1000 km in a week

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Just got back from a 1000km roadtrip. Phew. That was one good road trip.

1. Bangalore to Kumbakonam: Took a new route this time. Bangalore -> Salem -> Attur -> Veppur -> Vridhachalam -> Jayamkondan -> Kumbakonam. Except for the last stretch, which was a little bad, the road is very good. Much better than the Kulithalai route that I took the last time.

2. Kumbakonam to Pondicherry: Never done this stretch before. Decent roads. It is mind boggling to see the number of wine (alcohol) shops on the sides of the road, right after you enter Pondicherry state. This, I am told, is because of the reduced rates – since it is still an Union Territory.

3. Pondicherry to Chennai: Fantastic stretch. Road upto Tindivanam is as good, if not better than the Golden Quadrilateral stretch from Tindivanam to Chennai.

4. Chennai to Bangalore: I have done this numerous times, but there was a twist this time. I was attending a family function in Pozhichalur (close to Pammal). I was told that there is a direct road from Pozhichalur through Kundrathur to Porur, and I can catch the usual Bangalore road from there. Right after Kundrathur and Anagaaputthur, I found a sign saying Sriperumbudur. I took a risk, and we took the route. Surprisingly awesome road. Takes you right to the highway just before Sriperumbudur bypass. The only bummer was the 100’s of speed bumps (and no, I am not exagerating with the number). Did Chennai to Chinnaar (A2B) in decent time – 4 hours. Chinnaar to Bangalore was just horrible. With the 6 laning effort that is happening, there are quite a few diversions, where 4 lanes become 1 lane. And with the ‘impatient’ bus drivers we have, these diversions quickly become a quagmire. It took us a good 3.5 hours to do what we usually do in 1.5 hours.

Anyways, in all, a good trip. The Skoda Fabia did a pretty darned good  job.

Space Shuttle Endeavour last leg

The space shuttle Endeavour was retired last week, and is being transported to a museum in Los Angeles (LA). For the last 12 miles, it was actually transported through LA roads.

Just imagine the awesome publicity that Toyota got. The da** trucked pulled the entire shuttle. For those folks, who do not live in the U.S, the Tundra is a pick-up truck that some normal people use as a ‘car’, for commuting to office etc.

And oh yeah, the Donut shop got a ton of publicity as well.

The above picture is from the The Atlantic. View the full set of pictures here.