My First Long drive

Keeping up with my promise of travelogues, here I start the first of the series and most recent one. Coincidentally it is another of "My First" series.

Though I had started driving a car almost a year and a half back, I never got a chance to take it for a long drive. Mainly due to reluctance and fear from wife/parents, I was held back in indulging in this pleasure. Earlier I had a Tata Nano which added to the apprehension of being a small car incapable of doing long drives.

Coming to Bangalore and owning a Toyota Etios Liva gave me a glimpse of the long drive that I could embark upon. My hometown is 450kms from here and many of my acquaintances have done a road trip from Bangalore to Palakkad. Even my dad has done it many times. Plans for driving down to Palakkad had been on the cards but they were thwarted by fate.

So when I got a chance of taking my friend's family to Mysore, I grabbed the opportunity. Saturday morning 6AM was fixed for departure. Driver - only me. Navigator - my friend's dad (though a navigator was not needed). Passengers - 3 ladies

Early mornings is the only time of the day when it is fun driving on Bangalore roads. It took me just half an hr to hit Bannerghatta road starting from Horamavu. It typically takes an hr and a half. Taking the ramp of Nice Road after the toll gate at Bannerghatta road, I joined a spectacular 6 lane highway. A bypass connecting 5 major highways coming to Bangalore, the Nice Road is as nice as its name. Smooth, straight and the best way to avoid Bangalore city if you are switching from one NH to another.

15km in 10min at a top speed of 140kmph. I was reminded of the Noida-Greater Noida Expressway. I had hit my previous maximum of 100kmph on my Nano.

Exiting on to Mysore road, we drive into another 4 lane highway. Smooth drive. Early morning sun. Cool breeze. Lots of greenery. This highway cuts across lots of small towns and reminded me of the drive on NH47 between Thrissur and Aluva.

I had estimated the journey to be 4-5 hrs. But light traffic and good road cut it short to 3.5 including a pit stop of half an hr for breakfast. The pit stop was at "Thatta Idli Hotel" at Bidadi. As the name suggests they only serve Thatta Idli - Idli of the size of a quarter plate, a Kannadiga speciality. It was served hot with palya - you can also call it aaloo masala. To go with the super soft thatta idli was crisp daal vada and tea/coffee.



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