Posts for Road Trips Category

Road Trip in Napa Valley

Blog, Destinations, Road Trips - GoroadTrip - March 16, 2017

If you know your wine interests you, take the Napa Valley Wine Tour, which California is known for. If the experience of actually being in a vineyard is not exciting enough, the process of harvesting, vinification and storage will hurt you. If you have the opportunity to wander around in the right season, you can start from the beginning to discover the ripe vines for picking! From the vineyard you go to the winery where the wine is produced and watch the wine making process. The wine tour ends with a glass of the final product, the wine.

Wine tours can take a lazy afternoon or up to two weeks. Visits are made in all types of transportation, and you can choose the option depending on your mood or your time. Napa Valley has it all. From limousines to wine trains and cars you can make your choice.

Napa Valley Wine Train Tour:

For a complete Napa Valley experience, the Wine Train takes you through wine valleys with gourmet meals and beautiful views. Ascent and descent of the partner vineyards with gentle transfers, if necessary for a tour of the vineyards and wineries and wine tasting.

Napa Valley Wine Limousine Tour:

Enjoy the famous tour of Napa Valley Wine in the luxury you royally drive in a limousine for cellar tours. A tour guide who will accompany you will inform you about the history of vinification and the geography of the country. Fill up the pleasure quotient with the complimentary champagne and picnic tours.

Napa Valley Wine Trolley Tour:

An authorized replica of the San Francisco Trolley The trolley is a motorized version of this model from 1890. Trolley travel is a fun way to visit the vineyards and vineyards while you enjoy the beautiful scenery and breathe fresh air.

Napa Valley has some of the best wineries in the country. Some of the places that make your wine a memorable event are:

Hendry Ranch:

This is a family winery with a welcoming environment that welcomes pets. The friendly staff are free with their knowledge of wine making and entertain you while you taste their charming wine.

Twenty rows:

The cellar has a relaxed atmosphere with the wine served right next to the rows of stacked barrels. You will appreciate the works of art in the salon-like tasting room, where music flows from a sound system.

Saintsbury:

With a garden for outdoor wine tasting and a barn that is pleasant in cold and rainy weather, Saintsbury Winery specializes in Pinor Noir and Chardonny.

William Hill Estate Winery:

Visiting this winery is a pleasant experience with beautiful gardens, views of the valley and a glass of wine to wander the square. The friendly staff will make you feel at home. The country also serves as a picnic for families who can bring their picnic here.

Schramsberg vineyards:

This winery offers a unique tasting experience as it is located in the Calistoga Caves. This wine tour takes you into a gothic atmosphere. The highlight is the excellent sparkling wine for which the winery is known.

Stony Hill:

Specializing in white wines and Chardonnay, Stony Hill offers wine tours by appointment. Although the place is off the beaten track, the walk compensates for it. The road is over the hills and is beautiful with views of the Napa Valley.

O’Brien Estate:

Accept your visit and wine tasting by appointment at the O’Brien Estate and get ready to be enchanted by this beautiful winery and its attentive staff.

Castello di Amorosa:

The impressive castle of this estate offers wine tasting and much more. The people on the wine tour are impressed by the structure as well as the sights and smells of the wine, which force them to choose a bottle or two for their own collection or for a gift. The children are happy to taste their own grape juice.

Mum Napa:

At the Mumm Napa Vineyard, you can enjoy the wonderful views and first-class service of the staff during an organized wine tasting. The cellar is characterized by artisanal sparkling wines.

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Tips for a Successful Road Trip

Blog, Road Trips - GoroadTrip - February 27, 2016

Planning your perfect road trip can be an exhausting ordeal, but we’re here to help. We’ve talked a lot about planning an awesome vacation, but road trips—where you take a long drive and hit many stops on the way—present their own set of challenges. Here are a few things you should keep in mind as you plan.

Car Documents: Make sure your car Registration, Insurance, Pollution Check are updated and safely tucked in your glove box. Have few photo copies just in case you may need. It is always a good idea to keep a notebook with important phone numbers and addresses in there as well.

Windshield Water Tank: Check the water level in your car’s Windshield Water Tank which is very important during all seasons.

Plan Your Route and Stops Before You Leave: You know your destination, but deciding on your route and stops can really depend on your travel style. You need to investigate the weather and road conditions before hand too. One route may look shorter on the map, but weather can turn that short route into a long and hazardous road

Bring a spare car key: It might sound like a no-brainer, but there are some people who have not been so wise.

Make Sure Your Ride is Ready: In the weeks leading up to your adventure, you need to make sure that your vehicle is in primo condition. This is important for you and your passengers safety, and a healthy vehicle won’t break down on you in the middle of nowhere.

Keep An Open Mind: While it’s extremely important to plan ahead for your road trip, keeping in an open mind will help you get the most out of this experience of a lifetime. Don’t get too caught up in the plan and be willing to adjust and adapt as you go along.

Carry cash for tolls: Toll roads can pop up in the most bizarre of places, and their fares might be higher than you expect. Stock your center console with rupees and paise.

Announce your whereabouts: Text someone — a friend or your parents — the name of the place you stay each night and which city you plan to reach by the next night. In the very rare event that anything sketchy happens, it’s good to have a public record of where you are.

Stay Entertained on the Road: Once you’re on the open road, you need something to keep you from getting bored. Boredom leads to feeling tired, and feeling tired leads to you endangering the whole travel party. Anything from music, to books on tape, to classic car games can help keep the boredom away. With iPods, streaming services, and satellite radio, your music will never dry up, but don’t forget about the power of a good mix CD. If you can, make a CD of music everyone likes enough that they can tolerate it for most of the trip.

Snacks, Snacks, And More Snacks: Snacks are a road trip must, and you should have the accessible at all times. Stock up before you start your drive. Hit up your local supermarket and pick up the ingredients to make some of these awesome & healthier snacks!

Avoid Night Drives: Though the traffic is less during night, we have few disadvantages too while driving at night. Poor visibility at night is the first and foremost reason. If the route is new, may miss important road signs & end up at an altogether different location. Chances of hitting pedestrians or vehicles which do not have proper indicators or reflectors. Too many lorries during the night time with dazzling lights. A breakdown during the night may lead to unnecessary troubles.

Take pictures: Road trips are prime fodder for beautiful scrapbooks and bulletin boards once you get home. Take beautiful pictures!

Things to Carry:

  • Spare Tyre along with a Tyre Jack & Reflective Triangle
  • Tyre Inflater & a Sealer
  • Car’s Manual
  • Car Repair Information
  • First Aid Kit
  • Torch Light / Flash Light
  • Multi Tool
  • Water bottles filled
  • Blanket
  • Paper Towels
  • Tissue Rolls
  • Umbrella
  • Shopping Bags
  • Pencil & Papers
  • USB Mobile Charger

How to change a Flat Tyre:

Follow these simple steps to fix the problem and be on your way in no time –

Find a safe spot to pull over. If you’re on the freeway, taking the next exit is the safest bet, even if you have to drive on a blown tyre. Otherwise, pull as far onto the shoulder as possible. Don’t park in the middle of a curve where approaching cars can’t see you. Also, choose a flat spot; jacking up your car on a slope can be a disaster. If you have a manual transmission, leave your car in gear. Be sure to set your parking brake!
Turn on your hazard lights. Get the jack, wrench, and spare tyre from the trunk(boot space) of the car and bring them over to the tyre that is flat. Use other tools or supplies, if needed.
Use the wrench to loosen the lug nuts. You may need to remove the hubcap. Don’t remove the lug nuts at this point; simply loosen them by turning the wrench to the left (counter-clockwise). If the lug nuts are really tight, try placing the wrench on the nut and standing on the wrench arm to use your full weight on it.
Use the jack to lift the vehicle off the ground. Different car models may have different places to put the jack; consult your owner’s manual for specific locations. Once the jack is securely in the correct spot, jack up the car until the tyre is about 6 inches off the ground.
Remove the lug nuts and pull the tyre off the car. Make sure to place the lug nuts in a pile that won’t get scattered, and pull the tyre straight toward yourself to remove it from the wheel base.
Place the spare on the car. Line up the lug nut posts with the holes in the spare, and push the spare all the way onto the wheel base until it can’t go any farther.
Put on the lug nuts. Don’t put them on tightly, just make sure they’re on enough for the spare to stay on the car for a moment.
Lower the car back to the ground. Use the jack to bring the car back down to ground level. Remove the jack from underneath the car.
Make sure the lug nuts are tightened. With the car back on the ground, you can now tighten the lug nuts. Rather than tightening them one by one in order, start with one lug nut, tighten it about 50%, move to the opposite nut (across the circle) and tighten that one about the same amount. Keep tightening opposite lug nuts gradually in turn until each lug nut is as tight as it can be.
Put your flat tyre and tools back in your trunk (Boot Space). Make sure you don’t leave anything on the side of the road.

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Chettinadu—A Community and its Cultural Heritage

Blog, Road Trips - GoroadTrip - January 1, 2016

Karaikudi, the largest city in the Sivaganga district and known as the capital of Chettinad, is the ancestral home of the Chettias. This community is known for its business acumen and willingness to take great risks in trading. The Chettiars were frequent travelers and started business in Burma, Malaysia and Singapore. The men went abroad and many families stayed in the 74 villages of Chettinad.

The Chettinad temples, built by Vaastu Shastras and Agamas, were sponsored by the wealthy trading community of the Chettias. The kovils are Illaiyathangudi, Mathoor, Vairavankoil, Nemamkoil, Illupaikudi, Surakuddi, Velangudi, Iraniyur and Pillaiyarpatti. Each temple has its own reservoir called Oorani, where water lilies are grown and used for sacred rituals.

Chettinad’s daily activities focus on temple festivals. Even the various clans of the Nagarathar community are identified after the Kovils. The connection of each clan (and temple) decides on marriage protocols within the community and marriage between members of the same temple is prohibited. The city has evolved around temples that span everything from culture and architecture to business.

Karaikudi is the name of a local plant called “Karai”. The streets of the city are lined with huge houses built by the wealthy community. Most of these ‘bangala’ (bungalows) are abandoned and do not take their lives when it’s family gatherings, ranging from birth to majority, marriage, sixtieth anniversary and death events.

The houses of the Chettiars Nattukottai or Nagarathar are huge and can accommodate many people. The houses are built between two streets, with the front door overlooking the first street and the back the second street. Starting from a central courtyard, tiny rooms with carved doors and burmese teak were imported into India by this trading community. The door frames are carved with Gajalakshmi, the goddess of wealth and you can see the kumbam (brass pot) with mango leaves on top. Scenes of Mahabharata and Ramayana are carved on its wood panels and walls.

Athangudi Palace

Many bungalow entrances have a raised platform, the “Thinnai”, which was the meeting place for men and other visitors who came to the house on business. On one side are the warehouses and granaries of solid wood and on the other the billing room and further the fountain of men. Each room around the central courtyard was attributed to a bride who entered the family, where she kept all her belongings. The wealth of the head of household was demonstrated by the renovation, painting and embellishment of the main parts of the house. The huge teak columns of Burma, the decoration of walls and gables, wooden slats, murals, ornate balustrades and railings are visual delights.

Married community brought a dowry with them, which contain several numbers, 50 or 100 pieces per article needed a home, including utensils, kitchen appliances and furniture, bedding, money running and gold. Her traveling husband brought exotic plates and trinkets from their travels and all these things were kept in this small room. Objects were rarely used and should serve as a safety net. The accumulated items were used as inventory to start a business when the need arose.

The “Bangalas” were left until a few years ago. Recently, there have been efforts to revitalize these homes, and you can even stay in some of them.
Chettinad is famous for its spicy food, which is still prepared on the wood fire in the old houses. This gives the food a distinct quality. The paal paniyaram (pasta with sweet milk), the classic karakozhambu (hot and spicy curry) and a variety of poultry dishes, seafood and vegetarian dishes and a variety of tiffin is typical of this region.

Korvai Chettinad saris are unique in the use of colors. It has a striking pattern with bold stripes and stripes and a temple pattern. The art of basketry-Kottan-is also reborn in the region.

The Chettinad Museum, next to the Raja Palace, illustrates the lifestyle of the community. In the kitchen is the travel suitcase with its elaborate basket, which contains everything you need for cooking, worth a detour. Traditional jewelery and clothing, huge copper water tanks and grain silos illustrate the lifestyle of a community.

The famous Athangudi tiles were also reissued. You can see these handmade terracotta tiles that have been modeled and sun-dried in this village and the demand from urban customers is increasing. There is a local secret to make this tile.

Chettinad gypsum (currently called Madras gypsum) differs from the usual things in that it is clearly smooth and shiny. The plaster on the walls has been polished until you can see your face. There are several applications of gypsum with lime. After every half hour seven layers are applied. The worker waits for the plaster to give off water after 4 to 5 hours and rubs it with a pebble. Then the talcum powder is applied with a touch. This plaster is mainly found in several regions of the south.

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