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Old 3rd August 2011, 01:30   #1
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Cool 4x4 Nature Riders OTR at Belthangady

This OTR came out of the blue. I was not aware of it until Wednesday, and Thursday was the last day to book the entry. I mentioned it to Sachin and by evening we had decided to attend. We even roped in a common friend who had previously expressed interest in attending the next OTR with us. The entry fee was unusually high at 3000 bucks per head, as they didn’t have any sponsors. But then it was within 100kms, which means we save on fuel and hotel bills as compared to distant OTRs. Next day we made the payment, and it was time to prep the vehicles.

I hadn’t turned on the Jeep in a month, and it refused to start. Next 1.5 days were tense, while I was trying to figure out whether the problem was with starter motor or battery. Eventually, it turned out to be just a weakened battery. After a whole day of charging the battery, the Jeep finally looked ready. There was no other problem pending to be fixed, so I got the winch and rear trunk installed and hoped for the best. Friday night I wished I had not installed the winch, for it could not work on a weak battery. But it was too late to remove it by then. And it turned to be a blessing, because the next day turned out to be the busiest day ever for my winch.

We left Manipal at 6AM and reached Belthangady at 7:50AM, that is 10 minutes ahead of schedule. As Sachin was fuelling up, I called Rajesh Antony, the organizer. He picks up the call, but instead of saying hello, he just slides up next to my Jeep in a black Thar. Can happen only in a small town. He asks us to continue to a nearby hotel, where we see more offroaders, including the two familiar Scorpios from Bangalore. But the drivers were different, so were the passengers. Soon, one of the marshals led us from there to Bangady, a small village north of Belthangady, to a farm house that was the starting point of the OTR. It was time to register and have our breakfast.

The Registration Desk (all of them are looking at the official photographer who was struggling with a blurred lens)

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As I was filling the form, it occurred to me that I will be offroading with total strangers after a long time. In the recent years I have become accustomed to knowing 1/3 of the participants in any event. Offroaders are a small world, and we keep running into familiar faces all the time. As I was thinking about it, I hear somebody calling “Hello Samurai” right behind me. I turn and stare into one of the most familiar in motorsports, Jagat Nanjappa. Next, I hear one more hello from the side, it was Sibi Paul. Even Tom and Cariappa had come along with them. Later I even ran into Navin and gang from the Pioneers Tennis Club, the organizers of the famous Somwarpet OTR. So much for offroading with strangers.

The breakfast… one of the most lavish I’ve seen in an OTR, with the exception of MGE.

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Idly, Vada, sambar…

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Apa Dose (appam) and chicken curry. Yes, this is breakfast.

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Kara bath (upma) & Kesari bath (sheera)

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Cough..cough.. alright. Let me get a grip and turn my focus on the vehicles.

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Let’s look at some of the interesting ones.

The Udupi Team, consisting Sachin, myself and Nagaraj. Nagaraj is not a stranger to Team-BHP, he supervised the fixing of my Baleno crankshaft in 2007 and the construction of my Grand Vitara skid plates in 2008. Surprised? Yes, he is the head of service at the local Maruti dealer.

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Jagat Nanjappa with his unusual Isuzu 1.8L petrol powered Jeep.

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His full team, Cariappa, King Sibi (how else to explain the umbrella), Tom and Jagat.

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A well modded invader, a marshal vehicle.

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A local CL500.

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The modded Scorpio from Bangalore, check the tyres… Nobody wanted to be behind it after looking at those tyres.

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And this one looked awesome…

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Those of us who have seen these Scorpios in action since two years, usually have a mixed emotion looking at them. The feeling of awe and nagging concern. The first feeling is because of the looks, and the second feeling is because of their history of 4WD failures. I am not a religious person, still I made a silent prayer that they should not be let down again by their quirky electronic 4WD system.

A Gypsy with a winch, not an ordinary sight.

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A Jeep with a Chinese winch

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Sachin’s Gypsy, once known as the unserviceable Gypsy

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And finally my CJ340, still the number one link on Google search for “CJ340” since two years.

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And we are still waiting for more Jeepers to show up.

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Finally we take off. Soon we turn into a muddy trail and we all engage 4x4. The very first obstacle shows up. It is a water crossing, with a strong current and a curved path.

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As the marshal’s gypsy got across, it was clear that the river bed was full of rocks.

Gypsy rips across and shows the way. If you let the current sweep you across, you are rock meat.

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Next Jagat shows how it can be done in a leisurely way. He slowly ambles across without hurry.

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I decide to emulate him and cross the stream in a similar fashion, I even try to look bored. Nagaraj was very excited, once we crossed he wanted to get out and film Sachin’s attempt. But I told him it is too late, for I knew Sachin would have followed me as soon as possible, and I was right. Still we got out and captured some unknown Jeepers crossing the stream.

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Soon we came across an open field with a river flowing across, and the trail went all around it.

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There were villagers everywhere watching the first rally in their midst.

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We had a small break here while waiting for rest of the Jeeps to catch up.

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The marshal’s invader was looking busy running around us.

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Meanwhile we did some riverside photography.

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Soon, the stragglers showed up. This one made us wonder where it had been, for all of our rides were still pretty clean.

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To be Continued...
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Old 3rd August 2011, 02:19   #2
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Default Re: 4x4 Nature Riders OTR at Belthangady

Nice going Sharath. I was missing your detailed account since long.

An interesting beginning as always.
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Old 3rd August 2011, 04:19   #3
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Default Re: 4x4 Nature Riders OTR at Belthangady

Quote:
Originally Posted by Samurai View Post
This one made us wonder where it had been, for all of our rides were still pretty clean.


I have not been to the event, but I thought of shedding some more color to this thread.

Pics Courtesy: Raguraj CK. I hope you don't mind.

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Old 3rd August 2011, 13:15   #4
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Default Re: 4x4 Nature Riders OTR at Belthangady

Wow!! Looks like a fun event. Hope the 4X4 scorpios did not let you down.
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Old 3rd August 2011, 14:49   #5
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Default Re: 4x4 Nature Riders OTR at Belthangady

Quote:
Originally Posted by dr_anurag View Post
Wow!! Looks like a fun event. Hope the 4X4 scorpios did not let you down.
Unfortunately they did. Until 1PM, the trail was quite tame. But that itself was too much for the both the Scorpios, and the 4WD failed to engage in both of them. Therefore, they left the trail after lunch.
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Old 3rd August 2011, 14:49   #6
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Default Re: 4x4 Nature Riders OTR at Belthangady

Wonderful! I never miss a Samurai report; hey, even waited 4 minutes for the thread to load (am on the wireless internet).

Good to see your CJ back into action, Sharath.

- The terrain looks wicked, especially from some of the pics in Dhanush's post.

- Must say, the Invader & 5415 Scorpio look stunning. Waiting to hear how the Scorps did, and who kept your winch busy

- Would you know what tranny & transfer case Jagat is using for his 1.8 ISZ?
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Old 3rd August 2011, 21:01   #7
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Default Re: 4x4 Nature Riders OTR at Belthangady

Amazing Lines Samurai!!! Wonderful write up . The pic where Jagats MUD PUPPY (thats what he calls his baby ) is slumped in the mud is one heck off a move, how the hell did he manage to get in there?

@GTO:- Guess what, He has done a wheelie on that beast!!! Pics of that stunt can be found his Facebook account. That machine shoots like a bullet on highways.

Amazing mods on the bolero. Samurai your baby looks great, always in a good shape.

Last edited by Twinn : 3rd August 2011 at 21:02.
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Old 3rd August 2011, 23:57   #8
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We continue and soon come across a very clayish mud stretch. Just look at the mud, it is yellowish brown, instead of reddish brown. And Jeeps were getting stuck royally here.

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Soon it was my turn, I knew controlled momentum was the key here. And I take off, this is the only action video of my Jeep in this event.



After I crossed halfway, I started hearing all kind of metallic sounds of underbody hitting the rocks. Holy cow, the second half of the slush was full of rocks, it was invisible to the eyes though. The guys who were applauding my crossing started wondering whether they should remove the rocks.

Throughout the trail, we could always see tall hills on one side on which clouds were resting.

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The nightmare for Scorpios had just begun. The green one lost the 4WD ability somewhere here. And the black one was making grating noise.

The green one was finding it difficult to climb this gentle hill which was bone dry. Add to that, it had highway tyres.

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At the next hill, which most of us climbed easily, it was the turn of the black one to fail.

No, the Invader is not struggling to climb, it is trying to tow the massive Scorpio bulk.

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Invader fails to pull the Scorpio on its own. Rajesh asks me whether I use my winch, but there are 5 vehicles in between. Finally they use another Jeep to pull the Invader which in turn pulls the Scorpio.

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See that Elephant chain between the Jeep and Invader, I was very puzzled why they were using a steel chain that weighs as much as a person. One could procure a nylon rated tow rope for lot less.

I loved how the clouds were below the crest of the hills.

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While waiting in the line above, I called Jaggu and lamented how the trail was pretty tame. So far my Jeep was hardly tested. We had driven through few water streams and many climbs, but nothing required a second try. I had talked too soon.

Very next obstacle was a doozy. We could see Jagat’s Jeep was stuck for the first time. But how bad?

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As I approached I was stunned to see the terrain. It was very spongy and sticky. After mistakenly stepping into it, I had to slowly pull my foot out while balancing on the other foot which on dry ground. And the villagers had put branches of the trees into the boggy ground, to add some traction. But I think it complicated the matter.

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So how bad was it? The axle was under the ground, that bad.

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After inspecting that trail, I realized we will be stuck here until night if everybody tries it. It was imperative we find alternative path. Soon, everybody shared the sentiment, except one. While vehicles started reversing to enter the alternative path, Cariappa sat there watching the bog. So far only one vehicle had passed the bog, which was a marshal’s Gypsy. He wanted to try it; he badly wanted to conquer it. I told him may be it is possible, but too much hassle if one gets stuck.

Anyway, once Jagat’s Jeep was rescued, Cariappa took off. The idea was to keep to the wall, to avoid the really boggy ground. He almost succeeded in keeping to the plan at first.

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But at the last moment, his vehicle changed direction and headed exactly where Jagat had gone down.

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The man in the center is Rajesh Antony, who I think has wings in his feet. He used to show up anywhere and everywhere when somebody was stuck, and direct the rescue operations.

The killing fields, people are all moving back as most of the vehicles receded.

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But Cariappa needed serious help, and it was time for my winch.

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At first we anchored my Jeep against the wall. As we started pulling, only my Jeep moved forward while literally digging the wall along the way. Cariappa’s Jeep was dug so deep, it didn’t budge an inch. They had put enough rocks under the tires and cleared the clay around it, still it didn’t work.

Next I asked for another Jeep to act as anchor for my Jeep. Finally one of the invaders came down and parked behind me. They pulled out the elephant chain, but I preferred to use my nylon rope to anchor the CJ340 to the Invader. We started winching again, and this time we started seeing some result, and Cariappa’s Jeep started coming out. Soon, we also started seeing smoke, from behind the winch. One of the wires had become very hot and was giving out smoke. That was the end of winching.

By now the vehicle was mostly out, still it needed towing by the invader to fully get out.

And I entered the boggy ground resultantly to retrieve my winch rope. At one place both my feet sunk deep into the bog and I was stuck. Now Sibi had to pull me out, as I was helpless to move.

Then we all reversed and climbed the side of the wall, it was the alternative path and it was really interesting to drive in that very wild terrain. It was clear that the path was very fresh, we could see young tree stumps along the path. Fortunately my tires survived.

By this time, it was already 3PM and we were hungry. I pulled out the lunch bag and discovered it only had snacks and boiled eggs. After eating couple eggs and cakes, we attacked my emergency food provision that contained fresh buns. As we were washing it down with water, Rajesh comes along and tells us that the lunch point is right after the next river crossing. Gulp! Lunch again…

This river crossing was very interesting, check out the current. Next 4 shots are from Sachin Karkera's FB album.

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After the winching session, we had become one of the last vehicles. But we took the lunch point opportunity to claw back the front. After that we settled down for lunch, it was Chicken Biriyani time.

The view beside the lunch point. I think this is the Netravathi river, unless I am mistaken.

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The parking lot.

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The local volunteers with the marshals.

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To be Continued…
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Old 5th August 2011, 01:51   #9
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Default Re: 4x4 Nature Riders OTR at Belthangady

The Scorpio team left the trail after the lunch point. Even a Thar MDi dropped off since it was getting dark, and the 60+ old man driving it didn’t want to deal with night driving. We were told that the trail will get lot more crazy when we enter the reserve forest. No, we were not blazing a trail. There is a trail made by villagers within the forest that will take us all the way to Samse, a town near Kalasa.

Two years back, it was made by villagers since the forest department was not approving a plan to rebuild an old British made trail. The villagers had to take a very round about road to reach Kalasa. So they formed a 1000 people strong mob, marched into the forest and rebuilt the road. Both police and forest officials were helpless against that number. I hear it got politically too hot for officials to take any action. Now it is accepted as Kuchha road for local use, only 4x4 can take this road though. Too narrow for SUVs I feel. It is used only in the dry season since it becomes too slushy for lone Jeeps during monsoon. That made the trail perfect for our purpose.

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The bus route from Ujire (A) to Kalasa (B) takes the blue path. But we just cut across straight up, first half via villages and remaining through the new forest trail. Permissions were taken at the highest level, and only limited vehicles were allowed with a heavy fee. Only 18 vehicles entered and completed the forest trail.

The next obstacle was a climb in a semi-slippery trail. Lots of them were struggling here.

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It looked tame enough, but the amount of mud dug up by the earlier vehicles should give a hint.

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Then there was Strange Rover, a Jeep modified to look like series 1 Land rover. It had a DI engine, but a hole in the exhaust causing power loss. It used to struggle at every climb.

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However, I climbed without a sweat and so did Sachin.

Another Jeep comes up without much drama.

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It was almost 5PM and until now, Sachin and I had conquered every obstacle in single attempt. And we were getting overconfident. And finally I made my first mistake of the day. I approached a major obstacle without checking it out on foot.

And this is what happened. (Photograph borrowed from Suresh JP’s FB album)

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The right technique was to approach it from extreme left, hugging the corner. By the time I heard the technique, I was stuck in the middle. For the first time in the day, I needed assistance. I had to be towed out of this by a Jeep in the front.

Then Sachin follows me into the exact same mess.

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Now I had to tow him out, while another hill peeks between the trees.

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Now the next guy enters the same mess. I had a feeling that no matter how one enters the corner, they are all ending up in the center.

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Master offroader Sibi Paul grimly watches the circus show.

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Now it is Sachin’s turn to pull the guy behind him using my tow rope.

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I collect my tow rope and continue. Next we run into another climb, which is lot more slippery than earlier hills. The Strange Rover was having the usual trouble. After many attempts and pushing, etc., he makes it across.

Then there was this very ordinary looking SWB mutt, it was hard to make out its origin. But it was tuned like a super dragster by its mechanic owner cum driver who was a local.

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He went through the sticky clayish slush so fast, I shook the camera while running behind him to capture the action. Note the slush in the lower right corner.

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My attempt was not so successful. Two attempts in 2-low failed and I had to reverse down. I finally took off in 3-low and almost reached the top and got stuck. Couple guys pushed me and I got through.

Sachin however managed it one attempt thanks to Gypsies revv-happy momentum.

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Then we drove through very narrow trails ( with cliff on one side) and few water streams. Couldn’t take any photographs as we kept moving. But I found the photo of one of the best crossings in a FB album.

Here the trail drives through a water fall. (Photograph borrowed from Suresh JP’s FB album)

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Strange Rover gets stuck again. Sorry about shaky shot, it was getting dark. It almost fell to the cliff here, but the Jeep behind pulled it back on the trail.

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I managed to avoid the slushy ditch by hugging the right side wall. And then we ran into another innocuous looking climb. Here, Strange Rover again took 2-3 attempts to climb and in the process dug a big ditch on the right side rut. The SWB mutt just ripped through the climb and made it one shot as always. I didn’t suspect anything odd and took off, only to fall into the right side ditch. No progress after that. I reversed all the way and retried. Same ditch got me. Reversed and tried again while trying to stick to the left. As I passed the ditch, I slide back into it, and in an angle. No reversing possible anymore. Sibi who had walked up there says I have no choice to self winch myself. So that is what we did, tied the rope to a tree and I pulled myself up. I had failed where the Strange Rover had managed to pass through.

Then we came across the biggest challenge of the day. It is L shaped climb, which ends with a very clayish slushy corner. I think only 3-4 vehicles did it on their own.

You can see the stuck Jeep here.

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And the stuck Invader.

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Each vehicle had to be pushed and towed. Every vehicle after crossing had to pull the vehicle behind it. The SWB mutt climbs in one shot and makes it. I wonder what kind of tuning he has done, he had the same engine as me, but claimed to have petrol diff ratio. Not sure what that means, 5.38 or 4.88?

The climb as seen from the top

4x4 Nature Riders OTR at Belthangady-p7306170.jpg

I tried doing it in 1-high to get the speed, but I reached the top most part and got stuck. Once stuck, there was no hope in that thick pasty mud. I once again self winched myself out with a Jeep as anchor point. Since I was using the winch, somebody in the front took the earlier tow rope and left.

When Sachin came up and got stuck, there was no rope to pull him out. So, I pulled out my 3-ton rope, but it came up short. My 5-ton rope was in Sachin’s Gypsy, we took that out too. Using my two ropes and two D-Shackles, we literally pulled the Gypsy up the hill, without using my Jeep. Then Sachin had to pull the next Jeep. By now the marshal team had realized the convenience of a nylon tow rope. It is so easy to carry, connect and disconnect unlike the metal chains or metal ropes. They requested me to leave it with them until every vehicle was pulled up. So I left it there and continued. By now it was totally dark. I have no more photographs.

The remaining trail was extremely slippery in some parts where the trail was trying to slide us down into the cliff. I got stuck in places I could not have imagined. Both Jagat and Sibi came ahead and helped me with techniques to escape those booby traps by Mother Nature. I started driving just using one pair of fog lights so that I can see the edges very clearly.

Soon we came across a hairpin curve. There we found the Strange Rover stuck next to the mud wall after completing the turn. All attempts push it forward failed, all attempts to tow it forward by Jeep failed. Finally I suggested we pull it back, away from the wall. This was lot easier since I was right behind the Strange Rover. My winch was used for the 4th time and Strange Rover was literally dragged to the center of the road and after that it managed to continue. Rest of us didn’t have any problem in that curve.

In total we crossed 14 water streams, some were wide river crossings with strong current, and one water fall. Yet, my drum brakes didn’t fail even once. I guess water never got in. That was very strange.

After some more slippery trail drive, we finally hit tarmac. It was 8:45PM by then and we continued to Samse town, and after to the Silent Valley resort for a lavish dinner party. I finally got out of my gum boots, and my feet were crying for fresh air. It is a pain to wear gum boots for long periods, it absolutely allowed no air. Once my feet recovered, I put on my outdoor/offroad boots and walked into the ear-splitting loud party hall. Due to an old fire-cracker injury to my right ear, I can’t stay in such places for more than couple minutes. The entire Udupi team first found a wash basin and cleansed ourselves from all the sweat and grime of the day. Then we found few seats as far as possible from the speakers, and settled down with appetizers and soft drinks. Since we were to drive back right after dinner, we didn’t join the partying or dancing. I never understand why the DJ plays the music so loud. Even while sitting so far away from the speakers, we still had difficulty hearing each other. Only after we moved to the dinner hall little later for the food, we found some relative quiet where we could talk about the day.

Rajesh joined us there and shared some of the tidbits about the event. The event was conceived only 13 days back, after he and his friend had participated Mahindra Great Escape at Chikmagalur. Concept to execution in just 13 days, that too with such organization and with an amazing trail. I was truly stunned. They had wisely refused newbie entries and limited the entries to just 30. Due to many last minute cancellations, the final entries had dropped down to 21. But that was a very convenient number to manage as the day proved. I feel they need not have spent so much on lavish breakfast, lunch and dinner. Lunch could have been a simple fare (bakery stuff) like in Somwarpet event, instead of king size chicken biriyani pack. Finally, they should sell that elephant chain and buy 5-6 nylon tow cables and D-shackles from the proceeds of the sale. As you see there was no real gripe despite this being the first OTR event organization. Volunteers and marshals were everywhere and ready to help the moment we got stuck. The audiences were everywhere and were really enthusiastic and applauded whenever difficult stretch was conquered or encouraged when repeated attempts were needed. Altogether, it was a wonderful experience for us. It was also special for the Udupi team since this was the first OTR we attended in our native Tulu Nadu, barely 100kms from home.

Around 11PM we started back, this time through Kudremukh ghat. Here we faced the thickest fog I have ever come across till date, and I have seen lot of fog before. But we knew the drill. I switched off the highlights to reduce the diffusion, turned on all 4 fogs, and keeping only edges of the roads in sight, I kept on driving at 30-40kmph. The Gypsy merely followed my tail lights. Some places I was forced down to 20kmph as visible dropped even further. But at no time we stopped due to fog, as my Neolite 714 army could always illuminate the 10 meters ahead of us.

If you are thinking the action is over for day, you are mistaken. We generally maintain a good pace even over bad monsoon roads, and it is really rare for someone to overtake us during such drives. As we crossed Karkala and continued, a Swift Desire Vdi honked at us repeatedly and overtook in great hurry. As we entered Hiriadka, I saw the Swift Desire parked at 90 degree to the road with lights on and the driver was trying to hitch a ride. Giving lifts at 1:30AM is not a good idea, so I didn’t stop. I figured he can stop one of the numerous tourist temp travelers/cruisers that travel that road at any time. Then I noticed that the Gypsy stopped for him and even switched off the light. So I was forced to take U-turn and return.

Now I noticed that the car was not really parked. Both the front tyres were in the storm gutter. While travelling at high speed on wet tarmac, he had braked for a bus and then torque steered into the gutter. I told him he must be the luckiest man. Not only he survived the accident without a scratch, but within 10 minutes he was able to find a couple of offroad vehicles armed to the teeth with rescue equipment. And he even got an initial damage report from a very senior Maruti service professional. It is like winning a triple lottery. But the guy simply couldn’t figure out who we were, he kept calling us trekkers. Yeah, trekkers with a winch. What a muggle! (muggle = non 4WD folks [inspired by harry potter])

At first we tried the tow rope, but the D-shackle couldn’t fit into the rear tow hook of the desire. I wonder who designed that tow hook. So we gave up on that, and unwound the winch. There was no anchoring required since the car was light compared to all the things I pulled during day. The car came out of the ditch in 10 seconds of winch operation. The reverse gear didn’t work. Nagaraj discovered oil in the gutter and predicted damage to the gearbox. Anyway, the guy was acting a little funny. He couldn’t wait to get away from the strangely equipped trekkers. Although Nagaraj asked him to drive slowly, he took off again in the same fashion as before.

Finally, reached the office close to 2AM. As I parked the Jeep and drove the Grand Vitara home, I had only one thought in mind. The Grand Vitara must be the most luxurious SUV in the world, the gearshifts were buttery smooth, cabin was super silent and wind/chill of the night couldn’t touch me. Funny what a 20 hour drive in the Jeep can make you believe.

Concluded.

Last edited by Samurai : 5th August 2011 at 12:42. Reason: typo
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Old 5th August 2011, 02:16   #10
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Default Re: 4x4 Nature Riders OTR at Belthangady

That was an awesome read sir. Loved the narration, the pictures, the machines.

Cheers
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Old 5th August 2011, 09:43   #11
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Thanks Sharath. Wonderful as usual!! Did the Scopios retrace the same path or went back on different road?

I am amazed at Jagat Nanjappa's spirit even today. I remember him from my school days when Jagat and Anita were known as "Yazdi Couple" in rallying circuit!!

I was also looking for some "leech" stories!!! I loved the picture of clouds hugging mountains and that of the hanging bridge on Netravathi. It is just lovely.
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Old 5th August 2011, 10:14   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GTO View Post
- Must say, the Invader & 5415 Scorpio look stunning. Waiting to hear how the Scorps did, and who kept your winch busy
I wanted to wait until I finish the story. Now you know what the Scorpios did, they left after lunch. There was no way they could have handled what came after lunch.

Quote:
Originally Posted by GTO View Post
- Would you know what tranny & transfer case Jagat is using for his 1.8 ISZ?
He is using Isuzu Trooper GB and TC.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fauji View Post
Thanks Sharath. Wonderful as usual!! Did the Scopios retrace the same path or went back on different road?
There was no way they could have retraced the same path alone. Fortunately, there was a bus route which they could take after the lunch point.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fauji View Post
I am amazed at Jagat Nanjappa's spirit even today. I remember him from my school days when Jagat and Anita were known as "Yazdi Couple" in rallying circuit!!
Yeah, I too grew up hearing his stories.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fauji View Post
I was also looking for some "leech" stories!!!
While Nagaraj kept mentioning about leech encounters, I simply didn't see one. I guess my gum boots probably still reeked from the tobacco application from last year, despite the wash. But I decided to ignore the leeches until I get home and undress. I know leeches from my teen years. After reaching home, I removed my shirt and found a really fattened leech right at the base of my neck. It kept bleeding for a long time after I removed it, thanks to their ant-coagulant agent. That was the only one.
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Old 5th August 2011, 10:18   #13
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Default Re: 4x4 Nature Riders OTR at Belthangady

I am wondering, why is it, that on every OTR, the scorpio 4x4 stops working? I guess it goes kaput if splashed by water?
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Old 5th August 2011, 10:25   #14
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Default Re: 4x4 Nature Riders OTR at Belthangady

Lovely pictures Samurai. OTRs are great fun. I had participated in the Munzerabad Club OTR Sakleshpur a few years back (as an 'observer', you see, I don't own a jeep 'yet') and I loved it.

Btw, how long was the stretch from Didupe to Samse? Is it fully a forested region or do you pass through villages? Is it trekkable by any chance? I guess we need permissions to do so.
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Old 5th August 2011, 10:40   #15
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Default Re: 4x4 Nature Riders OTR at Belthangady

Not fair Sharath, You write so much about the "Strange Rover" and keep talking about it but not a single picture from the front to back up your claim.

Am sure many of us would be rather intrigued about the "strange" front.

Wonderful write up as always. I think I have attended many more OTRs vicariously through your writings than actually having been there.

@Tsk - The Scorpio and the Safari have the same issue with the electronic switch. Best thing to do is to do a little prayer to respective Gods before using it. 2 times out of 3 that has worked for me in my Safari. Haven't you faced it?
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