My enthusiasm for road trips started only after what I consider is one of the best infrastructure projects in India, the Golden Quadrilateral popularly known as ‘The Vajpayee Highways’ came into being. Driving on these are a pleasure and a peace and a primary reason for the title of this note! I agree the toll rates are steep but then I am a firm believer in the dictum that there are no free meals. I would happily pay if I get world class service. It would have been apt had Tobay Maguire mouthed “With great roads come greater toll tax!”
|No free meals!|
The primary advantage of Road Trips is the sheer convenience it offers by way of the start time- halt time- end time. Well known is the fact that it saves you the bother of depending on flight and train schedules. You can start the trip from Coimbatore to time your breakfast at Adayar Anandha Bhavan just off Salem and your lunch at home in Bangalore with a tea/smoke break thrown in at Krishnagiri. I am sure you can plan a similar Start-Pit stop-Chequered Flag routine from whichever city you start and propose to end.
|Pit Stop at A2B Krishnagiri|
Road trips often save you from absurdities too. As someone who often finishes his day in Electronic City, Bangalore and have to go to back to Chennai I find it faster to reach Meenambakkam Airport in Chennai by road than reaching Bangalore International Airport, Devanahalli to catch a flight to Chennai!
Road Trips are cheaper too. For example ticket prices for a family of 4 by 2nd AC from Coimbatore to Bangalore or by flight are likely to be in the vicinity of Rs.2500.00 to Rs.15000.00 respectively. Add to it the taxi fares for Airport/Station pick-up and drops! The same by car including the toll on the way is likely to cost around Rs.3000.00 in a self driven car. Cheaper if your vehicle is fuelled by CNG or Diesel!
|Move over Buddh International and F1!|
Here is another. Going to Mysore from Coimbatore? Would you prefer to drive down via Satyamangalam directly to Mysore? Or would you prefer a drive to Coimbatore Airport- Flight to Bangalore-Drive to Mysore? The former would take you about 6 hours and the latter almost the same depending of the flight schedules and at possibly 5 times the cost! Now Tell!!!
Then again you can save money by not checking in to a hotel or check in late depending on when your work is completed. I mean start early from Bangalore, hit to work in Chennai straight, if finished on time, return back the same evening/night. If not check in into a hotel late and save on tariffs. And most importantly save yourselves from being under the mercy of the Chennai Autowallahs! Clincher!
Road trips are supposedly not very women friendly especially with reference to ‘PissStop’ is the oft quoted criticism. My own experience while on road trips with family is quite to the contrary. Most highway hotels and eateries nowadays have toilet facilities. In fact for some of these places the presence of toilets is the primary USP and the food subsequent! On most trips we have never been more than 15-20 minutes away from a convenient place for the womenfolk to relieve themselves. And if the womenfolk reading this are blessed with bladders which cannot hold on for even 15-20 minutes then sorry to say they shouldn’t go on any trip let alone road trips. Except maybe the trip from their drawing room to the washroom!
PS: While most of what is have written above is universally applicable, the part referring to loo breaks for women is based entirely on our experience during road trips in South India, especially Tamilnadu and Karnataka! "Jahan Soch wahan Shauchalay" is still some distance away in many other states I am told!
|Only Soch, Where Shauchalay?|