Sunday, February 5, 2012

One Long Drive

Though the Wagon R became a part of our family for quite some time, her service usually limited within 15 km trips. An occasional 110km trip to Kumarakam is something she gets to fight boredom. And except one trip to Thiruvananthapuram, around 300km,we never had a long trip. So I was all excited when we got the permission to take the car to Bangalore, around 500km, and first time crossing state border :)

My parents, being the parents they are, didn't give me permission to take it alone. Got a driver friend, Girish who, though had strict instruction from them not to let me drive, bend it a little bit ;)

We started early morning. The easy route through Palakkad, Hosur was avoided because of the ongoing Mullapperiyaar issue. We wanted to avoid driving through Tamil Nadu, so chose the Kozhikode, Bandipur, Mysore route. Soon we realised it was a mistake...

Kozhikode route is in fact almost 20km less than the Hosur route. But, most of it, except, Waynad and Bandipur when we drive through forest, is through towns. Busy towns with narrow road. And lots of curves and humps. We hardly touched 40kmph those regions. One thing noticed was, everywhere, stray dog nuisance was on rise. They were doing all the nonsense on road and I ended up hitting one, though it was not a bad hit, I hit!

The ride through forest was good. Waynad forest - it was the ghat section and the hair pin curves ( Girish didn't let me ride there :( ). The beauty of the sceneries though was completely taken by the bad quality roads. Poor car was struggling to find enough space to roll its tyres and I was worried whether the deep gutters disturb its suspension / or whether its bottom hit the road and what not...
Bandipur stretch was a different story. It was wide roads, almost good too, but there were humps almost every 200m, mostly for the safety of wild animals. I remember meeting a herd of elephants during one of my night trip in bus, so was hoping (!) to see them then... All we see was elephant dung on the road, not the animal as is :).
Once we left the forest, it was again busy roads. But this time, it was a different story. Both sides of the road were Ragi cultivation. The farmers dry it on road, so that the vehicles will help the grain separate from the plant! But the farmers who spread and collect it makes ride slow. Was not sure whether the highway belongs to them or the vehicles ! One poor sight was the over loaded bull carts. The carts were so heavy that the poor animals were not able to walk straight. And their drivers were hitting them hard to make them move. I felt death may be the only escape for those poor creatures...

Once we were in Mysore border, we wanted to avoid Mysore city and was looking for the cut to Nice road. We asked for direction and ended up where we started! Then a funny auto rickshaw driver helped us. He was saying ' it is ok road, not nice road! And for that you may take right and go straight!'. Once we were in the elevated, supposed to be express way, we realise what he meant. The heavy toll was not justified. Though the road was wide, it was very much un-even. There was almost an inch difference between lines and during overtaking it was causing trouble, made us go slower than we should be. And the pot-holes - it was as bad as Bangalore ring roads! The directions to get out of expressway - it also was confusing. They say only 'Exit to Bangalore' and not which part of Bangalore! We, only guided by intuition exited on the third one and thank God it turned out to the right one!

The drive in Bangalore city limits was another episode. In no time I was wondering whether I made a mistake to get the car here. Pure chaos. Bike here never felt this bad. I was sure I will not be able to move even a meter in this kind of traffic. Anyway after a good 13 hours, we reached home. Not sure, whether I was happier or my driver friend, who sarcastically said, if I need his service again, shouldn’t fail to call him !

Anyway, car is here. Though exhausted, I was back with my wife. All I needed was a hot bath and a nice sleep...

+'s about the trip : The speed governor was not with me, so I could go beyond 60kmph
-'s : I was missing my Love, with her, the trip would have been a totally different story
PS : My wife changes herself between speed governor and Love on trips ;)


Post a Comment