November is a sure-shot month of travel for me as it’s my wife’s birthday month and we have made it a habit to get out of the city huzzle buzzle every year during this time and spend few days in what is most often wilderness. Quite often my choice for such trips is accommodation at Jungle Lodges and Resorts as i know things are taken care of especially good food, good accommodation, and i don’t have to break my head on anything else. This time around our place of choice was the Sharavathi Nature Camp at Shivamogga.
What is more special for this trip was that this was apparently Mintu’s first-ever long trip since i got her in July this year. We had been to many short trips around Bangalore and also outside but nothing which would be around 400km/8hr drive. This was also a test for mintu as i wanted her for such long trips where i wanted both myself and family to feel comfortable and we have enough space for our luggage.
We knew it was going to be a long day and a very long drive to reach the resort, but we took a comfortable start to the day as i didn’t want to start very early and drive in a sleepy mood ( not that i have ever done but i wanted to take it very easy this trip ). My trustworthy Google aunty told me to take a specific route which went via NH4, Haveri, Hosadurga, Shivamogga, Sagara, SNC. It was around 375km from home and she said it would take me 8hrs to reach. Just as when i started i got a call from SNC asking if i will be reaching there for lunch which was next to impossible looking at my drive time. i told them that i will reach by evening and ask them not to wait for me for lunch.
I took it easy in the first part of the journey as i knew there are quite a few tools and i would get stuck there, but after i crossed the tumkur toll i started to experiment with Mintu’s speed and also cruise control abilities. Not that i am biased towards her but without a doubt, she is such a beauty when handling slow speed or fast cruise. I took quick pitstop break at Hosadurga to grab a coffee and was a mistake because it was awful. Started driving back and when we crossed Shivamogga we decided we will do a quick stop at the Tiger and Lion safari which is on the highway. I had seen this place quite a few times when i was driving here in the past but am not that much of a zoo person and don’t prefer seeing wild animals in enclosures. But this time around i had to go for a different reason. After the visit to the zoo, we decided to grab our packed lunch in the parking lot itself and that’s when i realized my front number plate had fallen off. We did notice something wrong when we stopped in Hosadurga but didn’t get to hear of feel when the plate actually fell off. I immediately messaged the Nissan Showroom ( Shawar Nissan ) and my contact there Akram ensures that i will get a replacement plate done by the time i get back to bangalore. I started driving and i personally am bit reluctant on driving/riding without number plate and such stuff so managed to find a stickering shop close to Sagara but he didn’t have facility to make a plate so i decided to put a white strip and get the numbers done on it ( not that its correct but something is better than nothing ). Continued driving and then by late evening we were at the beautiful Sharavathi Nature Camp.
The last stretch of the roads ~6km was like an inexistent road but not that it required 4×4. But unlike my minty which was a hatchback, mintu handled things with ease. We called it a day with a much-deserved rest. The next day morning we decided to go for an early morning visit to Jog. I forgot to check with folks if there will be water at all but not that someone should expect wonders in November. Honestly, the falls did have water but not that you will be happy seeing but having said that i have seen worse than this of jog so this was not bad. The rest of the day was spent exploring the property, enjoying some more drives to the jog to different viewpoints, boating in the backwaters and most importantly relaxing. And as always i didn’t spend some time droning around.
The return drive was equally easy and funfilled like the onward journey. No hiccups what so ever, as it was a Saturday there wasn’t much of traffic also. Overall i have to say Mintu has got her benchmark and expectations set very well with this trip. She is absolute fun to ride beauty irrespective of 6lane highway or gravel ridden village roads. Never during the 2 days of driving, i felt i need a break, i need to get off the car to stretch myself or anything like that.
Dear Nissan, you for sure have made a fantastic car – but really wish you market it well in India else people won’t get exposed to such an amazing set of comfortable wheels.