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Round trip of 4600 kms

Discussion in 'Travelogues & Experiences' started by shams, Dec 13, 2011.

  1. BoseSuman

    BoseSuman Superiore

    Midnapur (W.B) & Hyderabad (A.P) India.
    Linea 1.3
    Awesome Shams. Hope you enjoyed Driving NH7 & NH5. I also did 2 drive Hyd to Hampi ( Hyd>Gooty>Guntakal>Bellary>Hospet) & Hyd to Midnapore ( Hyd>Vijaywada>Vizag>Bhubaneswar>Kharagpur>Midnapore). Roads are just awesome.
  2. Ravi

    Ravi Staff Member Janitor

    Grande Punto 1.3
    Brilliant Sham.
    Even without pictures, nice to read your experiences.

    Good that you were alone and can take this decision to sleep in car.:up
  3. fiatlover

    fiatlover Esperto

    Grande Punto 1.4
    Great write up, Shams! I enjoyed reading it or rather, experiencing it. Now awaiting rest of the story of your travel!
  4. shams

    shams Esperto

    Thanks guys for your kind comments..

    Continued from post #18...

    Woke up around 7AM. Had not put any alarm because I wanted to wake up fully fresh. Came out of the car to find out where to head for the morning rituals. Finished quickly, said goodbye to couple of guys at the bunk and sat in the car.

    Was feeling little hungry. Took out another half litre packet of ready-to-drink milk and gulped it! Started the car and left. Time would have been around 7:15 AM.

    I had information about the road condition only till Lakhnadon which was around 170 kms from here (Kamptee, near Nagpur). And as per that information road from here to Seoni, that was around 110 kms was horrible. Most of it was ghat road with potholes and craters everywhere!!

    They were indeed horrible but not to that extent where my punto would complain.
    Just after the potholed ghats started, a safari and a scorpio approaching from behind started growing in size in punto’s rear view mirror. Like any other Fiat, my punto did not take that well. She made sure that both were behind her for the next 45 minutes until she had to stop for my breakfast!

    Notice the safari and scorpio in the ORVM
    2011-12-04 08.19.36.jpg

    Some curious onlookers in the Pench National Park
    2011-12-04 08.31.22.jpg
    2011-12-04 08.31.25.jpg
    2011-12-04 08.31.39.jpg

    This place called Bison Highway Treat (where I stopped for breakfast) was within the limits of Pench National Park and it belonged to MP tourism department. It was pretty neat and clean and had that jungle touch. Had some light Alu-Poha there along with tea as I didn’t want to take chances with paranthas considering I still had a long way to cover.

    2011-12-04 08.49.04.jpg

    I also enquired here about the road conditions ahead. Got the information that roads will be good after some 3 kms and would continue to be good till some distance after Jabalpur. Jabalpur was some 150 kms from here. The bad news was that after Jabalpur there was a stretch between Katni and Rewa where roads were supposed to be really bad.

    This stretch was around 130 kms. The hotel guy advised me to take a detour on this route which would make the distance longer by 80 kms. I felt it wouldn’t save me much time.

    Anyways, I left from there with a happy tummy and slightly worried mind (because of the road conditions).

    Before Jabalpur, there were couple of stretches of newly laid 4 lane NH7 roads, of around 25-30 kms each. These were undoubtedly the best roads my punto has seen till date! It was like many straight stretches of more than 1 km or so with no other vehicle in sight and the road ahead visible clearly till say 0.5 to 1 km. I did speeds of 150 kms/hr continuously here touching 170 few times and reaching the maximum speed of 175 kms/hr couple of times.
    At 175 my punto was contented and it didn’t want to go further although roads were still inviting her. A 90hp would have easily done 200 here I feel.

    But this pleasure was short lived as I entered Jabalpur town and it took some good 30 minutes to cross it and come back on the highway. There was no by-pass road for Jabalpur.

    Would have crossed Jabalpur somewhere around 1 PM. From here to Katni the road was two-lane and not so smooth.

    After Katni, found a Bharat Petroleum Ghar dhaba where I re-fuelled both myself and my punto.
    As expected the horrifying road started very soon. Road was virtually non existent for most part of a stretch of around 100 kms. This road was so bad that it seemed like it would never end. I actually waved hand at 3-4 oncoming vehicles to stop them and ask that after how many kms this band road would end. All of them disappointed by saying there is still more distance left. It was so bad that I felt punto was literally at god’s mercy here. Anything from a puncture to a shock absorber breakdown could have happened here.

    The non existent (no)road
    2011-12-04 16.27.13.jpg

    I forgot to mention before that, at the time of commencing this journey I was having slight body pain and weakness. To be on the safer side I had taken pain killer and vitamin tablets and also kept some to be consumed later.

    This Katni-Rewa stretch took such a toll that my left knee started to pain badly due to the extended use of clutch. I would have driven continuously at speeds of 5-10 kmph for around three hours.
    Stopped the car on the side to stretch my legs and have something to re-energize myself. Had some packaged juice that I was carrying which did give me some much needed energy.

    But the knee was paining quite a lot and it was going to make the drive pretty disconcerting like this. Remembered that I was carrying Iodex pain balm in my bag. Took it out and applied generously on the left knee before driving off from there. After some distance the pain stopped and roads also started to appear again.

    It was here that I decided to take a different route on my way back. Till now I had planned to take the same route back to Bangalore.

    It was around 5 pm and I had covered only 500 kms since morning. Around 500 kms more of unknown roads to go! Was running late!!

    This view was a soothing experience after driving on the nightmarish road some time back
    2011-12-04 16.54.40.jpg
    Last edited: Jan 20, 2012
    4 people like this.
  5. Ravi

    Ravi Staff Member Janitor

    Grande Punto 1.3
    Please continue with next post, I am waiting.
  6. shams

    shams Esperto

    Continued from post #24...

    Some 30 kms ahead of Rewa, there was a V junction of roads where I had to decide whether to continue on NH7 till Varanasi or turn left from the V towards Allahabad on NH27 and from there take NH2 and come to Varanasi. The Allahabad option was slightly longer but I was going to decide based on the road conditions. Since Allahabad-Varanasi was part of GQ, i knew it would be nice 4 lane roads. Varanasi from here was some 200 kms via NH7 and via Allahabad it was 230.

    Right at the V junction there were some sweet shops. I stopped near one of those to enquire about the roads ahead. Had couple of sweets there including a cup of nice Rabri and some tea. Came to know that NH27 from here to Allahabad was not in good shape. I was advised to continue on NH7 itself till Varanasi which was said to be good 2 lane road. Paid for the stuff i had taken from the shop and left.

    It was around 7 PM in the evening and Varanasi was some 200 kms away. I had decided to halt somewhere near Varanasi, probably after crossing the town.

    At this time I wanted to drive fast and reach Varanasi as soon as possible but the road conditions (potholes appearing all of a sudden) along with insufficient lights were not allowing me to do so safely. I decided to look for some vehicle which was moving faster than my punto and tail it. suddenly one sarkari (government vehicle) Bolero overtook me. It was going quite fast. I thought this is the one and began tailing it maintaining a safe distance.

    Interesting part was that the Bolero was having the red light on its hood which was being switched on only when it was cutting across the traffic and overtaking other vehicles. I was following it like an escort vehicle. Drove like this for couple of hours until the Bolero stopped in one of the towns.

    Was feeling tired but was lucky that sleep had not started to haunt me till now. This was another time when it looked like the road was endless. I kept changing songs not liking most of them, even the ones that I usually like very much. Only kishore kumar’s songs were the ones that were pleasing the ears at that time. There was a list of 12-13 songs which I played some 3-4 times.

    To keep me interested two Innova’s came from behind and one of them went ahead of me. I thought of tailing the Innova now. Followed it for some time only to observe that it was being driven quite recklessly unlike the Bolero (whom I was tailing till sometime back) which was going fast but not rash.

    I thought its not a good idea tailing this guy and without any concious effort I happened to overtake the Innova and continued. But he didn’t want to stay behind even with his not so great driving skills. I was in no mood to race that time but since vindhyachal ghat section with little twisties kind of road had started now, punto with my normal driving without any extra effort stayed ahead consistently. After a while I slowed down and let him pass respecting his desire to overtake me with multiple failed attempts in the past 15-20 minutes.

    I drove behind him for next few kms . In the light my punto’s high beams I could see there were some 8 people in the Innova with a small one or two year old kid in a lady’s arms on the rear seat. Few minutes later before the ghats ended there was a sharp curve to the right. The Innova guy with the way he was driving failed to sight it on time. Somehow he managed to turn with his brakes screeching as loud as they could. There was some muddy part of the the road on both sides. The Innova ended up on this muddy part on the left side barely having escaped a toppling. Shaken by the incident they stopped right there.

    I was watching all this from behind and having seen the way this guy was driving for last one hour or so i was infuriated. I went near the then stationary Innova, rolled down my passenger window, his window was already down, I told him ‘thoda theek se chalao, bahot rash chala rahe ho’(drive carefully, you are driving very rash) and I moved ahead. For another couple of kms this guy was behind me after which he again overtook me and continued with his reckless driving. I thought some people never understand!!

    At around 10 pm, got stuck in an irritating traffic jam at a railway crossing which consumed a good 30 minutes. Continued driving and crossed the river Ganga passing Varanasi around 11 pm. Decided to stop near Ghazipur town which was another 80 kms from here. Reached there at around 1:30 am, found a dhaba which was open at that time. It had a big parking space. Checked with the owner if I could park my punto there and sleep for the night in the car. As expected, he said no problems. I parked the car in a suitable position so that the lights didn’t disturb me much, reclined the driver’s seat fully and called it a day!

    Day 2 stats:
    Distance covered: around 810 kms. 150kms more to go before I reached my destination
    Driving time: Approx 17 hrs 30 minutes. 07:00 to 01:30 with few breaks of total one hour.
    Highway: NH7 till Varanasi then NH29 till Ghazipur.
    6 people like this.
  7. shams

    shams Esperto

    Continued from post #26...

    Woke up at 6:00 am next morning only to find it half dark and fully covered with fog. Put alarm of 6:30 and slept again. This time when I woke up the fog was only slightly less but the darkness had gone. Since I was in a hurry to reach my destination, I had to start without any further delay.

    Started and drove with the hazard lights on with another one hour or so. Had forgotten to mention that last night also i was driving with the hazard lights on as were most of the other vehicles given the foggy conditions. Mine is an Active variant without fog lights but in those conditions even the cars with fog lights had their hazard lights on.

    Now i had to go through state highways and village roads where there were multiple options with some of the roads not being in good condition. So even though i had my MapMyIndia LX130, I kept on asking the route so that i dont end up venturing into some very bad road.

    Finally after driving on all kinds of bad to worse roads I reached my destination at around 11:30 am. Since I wanted to give a surprise to my parents who were already there, I had not asked the route (one with better roads) to anyone. Because of this I had to drive on a variety of surfaces (Yes, some of them can be better described as surfaces rather than roads).

    Some pictures from the 3rd day before reaching the destination in Siwan, Bihar. Had driven little over 2100 kms to reach here having started from Bangalore some 57 hours back.

    2011-12-05 08.12.04.jpg

    2011-12-05 09.25.50.jpg

    2011-12-05 09.26.15.jpg

    2011-12-05 10.42.24.jpg

    2011-12-05 10.46.43.jpg

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    2011-12-05 10.46.51.jpg

    2011-12-05 11.04.01.jpg
    8 people like this.
  8. That's really nice looking Hip-Hop black Punto, after reading your travelogue I felt like I was sitting next you in the same car. man you have unmatched writing skills.
  9. Ravi

    Ravi Staff Member Janitor

    Grande Punto 1.3
    Wow, finally one one side travel is done, without much issue.

    Keep it coming.
  10. Hey, awaiting the return trip details,please upadte soon.

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