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Soul Searching Solo Drive - 2014

Discussion in 'Travelogues & Experiences' started by nkrishnap, Jan 4, 2015.

  1. nkrishnap

    nkrishnap Staff Member Janitor

    Messages:
    1,900
    Bangalore
    Bangalore
    Linea 1.3
    After the Jog drive in September 2014, it has been tormenting work at office with very little time for anything. With Christmas, finally managed to get a vacation approved and it was time to head out. Checked the availability of my travel buddies, but this time there were pre occupied. So decided to go ahead with the drive alone.

    There was no planned destination actually, but wanted to visit Pilliyarpatti temple and then decide from there. The Linea was services the previous week and I was all set for the drive.

    Day 1: 25th December 2014

    Started at 3 am, headed straight to Shell bunk, and fueled to the brim. The drive to Pilliyarpatti started. There was a bit of traffic even at 3 am until Krishnagiri. Made decent progress post Krishnagiri and stopped at the Saravana Bhavan (not original) a few kms after Salem. Had Idly and Dosa for breakfast followed by a strong filter coffee.

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    Drove along maintaining decent pace. A Tjet with KA03 xxxxx registration gave company for a few kms before Dindigul. Took the deviation towards Natham. The beautiful two lane roads with a few twisties made the drive delightful.

    The Tjet which gave company for some distance.

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    Reached Pilliyapatti by 11 am and there was huge rush owing to many visitors to the temple during the Sabarimala season. Found a parking slot with a bit of shade to keep the car cool as it was quite hot and sunny out there. The temple visit took about 45 mins post which I started the drive towards Kanyakumari via Madurai. Stopped for lunch at the hotel temple city.

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    After a tasty lunch filled diesel at the adjacent IOCL COCO bunk and moved on towards Kanyakumari via the bypass. After an uneventful and a slightly boring drive, reached Kanyakumari by 5:30 pm Checked in to one of the hotels which had decent car parking.

    Refreshed leisurely as it was cloudy and had no chance of catching the sunset. Had an early dinner and dosed off. Got up at 2 am and headed out to the beach road, enjoying the breeze. After spending about an hour headed back to the room and slept.

    Day 2: 26th December 2014

    Got up at 5.30 am and peeped out of the window. It was not encouraging as it was drizzling. Slept for another couple of hours. Got ready, had breakfast and headed out to Trivandrum. Why Trivandrum? I had spoken to CrazyDriver (Sujai) the previous evening and he was in Trivandrum. So decided to spend a day or two in Trivandrum before continuing the drive.

    Reached Sujai's place by 11.30 am. Spent a couple of hours and then we were off to Ponmudi. The place was crowded. Managed to click a few pics and we headed back home.

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    Returned home, parked the Linea and took out the Xcent to try some street food and a visit to the Trivandrum Central railway station. A late dinner and crashed for the day.
  2. nkrishnap

    nkrishnap Staff Member Janitor

    Messages:
    1,900
    Bangalore
    Bangalore
    Linea 1.3
    Day 3: 27th December 2014

    Got up at 6 am, refreshed, headed out to the beach for a quick photo shoot, and meet a friend at the airport who was flying to Dubai.

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    Met my friend and returned home by 10 am after tanking up fuel in the Linea. Relaxed for a while and then cleaned the car with Sujai’s help.

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    We had lunch and we headed in the Xcent out to buy some toys for my daughter. From there we headed to Kovalam beach. We got stuck in the traffic and missed the sunset. Spent a few mins at the beach and returned home.

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    Went a little early to bed as I had planned to leave by 3 am the next morning to drive back to Bangalore.

    Day 4: 28th December 2014

    Woke up at 2.30 am and got ready. Bid goodbye to Sujai and his family and started off at 3 am. Drove to Café Coffee day near Attingal for dose of cappuccino. After the coffee, drove within the speed limit of 70 kmph and was covering distance at a relatively slow pace. A few kms before Alleppey a moronic KeSRTC drive pushed me off the road and I had to swerve off the road to ensure the bus did not ram into the car. The end result a blown rear tyre. It was still dark, I pulled over to the side where the surface was flat and swapped the tyre. To my luck, the spare tyre would run in the wrong direction as the Hankooks Ventus are unidirectional tyres.

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    Drove within 50 kmph and reached Ernakulam. Had breakfast and headed to the Bridgestone select store to get the tyre direction reversed and look for an old tyre as spare.

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    Lost a good couple of hours in the process. Refueled at the IOCL bunk near Edapally and drove towards Chalakudy.

    Deviated from the highway towards Aithirapally waterfalls. Reached by 1 pm and saw a huge crowd and traffic jam. Quickly found a parking slot and headed for lunch. Clicked a couple of snaps of the falls and started the drive to Valparai.

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    The roads were good until a few kms before Malakkapara check post. The roads were real bad and it took close to an hour to cross the check post of Kerala and Tamil Nadu. The road work was going on. Stopped near the dam for a quick snap and moved on. Stopped again for a few snaps near the tea estate. As I had already lost a good amount of time with the tyre thing, I moved on without clicking many pics.

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    The ghat roads from Valparai is freshly laid is nice to drive. However, watch out for the traffic as they drive carelessly.

    Reached the outskirts of Pollachi, stopped to clean the windshield and the rear view mirrors. Drove towards Sathyamangalam avoiding the Coimbatore city. Had dinner at Sathyamangalam and drove on towards Dhimbham. Crossed the first 23 hairpin bends without much issue, but destiny had other ideas. A Truck was stuck at the hairpin bend and the traffic started piling up. It took close to 2 hours to cross the jam and then lost 30 mins again near the Talavadi check post. It was almost midnight when I crossed Kollegal.

    Drove towards Malavalli, but little did I realize that the bridge was closed for repairs. Drove back towards Kollegal and then headed towards T Narasipura. From there the google maps suggested Bannur Malavalli route. A few kms after T Narasipura was brilliant, but then that brilliance was short lived. It was all mud roads, then even worse roads closed at a few places. Searched for alternate paths at each of these places. Carefully crossed these blockages by off roading a bit. The roads all the way up to Malavalli was crap. Not a single vehicle or any soul to be seen from T Narasipura to a few KMs before Malavalli.

    Malavalli to Maddur is not smooth either. Joined the Mysore Bangalore highway and made quick progress from then on. Reached home by 4 am and crashed on the bed almost immediately. A good travel experience with a few adventures encountered during the return journey.

    Trip Stats

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    Route – Bangalore – Krishnagiri – Salem – Dindigul – Natham – Tirupattur- Pilliyarpatti – Melur – Madurai – Tirunelveli – Kanyakumari – Trivandrum – Ponmudi – Trivandrum – Chalakudy – Valaparai – Pollachi – Sathyamangalam – Chamarajanagar – T Narasipura – Malavalli – Maddur Bangalore

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  3. VahanPujari

    VahanPujari Staff Member Janitor

    Messages:
    2,303
    Mumbai
    Nice whirlwind trip & wonderful clicks !

    Can relate to Athirapalli - Valparai drive where we just had been 2 weeks back ;)
    nkrishnap likes this.
  4. Mabams1826

    Mabams1826 Amatore

    Messages:
    179
    Erode
    ERODE
    Fiat Enthusiast
    That was a quite a long solo drive! Hope you are quite refreshed now and ready to plunge in your normal routine.
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 4, 2015
    prabhjot and nkrishnap like this.
  5. Ravi

    Ravi Staff Member Janitor

    Messages:
    6,001
    Bangalore
    Grande Punto 1.3
    Nice drive and excellent pictures. You make us feel these drives are small, which is actually quite long.
    Great to catch some Fiat on roads.

    Damm, bad luck.
    nkrishnap likes this.

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