Always dreamed of diving back home to the other side of the country.
But till date it was either a train or a plane. After years of driving small or long, here I am planning my first cross country. It’s from Pune to my home-town Kolkata. Planning for almost a month now and another 5 months to go….. So a long planning phase just to make sure everything is nicely planned out!! Below are the details!
Cities: Pune to Kolkata and back!
Distance: 1900 kms per side (3800 kms in all)
Time: 1st week of October’2016
Car Model: WagonR 2006 model (CNG + Petrol) LXi BSIII AC
Car Condition: (THE GOOD PARTs) All 4 new absorbers, 4 new tubeless tires, new steering column, new steering rack, new lower arms, Engine OK – doing good as of now. (NOW THE NOT SO GOOD PARTS). Body roll (tall boy), car gets very light above 100km/hr (so the average top speeds with be 90s and cursing at 80s), not so strong headlights, rattling noise from dashboard/door panels while on bad roads but overall not much rattling on plain roads. (OVERALL CONDITION 3/5)
Do I want to take my own car – Yes. I don’t want to rent a car and do this trip.
Do I really want to do this trip – Yes. Very excited.
Co passenger – My better half & luggage for 2 weeks’ vacation (on backseat). CNG tank ate up all boot space
Is my wife excited too – She is, like me
Alternate driving? – No I am the only one behind the wheel. My wife is still learning her first gear.
Do I know the challenges of such trip – Yes, I understand how stressful it can be. I can keep myself calm and composed although I haven’t done this long a trip before. And I know I am the only driver.
Previous experiences – All 400 – 500 Kms 1 day trips in and around Maharashtra in my own car, few times
Time preference – Mostly want to drive in day light, until necessary to drive at night
Plans to combat stress – Frequent 10-15 mins break every 100km, Good music, Topics for chit chat, trying out local foods, Lots of photography and lots of water!
Ok, so now that I have answered question that you may want to ask me…. Following is my primary route plan
Pune – Nagpur | 750 kms | 5am start – 7pm end
Nagpur – Sambalpur | 575 kms | 6am start – 6pm end
Sambalpur – Kolkata | 575 kms | 6am start – 7pm end
Same halts while coming back
Trail: Pune – Ahmednagar – Aurangabad – Jalna – Mehkar – Karanja – Amaravati – Nagpur – Raipur – Sambalpur – Keonjhar – Baharagora/Gopiballabpur – Kharagpur – Home
Same trail while returning.
Now, I want all your inputs, tips, suggestions, do’s and don’ts, alternate plans, best practices and everything you can throw at me. Also, if anyone have done this trip before, kindly share your experiences please. That would be wonderful. Eagerly awaiting your inputs !