1. Introducing the smashing new Team FIAT T-Shirt !! To order yours click here : Team FIAT T-Shirt

Monsoon drive to the South

Discussion in 'Travelogues & Experiences' started by johnny, Aug 1, 2012.

  1. johnny

    johnny Regolare

    Messages:
    437
    Greater Noida
    Greater Noida
    Grande Punto 1.3
    Thanks Varoon.

    Regards
    Johnny
  2. Had u gone straight on Ooty route till Gudalur and from there turn to Nilambur and then Thrissur via Shoranur the roads were better and the distance was way shorter too...sorry that i cudnt reccomend dis early..
  3. sungoa2010

    sungoa2010

    Messages:
    2,878
    Goa
    Shiva temple in Aluva(Alwaye), will be covered almost full with the overflowing water in mansoon and it is a nice view. The priest will be using a boat to do puja.
    This time since rain was less, I am not sure about it. But it is a worth to see.
  4. johnny

    johnny Regolare

    Messages:
    437
    Greater Noida
    Greater Noida
    Grande Punto 1.3
    Update from Rameshwaram.

    I was planning an update from Kanyakumari, but, I did not have internet connectivity.

    Thanks guys for the suggestions, etc. I really wish that I had announced my intentions earlier, so that I could get your suggestions earlier. So, it is essentially my 'bad'.

    The plan was to leave Alwaye by 0700 hrs. However, we finally got on our way only by about 0745 hrs. By then the traffic density had built up to almost full strength. Till Shertallai, the road is a four lane, and we made OK progress commensurate with the traffic. From Shertallai onwards the road is totally two lane. The road condition was by and large OK. The traffic density varied, and so did our progress. Closer to Trivandrum, there are major bottlenecks at Kollam, Varkala, and Aattingal – each place adding about 20 mins to the journey duration. We finally reached Trivandrum by about 1245 hrs. We had arranged accommodation with the Air Force at Aakulam, which was very good. Aakulam road was a real mess.

    In the evening, we went exploring. The St Joseph’s cathedral at Palayam is very nice. A photo is attached.

    Palayam-palli.jpg


    By the time we left the church, there was a cloud burst, and we managed to get back to Aakulam. On the next day, we made a trip to Kovalam beach. It was nice, but, the sea was a bit rough, so we did not get into the water. A photo of Kovalam beach is attached.

    Kovalam-beach.jpg

    After Kovalam beach, we went into town for lunch. There is an old hotel called “Trivandrum Hotel” which has been renovated. It served really authentic Malayali food, both Veg & Non-Veg. I will rate the food as ‘bucket-list’ material. The hotel is on a lane which turns left from the highway just after the highway crosses the Secretariat, while heading towards the Railway Station.

    Here,I must make a mention of the Kerala police. On many occasions during our drive through Kerala, we saw instances of traffic police stopping traffic to allow pedestrians to cross. But, what really impressed us was that we witnessed a few instances where the policeman has actually escorted a small child or an old person across the street. We were pleasantly surprised.

    In the evening was the ‘highlight’ of our Trivandrum stay – a mini TFI meet organized by young Varunrtr. We got together in front of the Subway Restaurant in Infocity. It was great meeting with the TFIans from Trivandrum. My special thanks to Varun for organizing it, and another big thanks to all the TFIans who found time from their busy schedules to come and meet us. Two photos of the meet are attached.


    TFI-Trivandrum-01.jpg
    TFI-Trivandrum-02.jpg

    One of the points discussed at the mini-TFI meet was about the best route to Kanyakumari. The consensus was to follow the bye-pass till Vizingam, and then turn left and catch the NH at Balaramapuram. While at Kovalam, I had discussed the route with a Taxi driver, who had suggested continuing to Poovar, and then turning right to meet the highway close to the border. Since none of the TFIans were familiar with this route, I was in two minds. However, since this was a short leg, and also since I had no schedule to stick to, I decided to give this route a try. At Vizingam, you have to take the right fork for Poovar, and at Poovar, you have to take a right turn. Surprisingly, the road was fairly well sign posted (my MMI did not have this route and was blank till short of the NH), and was good. So, the leg was quite pleasant contrary to what I had heard.

    We got into Kanyakumari by 1000 hrs. After checking in we made a trip to the Vivekananda memorial. It is impressive. We also managed to see a church due East of town. Some photos of Kanyakumari are attached.

    Kanyakumari-view-01.jpg
    View-fom-Vivejananda-rock.jpg

    One interesting thing about Kanyakumari is that most of the restaurants did not serve ‘local’ food. You can get Gujarati, Bengali, Punjabi, Rajasthani etc. I felt it pretty strange to go all the way to Kanyakumari to eat Rajasthani/Gujarati/Punjabi food! So, after a bit of searching we managed to locate the only restaurant that serves ‘local’ food. It is just opposite the Police station, and is a small place. The food is quite nice.

    We left Kanyakumari on 09 Aug at about 0645 AM. I had planned to travel to Rameshwaram via Tirunelveli. Since the road is not really signposted, and my MMI did not seem to have maps of this area, I stopped to ask directions. I was told that the road via Thoothukoodi is shorter, and equally good. So, it was via Thoothukoodi. The road was reasonable, but with no sign posting. It was a series of long stretches through barren areas with small villages that came in between. There was very little traffic. I really think that God was with us on this leg, since any problems with the car would have put us in a soup. Anyway, we came through safely, even though the average speed was quite low. After Thoothukoody, the road improved, and I could drive much faster. We finally got in by about 1400 hrs. After checking in to the hotel, we went for a boat ride around the Rameshwaram coast. Attached are photos of the Pampan bridge which connects Rameshwaram with the mainland, and a photo taken from the boat at Rameshwaram.

    Pampan-bridge.jpg
    Rameshwaram-boat-view-02.jpg

    The plan is to drive to Velankanni tomorrow morning. By the grace of God, we have managed to stick to the schedule so far.

    Regards
    Johnny
    15 people like this.
  5. sungoa2010

    sungoa2010

    Messages:
    2,878
    Goa
    Wonderful photos. Wish all the best for rest of the journey.
  6. royj

    royj Esperto

    Messages:
    1,306
    Trivandrum
    It was nice meeting you here Johnny Sir. Have a pleasant trip on your way back.
  7. shams

    shams Esperto

    Messages:
    2,388
    Bangalore
    so nice to see how easily we can find friends in any part of india now, all because of Fiat!!
    6 people like this.
  8. sungoa2010

    sungoa2010

    Messages:
    2,878
    Goa
    This is the greatest feature of fiat cars.Exclusive feature of Fiat only.
  9. maverick

    maverick Amatore

    It was nice meeting you and your better half. Have a safe trip back home.
  10. shashanknathani

    shashanknathani Superiore

    Messages:
    993
    Pune
    Johny Sir.. You crossed Pune and I didn't knew about this... My number is 9860514424. Please do call me on your return trip. I will come to meet you and mam. Don't hesitate on the time of the day.

    Anyhow what is your return plan?

Share This Page