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Old 5th January 2008, 16:24   #1
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Default Pune to Tuticorin in a Petra : Part I -Pune to Bangalore

It all started when me and my brother decided to get a car for my parents in October end.So the hunt began.We were looking to choose between Swift \ Xing \ Getz.Meantime,I was bitten by the 2.2 bug too (Call it TBhp influence).But I never wanted to let go of my Petra.So both these factors mingled somewhere and I thought "Why not leave my car with mum&dad ; Save some more and take the 2.2 plunge in 6 month's time".This means I have to be without a car for 6 months.But I was prepared to take it,all for the love of Reclaiming my life.I didnt know if my brother would like this idea and how to implement this when suddenly one fine day I received a call from my brother.The middle part of the conversation went like this.

Me:So which one do you think we should go for?
Bro:I have a idea.But you should like it.
Bro: Dad wont be using the car much.The car would be doing only around 400-500kms in a month.Why should we buy a new one now.Your Petra is now 2 years old.
Me:Grinning ear to ear and keeping silent
Bro:If you agree,you can leave it there and get a new car for you.Anyways,you were eyeing 2.2
Me:(Controlling the excitement)Sounds a good idea.Let me think over it and I shall call you back.
Went home,discussed with wife(She was reluctant initialy,but I convinced her) and called my brother to inform him that I shall send my car to dad.

Now next step.How to send the car to Tuticorin from Pune.I knew how this would be done,but as is the norm of being a married person,this was put for discussion in the family board room.I chopped off the options given like hiring a driver \ sending it by train \ sending it by truck stating some excuse or the other.Finally my tired wife asked me "Then how to send the car".Having waited for this I said "I shalll drive".

The next 20 days went like this.Lying to parents and In-laws that we have hired a driver to cover this 1500 odd km journey.Car was sent for servicing at BUB at around 35xxx kms.I got new Goodyear GPS2 tubeless tyres and retained 2 of the old S322's as spares.Sent the car to Tuneup plus in Baner for touch up job to get rid of the Pune city drive marks(Not very happy with the work;Shall put another thread on this).

Car after the Paintjob

Sent numerous mails to highwayskumar for long distance driving tips.The max I had done was Pune-Tarkarli-Goa-Pune in Dec 2006.I was down with infection for a week,as I didnt drink enough fluids.Didnt want a repeat of the experience again.Also contacted PalioUserGroup moderator who is from Coimbatore to enquire about servicing for Fiat vehicles.He told me that MyTVS in Coimbatore was doing a very good job and I need not worry.Wifey is from Coimbatore and hence all my worries about servicing my car in Tamilnadu were gone.

I finaly zeroed on this plan.
21-12-2007 start from Pune at 4AM \ reach Bangalore(Jalahalli East)by atleast 8PM.Cover around 900kms in first day.I will be the sole driver in this stretch.
Night halt in Bangalore.My brother will join me here.
22-12-2007 Start from Bangalore at 6AM and reach Tuticorin by 7-8 PM.Cover around 600kms.I could hand over the wheels to my bro too during this stretch.

20th Dec:Came back from office and did the packing.After dinner headed out to my regular fuel station for tanking up and checking tyre pressure.Petra drank close to 41 ltrs worh fuel and set 28psi on all 4 tyres.Couldnt sleep until 11:45PM as I was too excited thinking about the next day's drive.By 12,I was still awake and reset the alarm to 5AM.
21st Dec:Got up at 4:45,even before the alarm went on.Got ready and we were all set to leave.Loaded the luggage in the car.Reset the trip meter and started exactly at 5:45AM from my home in PCMC.The Odo reading was 36,121.

Odo reading at start of the trip

Joined NH4 at Wakad police chowky at sharp 6AM.It was still a bit dark.The
drive was good with BoneyM keeping us company with some good old X-Mas collection songs.Reached Katraj tunnel at 6:23AM with Odo reaing 36,157 and Khedshivapur toll plazza at 6:31AM with Odo reading 36,179.We were greeted by a jam just ahead of Khambatki ghat toll booth.Had a tough time here.We were off after paying the toll.

Khambatki ghat

The drive then was great.We were provided good entertainment by a Logan and a 800.I was doing around 120 and these 2 cars were ahead of me on the right most lane and might have been doing around 130-140.I was surprised to see M800 doing such speeds.He used to flash his lights at the Logan.The Logan guy would immediately pull to the left lane and accelarate hard making it impossible for the M800 to overtake him.This game went on until M800 took the Sangli exit.Crossed Kolhaput exit at 9:07AM with Odo reading 36,375.

I was really enjoying the drive and Petra was simply superb.Was doing 120kmph consistenly with occasional bursts to 145-150kmph.Crossed Nipani toll booth at 9:39AM with Odo reading at 36,412.

At Nipani toll booth

Turn off to Goa via Aajra\Ambholi ghats

Went past Belgaum \ Hubli-Dharwad and made my first stop at Reliance A1 Plazza,Agadi (22kms past Hubli) at 11:33AM with Odo reading at 36605.We had covered a distance of 484 kms in around 5 and half hours.Tanked up at the fuel station there and had a hearty lunch.

A1 Plazza,Agadi

That's me updating our whereabouts to parents

Started at 12:40PM.With the numerous travelogues that I had came across on NH4,I was expecting the bad section to start now.I had no idea on how s bad this section would be and was worried about this stretch ever since I started plans for this trip.It came soon.I told myself "Not bad;I could manage this;The roads cant get worser than this".

Start of bad stretch past Hubli

I was prooved wrong very soon.The stretch started getting worse and worse.At places there was no sight of road and all we had was some terrain to drive over.At some sections,we have to fight for place with oncoming traffic to drive through some piece of land that is motorable.Crossed Ranebennur at 13:55(Odo - 36,693),Davanagere at 14:55(Odo-36,736).More worrying fact on this stretch is,there are absolutely no markings on the road.This continued and I was driving with a silent prayer to the Almighty above that I have to cross this stretch without any hiccups.My eyes were
yearning to see the windmills ,as it would mean that I am closer to Chitradurga.Roads from there to Bangalore are good again.

First sight of the mighty windmills of Chitradurga

Windmill blades upclose

Finaly stopped at Reliance A1 Plazza,Chitradurga at 4:15PM with odo reading at 36,799.It had taken us 3 and half hours to traverse 194kms..Had nice sambar vada and tea.

At A1 Plazza,Chitradurga

Started from A1 plazza at 4:55pm.Crossed Hiriyur at 5:17pm(Odo-36,848) and Sira at 5:37pm(Odo-36,879).Somewhere before Sira,saw a toppled truck that was carrying brand new Scorpio's.

The accident had occured only 10-15 mins back and there was lot of crowd around that site.The traffic got denser as we crossed Tumkur \ Neelamangala.I was a bit tired now and was not prepared to find my way thru this mad city traffic.Took diversion from NH4 at Jalahalli pass.Reached my uncle's place at Jalahalli by 8:17pm with Odo reading 37000kms.

Odo reading at Bangalore

The very thought that I have covered the first part of the trip without any hiccups forced away all the tiredness.Still I had another 600 odd kms to cover the next day.Shall compile that soon.

Signing off for now with some miscellaneous pics

A big thanks to highwayskumar for helping me out in detail with the numerous log books he had and for also patiently answering all my silly queries :-)

PS:Sorry for the pics quality(Taken from 5 years old CX6200 cam)and the wrong time stamp(Forgot to switch off the time stamp and worse still,didnt set it to correct date as well)

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Old 5th January 2008, 16:29   #2
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Nice report, fondly reminds me of our trip earlier last month
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Old 5th January 2008, 16:51   #3
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Originally Posted by jraj View Post
Sent the car to Tuneup plus in Baner for touch up job to get rid of the Pune city drive marks(Not very happy with the work;Shall put another thread on this).
Wow.. Nice travelogue there... waiting for Part II. BTW, Last time I went to Tuneup plus for some minor repairs, he was asking for feedback about the job done on your car. Pl post that thread as well.
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Old 5th January 2008, 16:51   #4
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Nice report and pics. BTW, what can be expected in Part II?
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Old 5th January 2008, 16:58   #5
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@spadival : Thanks.I will post experiences with Tuneup plus soon.

@snaronikar : PartII will cover Bangalore to Tuticorin on NH7.Its a 600odd km drive.

Will post it soon.
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Old 5th January 2008, 17:38   #6
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great report ... thanks for sharing it.

the truck with scorpio's; guess these will be sold to some unsuspecting customers! :(
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Old 5th January 2008, 20:16   #7
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good experience ... I must say I had a similar trip last week to Mumbai > Hospet >Dharmasthala > Goa > Mumbai in my 2001 Siena(secondhand) without a single problem with 16.5 kmpl avg on highway
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