The weekend was approaching and i was getting quite itchy for a long drive. So far i resisted my temptation because of my relative inexperience in driving. Anyway i had clocked over 2000Kms and was getting confident on the vehicle. On Thursday last week, i started a hunt for a decent get away from Bangalore. Then i remembered a conversation i struck with a Palio owner (don't quite remember his name) at Kudlu gate TASS when i took my vehicle there with an alignment issue. He told about this place called "himavad gopalsway betta". I was not sure of what i heard and what i remember of it. Turned to Google, the eternal query solver. Typed "betta" and there pops links and wiki entries about "gopalsway betta". Turned to Google maps, entered starting point and destination and it gives me a lucid map of how to travel with guidance. Immediately printed the map and kept it safe. The travel plan was a 'surprise" for the better half. As always the surprise couldnt be kept as a surprise for long. Cracked the idea to her on Thursday night and she was all ready. Friday i took an off for taking the vehicle to TASS as there was a niggling noise coming from the front suspension, which was later diagnosed as the "link-rod" issue. Friday night i did some more searches about the route and planned to leave early at around 3.30 in the morning, so that i reach there early and return back before night fall. As usual the plans did not materialize. Eventually we started at around 7.30ish from Bangalore. The route taken was Bangalore - Mysore- Gundlupet - Hangla - Gopalswamy betta. Saturday mornings are pretty hectic on Mysore Road. Till Kengeri, it was very crowded and the traffic was moving slow. After Kengeri, traffic eased and i could cruise at around 80ish. Stopped in a CCD, i think the Ramnagara one, had 2 double shot cappuccinos and a small breakfast just to ward off the sleep demons! As we were going pretty slow, we reached Mysore around 11.40. Had some confusing moments to find the way to Gundlupet. After asking some taxi and auto drivers, managed to find the way and headed on to Gundlupet. The luxury of good roads got over in Mysore and from then on, it was the usual two lane roads. Driving on this road towards Gundlupet was a novel experience for me. Occasionally you encounter oncoming cars and trucks in the wrong lane trying to overtake some slow moving vehicles. Some of them keep flashing lights to let them go. This means,i had to climb down from the road to make way for them. I let pass few of them and succumbed to their pressure. Then on, i held on and forced them to retreat. Even though i am from Kerala, i have to say the most unruly and aggressive vehicles were the Kerala registered ones. At Nanjangudu, we took a short break to confirm the route once and to get ourselves refreshed. Reached Gundlupet around 1 pm. From Gundlupet as we moved on, the road were pretty empty and we stopped again to have some food and the proceeded to Hangla. From Hangla, an arch on the right side greets you with sign boards to Gopalsway betta. After you pass the arch, the route is quite scenic with farm lands on both sides and the hill on the view. We moved around 6-7kms inside and reached the checkpost. Paid 50 Rs. for the car and was told to be back by 2.45pm. I think we reached there by 1.30 or so. The roads were not good right from the arch. If they were not good earlier, after crossing the check post, it turned worse. I had asked forest guard, how long is the climb up. He told me 5-6 kms. Now comes the trickiest part of all. After buying the car, the toughest thing to do with it was climbing an elevation. I managed well for the first 1 to 2km, then the inclination was becoming steeper. There i realized another issue, the car was losing all its power. Thanks to TFI, i remembered a post which discussed this issue. The car was all fine in the first 2 gears, the moment i shift to 3rd, it lost all the momentum and i was feeling complete power loss. I tried shifting in the powerband as said in the discussion with no respite. (Anyway i think i was not getting all that correct!) I did not panic, but decided to climb all the way in the first 2 gears. There are couple of steeps hairpin turns and the 2nd gear dint suffice one of them and the car completely stalled. Anyway there was no one behind to honk, kept my composure and moved the vehicle up without much frills. Anyway i knew, i will end up in such a situation. Afterall one learns from experience! Climbed all the way, parked the car (Very less parking place!) and took a small tour of the place and clicked some pics. There is a temple on top of the hill. I am not a very temple temple fellow and hadnt told wifey about the same. She cribbed about this as she was not ready for going to the temple. Anyway we both did not visit the temple. It had started drizzling. Spent around 45 mins on top and started climbing down. I will write down the return part/the car performance in a different post. This is way too long. Please bear with my painfully long post. Attaching some pictures.