November 30, 2012
The light November drizzle was just the right signal that the road trip to Bangalore would be just fine. Every time I have moved houses or cities, it has always rained, even off season. For every good thing that has happened, in my life, it has rained 🙂 so I was happy. Rohit ofcourse felt differently !
It took nearly till 10 to complete putting things in the car – the Yeti is deceptively small looking … It holds a ton of stuff. We left sharp at 5.22 am in the morning today and we were at Agra before 8 am. The Yamuna expressway is like the autobahn. Just loved the drive, didn’t have to come down below 140 kmph even once.
Once you hit Agra, it’s back to India. We followed the direction board saying “light vehicles to Gwalior” and reached the point that had a series of thick iron rods like a gate …. From where the only thing that could pass was a cycle or motorbike. My worst behavior started right there with lovely colourful swearing !
Then through the road to Gwalior I behaved like an idiot :):) and nearly drove Krishnan up the wall. We had brothers of Rajesh Khanna swaying onto the road in bright coloured shirts, all forms of transport jostling for space on the tiny road that passes for a National Highway and no direction boards at all – so you stopped and asked for directions every now and then, so much time wasted.
We did 208 Kms in about two hours, and then five hours to do the next 300 kms. The way from Gwalior to Shivpuri has about 20 kms of thick traffic through small towns. And then some amazing views of India’s heartland. The only thing we felt really bad was – we have such a beautiful country, but we don’t seem to be making any effort to build any infrastructure that will allow us to enjoy the beauty. 🙁
There is no bye-pass to Gwalior through Agra, and then you touch the peripheries of Gwalior again, heavy traffic.
The worst is the stretch after Narsingapur till you reach Bhopal city … We had to search for a bit of road surface amidst the craters 🙁 it took us nearly an hour plus to navigate 25 kms. We entered Bhopal city at 6.30 pm, a good two hours later than what we should have. Am planning to write to the chief Minister who has otherwise done a great job with Madhya Pradesh. The Yeti got tested well and came out trumps – it is so much fun to drive the Yeti.
Dinner is done, a refreshing bath on its way at the beautiful Noor-Us-Sabah, one of the palaces of the Nawab of Pataudi. Planning to leave again at 5 am tomorrow. Tomorrow is the long day, nearly 850 kms. The view of the city of Bhopal from Noor-Us-Sabah is breathtaking !
Rajesh, Manish – I did behave myself and rotated time at the steering with Krishnan. I did misbehave by giving too much gyan during Agra to Gwalior, but the next stretch I behaved myself.
Will try and update this page every time we stop tomorrow.
Dec 1, 2012
Vishal, wish you many many happy returns of the day 🙂
We are ready to leave Bhopal. The pleasure of a clean bathroom !!!! Why don’t we have clean public bathrooms in India ??
I forgot to mention yesterday, our cellphone connectivity was better than the roads 🙂 some things do work in India.
Krishnan driving. Left at 5.20 sharp. Gurgaon to Bhopal is 772kms
It took us 40 minutes to get out of Bhopal and find the highway. :(:(:(:( precious time wasted because there are no direction boards anywhere in any city of India. The joke of yesterday – in the stretch after Narsingapur where we were searching for a strip of road amongst craters, they had road signs every few 100 mts saying the speed limit was 30 kmph !! Really, they thought they built an F1 track ???
And people driving with high beam all the time and why are there craters on the sides of the road ?
The pleasures of technology – chatting on Facebook with Manish, 40 kms outside Bhopal !!!
We are still 36 kms from Nagpur – the big reason is what Krishnan’s statement of the day is, we were on “Notional Highway” 69 instead on “National Highway” :(:( there are stretches of world class road and then no roads, so you are constantly moving from Gear 1 to gear 6 !!
Nisha, thank Kishore for the banana chips… They are keeping my mouth busy and in good behavior. :):) the joke of the day till now is Vedavalli trying to explain you to me as “Aaliyah’s mom”
I will take civilization and awesome roads anytime !! Madhya Pradesh while being drop dead gorgeous to look at, kills you with no roads 🙁
We reached Nagpur around 1 pm a full 1.5 hours late. And while we were asking for directions a true Good Samaritan self confessed Sindhi came by and showed us the way using his vehicle as a pilot scooter ! He is a taxi service owner and likes to show the way – God bless people like him. The 65 kms to Jamb was a breeze, back to autobahn. Don’t take the bypass in Nagpur, it adds 25 kms. Go through the town – much shorter to reach NH7. We are right now in about 35 kms of bad roads as predicted by the Sindhi. We should be back on NH7 shortly. Now bad roads are even more difficult to deal with after tasting autobahn for about 100 kms.
Shivraj Singh Chauhan has work to do if he gets elected for another term.
At home in Hyderabad and just pissed off with everything ! We reached Hyderabad by 7.30 pm. The first 400 kms just took away all the energy and the last 450 didn’t make up for it fully. And it’s impossible to control my mother in this house, she spins around doing 30 things when all I want is to relax. Will write tomorrow in a better frame of mind – one more interruption will get me really mad.
Dec 2, 2012
On the Uppal ring road on the way to Bangalore 🙂 Things are absolutely normal since Vedavalli is in charge of directions – ok am teasing, Amma is in her element in Hyderabad. Got our food from Periyamma’s shop and Koka as always did his bit by adding Vada to the list. The chutney ofcourse is to die for. Am back to normal – just needed the sleep I guess for my taut nerves to relax 🙂 some aches and tiredness still there, but nothing that good roads and another good night’s sleep can’t repair.
Venkat called just now, wanting to know why we wanted to do this road trip 🙂 short answer Venkat – we are nuts, and guess I inherited the love of adventure and driving from dad and Krishnan from his mum. Btw dad drove a Maruti 800 all the way from Delhi to Hyderabad in 2001, with a driver but he drove most of the way. :):):)
Reached Bangalore at 3.05 pm. The 600 kms distance took just 6 hours, the toll way is just outstanding ! Ofcourse as in any other toll way in India you had vehicles coming in the wrong direction and livestock that tried crossing the road when they chose but the road is without a pothole and truly worth the toll you pay.
Arun and Vidya packed our dinner 🙂 and we had a refreshing cup of tea – even more refreshing were Aditi and Avani and their room.
Arun and Vidya, thanks once again. Vidya, my mom has become your fan 🙂
All the things that we got along in the Yeti and it holds nearly a room, have been put away. Just now we borrowed a vessel to make tea in the morning – dumb me didn’t bring one from Hyd inspite of Amma keeping one !
Everyone who kept track of our journey, thanks for your wishes, they kept us safe and made our journey pleasant. 2238 kms total distance done and Yeti is just too cool a car 🙂 am also very impressed with the guy who drove an Innova that caught up with me quite often… I had to go at 140 to 160 kmph to keep him away. Hmmm another awesome road trip done.