Monday, February 4, 2013

Nov 2008 - Solo trip to Pune

My longest solo trip I took exactly 4 years back.

This trip was due since long time. I wanted to visit Pune, to see my only best friend. 

I was thinking of making to Pune since October, but could not plan my leaves. As the work load was on lower side I though of taking a day off from work. 

Planed the trip for 3 days 29th 30th and 1st Nov 2008. 

I almost had to drop this trip because of the Mumbai terrorist attack, as my friend and near and dear ones didn't want me take risk.

Checked out the route direction on 575 kms so it was going be a 10 hour drive. 

Booked accommodation on

Woke up at 6:10 am on 29th packed clothes and camera. It was raining, started off at 7:15 am in my Lady In Red ii 

Got tank filled up and checked tyre air pressure and continued my journey. 


Had little trouble driving in city outskirts due to heavy vehicles throwing up dirt. Due to rain I stuck to lower speeds. Took almost 2 hours to cross first 100 kilometers

As I crossed 120 or so kilometers rains vanished, tough it was cloudy. Got into "pedal to metal" mode 

Entered Karanataka in couple of hours


Was expecting good roads however there was real bad patch of road for around 4 to 5 kms before Hanumabad. It was really bad. 

Then came Maharashtra


Drive was smooth, but as I moved 70 kilometers into Maharashtra observed that my car was rev'ing around 3000 rpm even when my foot was off the accelerator. Thought my Lady In Red ii needs some rest. So I stopped by and spent time in shooting things around.


This was a 20 min stop. Lady In Red ii was back to normal 800 RPM as I started off again.

I was curious to know about the mileage and was trying to get tank filled up.
And there was no HP station which had the facility of swiping my ICICI HP card(No surcharge on this card)
At one of the station I came to know that Sholapur might have HP station which may accept cards. 
Crossed few interesting landscapes.


Then there was this little ghat road and Fort(not sure of the name of this fort) across it 

Then on the way I came across a weird Swift driver who was overtaking me me and was flashing the indicators right and left alternatively. I slowed down so that he wont bother me any more. 

As I reached Sholapur tried my luck at first HP station, turned out to be bad luck. When I resumed the drive, I saw people yelling in my rear view mirror. Then I realised that I was driving one flat tyre. I stopped by and replaced the flat tyre. On inspecting found that the alloy was out of shape from inside due to which it could not hold the air pressure. Once again I checked the air pressure and found out where I can get the deformed wheel fixed. I was directed to "Pune Naka". I got the wheel fixed and to my shock his method of fixing was ruthless.

I almost lost the FIAT emblum on that wheel.

 It cost me 50 bucks to get this wheel fixed. 

It was 12:30 and 330 kms away from Hyderabad as I started off again. SMSed my friend saying that I will be at Pune by 5:30 as it was a 250 km drive from Sholapur to Pune. 

Was confident as now I had my wheel fixed. 120 kms from Sholapur I crossed Indapur.
After crossing Indapur, road was full of bullock carts and tractors carrying the Sugar Cane.

I was driving and all of sudden accelerator got loose and engine was back to ideling I was "mummy ab mai kya karoo" "am so bad, should have give my baby little rest. I was almost in tears that I did this to my baby. 

Managed to drive my Lady In Red:2 off the road. Switched off engine and called Concord Motors helpline. A guy who received my gave me a toll free number(as I was near Pune, Maharashtra) , and my bad luck that Idea won't connect me to the toll free number. 

I called back the help line asking them to give me an alternative number. He said that he would look into it and ask the concerned person to contact me.
I thought what might have happened and could relate it to the high reving issue that I had few hours back. 
Accelerator wire failed and broke but I was not sure of the reason may be heat or may be I kept it under stress for too long,I shouldn't have peddled it for long duration. 
I saw that there was Bharat Petroleum station few meters away across the road. I walked across to find that they were renovating. Saw that there was a servicing station board next to it. Visited there to find out that it was washing station and they don't have any kind of accessories.
I came back to my car and tried to contact helpline then I got a call from Pune Fiat guys, my luck was so hard that I started feeling "IDEA is really gonna change my life" for bad. It wont let me call neither it would let me receive incoming calls.
There was little shed across the road with PCO sign. I ran across and tried to call the number that I received call from.
I could not connect even through the PCO, phone was engaged. While I was trying I got their call again, luckily this time IDEA let me complete the conversation and give out my details and the location where I was stuck. Lady on the call informed that she would contact someone and get back to me in a while.
I thought its better for me to stay at that shed as I wait for the help.
Shed owner said that it was a hotel and its open all night and I need not bother. He suggested me to push my car across the road so that it can be safe. He managed to get couple of guys from near by village and pushed my car across to safe zone.
I passed my time sipping tea and cold drinks. Informed my friend, dad and the cleartrip that I am going to be late as my car broke down.
Service guys took 4 hours to reach that place and took an hour to fix the car. 

Avinash and Mudassir who fixed my car


Mudassir trouble shooting

It was 9:00 PM by the time mechanics left.

I clicked few pics of the owner and his kids. 


I had dinner at same hotel and continued my drive.

On the way I felt that something was wrong and checked tyres to find that one of them was low on pressure. After traveling a few kms I got air for the wheel and reached pune by 12:30.
I need to mention "toll road" of Pune which was awesome. I am willing to shift to Pune just to use this road :P
I had really bad time to find the directions to hotel. Contact person was helpless with directions instead he sent me the address on SMS and you wont believe me the address that I got on the receipt was totally different from the one I had in SMS. Spent almost 1 n half hour to find the hotel. Checked with few people on the way and they were not at all friendly. 
Then there were who very patiently explaining. 
It was good and well maintained place. I checked in and had good sound sleep after long day on road.

Next morning woke up and visited my friend. Feels so good to meet some one dear to you after long time. Nothing can measure up to that feeling.

Then we decided to go out, she called up one of her friend who suggested some dam. So we started off and then on the way I got my punctured tyre fixed which was loosing its pressure.
We reached that dam 

Here I thought I should create my first vertical panorama


We felt like it was not enough and need to visit Sinhghad a fort built by Shivaji. It was 8Kms form that place and was visible from the dam.

We got back on road towards Sinhghad, road was in pretty bad condition and a part of it was ghat and its condition was pathetic. They charged us Rs 50.

Surprisingly On our way up the hill we came across a test mule "Fiat Linea"

 After reaching Sinhghad had hard time finding spot for parking. But that place had stunning landscape . We had lunch over there the local style (onion pakode, roti baigan ki sabzi, and creamy curd). After lunch we moved on foot to view the fort.

Sky was beautiful, took quite number of pics and a lovely panorama. A few candid shots too 




We started off back toPune by 5:00 PM. 

I thought of gifting the pics that I clicked at the hotel where my car broke down. 
Visited a photo lab and ordered 4 pics to print. 
We had snacks as we waited for the prints. 
Collected prints and dropped my friend then left for my hotel at 11:00PM 

I filled up the tank and waved off my friend and left Pune at 8:15PM. 


On my way back I stopped by that hotel and handed over the pictures. 
Owner was on cloud nine as I told him that I got pics for him.

After starting I stopped by couple of time to check tyre pressure and once for lunch after leaving Sholapur. Had delicious Dal fry and roti and continued my journey back to home. 

Reached Home by 7:30PM .

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