Monday, April 8, 2013
Day 4 : April 6, 2013
The previous night we had slept at 4:00 at a petrol bunk on Karnal road. Ashok’s non-stop driving from had helped us to cover up a good amount of the distance. Even then, we were supposed to have checked in at The Club Mahindra resort at Mashobra the previous morning. But due to the two breakdowns, one in Bangalore and hte other in Guna, we had lost one day and had to call and inform the resort that we would report the next day.
We woke up in our Scorpio at 6:30 am and after freshening up as best as we could we tried starting the Scorpio to just hear eerie deafening silence. It was a big blow to us and just when we thought that we had overcome a major obstacle, here we had another one staring at our face within a few hours. Just then two good Samaritans came out of the Petrol
1st Toll Stop : Karnal : Rs.90
We stopped at Mayur Dhabha on Karnal Road. Had very good chai and got up to proceed with our journey. Our adventures were not yet done with us. Ashok threw the Scorpio keys to Apsara and she missed and it fell. When Ashok tried to open the door it let out the burglar alarm and the Autocop had got spoilt. Every time we tried to start, the Autocop would go on. The entire dhabha of people were continuing with their work totally unfazed and nonchalant to our predicament. I am sure being located on the highway, they must have seen every kind of auto trouble on this planet. Just as Ashok was wondering what to do and calling the Mahindra people in Guna and in Bangalore, I went to the petrol bunk next door and tried to see if there are any mechanics available there. There were a few puncher guys but no electrical guys. As I was explaining our situation to the fellow there, a milk man with large milk cans strapped to his bike gave me a card of a Car accessories showroom with the mobile numbers of the mechanic and Ashok called him. He told Ashok what to do over the phone and the car started. We all scrambled into the car and set out immediately. We decided not to stop anywhere as it would be extremely risky if that car did not start again.
2nd Toll Stop : GMR Chandigarh to Ambala : Rs.31
We could see the mountains and were thrilled to bits. We started cruising along on Chandigarh - Ambala road.
3rd Toll Stop : Panchkula : Rs.25
11:00 AM : Himalayan Express Highway
The roads are too beautiful. 4-lane world standard road again by the Jaypee group. Both the Yamuna Express Highway and the Himalayan Express Highway are their projects and they have done a wonderful job of giving world standard roads to us. Driving on these roads is sheer pleasure and you do not experience any fatigue on these roads however long you drive. Hopefully they can lobby with the Madhya Pradesh government and build similar expressways in MP also.
11:30 am : Solan
The view was breath taking and all the green, step farming and charming towns, quaint little villages and hamlets on the way were very beautiful. We were amazed at the cleanliness on the way and the Himachal Pradesh had done a wonderful job of keeping crass commercialisation at bay by not allowing non Himachalis to own property on the hills. Also, because plastic is not allowed and banned in Himachal Pradesh, we did not find any plastic bags, covers, Lays and Kurkure packets and plastic bottles. We passed by Solan ay 11.30 am. Solan is called the “Mushroom Capital of India. It is a beautiful city and we passed by the Jaypee University.
12:30 am : Shimla
We reached Shimla and drove through the town. We were finally glad and heaved a sigh of relief for finally having made it to our destination after three and a half days. We passed by the Central Potato Research Institute and the HP Agricultural University both of which had some very beautiful garden and landscaping. The HP University is also beautiful. We passé the Mahindra Motors Showroom and were glad at the sight.
12:55 : Dalli Tunnel : Mashobra 6 km
We reached the Club Mahindra Resort at Mashobra at 1:30 and checked in to great relief. The Autocop alarm went off many times nad we realised “Houston we have a problem” moment had arrived again. After having bath and freshening up we had very tasty and sumptuous lunch at the resort restaurant. Ashok called the local Mahindra Motors guys and asked them to send a mechanic over to rectify our remote key problem. As he had driven non-stop for almost 22 hours with just a 2 hour sleep, he was dead tierd and went off to sleep and asked me to deal with the mechanics. They arrived at 5:30 and disabled the Autocop and made the key manual controlled. We would have to lock and open manually every time and check each and every door each and every time we parked the car. But that option was much better than having the car’s alarm go on every time we stopped and also not knowing whether the car would start again. I asked the resort people to get the car washed and finally settled in to enjoy my short stay in Shimla.