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PUN-TOURED: TOUR DE PONDY

Discussion in 'Travelogues & Experiences' started by nibedk, May 3, 2015.

  1. nibedk

    nibedk Regolare

    Messages:
    291
    Hyderabad
    Grande Punto 1.3 90 HP
    It’s been 11 months now since Taurus came home. In my short ownership of the Fiat as well as my previous ownership of various cars and bikes I do understand there is no single vehicle which is perfect.

    My Punto isn’t perfect as well nor were any of the cars or bikes that I have owned or rode. Each vehicle has its own strength and weaknesses and one slowly accepts it. You learn to work around its strength, bypassing its weakness and connect with your vehicle. My connection with Taurus too has grown stronger with each passing day. One thing that stands out with Fiats is that it plasters a wide grin on your face every time you are behind the wheel. The urge to just drive your Fiat is like no other. I have loved all my vehicles before this as well but none has come close to Punto as a driver’s car. The more you drive it the more you want. As a driver’s car Fiats surely will be up there with the best in world.

    We have had 5 trips now in the first eight months since Taurus came home. Three of them were close to 2.5 K kms trip. Such is the joy while driving this car that we have been finding excuses to plan a trip each time there is a holiday. The only thing that stops us from making more trips is Vitamin M. My first travelogue is already posted here

    http://www.teamfiat.com/threads/pun-toured-the-beautiful-western-ghats.13197/

    Two more are already being documented including the current one.

    This particular trip was done during the republic day long weekend. We started on 24th Jan 2015 and came back on 27th Jan 2015. Before I move on the customary route and trip stats.

    Route.jpg

    We took the highlighted route and the roads are brilliant throughout. This route is close to 800 Kms and touches NH9 for about 80 Kms and then around 220 Kms on SH2 and the rest 500 kms on NH5 and NH45. The SH2 is a state highway and is laid out well but is a little narrower than highways. But maintaining speeds is pretty easy. Lots of villages and human settlements though tend to bring down the speeds. I knew about ECR road connecting Chennai and Pondi but took the NH45 both the times. What I didn’t know that it’s one of the most scenic roads in India along the east coast. In order to save some time I took the NH45 both the times. I came to know of this after the trip was over. Regret not taking the ECR at least while coming back. May be some other time but felt sad that I didn’t take that route. I should have googled about ECR before.

    The trip stats

    HYD_PON_HYD.jpg

    Distance Covered: 1779 kms
    Travel Time (In car): 32:07 hrs
    Average Speed: 55 km/h
    Mileage: 14.9 km/l (MID)
    Mileage: 14.2 km/l (Tankful Method)
    Total Diesel Consumed: 125 liters approx.

    So my observation that MID shows a mileage which is in the range 0.5-1.0 km/l more than tank full method proves true again.

    Well I know these stats really aren’t great for MJD and that too for a highway trip. As they say stats hide more than they reveal. The average speeds seems very humble but these have been bought down really because of the in city drive within Pondi which bought both the average speeds as well as the mileage. If I take out the city drive the average speeds would be closer to 80 km/h. The learnings that I took from my previous trips was to drive the best possible speeds the car and the driver can manage. It’s always better to be at your destination before dark sets in. No point taking all the stress with your loved ones by your side. I choose to be a lot more attentive during the day time and drive at the best possible speeds as possible. It’s a little difficult to maintain good speeds after evenings as it gets darker. I have now developed this habit of doing all these calculations in my head and keep up the pace. But being a FIATIAN and member of this esteemed community I make sure that my drive doesn’t cause any problems whatsoever to fellow riders on the road.
    PradeepM, prabhjot and Raj_pol like this.
  2. nibedk

    nibedk Regolare

    Messages:
    291
    Hyderabad
    Grande Punto 1.3 90 HP
    Jan 24 2015 - Day 1

    Start Early, Drive Sensibly and Reach on Time

    That’s the mantra we have been following since the late night driving experiences. We planned to start before 4:00 AM this time but with a kid it’s never really easy. They behave exactly opposite of what you expect them to when required. We had done all our pre travel preparations before evening the previous day. I worked from home the day before and we retired by 8:00 PM. We had made sure that our daughter doesn’t sleep in the afternoon but still she kept us awake until after 10:00 PM. We woke up around 3:00 AM and it was not until after 5:00 AM that we started our trip.

    Start of trip pic

    P1030383.JPG

    It’s still sleeping time for my princess

    P1030387.JPG

    We started our trip at 5:20 AM and its really smooth route towards Vijayawada, Chennai etc. from ECIL side of the city. With the ORR now open from Ghatekesar other destinations like Bangalore, Srisailam etc. is also stress free now. When we did the Pondi trip though ORR was still not operational. We took the Warangal Highway, touched NH9 for some distance before taking the SH2. The roads were pretty good throughout. Once you hit NH5 it’s all smooth till you hit Pondicherry.

    It was still dark when we touched NH9 and as soon as there was light on the horizon the climate changed completely. It became extremely foggy and stayed like that till 7:30 AM in the morning. It was difficult to maintain speeds and the narrower SH2 didn’t help either. With human settlements along the way one had to very attentive and careful.

    Few early morning pictures.

    P1030390.JPG

    Visbility was very low due to the fog

    P1030392.JPG

    That’s the sun :p

    P1030404.JPG

    We had already crossed NH9 and were on SH2 when the fog finally gave way to bright sunlight.

    Our first break somewhere on SH2

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    Few scenic snaps on the way.

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    The roads were great though narrow when compared to NH

    P1030430.JPG

    With sun shining in all its glory maintaining speeds were much easier now

    P1030432.JPG

    Greeenn :D…..

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    A temple on top of some hill

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    We usually pack our breakfast to save some time. Pity we can’t pack it for beloved Taurus. Break @ Ongole to fill up Taurus

    P1030453.JPG

    Finally we hit NH5 towards Chennai

    P1030461.JPG

    Kept the engine on boil throughout till we reached Chennai. Plan was to much as much miles as possible as the visibility was great throughout the day

    P1030463.JPG

    NH5 is pretty scenic as well

    P1030466.JPG
    Being a long weekend we encountered thick traffic as the day went on

    P1030479.JPG

    Whenever we found empty stretches we increased the pace. Wife has been sharing the driving load since we bought Taurus. This time too it wasn’t any different. As we neared Chennai the climate became a little more likeable with clouds gathering over.

    P1030488.JPG

    One more break for Taurus. Isn’t he quite a poser?

    P1030489.JPG

    Touched Chennai around 2:00 PM and stopped for lunch. Pure veg restaurant and we had special Thali. I am a hardcore non veggie who loves South Indian thali as well.

    P1030496.JPG

    The stats till Chennai

    HYD_CHN.jpg

    We could have saved at least an hour if not for the heavy fog earlier in the day. Good speeds, good enough mileage. I have stopped bothering about mileage after our trip to Kudremukh. The goal is to reach the destination at the earliest. We were on track to reach Pondi before its dark.
    The upcoming long weekend made sure we were held up due to heavy traffic. We took the bypass and never actually got into Chennai but still the traffic was very heavy and it took us quite a while before we touched NH45.
  3. nibedk

    nibedk Regolare

    Messages:
    291
    Hyderabad
    Grande Punto 1.3 90 HP
    Artificial bird. My daughter has a knack up picking up unusual stuff when we do such trips

    P1030497.JPG

    We took a quick tea break at around 5:00 PM

    P1030500.JPG

    As we kept getting closer to Pondi the sun was going down the horizon

    P1030506.JPG

    Finally it retired for the day and we were pretty close to Pondi by then.

    P1030517.JPG

    It was around 6:30 PM when we touched Pondicherry. We reached our destination around 7:30 PM. Traffic was very heavy in Chennai and Pondicherry. The long weekend had many revelers from Chennai and Bangalore converging @ Pondi. It took us close to an hour to cover around 8-10 kms within the city to reach our destination. I will share the pics of our stay later in the thread.

    Chennai to Pondi Stats

    CHN_PON.jpg

    The traffic while exiting Chennai and after entering Pondi really screwed up the stats. The speeds were way off the mark. I am pretty sure if I exclude Chennai and Pondi in city driving the speeds would be around 80 km/h mark. The only upside is slightly better FE.

    Stats for the whole day

    HYD_PON.jpg

    Pretty acceptable figures for a drive of more than 800 kms. We had ample time in hand before we retired for the day. Roads were good for around 95% of the drive. It was only the drive inside Chennai and Pondi which was a little stressful due to bumper to bumper traffic. NH45 drive between Chennai and Pondi was a cautious one too. Too many vehicles due to folks from nearby cities coming for an extended weekend to relax and unwind made sure one had to be attentive throughout the course. On the NH45 keeping the speeds up was not a problem at with wide roads.

    We stayed at a relative’s place in Pondi. All had a filling dinner and there was no fatigue after the drive. We retired for the day 11:30 PM as we wanted to start early the next day.
    --- Double Post Merged, May 3, 2015, Original Post Date: May 3, 2015 ---
    Jan 25 2015 - Day 2

    The day started at 7:00 Am. We got ready and had a princely breakfast. The start was delayed as we waited for everyone to get ready. We had our uncle and aunts joining in for the city tour. Taurus for the first time was loaded to brim. We were 5 adults and a kid.

    First we went for the Paradise Beach. You have to go to Chunnambar beach house and take a boat to Paradise beach. We reached around 10:00 AM and could not even find a place to park our car. Waiting there would have delayed everything so we put off our plans for the next day.

    We straight away headed for the Ousteri Lake. Pretty peaceful and picturesque

    P1030539.JPG

    A boat in Ousteri

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    Lakeramma :hilarious:

    P1030571.JPG

    Taurus resting in the shade

    P1030572.JPG

    The sun was pretty harsh that day and everyone wanted to go back for a quick lunch after which we planned to visit Auroville.

    Daughter in playful mood near Auroville

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    Discs used in Matri Mandir

    P1030583.JPG

    Matri Mandir

    P1030594.JPG

    I had been to Pondi before as well during my bachelor days as well. Auroville is such a calm and peaceful place. It felt so soothing inside Matri Mandir. I wanted to sit there for a long time. Mind was feeling so uncluttered. The sound of birds chirping, sounds of leaves rubbing against each other due to wind. I just loved it. It was pretty busy the last time I went there along with friends. But this time around it felt awesome.
  4. nibedk

    nibedk Regolare

    Messages:
    291
    Hyderabad
    Grande Punto 1.3 90 HP
    It was already 5:00 PM when we left Auroville. Wife and aunts wanted to do some marketing. Finally we went back home by 8:00 PM. I used the time in evening discovering the house (rather palace). It was such a lovely place. French architecture all around and I got to admit every stuff was handpicked with lot of care. Each piece of furniture complimented each other and the house as well. It even had a swimming pool. It was nothing less than a 5 Star hotel. I can guarantee that any one will think so unless told that this place is personal property. Staying here made our trip a lot more memorable.

    Few pics of the house

    :cow: Bulls on the wall

    P1030869.JPG

    Open dining area

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    Tastefully done ….

    P1030872.JPG

    An Italian among the French … Vespa :kiss:

    P1030873.JPG

    Swimming pool

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    Swim & Swing :wacky:

    P1030881.JPG

    Guest Area
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    Solid wood work every where

    P1040028.JPG

    Brilliant Paintings all around

    P1040030.JPG

    Stairway

    P1040031.JPG

    Our bedroom … Look at the woodwork and painting

    P1040034.JPG

    This is all I could capture before we retired for the day. We needed to start early next day as we had a lot of things left to be covered. We needed to be on time for Paradise so that we do not have to wait for boat, parking etc.
  5. nibedk

    nibedk Regolare

    Messages:
    291
    Hyderabad
    Grande Punto 1.3 90 HP
    Jan 26 2015 - Day 3

    We woke up by 6:30 AM and got ready by 8:00 AM. We were at Chunnambar by 8:30 AM and were among the early ones to be there. Got into the first boat of the day. You get a lot of boat options there including speed boats as well. The view is very scenic on the way to Paradise beach.

    Back waters

    P1030621.JPG

    Bridge as seen from the water

    P1030622.JPG

    Cormorants

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    Greenery all around the water bodies

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    See Papa :p … I am not afraid of water

    P1030634.JPG

    Sea & Sand Scape

    P1030640.JPG

    Papa Beti bonding :kiss: ….

    P1030669.JPG

    On to the beach now

    P1030693.JPG

    Child’s Play

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    Pano … Sometimes they don’t stitch well … They best I could do

    P1030741.JPG

    Few more back water pics.

    P1030775.JPG

    Coconut Trees

    P1030782.JPG

    Blue Sky … Greenery & Dark waters

    P1030792.JPG
    --- Double Post Merged, May 4, 2015 ---
    We headed to Serenity beach next.

    Somewhere on the way to Serenity

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    Temple near the beach

    P1030803.JPG

    Taurus enjoying sea breeze

    P1030804.JPG

    Its me … Look @ the cloud patterns

    P1030820.JPG

    Colorful boats

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    Touring partners

    P1030854.JPG

    There were some more beaches along the same road. We chose not to visit anymore. It was getting hotter and the breeze blowing from the shore was becoming hotter. We got back for lunch and were back to 5 on board again.
    Last edited: May 4, 2015
    pdash likes this.
  6. nibedk

    nibedk Regolare

    Messages:
    291
    Hyderabad
    Grande Punto 1.3 90 HP
    Immaculate Conception Cathedral

    P1030882.JPG

    Immaculate Conception Cathedral

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    Immaculate Conception Cathedral

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    Nemo & Marlin

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    Toy Train Ride @ Pondicherry Botanical Gardens

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    @ Pondi Botanical Gardens

    P1030969.JPG

    Church of the Sacred Heart of Jesus

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    Church of the Sacred Heart of Jesus

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    Church of the Sacred Heart of Jesus

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    Eglise de Notre Dame des Anges

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    Eglise de Notre Dame des Anges

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    Eglise de Notre Dame des Anges

    P1030989.JPG

    It was getting darker and we dashed to the Navagraha temple. It’s in the outskirts of the city and difficult to find as well. Google maps directed us to a wrong place and after asking locals for direction we found it after quite some time.Camera wasn’t allowed inside and this is all I could muster.

    P1040002.JPG

    The temple was very clean inside.

    P1040003.JPG

    While coming back we also visited Shani Temple before going to Auro Beach(Promenade). I remember this place from my last visit and it was pretty good back then. Now it’s completely commercialized. The rock beach doesn’t look natural now with vendors and some buildings around. The place was very busy and we had short stay there for about 30 mins only.

    Gandhi Status @ Promenade

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    Nehru Statue @ Promenade

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    French War Memorial

    P1040022.JPG

    It was 8:30 PM when we had delicious Local Pizza. It was very tasty and we ate to our fill. We had covered almost everything that we planned.
    --- Double Post Merged, May 4, 2015 ---
    Stats within the city

    CITY.jpg

    Pathetic to say the least. Speeds had to be low especially within the city but I just couldn’t believe the fuel efficiency. We were 5 full grown adults all through within the city limits and I thought it may have been the reason. I dropped everyone off at home. Then I went to get the car ready for the return journey. Filled him up to brim and then checked the tire pressure. Then I realized that I had not checked the tire pressure since starting the trip. I usually fill him up and get the tires pressure checked before a trip. But this time I didn’t do it as there was ¾th the diesel left in the tank before we started. I had filled up the car once at Ongole but they didn’t have air pressure machine working. All tires had around 25-26 PSI and I got them back to 33 PSI. Low tire pressure and 5 adults on board and the fuel efficiency took a dip. I usually keep my tires around 32 PSI for city drives. For highway drives with luggage its 33 PSI that I prefer.

    Full stats till now

    HYD_CHN_PON_CITY.jpg

    The in city travel screwed up stats completely. Average speeds were seriously down and fuel efficiency went down considerably.

    With all set for the return trip we all retired around 11:00 PM.
    Last edited: May 4, 2015
  7. nibedk

    nibedk Regolare

    Messages:
    291
    Hyderabad
    Grande Punto 1.3 90 HP
    Day 4

    We were all set by 7:00 AM to restart our journey back home to Hyderabad. I aimed to do the return trip back within 10 hours. We took the same route while coming back as well.

    Early morning drive

    P1040040.JPG

    Tea break on NH45

    P1040049.JPG

    NH5 The Weather was better during return

    P1040081.JPG

    A short break

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    We had our lunch around 12:30 PM and continued our journey. It got hotter as the day progressed.

    P1040098.JPG

    We filler up Taurus again @ Ongole @ the same IOC bunk. Return journey was pretty uneventful and went well.

    Hanuman Statue

    P1040104.JPG

    Back on SH2

    P1040133.JPG

    The sun finally bid goodbye

    P1040132.JPG


    I thought that we could do 800 kms within 10 hrs and we almost did it. We were almost on track till it was dark. The traffic increased considerably and was difficult maintaining speeds after that. Our average speeds were around 83-84 km/h and came down considerably once we neared Hyderabad. We reached home around 7:40 PM. The stats were pretty good except the FE.

    PON_HYD.jpg

    We had a great trip no doubt. We stayed at a nice place and had gracious hosts. We covered almost everything that we had planned to. Taurus performed admirably doing great speeds still being pretty efficient. It might have been more efficient if not for less pressure in the tires. All in all a very satisfying trip and much more satisfying drive.
  8. Kiran_Borra

    Kiran_Borra Novizio

    Messages:
    46
    Hyderabad
    Very Nice Travelogue Nibed.
    Thanks for sharing!
    nibedk likes this.
  9. nibedk

    nibedk Regolare

    Messages:
    291
    Hyderabad
    Grande Punto 1.3 90 HP

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