Hello all, Finally I got a chance to go on my first long drive. It was Pune-Kaas valley-Pune. My planned long drive to nasik got cancelled at the last minute due to incessant rains in both nasik and pune in the first week of September. How it happened: After going back home on Friday my parents told me that my aunt had called and asked if we are interested to go to kaas valley near satara. Kaas is actually a village and on the way to that place there are plateau’s with flowers all over. They are mainly of two colors Yellow and lavender. I did not know this place but said yes since I have never gone on a long drive before. The D-Day: So it was decided that everyone will start at around 7:00 AM and will meet at “virangula” for breakfast which is almost 100 KMs. But we started at 7:30 (IST )Here is the first pic. The car had just completed 1000 KM. Baner-Virangula: We hit upon Mumbai-Bangalore bypass at around 7:30 (I stay very close to the highway) and reached virangula around 9:30 AM. We were 5 people+ my small kid. The car was fully loaded with my son’s belongings taking half the boot space. The first scrape happened immdly after we came out of our society gate. :A There are lots of new buildings coming up in the area and the roads are not good at all. The ride on the highway was a pleasure. Especially since it was a Sunday and no major traffic in the morning I could reach the speed of 100 KM/hr for some time. I tried not to increase the speed further since it was my first long drive and I am not a very good driver. There are two toll booths on the way. The total cost is Rs. 170(to and fro). We reached virangula around 9:30 and had breakfast there. The hotel is very good and on the left side while going to satara after the first ghat. They serve all the regular breakfast dishes generally served but the best of the lot is “Thalipeeth”. We were around 20 people but everyone liked “Thalipeeth” the most. Virangulat-Kaas Valley: We started at around 11:00 AM from virangula to kaas valley. The road again is pretty good. Be very careful on the ghat section which starts immdly after virangula. Although it is one way but the traffic piles up with many trucks to take care off as well. Virangula to kaas valley is around 50 KMs. How to reach Kaas: Get into Satara city from Mumbai-Bangalore bypass (it’s a big square and you need to take right. Be careful of the incoming traffic here). Once inside the satara city take a round turn before Eiffel tower and move towards kaas valley. Do remember that you need to cross satara city and there is no bypass if you are coming from pune OR Mumbai. (AFAIK) There are not many boards on the way so you may have to rely on locals OR your instincts. Here are few photos of kaas valley. Kaas-Bamnoli: We started from Kaas valley around 12:30 and we decided to cover bamnoli as well. The same road from kaas goes to bamnoli. We got to know that boating is available in the dam backwaters there. The road to bamnoli is very narrow. It is a two way route with all the CV, SUVs, cars and ST buses using it, it becomes extremely difficult to drive and it tests your driving skills most. On the way to bamnoli we encountered a huge traffic jam and people coming from other side told us not to go further as there is more jam ahead. This time we decided to take a U turn and go back to satara. It was already 2:00 PM and we did not even had our lunch. Kaas-Satara: We spent some more time in kaas and headed towards satara. The lunch was done in “Big bite”. This is inside Satara City near Powai naka. It’s a good hotel and pretty reasonable too. Total cost of lunch for 15 people came around 1100 Rs. We decided to meet one of our relatives in satara and started from satara at around 6:30 PM. Satara-Pune Journey from satara started at around 6:30 and we reached our house at 8:30 PM. We did non stop travel of 125 Kms this time(No engine stop). Is it ok to go non stop for these many kms in a new car? Here is the pic of odometer after reaching home. Few issues which I encountered Low GC: This is something known to every Fiat Punto owner. Very irritating. Infact sometimes the noise was so loud that people in front of us started looking back. Some Burning Smell: While taking the U turn in the jam near bamnoli, we tried to ensure that engine does not stop and thus RPM was kept high. I could feel some burning smell at that time. Similar smell was observed on the highway while coming back when I changed the gears from 4th to 5th and again back to 4th. Tak-tak-tak sound: I can hear this tak-tak sound especially on highway. As I increase the speed the sound increases. Don’t know the reason. We have not yet removed the plastic on the seats. I feel the sound may be coming from there specially on highway where speed is high. Total distance covered: 310 KM I did not check the FE for this particular trip. All in all a wonderful experience. The FE based on last fill is around 16 KMPL(Is it OK OR less) Diesel: 33.94 Lts(Rs. 1500) Total distance covered: 533 KMs I started the trip meter when the fuel indicator started glowing. I work in hinjewadi and people in pune would know what kind of traffic we face here. But I still feel the FE is less. Pls suggest. PS: I have heard that the flowers come only in the month on September-October after the rains that too only for 3 weeks. So, if anybody is planning to go over their plan it by 15th oct OR you may not be able to see flowers at all.