The three hour tour began well enough. We managed to get to Hoskote in short order.
1 – Our first waypoint was to turn left at the first intersection in Hoskote; just before a large open field (or so says the photo in Google Earth). It was to happen shortly after arriving in Town. As we drove through town, we wondered “are we in Hoskote yet”. Yep, we drove right past our turnoff.
2 – About a kilometer past our proper turnoff, we found one that fit the bill. We were now driving parallel to where we wanted to be.
3 – We come to a fork in the road. Hmmm… I did not see this on Google Earth. Is this the right way? Then again, one side of the fork might not be a numbered road and would not show up on the road overlay. Let’s take the left fork to be on the safe side. (good call)
4 – 10 km down the road, our little alternate way merged with the road we had initially wanted. Unfortunately, this was 5 km past where we would have turned off of that road towards Devanhalli.
5 – As we came to a small village with a crossroads, we grew puzzled. There was no photo of such a thing on our route in Google earth. Up until now, we had been responsible for our own errors. How could we now go from lost to completely thinking you are in Indonesia when you are actually in the Caribbean lost? Yup! Ask a local for directions to Devanhalli! Turning left at that crossroads would have taken us straight to Devanhalli. Instead, he sent us straight.
6 – A half hour later, we come to a town. It vaguely looked like the small town we had been planning to turn left at (which was now 30 km behind us and 30km is a LONG way on Indian back roads). Siva stepped out of the car and asked directions. The directions even vaguely sounded correct. Turn left just up ahead. So we turned left onto national highway 207.
7 – We came to another fork in the road. Wait! Another fork? After some indecision and a quick “ask for directions”, we took the left fork. The right fork would have taken us straight to Chikballapur, near Skandagiri, ten miles away. Instead, we went back south, parallel to the way we just came up.
8 – We come to a T in the road. YAY! He must have joined with the highway that runs past the airport and Nandi Hills. So we turn right. Well…the good news is that we are now actually heading towards said highway.
9 – Another fork in the road. Wait? We must not have found the big highway. We were far north of Devanhalli and that was now utterly the wrong direction. We should have been asking for the way to Chikballapur. Being utterly clueless about that fact, we ask for the way to Devanhalli. Being clueless about the landscape of his home district, the man sends us up the right fork (to Chikballapur) instead of the left (to Devanhalli). Talk about serendipity. The key to getting on the right road in India is to not know where you need to be going.
10 – Yay! The big 4 lane! There us Nandi Hills in front of us! Nandi Durg is directly in front and the big one next to is is Skandagiri! We now have a mountain to use as a navigation reference! We turn north towards Chikballapur. The destination is in sight.
11 – In Chikballapur, we trun left onto NH 207. Remember NH207?
12 – We actually reach our desitnation. We managed to turn a 1 ½ hour drive into a 3 ¼ hour drive.
Welcome to daytrips in India!