Yes, the title is misleading. But after completing the India Diamond Trail challenge, that’s exactly what it felt like. The Kwid had aced all the tests that it was presented with. Now it was all about getting back to Delhi. The drive that took us almost the entire day the first time around proved to be a lot easier this time around. The traffic was visibly lower and we could maintain a good pace on the twisters of NH 44. The Chenani Neshri tunnel was a particular highlight. 9km long and India’s longest tunnel, it is an engineering marvel and has cut down travel time by hours.
The road work in progress continued to present its own challenges. Littered rocks and sudden diversions were the norm but the Kwid with its nimble feel and sublime braking wasn’t particularly worried. The road continued to be broken until we were an hour away from Jammu. Then, the small road opens up into a dual carriageway of the highest quality. Steep inclines don’t feel like much, and triple-digit speeds are easily attained on the wide flowing corners. Adding to our ease of driving on the road was the Kwid’s ability to overtake slow moving traffic without much effort. Credit to the 1.0-litre gem of an engine.
Tomorrow we take the Kwid to Delhi to complete the India Diamond Trail.