Quick Rain Break Coorg + crossing 21K km in the Scorpio 2.6 Turbo Lx
Just thought I would share some pictures and a brief review of the last 3 days - lovely rain holiday in Coorg.
Always a pleasure to get out on the open road each time a 3 day weekend presents itself. Luckily Bangalore enjoys fantastic access to some serene and quiet holiday spots within a few hours drive.
This time we chose to visit friends in Coorg, play a bit of golf, chill out with friends, enjoy some great home food, take some pictures, smell the fresh earth in the rain, breathe deeply of the fresh air of life and at the end of three blissful days, return to the daily grind!
Set out on Friday morning about 540am, crossed all the normally superbusy hotspots on our way to the NICE Road - it was rainy and the whole city looked like it had received a super water-wash - so while the city slept, we stole away into the open road, freedom and beyond!
First stop McDonalds which luckily wasnt terribly crowded at 7am so a quick breakfast was scrunched up and we resumed our enjoyment of the open road.
As usual the Scorpio behaved extremely well - absolutely cannot get tired of that purposeful Turbo Whine when the revs move up!
No trouble at all en route in terms of traffic - the whole road seemed empty bar the occasional holidaymaker and the usual buses and lorries - but all of them were extremely well-behaved I must say. Kept up a constant speed of 90-110 Kmph - no Aircon required since the temperate climes of Karnataka MUST be enjoyed by breathing fresh morning air!
So a couple of hours later we turned off the main road to take the Hunsur bypass via Srirangapatnam. The usual fruit sellers and flower sellers - a smile, a wave and on our way!
One stop as we entered the environs of Kodagu District - the normal ritual of praying at the temple, wishing the priest a good day and moving on. Another stop for the elephants at the timber camp just because both wifey and I love elephants and indeed all animals. A couple of photographs and on our way again.
Clocking in to Gonikoppal at about 945am and to Virajpet town at 1015am we noted one stray alcoholic establishment open (though it was supposedly a dry day) and its patrons lurking in the shadows peering sheepishly at us as we cast our eye over them! But Live and let Live being possibly the best motto we toddled off to our friend's estate bungalow, to pull up precisely at 1030am in front of their place.
The whole journey was characterized by intermittent bouts of rain, drizzle with the sun peeping out reluctantly once in a way almost as if to say he would rather have had a late morning in bed instead of making an appearance over our good earth.
General hugs and handshakes done, a cup of steaming coffee slugged down and a good stretch later, we got down to the business of the day - the Golfplan.
An hour later, with a sumptuous lunch beneath the belt, my good old pal and I hopped in the Scorp and belted away to Pollibetta where our friends and assorted caddies awaited us for a round of golf!
I wont bore you with the details of the golf game - suffice it to say that it was a happy round for us with the drizzle, the smell of wet mown grass on the fairways and the great feeling of seeing a well-executed chip shot land and the ball being held close by the wet-ish and singularly well tended greens! Playing through the drizzle and the mist is always an enjoyable experience, at least as far as I am concerned!
Then an evening out at the local club where one got to meet up with lots of buddies and share a bit of a chin wag before finally calling it an evening and heading home through the rain and the winding hill roads to a well earned warm and comfy bed. Lovely drive at night at considerable speeds through the twisties! My friend who is an excellent driver piloted the Scorpio home at speeds that frankly I would have hesitated to attempt! Having said that he did compliment the vehicle on its excellent feel, turbo whistle, power-in-reserve and road holding on account of the wider alloy + stock tyre combo, which I have been enjoying on hill roads over the last year and a half!
The next morning dawned grey with sheets of rain which had poured through the night so instead of attacking the other golf course as planned, we decided to lurk at home, firmly ensconced on the verandah, listening to the pitter patter of the falling rain, taking pictures, enjoying the bird song each time the rain stopped for a bit and generally enjoying the excellent weather and clean air! A large breakfast, a rather large lunch and some bits and pieces later, it was well that everyone elected to spend the afternoon curled up with a good book in the comfort and warmth of the bedroom - nothing better as far as I am concerned since for me it brought back memories of a childhood spent in the plantations, where one used to do exactly this when it rained outside! Got a brilliant picture of a Crow Pheasant sitting on a Tree ( a Coucal as the bird is called sometimes) - lovely plumage. Also a close up of a rain washed hibiscus flower.
About 530pm after an excellent high tea on the verandah, with the rain still falling in a light drizzle, we decided to practice our marksmanship with an elderly but yet powerful air rifle - knocking the spots off an old drum located about 300 yards away.
A hot bath later, we were ready to welcome another friend who had been invited to dinner - much chin wagging and elbow exercising later (rather Wodehousian in a sense - with the "hot buttered rum" flowing along with some sparkling conversation and witticisms exchanged, we repaired to the dining room to attack and wolf down a most excellent dinner, prepared by the fair hand of my good pal's better half!
And by god what a meal it was! PorkChops in a delicately flavoured brown sauce, large portions of melt-in-the-mouth Shepherds pie, plenty of home churned butter, toast and topped off by a most delectable caramel custard - I say old chap, I dont think even our erstwhile white bosses could have lived better than this!!
Repairing to bed then after a short-ish wander in the garden in a light drizzle we prepared ourselves for the next day and the journey home.
A fine morning dawned - with the sun rising early and the twitter of a myriad birds in the trees. Several deep lungfuls of lovely crisp clean air and a bit of stretching followed by a morning cuppa.
and then suddenly it was 0900 and time for a monster breakfast - I dont know what it is about cold air and crisp clean natural surroundings but it certainly does wonders for my appetite!
slowly, like a pair of boa constrictors who have been doing themselves a little too well on the local fauna, we got ourselves ready and in a frame of mind to leave these idyllic surroundings to make our way back to the wicked city! Bah!
But there was a great drive to look forward to as a part compensation for that!
Leaving at 1040am sharp on the dot, we meandered through water logged bits of road, some occasional slush, potholes etc to leave the fine clean coffee clad hills behind. A short stop for a bit of Diesel, another stop to propitiate the gods of the road on the exit route, a brief chin wag and thank you to the priest and there we were, on the highway!
An uneventful and highly enjoyable drive all the way except for a bit of irritation caused by a dirty Qualis near the Srirangapatnam Level Crossing and a bit of a traffic snarl in the Mandya and Channapatna towns.
Near Mandya we were stuck for a bit behind a miserably ugly State Transport Bus which didnt have any rear lights at all - im sure it would be frightening to be behind such a monster in the dark!! But I guess thats the state of our roadways and road rule enforcement! Thankfully it was mid afternoon and we overtook him rapidly to continue on our way!
A short stop at Maddur for a coffee and masala dosa which served us very well indeed for lunch.
Onto the NICE road entry at 3-ish and blasted all the way through upto the Bannerghatta exit - a quick twiddle and a twaddle just before hitting the Shoppers Stop bit and we made a surreptitious exit towards home avoiding most of the afternoon traffic. Home and dry at 330pm to a riotous welcome from our home-help and all the three doggies! Its great the be back - because wherever one may wander and for however long (or short) a time, there is NO PLACE quite like HOME Sweet HOME!
A bit of technical stuff about the Scorpio on this trip follows:
I ve clocked 21k kms plus now
The Scorp behaves as well as ever it did.
Its absolutely lovely on the highways and on bad roads the confidence it inspires by its sheer strenght, dependability, high ground clearance, excellent torque and sheet road presence, is (as far as I am concerned) absolutely awesome! I love this vehicle and am extremely happy I bought it.
No niggles on the road, not even a rattle. A peaceful comfortable drive at a pretty constant 80-110kmph range. Except for 2 places where I crossed 120kmph (just to open up the vehicle) on clear stretches of road I simply sat back and enjoyed the drive all the way!
Fuel efficiency would be in the region of 12.5-13 kmpl most definitely because I still have half a tank of Diesel after having covered about 750 odd Kms up, inside Coorg district and back.
Thats it and now if you like you could sit back and enjoy the few photos which I would like to share!
Wow, Shankar an excellent travelogue, the pictures need the title of Post cards from Coorg. Please post in many more pictures. I hope that the trip would have given you some nostalgia of Ooty. Nice pictures of the beast!
Superb narration Shankar. Absolutely enjoyed reading that !! Please do post more pics. Thanks for sharing.
And i think you need to share more often your travelogues on TBHP! Excellent narrative and thanks for sharing.
Very tight write up but very limited number of photographs. ;)
Thanks for sharing.
Thank you gentlemen for the kind words.
Yes I would be happy to share some more pics which I will try and do later this evening. I thought somehow the max was 10 pics! I guess that is correct, but for "each post". So I ll pull out some more of the good ones and share - they are mostly nature oriented and slightly repetitive I think you'll find.
You can upload upto 30 per post but 10 uploads at a time, thats all. Nature oriented are perfectly fine and dont worry Coorg pics can never be repetitive for us ;)
anyway here are some of the ones I like...
and a couple more of the scorp...:)
Thanks for the pics Shankar. Btw...what are all those stickers on the front glass ??
stickers are some office building parking permits, made by mahindra and service station stickers, my old school sticker and club parking stickers. (these do not interfere with my peripheral vision at all)
Shankar, please keep them coming enjoying every posting
sure will do
just lazy to write about each trip we make - keep buzzing around here and there whenever these 3 days weekends come up. (except this coming weekend because it is an extremely noisy one and my dogs hate it so I like being with them so they are not too frightened by crackers.)
excellent travelogue. Having done the south coorg recently in the rains, i enjoyed your trip as if it were mine.
BTW, do u stay at HSR layout. 2 days back i was following your scorpio in my jeep right from HSR BDA signal to the busdepot and further. Saw a Team-BHP sticker on the lisense plate. couldnt wave my hand though.
hey was that the lovely white?? jeep MM540/550??
3 or 4 days ago approx near that ORR/ HSR entry area where the lorries and buses have created a huge mess?
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