Jaipur-Ahmedabad-Mumbai-Pune-Goa-Belgaum-Jaipur Dedicated to All Die Hard FIATians and TFI Members !! It all started with my manager approving the leaves 2 weeks in advance and then my better half agreeing to join me in this road trip adventure , without these 2 agreeing, I would have struggled to make this fab trip happen. Hence I started my journey history with a note to show my appreciation & my thanks for thier timely support. Soon after the 1st step & with concultations from TFI members specially Sandeep, Vahapujari, Amogh and others sealed the plan and and made up my mind to drive down and take the challenge to bear it all and put to test my faith on this Italian Beauty. With Hotel stay at Ahmedabad still not planned, wify was bit senstive to the fact that I might make her sleep inside the car itself !! and pesterted me to do it now or drop the road trip... this made an impact and I was forced to search for the best hotel within 2k budget (Bed n Breakfast).. luckily got one online by the name De ecobiz, looked decent and didnt think twie before booking it for the night of 16th Apr Pre arrangements : With car which got serviced (1st Free Service) 1 week before the travel date, was all set in terms "Gaaadi Tayyar Hai" types, with new speakrs, amp and sub... things were pretty much organised in terms of moblity and entertainment which takes priority on a road trip and I trust everyone agrees or atleast nod thier heads with me (boss bonus kae paise spend huvaa hai.... maan lo) on serious note, as a additional precaution got the wheel balancing and alingment re-done from a well known tyre shoppee in Jaipur (Near Panch Batti circle) Next came in what needs to be purchased, grabbed along with a list of beg / borrow/steal Seriously needed a travel bag for self as suitcase was not an option due to sub eating away 30% of the boot and wify needed 2 bags for herself.... hence a setback of 2.8k for a VIP soft bag that took all my clothes plus one or two sets of my decent half With all things including gifts for my bro's family sorted out (Missed to carry the famous sweetned pheni....looks like a dried heap of fine grass) we were ready for the trip. Final Touches : I took my wife around befre switching of geyser, gas, AC, TV etc etc so that we dont get sleepless during holidays ... again everyone (who is married) would nod in agreemement with a smile or atleast a smirk Now the D-Day was just 12 hours ahead and i did what I needed to, re-check everything... including petrol tank, tyre pressure including spare one, top-up the wiper tank & withdraw the much needed cash from ATM. Split the cash between us two incase of contigency and also asked wife to have the duplicate car key within her purse (She always carries it and never leaves it unattended) last 8 hours, bit tensed with new vehicle that had just crossed 2700kms and not sure how it would be and keeping my fingers crossed went to bed, but as it happens with me i get less sleep the night before any travel... and this time it was no different... had set the alarm for 4.00AM and ensured I re-check it at 12.00 midnite and also set an alarm on wifey's mobile to ease my mind... but then again at 1.00AM got up to check... next 2.5 hours got enuf sleep to make me happy to get into the Italian designed cruise. 16-Apr -Jaipur to Ahemdabad was in the plan, loaded the car with the consumables and rest of the things and cranked the car to start off south west towards Ajmer. Reached the speeds of 70-100 /hr within minutes as Ajmer Highway (NH8) is few minutes away from my apartment. Received SMS's from TFI members to drive safely- Thanks all Reached Udaipur at 12.30 noon drove down to Sheraton Fatesagar Palace, had lunch (ordered Italian- Pasta & the pizza, however the Pizza was the worst one... my suggestion dont ever try it, the chef was brougt in, i requsted him to taste and let me know if he would pay some 600+taxes for the same... he said yes to my astonishment and I didnt want to put out a fight... just left with a mind never to return there.. will not make them any difference i believe) PLus, the Fathesagar lake was full and it made me forget the earlier bitter lunch experience The road from Udaipur to Ahemdabad was curvy and offered excellent views of Aaravali Hill Range, the car made great strides in taking all the curves easily with less body roll and the great suspensions just made infused 110% confidence. Took some anger management classes on the way by controlling the speed and rpm within the acceptable limits (I didnt want to race beyond 3k RPM and 120kmph on odo) however the racey kid inside me wanted to push the pedal and leave behind all that trucks that played chor police / ice and spice curbing the speeds every other minute... the speedo Instant Consumption was showing 18-25 kmpl, but until then a truck a slow moving car, jeep, tractor and the thre wheelers came in between to change the gears and eat up the fuel lot more and burning a hole in my pocket bit by bit.... Amogh was amazed to hear that I was driving a Petrol... i agree that its not economical and the cost incurred would have given enuff fuel to approx 2 multi jets to drive the same distance. The heat outside was hovering between 30-38 degrees and near by Ahemdabad it was 42 degrees, once in while opened the window to allow fresh air circulaton and also get the feeling of ar blasting the face to keep me awake ... the much needed thing during driving... avoid monotony or else it will lead to disaster.... keep changing music... listen to ur favourite music half the way and change.. so that mind resist the change and become active.. my way of beating the long strech road boreness... not sure if will work upon others... but do try... Doctor saaab... what do you say? Reached Ahmedabad via Gandhi Nagar at around 4.45pm and sorted out my way to the hotel... as it was in busy street, reaching the hotel was bit tiresome (missed Sandeep's suggestion to take a motel on outskirts)... parked the car, was tired to core with the sleepless night.... Was tempted to go out for a mouth watering Gujrathi Taali, wife was not ready as i didnt want to drive but taken an auto to reach govardan taali, but the auto fellow mentioned its too far and took me to a neay by place near by to hotel.. food was good, meal for 2 costed 250 bucks... 300% better than the pizza at Sheraton !! 17-Apr - Same routine of 4.00 am, but good sleep gave the much needed rest and took off from Ahmedabad at 4.20am sharp towards Pune... had to fill up the fuel, got to a bunk, filled her up, got the windscreen cleaned for free (request was met up without any resistance from the pump fellow)... took directions towads the express highway... lost the directons by 1 km, as I noticed the way was pointing towards Rajkot... got a suspicion and asked the police fellow who was busy making money early morning by stopping trucks for checks. He said something in Gujrathi, which I was able to absorb as you left the road 1 km back.. take a u turn and head back and take a right.... did follow his instructons and got the express highway.... it looked like a Airport Runway, with the night still ON and Headights being ON along with the fog lamp, the sight bought cheers n lit up to both the dark riders faces... paid up the toll and zoomed past the highway and as the 'Gaddi' had crossed 3k kms on the ODO was ok to rev and put the engines to ultimate test... reached speeds of 170kmph... the straigh stretches infused the much needed confidence and as the needle reached 120kmph, my adrenaline rush boosted up, my relfexes was upto the mark (Atleast I believe so) to push the pedal harder towards the floor and acheive the max... the needle easily glided towards the other pole till 140-150 kmph easily, but after which the climb was bit slow and reached 170kmph with some effort and it still had some juice left and wife was abusive by then.... maintained the speeds for less than half a minute as my other good mind woke up and resisted further changes and demanded an instant cut back on speeds.... & i heeded to its request without hesitation to maintain 120-140kmph Reached Vadodara less than 50 minutes and then the road towards Surat was on and off good and bad as the flyover and boardening of roads was work in progress. Surat to Silvassa is 80% very clean and good again work is in progress in few places Silvassa to Virar was a good stretch, with bit of a ghat section kicking in & trucks carying the skoda vehicles and other equipments was eating away the time to reach mumbai. Reached Thane, passed by Airoli and reached Panvel... Amogh and Sundeep had called alogn with Kedar... missed to note Sundeep's request to call him as soon as I enter Mumbai.. this was more due to nervousness or fear of entering an unknown roads of Mumbai and getting lost... Took one wrong turn at Panvel and missed the express way... this made me go in rounds in Panvel and some good samaritan showed me the way to reach Expres highway (this is where I felt that GPS is a must gadget and wife's agreement came in immediately).. finally was cruising at 140kmph again... two issues that I noticed and have been noticing, at 70kmph and again at 140kmph the vehicle shakes abnormally... if we are over and below this speed point there are no issues observed.. Reached Pune safely around 4.30pm and met up with Kedar who came all the way from Hadapsar (some 30km drive) to meet me.. as an appreciation, he got the radium Abarth Scorpion sticker along with Team(FIAT).co.in sticker... Kedar, not sure if you had time off ur busy office schedule to fix these two up?...both checked up each others cars and stereo and came to a conclsion that the distortion was there at high vols in mine... 20-Apr -Morning, went to Pandit Auto to replace the lost rare wiper (i feel it was stolen on the Pune Express Highway midway stop) ... Met up with Italia_Linea (Amit) and he showed me his shiny new horse the Tuscan Wine linea, what a color it is.. a WoW !! and his efforts of dedicating time to keep her shining is amazing... we both checked each others stereo and Amit finally helped fine tune the amp and turned off the loudness ... which greatly improved the output.. thanks to him and his seconday skills... then the famous Clutch was tested on both the cars and i was butter smoth in the Linea and mine a tad hard to press and engage... didnt realise it till I literally took a test and decided to take this up with TASS in Jaipur.....& after chit chatting for some time bid adieu to the Tuscan Wine Beauty and its master. 21 /22-Apr - Along with brothers family made a trip to Panchgani + Mahabaleshwar in 2 cars, the drive was amazing as the views of lush green Western Ghats was all but welcome break for us deprived solus travelling from Rajasthan, had a great time at Mahabaleshawar and good walk down the hill the next morning before we decided to drive back to Pune... I wasnt interested in either the boat or the horse ride,... hence my niece and nephew ensured i buy them enuff time to go on a horse ride.. besides we were enjoying the hot & fresh corn and a tea after the kids came from Horse Ride... Observed some 15-20 fiats along the route as we were downhill from Panchgani... then realised that it was a good friday and a holiday for many. After my return spoke with Kedar and Amogh and decided to meet up at 9.00am at Pandit Auto, Tilak Road, Pune on 23rd Apr 23-Apr - Fiat Checkup @ Pandit Auto, Pune, & mini TFI Meet - The day started with hot coffee & light breakfast.. i was more than eager to meet the Pune chapter of TFI members and hence rushed down to tilak road with taking some direction from by standers and was able to reach the locaton by 9.20am, there I met up with Mangesh, Amogh,Kedar and others... I explained to Mangesh about the vibration / shaking at speeds of 70 and 140... he requested me to send me a mail and also about the clutch and my goal to reach Goa the next day plus the drive back to Jaipur. Mangesh called up the service manager of Pandit Auto, Mr.Patvardhan, a Gentleman by attitude and he went in length to provide me the clutch replacement along with CSC, Pressure Plate etc.... was requested to collect the care the next day, but as I had to leave to Goa, had to put pressure to get the car ready the same day by 6.30pm... was promised so and after meeting and chatting up with TFI memebers, Kedar was kind enuff to offer me to take me to a Kholapuri Cuisine and nice spiced curry, jowar roti etc... enjoyed and ordered another round as it such lovely tasting food is scarce in this part of the world. As it was 3 pm by the time we finished our lunch, requested Kedar to drop me to my brother's place in Pimpri, it was very long drive some 35 odd kms and he obliged with a smile.. Kedar always has a small naughty smile & he diverted me to Poona Motors and GPS Map My India was purchased immediately. In the evening to get delivery of the vehicle as well as test the GPS we hired the radio cab to reach Pandit Auto and GPS just amazed every occupant of the car as it was the 1st time for many and my niece was over thrilled with the turn by turn voice instruction from te GPS lady ! We searched for KFC and reached the spot sound a safe and thanks to GPS for guding us in the unknown teritory. With Goa route in mind, we polished the burgers in a hurry so that i can plan for the early morning departure from Pune. With lot of debate on which route to take, finally it was decided to go via Pirangut Ghat & reach Sawantwadi and then Goa. 24-Apr -Pune to Goa - Alarm promptly buzzed @4.30am, waking me as if struck by a lightning and then started the series of events, which started as a small argument & turned into a small fight with my other (better) half (Whyyyfff ) when I asked her to help me locate my tooth brush which was already packed into the luggage promptly... after the refreshing tea we headed towards my heart throbbb the Italian lady.... she took every ride into her stride and stood by all the tests till Pune & i stopped for 10 seconds and gave her a lil bow and activated the door unlock button on my lil Ganesha got the fresh flower offering and the nice car fragnance welcomed us and all the positive vibes gave me the comfort to turn ON the engine that thobbed into life in less than 2 seconds on turning the key... gave the car 1 min of gas on its natural RPM, once the heat developed raised the fuel inlet to revv the RPM needle to a onetime 4000 RPM that may have awoke the envy neighbours from thier early morning sleep... (I usually dont do this, but something in me made me do it) After the GPS caught its co-ordinates, typed Ratnagiri as the destination (1st mistake) and then GPS was all happy to take us to the Hingewadi Bridge and asked us t take right towards south... but as the road didnt have the legal right, I didnt want to go the wrong drection of te road and cause unnecessary stress early in the morning, hence as good driver turned left and to take a legal U turn... the GPS lady was politely asking me to take a U turn at the earliest possible opportunity, as i had to travel some 2.5kms to get a median the GPS automatically re-calculated the route to take the fastest route and said to continue straight when I reachd the median, as happes with young toddlers, just gave took the suggestion and followed the GPS instructions, it took me to mumbai side & i didnt realise as my mind was full of thoghts of reaching Goa via Ghat section which infused some fear of unknown into me... After reaching the toll boot realised why did i do this... but it was late to go back... hence thought lets give it to GPS and allow her to guide me thru and at that point as though someone heard me the Media Player kicked in Enigma and the voice mentioned lets this rythm guide you...... I was dumb founded as thou some one has heard the famous Akashvani from the mythological era.. this sealed my aim to reach Goa as per GPS instruction and i was guided to drive by Khapoli or Kapoli after lonavala.. as i glided down Khapoli my eyes were hunting for some ghat section... the next 30 odd kms there was no visible Ghat roads but a OK types of road (Dual lane state highway) that lead me to Dhapoli / Rantagiri /Sawantwadi & finally Candolim in North Goa. The unspoilt greenery all around was amazing and my mind was hunting for some quotes from poets, but as it happens I am curzed not to remember anything that I studied (Like the character Karna in the myth epic), hence i was consoled that there is nothing to loose as with the other character and moved onto enjoy the beautiful earth without the smallest pollution (pure Green)... Maharastra just ensure you dont disturb the setup... nature at its best. The Ghat section started and was an easy glide unlike the imagined hairpin turns the night before. Got some river following the road beside me and it was an amazing feeling to see the water follow us or the other way around all along till Sawantwadi and beyond. Stopped for morning refreshments at an unknown place (didnt bother to ask the name of the place as well.. y??) after taking some snaps (that i have uploaded already) proceeded towards Goa and the Punto was all happy to drive me to Goa.... inbetween stops to stretch my legs and then reached the destination with fond memory of all the green and hill locks... made us realise that this may be the best drive we have had in a long time (I can give equal scores to Haridwar & Jim Corbett trips, which I rate highly (not for their roads via UP) ) Reched Candolim around 7.30pm and was hunting for a good place as I hadnt booked anything and i was sure that I can manage something myself once i reach... Searched and ensured i find my way to O Hotel and got a deal for Rs 14k incl taxes and breakfast in deluxe room..comparable to internet and Ok'd the deal immediately and wanted to retire as the journey we covered was around 600 odd KMS Had if I taken the right at hingewadi i would have reached Goa in 520 KMS... 80 odd KMS in ghat kind of road is tiring and endless 25-Apr -Goa -Bike Hire & Beaches : Woke up early, had breakfast and it was a good spread with Indian and Continental stuff to choose and consume... gulped few glasses of watermelon juice and a masala omy (omlet) along with freshly baked assorted bread and butter. once done, got out and checked the nearest bike rent with the hotel gaurd and he immeidately signalled someone outside and was given some choices of latest bikes... but my mind was full of Enfield Bullet and nothing less than that was ageerable. a shiny self start bike arrived in less than 5 mins and i was told about its operations and Rs500 was collected as rent (Not sure if this was correct) and i requested for 5lts petrol and kept my wife's license as security... then weight of the bike amazed me... i havent rode a bike in last 9 odd years.. hence 1st ride to with wife was bit shaky, but the boy inside me asked me to kick the dust and move... and then the classic sound emanated from the super classic model the rythmic beats just muffed every other noise on the road... passed via Fort Aguda and every other person on the road turned and looked... a 6feeter & heavy stature trying to tame the classic beast.. my beauty who was pillion was all amuzed and was enjoying everybit of it.. & I just loved the sound and went around where the roads took me.... eached several beaches including baga, calangute etc and the famous Tito's in the evening.. missed to note the much talked glowing pool table there... but there is always a next time.