Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Ford Endeavour 2days, 1500kms Road trip Itinerary

Had an intensive road trip last weekend involving 48 hour of near nonstop driving covering 1500kms.
Almost everyone who learnt about this plan termed it crazy, few quoted their long driving experience to suggest how bad idea this is, others suggested that I change the plans. However I held on to the plan and it was successfully accomplished, in time, within budget.
Here’s the itinerary I adopted:
  • Friday 2300 Hours: Take Delivery of Ford Endeavour from Avis counter. I was expecting my regular second gen Endeavour which I’d rented twice earlier [pic and review here] but got a different one this time- a 1st gen one with 4 wheel drive. Was decent overall but had very poor pickup and lower top speed of 120-130kmph
  • 2330 Hours: Pickup Day 1 participants (8 of them) and leave for Horsley hills- 280kms, via Ranipet, Chittoor and Madanapalli, approx 5 hours
  • Saturday, 0515 hours: Arrive at Horsley Hills, rest, wait for daylight to break
  • Had quick bath at APTDC Harita Resort, explore few view points, breakfast and some adventure activities
Note: Endeavour got about 5 hours rest here
  • 1115 hours: start from Horsley hills towards Talakona waterfalls- about 120kms (Original plan was to leave by 9.30-10AM, but got delayed due to outdoor activities we got into, as a result, one of the destination-Chandragiri Fort had to be skipped)
  • 1400 hours: Reached Talakona Community Guest house, plan was to have food there, but the staff there refused to serve as we hadn’t ordered in advance. Spent some time in the campus and drove to Talakona water falls
  • 1445: Reach Talakona waterfalls. We went till the waterfalls- I didn’t see any noticeable increase in water level compared to my Dec 2008 visit or recent 2010 visit, hence I came back to the vehicle and slept, while others took a bath under falls.
SUV got about 2 hours of rest and I too caught up with some sleep
  • 1645 hours: start from Talakona, head towards Chennai via Tirupati. 45 mins stop at a Dhabha on the way, reach Chennai by 2230 hours. Drop off participants, end of Day1
  • 2245 Hours: Begin Day 2 trip to Salem & Kolli hills, start picking up participants from various places
  • 2345 Hours: Leave Chennai and start towards Salem, via Vellore-Krishnagiri-Dharmapuri route, 370kms 
All night driving, swapped between me and another driver, the SUV wasn’t cruising beyond 120-130kmph (not sure of the reasons- might be some speed governors installed?) extending our travel time
  • 0600 Hours: Reach Salem, 0630hours reach Friend’s house for refreshments
< 45 minutes rest for the Endeavour >
  • 0715 hours: Start for Kolli hills 100kms, 70 hairpin bends
  • 0900 hours: Reached top of Kolli Hills after thrilling 70 sharp hairpin bends
  • Breakfast, explore various places on top of Kolli hills-couple of waterfalls, temple, viewpoint, a small lake etc. We covered almost all of Kolli hills, except for the big waterfall, which involved climbing down and up 100s of steps and was half a day program by itself. Sadly ran out of Camera battery power at this point.
  • 1415 hours: Start return journey, quick stop to buy jackfruits and other products
  • 1600 hours approx: Back at Salem town, refresh
  • 1620: Start journey towards Chennai
  • 1830 hours (approx) Food at Krishnagiri, head to Chennai
  • 2300 hours: Reach Chennai, drop off people at different parts of town
  • 2400 hours: Return the vehicle to agency
  • 0100 hours: Another short visit to sort out a missing bag issue and return home.
Strong and sound sleep and back in office by 9AM on next day!

That’s how the 50 hour road trip went, logging about 1500kms. Vehicle was switched off for a total of 8-9 hours during these 48 hours and rest of the time it was on the move. Drove for most of the distance while allowing other eligible participants to drive for a while. A very hectic schedule it may seem, but executed with precision, not to overrun cost/time/places to visit. Had to force people to hurry up, so as to avoid spending more than necessary time at a given location.

Was it a bad idea to plan such intensive trips? May be or May be not… I rent cars like this only once in 2-3 months and on those few days I strive to make the most of it and enjoy driving every mile.

Also read: Ford Endeavour 2.5XLT review * Other SUV Stories: Toyota Landcruiser Prado and 200* 2010 Ford Figo review * Mahindra Scorpio mHawk 2.2 Vls review * Wayanad in a Scorpio * Mahindra Xylo vs Innova * Self Drive cars in India * Tata jaguar and Landrover * Brief date with Mercedes benz * 4x4 Himalayan Jeep Safari-mission aborted * Mitsubishi great driving challengeFord Endeavour XLT review *


Mridula said...

Is it safe to do 120 on Indian highways? I mean anything pops up from anywhere!

Shrinidhi Hande said...

There r many highways that are multi lane, barricaded and well laid.

It is perfectly fine to speed up when roads permit (visibility exists, traffic is less) Even 160-170 is easily doable at certain stretches.. Watch the video below

Badarinath Palavalli said...

nice article boss. nice blog too. i will be re visit ur blog for more readings.
kindly visit my blogs:

Anu said...

Interesting route! I dont drive, but the idea of driving like this sounds really interesting!

Praveen said...

It was a wonderful trip to Kolli Hills, Shri... We really had more fun... Good that you captured the most as schedules in your blog post.

Lakshmi rajan said...

Thats one rigorous road trip!

Shrinidhi Hande said...

LR: Yes, it was :)

Praveen: Another detailed post is now live at the blog. And thanks for your hospitality

Anu: Do try, but be careful.

Badri: thanks. will check your blogs

Pratap Fauzdar said...

i want to buy this type of bullgaurd.i have searched out in market but i didn't find this anywhere.

Shrinidhi Hande said...

Which city?

jake tyler said...

Ford Endeavour looks classy and a grand size SUV which has spacious and premium interior.Its a perfect choice for those people who wants a bulky and luxury SUV which looks unique.