Road Trip: Mumbai To Kerala (Kottayam) and Back (3300 Kms)


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Have completed a long awaited road trip and want to share the experience. Thanks to TAI which was my reference point. This is my first experience so please excuse any flaws.

Total Distance covered - 3500 Kms
Car used - Ford Aspire TDCI

Getting ready

The car had completed 24,500 Kms and the last service was done at 20K. So I did a basic check of engine oil, coolant and brake fluid levels. Got the wheel alignment and balancing done. Topped up the Windshield fluid(as I would be driving some distance at night as well) and bought an Air compressor. Got a Fastag to save time on toll plazas.

Started the drive from Navi Mumbai at 12.15 PM on friday due to other commitments. I was the only driver the others in the car being my wife and two children.The plan was to try and reach Bangalore without a night halt. Once I touched the expressway it started raining which slowed us down but was able to maintain speed of 70 - 90kmph.

Crossed Pune at 2 PM and took the first stop for Lunch at 2.30 PM. After a break of 40 minutes the journey resumed. There was intermittent rains till Satara after which it was clear. Stopped for fuel in Kolhapur at 5.30PM and checked the fuel economy. Got 20.5 km/litre (Tank to Tank method).

Continued from Kolhapur without break till Hubli. The single lane bypass road in Hubli was time consuming due to truck traffic. Stopped after the bye pass for Dinner around 8.30 PM. Post dinner started for Bangalore around 9.10 PM. It was then a continuous drive as I didnt want to stop at night in unknown places. Half hour into the drive it started raining and did not stop till Bangalore. Reached Bangalore (Sarjapur Road) at 2.45 AM saturday.

Distance covered point to point - 1020 Kms
Time taken (total) - 14 hours 30 minutes
Breaks - Lunch 35 minutes, Dinner 40 minutes, two small breaks of 5 minutes each.

Challenges
Continous Rains from Hubli to Bangalore and with trucks in front, the windshield washer has to be used multiple times and finally got over closer to Bangalore.
Some of the toll plazas did not have the Fastag lane operational.

Second Stage

Having rested in Bangalore for one full day and night, started on sunday morning at 11 from Sarjapur road. Drove till Salem and stopped at for Lunch. It was a peaceful drive being sunday, traffic was less. Could cross Coimbatore L&T bypass by 4.30 PM.

Once we entered Kerala, the whole pleasure of driving on the highway was lost. There were traffic signals every 10 - 15 Kms and the time given to vehicles on highway for each green light was very less. Stopped on the highway before Trichur for a tea break. The rest of the drive was uneventful and reached Kottayam (Destination) at 9 PM.

Distance covered - 590 Kms
Time taken - 10 hours
Breaks - Lunch - 30 minutes, tea 20 minutes and short break of 10 minutes

Total distance from Navi Mumbai to Kottayam - 1620 Kms

Will write about the return trip shortly.
 
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