This is the longest drive we did so far and truly this was a memorable one with 1300+ KM. The planning for the trip started almost a month back. It involved looking at Google maps multiple times and talking to few friends who are roadies. We knew the road till Hyderabad would be good as we been on this highway almost 2 years back. Beyond Hyderabad was a complete unknown. Also posted my naïve query to TEAM-BHP. With all that input I was fairly confident to take up the road trip of unknown.
With road trip being fixed we were not sure how work from home & school situtaion would be out there. Got myself a Jio hotspot as well. Even at one point I was contemplating with the idea that if things does not work out at Durg as expected or if there is an emergency at Bangalore I will fly back and then return there in a later days to get back the car and family.
Beginning of the week Mom took off to Siliguri after spending the whole lockdown in Bangalore. Luckily, she came down last February and spent 8 months in lockdown at Bangalore.
As preparatory work – started our packing two days before the D-Day, this time it was mostly books from Aarush and Pamela. And ensuring all three laptops and their chargers and all other electronics were packed properly. We packed very limited sets of clothes knowing that we are going to spent most of our times at home only. I ensured to pack my camera gear with tripod etc. I ensured to get PUC for the car and get it serviced properly before availing this long trip.
The D-Day was Friday 7th Nov 2020. Once the online school commenced, I started to work. I ensured all the things were getting the last & final check. Packed the car with heavy luggage. Packed the in-car food bag with some healthy snacks and fruits. Filled all our indivudal water bottles and spared one. YES! we are one of those who avoid buying plastic water bottle. And can say proudly we did not buy a single one in this trip. As soon as class got over, we had a quick lunch, washed the utensils and was ready to hit the road.
We left our parking at 1:15 PM sharp; asked Pamela to keep taking snaps of few major road sign and make small videos of the road. Aarush was tasked with a handwritten log of all the toll plaza with time, amount paid and KM from our home. Soon we crossed our familiar places like KIAL, Nandi Hill junction and entered Andhra Pradesh. Was looking for the KIA Motors and Timbuktu Cooperative as we drove along. Only thing I missed out was to fuel top up, so had to stop after 2 hours of driving to get the tank filled and that also helped to stretch our legs a bit.
We reached Telangana border at the dusk near Kurnool. For some unknown reason there was long queue. We stopped for another small break had some snacks there and used the restroom. Cleaned the windshield as it was full of small insects already. We knew Hyderabad was not far enough now and made online hotel reservation for the night. Lucky us, we got Taj Banjara for very good price that included breakfast.
We reached Hyderabad Airport around 8:30PM and hotel by 9:30PM. After check-in we went out for dinner and was really shocked to see the city of biryani was closed early due to COVID and there was hardly any choice to make. Later realized best would have been to use service with Swiggy/Zomato and get the food delivered at the hotel itself.
After a good night sleep, we got prepared quickly and headed for breakfast. Before that I cleaned the car once again with newly acquired Jopasu car Duster. It really worked as advertised. The breakfast spread was really elaborate and we had a scrumptious breakfast and headed out. By 8:30 we left hotel. As we stayed within city we had to drive north through the city which is shorter but has to many traffic signals. Still being morning we headed out of Hyderabad smoothly. For some unknown reason Google Maps suggested to take a different road bypassing Nagpur but we sticked with known major highway. We passed Nirmal and many other towns and soon entered Maharashtra from Telengana.
We reached Nagpur outskirts by 3:30PM with 2 small break. We had planned to stop at Radisson blu Nagpur that costed us a good 2+ hours. It was a pleasant break from driving, we had late lunch or early dinner there and by the time we left outskirts of Nagpur, it was dark. We knew the distance was not much left there but we were not to sure on the road condition. What we found on this major EAST-WEST highway connecting Calcutta & Mumbai was many road constructions. It was getting little tiring but the final distance was getting shorter. Soon it was only 150KM …. then only 100KM to go. And with that we crossed Rajnandgaon from there it was only 40KM to reach home. At 10:00PM we reached home.
Please check the video we made along the way, very ameteurish.