry with my father way back in 2014. The atmosphere and the food was special coupled with the spiritual ambience of the place. Your Thar looks lovely but the cost of the windshield did surprise me. Given that its an Indian product, though premium, the pricing seems a bit steep IMHO. But nevertheless, have heard nothing but glowing reviews about the Thar. Waiting for the 5-door version eagerly.
Thank You!

Pondicherry is an amazing place, especially if you just want to relax and live life like a local. Food is the main reason that took us there haha. The windshield cost is okay I felt, it's not too bad. The sealant bond is more expensive than the windshield. Hope the 5 door comes soon!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Maky View Post
Thank you for sharing your trip pics with us : )))... especially loved the food pics ^_^

I have a question, in entire the state of TN you get petrol at 43 a Liter? : o
Thank you

We get it at 93 not 43 unfortunately, but yeah 43 would be very nice.

Quote:
Originally Posted by harditthind View Post
Excellent pictures. Thank you. No body definitely went hungry on this trip :P
Thank you! Definitely didn't go hungry haha. Now the hard part, have to burn all those off...

Quote:
Originally Posted by sandeepsc View Post
Very well written and equally supported by great pictures. The best part is that you enjoyed variety of local food. The like minded group of friends make these trips more memorable and enjoyable. Myself planning to visit Pondy as i have never visited our southern part of country.

Between are you sure the wind shield damaged due to crow hitting or someone hunting that crow with slingshot which eventually hit windshield?
Thanks a lot!
Food is life, good food is love. Like minded friends for sure make a trip even more fun and memorable!

You should visit Pondy and more places down south, you won't regret doing so. I myself am yet to venture out to the North by car. Hope to do Leh next year possibly.

It was definitely due to the crow itself, I don't anybody were hunting a crow in the dark. The crow flew in from the left but unfortunately got hit in the right side of the windshield. It probably thought it could slide away thinking it was a normal car with a sloping windshield. Boy was he wrong...

Quote:
Originally Posted by emmenhr View Post
A good concise report on your trip. Somehow never got to visit Pondi even though being a southerner. Maybe soon.
The windshield getting cracked would have been a scary situation. But am wondering - why cant they make windshields a little more stronger to withstand such hits - i understand the science of force cum speed impacts, but a crow!! Man, one sure needs to be careful!! Good that you all were safe.
Cheers !
Thank you!

You should visit Pondi soon, There's not much to do except eat, chill and just walk around. But that sometimes makes for the perfect getaway as well!

I'm actually happy with how the windshield took the hit, at speeds over 100kmph, I'm happy the glass didn't shatter on my face. Also not to forget how flat/straight the Thar's windshield is.

Quote:
Originally Posted by hmansari View Post
Excellent write-up Harish, and quite informative too regarding eateries in Pondy. I am bookmarking your thread to serve as a guide the next time I'm there. Will try the surf sessions too! The Kallialay Surf School India website seems under maintenance as of my posting this but they have provided the contact number of a person for queries.
The Thar looks sweet by the way, perfect for a trip to the beach, the sort you guys undertook. I can almost picture it with surfboards strapped to the roof.
Thanks a lot!

I regret not staying there for a day more so we could have done the surf lessons, next time for sure. The contact number given to a person called "Samai". He's very knowledgable on surfing and is the best person to get your lessons from in this part of India. Thar is perfect for 2 people wherever they want to go! any more and it'll become a hassle. Next time will get a picture with the surfboards

Quote:
Originally Posted by swiftvxi06 View Post
Very good writeup and excellent photos.
Must say the shots from the drone were amazing.
Thank you!

Drone shot credits, once again go to BHPian jayendra.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ph03n!x View Post
Great write up, Harish! Let's do a CBE Thar catch up sometime!
Did the replaced windshield also have the detailing of Thar desert with ajeep, camels, a cactus plant and sand dunes?
Thank you bro!
For sure, we have a long due meet up to done soon. The 3M that you frequent is very close to my house.

The replaced windshield, did have all those detailing on it. I was skeptical if it'll have it or not but looks like those detailing are inside where the border marker is on the glass.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Philomath55 View Post
First of all congratulations on finishing your college life.
Your travelogue has brought back my college memories, thank you for that!
Both the Thars looking good and also love ARB lights that you have got.
Cheers. Drive safe.
I'm still not done with college, have 6 more semesters to go

You're welcome and thank you!

Quote:
Originally Posted by livelyyoungman View Post
Congrats on completion of College. It would have been a welcome break for you all - a long drive, with some fun, good food & place to stay. Nice photos too. I got reminded of my college days. We too did a trip but not by car. That time car was a luxury.

Hope you have got your windshield replaced as well. All the best.
Not yet done with college, have 3 more years to go...
It did feel like a great break and I feel rejuvenated for sure. Happy to live in a time where car isn't a luxury haha.

Yes I have got my windshield replaced in Pondi itself, thanks to my friend Raj from Garage89 (Coimbatore) for helping me procure it in such a short notice.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DrSumit View Post
It's not often I read a travelogue, but this one's very well written with a fantastic destination, great company (living and non-living), and delectable food!

CAVEAT: A lot of readers envy you for being in college! In your 30s, it's so very difficult to get 10 friends together on a road trip.

Thanks for sharing...
Thanks a lot!
Company and food for sure made this trip memorable, so much that I had to document it here.

Hope to do the same in 30s, 40s, 50s and many more

Thank you for reading.
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Old 31st July 2021, 12:37   #27
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Default Re: With friends to Pondicherry | 2 Thars, Octavia vRS230 & Sonet

Nice travelogue with equal focus on cars and food . I see you had a Thar Diesel MT and an AT. Any difference in mileage or driving experience on the beach between the two?
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Old 12th August 2021, 16:21   #28
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Default Re: With friends to Pondicherry | 2 Thars, Octavia vRS230 & Sonet

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Originally Posted by 84.monsoon View Post
Nice travelogue with equal focus on cars and food . I see you had a Thar Diesel MT and an AT. Any difference in mileage or driving experience on the beach between the two?
Thank you!

Yes we had an AT (mine) and an MT. There was always a 1.5-2kmpl difference between AT and MT, in the beach the MT had stalled multiple time or guess my friend had difficulty modulating throttle and clutch. In the AT it was a breeze.
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