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Old 1st July 2013, 17:00   #16
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Default Re: Fortuners, Clay & Art of Pottery at Rajmachi Trail...

Real Nice start. Makes me want to pack my bags and just drive off on the weekend. The scenery is to die for on that side.

In 2006, me and my friends had actually taken a Zen and Qualis up till the village near the foothills of the fort. That was the only time i have been to Rajmachi and i surely loved it, except that the vehicles werent the perfect ones as the entire road was just stones and except the driver, all of us had to trek it up to avoid the vehicles sagging down and getting hit (which anyways was happening )

And whose Fotuner is the one with the number 8888. I had spotted it today at Goregaon East.
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Old 1st July 2013, 17:59   #17
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Default Re: Fortuners, Clay & Art of Pottery at Rajmachi Trail...

Quote:
Originally Posted by parsh View Post
As soon as I saw the first few snaps, Rajmachi came to my mind and so surely Kedar bared it before the suspense could go on...
Hi parsh,
Surely you didn't miss the title...that would have put you out of the misery of the suspense I suppose.
About the Innova up the trail in this weather. Pretty doubtful. Dry weather anytime without issues. But in this weather the vehicle will need a 4x4 especially up certain slopes.



Quote:
Originally Posted by SDP View Post
BTW, have heard about this trail multiple times, but never been there ..even on foot. Can one of you please share the map of the trail, especially the starting point?
Hi SDP,
Thank you.
The start point is fairly simple. Get off the expressway at Khandala and head towards Kamats which'll appear on the left (have breakfast/lunch/dinner - not part of the map !) and move on towards Fariyas. A few hundred meters after Kamats you'll find a turn to the left with boards advertising Della Adventure (Summerhill or something) - take that. That is the start point.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gujarati View Post
Awesome pics, looks like great adventure!!
Thank you G. It was indeed a great soggy adventure !

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Originally Posted by ghodlur View Post
You guys are having a blast with the Forts. Thanks a lot for the pics, seemed only the Forts can traverse through such adverse conditions.

Guderian - let us know how did the clay come off the driver side footwell/carpet...
Thank you Ghodlur. Plenty of other vehicles can also scamper up the trail. And some Fortuners may not want to...but that's another story to be told duly.
The conditions though great fun were treacherous all right. On some slopes we couldn't even stand - used to instantly slide down, feet first. All thanks to the clay.

And the clay was partly removed from the carpet in the cabin by a wet cloth and the remanent allowed to dry which will be dry scraped with a brush next week and vacuumed. The pedals were also cleaned with the wet cloth.Mat washed seperately. No I don't do this for other's vehicles !

Next adventure...let's see. Might again go back to Rajmachi before the end of the monsoons.

Quote:
Originally Posted by kedarwalke View Post
What a coincidence, i took the same route and came out from upper deck resort and some gramin housing office. Guess we took a left instead of right at the exit point.
Yeah the discussion with the forest officials on my way out manning the point threw my compass in a tizzy and I didn't see the track on the right side which was anyway filled with vehicles that were prevented from going up.

Quote:
Originally Posted by yaji View Post
Guys, This makes for a fabulous reading and Amazing views...i envy you ...wish there was a team like this one at Bangalore for company !
Well Yaji - look around you, you already have a team. Nilanjan, Rajan, Manmohan et al. All ready to get out of the city at the drop of a hat !

Quote:
Originally Posted by nilanjanray View Post
Now why does that phrase reminds me of Tolkien, Napoleon and Hitler? Unfair, the bias towards the West.

Btw, did you use 4HL/4LL? Perfect for this OTR since this was slippery, so little chance of torsion.

Perhaps some of us will meet around a campfire at ~ 10,000 feet this year.

P.S. rated 5 stars
Hi Nils,
Well, wild west fortunes perhaps !

Yes - speaking for myself driving Admiral (or was it the other way around ?) did use HL 3 times. And was compelled to use the LL on the slipperiest of the slopes - the last one. Zero traction. But that's another story.
Oh yes we should all meet at 10K+ feet. Great snap that.
Thank you on behalf all the western chappies for the rating.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Desmosedici View Post
And whose Fotuner is the one with the number 8888. I had spotted it today at Goregaon East.
Thank you Desmosedici.
That would be Kedar !

Last edited by Guderian : 1st July 2013 at 18:20.
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Old 1st July 2013, 18:52   #18
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Default Re: Fortuners, Clay & Art of Pottery at Rajmachi Trail...

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Originally Posted by Guderian View Post
Hi parsh,
Surely you didn't miss the title...that would have put you out of the misery of the suspense I suppose.
About the Innova up the trail in this weather. Pretty doubtful. Dry weather anytime without issues. But in this weather the vehicle will need a 4x4 especially up certain slopes.
I did ignore the title in completeness initially just seeing it coming from you but later did look at it and there was more after the pottery...

Thanks for clarifying the situation up there in this season. I want to see sometime how far it can go in this season as I never did it before due to the same situation you confirmed. Lets see if I can really come to doing that.

Thanks for the fantastic log again. Now the monsoon spirits are really awakened.
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Old 1st July 2013, 19:12   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Guderian View Post
Next adventure...let's see. Might again go back to Rajmachi before the end of the monsoons.
Can I have the pleasure of accompanying the Forts in the next trip if I am accomodatable, would love to feel the clay plus the ride in the Fort squadron. If its just the T-forts marching then I will be happy seeing them in pics.
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Old 1st July 2013, 19:20   #20
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Default Re: Fortuners, Clay & Art of Pottery at Rajmachi Trail...

Quote:
Originally Posted by parsh View Post
1. I did ignore the title in completeness initially just seeing it coming from you but later did look at it and there was more after the pottery...

2. Thanks for clarifying the situation up there in this season. I want to see sometime how far it can go in this season as I never did it before due to the same situation you confirmed. Lets see if I can really come to doing that.
1. Damn ! Getting predictable, am I ?

2. Just to tip you off - the villagers, and later on in the day the forest officials, are currently trying to prevent vehicles from getting in. After a bit of argument they allow the 4x4s. When we went up there were only some villagers, who enquired when I was passing by, whether Admiral was a 4x4...
On return the forest officials had put up a barricade of sorts preventing any vehicle from getting on to the trail. They looked at me half heartedly, a few words exchanged about the 'nature' of the vehicle and why they were preventing vehicles inside etc. and off I went 'out'...in the wrong direction of course.

The reason given was that couple of weeks ago a Gypsy was washed off by strong currents at that water crossing, in the snaps above of Admiral and other Fortuners crossing it, and the villagers having to spend quite a bit of their time, effort and resources (compelled by the forest officials and police) to locate, recover and help the merry makers. After this episode there are efforts to prevent vehicles from going 'in' by all parties impacted.

Not really sure what became of the gypsy or its passengers ultimately.

Last edited by Guderian : 1st July 2013 at 19:25.
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Old 1st July 2013, 21:10   #21
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Default Re: Fortuners, Clay & Art of Pottery at Rajmachi Trail...

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Originally Posted by Guderian View Post
1. Damn ! Getting predictable, am I ?
looks like! It surely has become a matter of common sense that suspense follows the roads Admiral treads. So it is but unexpected that it is bared off in the OP, thats an unexpected googly.

Thanks for the extremely valuable tip-off in 2nd point.
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Old 2nd July 2013, 09:10   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ghodlur View Post
Can I have the pleasure of accompanying the Forts in the next trip if I am accomodatable...
Sure ghodlur. Will give you a shout when we plan something next.

Quote:
Originally Posted by parsh View Post
looks like! It surely has become a matter of common sense that suspense follows the roads Admiral treads. So it is but unexpected that it is bared off in the OP, thats an unexpected googly.
Now that's a conundrum, if there ever was one. Meaning being unpredictable is predictable ?

Anyway hoping that the day will see some more snaps.
And the mother of all snaps from the official photographer of the group - Ahmed ! Hats off to him, like always, for having driven all the way from Aurangabad just to participate in the run.
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Old 2nd July 2013, 13:18   #23
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Default Re: Fortuners, Clay & Art of Pottery at Rajmachi Trail...

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Originally Posted by Guderian View Post
The reason given was that couple of weeks ago a Gypsy was washed off by strong currents at that water crossing, in the snaps above of Admiral and other Fortuners crossing it, and the villagers having to spend quite a bit of their time, effort and resources (compelled by the forest officials and police) to locate, recover and help the merry makers. After this episode there are efforts to prevent vehicles from going 'in' by all parties impacted.

Not really sure what became of the gypsy or its passengers ultimately.
Since you wondered...

The gypsy was recovered a few days after the actual incident pulled out by a gazzilion villagers with ropes (since no tow truck has 4x4 to reach that spot). From what I know, quite a decent amount was paid for the same.

It had rolled quite a bit down the slopes (minus the occupants, who came out earlier before the washout to examine why it was stuck). You can figure out what happens to an empty vehicle in strong currents. No one was injured or hurt other than the badly battered gypsy.
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Old 2nd July 2013, 15:10   #24
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Default Re: Fortuners, Clay & Art of Pottery at Rajmachi Trail...

Some more snaps and snippets...

One thing that helps us immensely is the timing. All of us are bang on time. The committed time. Not one ever late for a single event. Till now. And that from a group that variously drives in from Pune, Aurangabad, distant parts of Mumbai. Helps beat the traffic and other pests.
This time too we were ahead of time.

A break to ensure we were not ahead of time.
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Pre-event bonding helps. Especially when your life depends on them.
Not that Karan561's shorts are on fire but just the foggies.
(L-R: Karan, Akhil (Manish's pal), Guderian & Ahmed-Aurangabadwale)
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A good, early breakfast helps. Helps especially the guy in green t-shirt grinning like a jackass.
(With Manish in black T).
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Some good patches:
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Some squelchy patches:
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Ghostly creatures spotted in the fog/low clouds ?
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No just good folks who refused a ride:
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After some strenuous, tough, gut wrenching driving we found these guys ahead of us on the trail near the devil's back slope. They must be Ghosts who Walk.

Mountain dew on the glass ?
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A breather before the rough patch:
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Enter the narrow trail and jungle patch:
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And then some slide and grind:
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The woods are lovely, dark & deep...who asked you drive around here you creep ?
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Sez who that there's a trail here ?
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(To be continued...Hey ! Where are the other snaps & videos Ahmed/Kedar/Manish et al ?)

Last edited by Guderian : 2nd July 2013 at 15:33.
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Old 2nd July 2013, 17:11   #25
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Default Re: Fortuners, Clay & Art of Pottery at Rajmachi Trail...

Our preparation and equipments were superb.

At the "briefing" the conversation went:

1.
"OK guys let take stock..."
"Of what ?"
"Equipment yaar"
"What equipment ?"

2.
" Tow ropes/slings ?"
"No."

"D-shackles ?"
"Arre tow ropes nahin hai to D-shackles leke kya karega ? Achar banayega ?"

"Shovels ?"
"No."

"Jumper cables ?"
"Woh kya hai ?" (Genuinely asked with a tone of wonderment)

3.
"We just don't have anything for serious stuff. What do we have ?"
"Just Fortuners"
"Chalo, let's go..."

In the end we thought that was all that was needed for this trail. Or was that all really ?

But yeah, it was pretty tough in sections.
Distinctly remember the sharp incline full of mud n clay, slippery as hell, at the top of which was the landslide spot.

Here are the repeat of the snaps...snaps shamelessly pinched from earlier contributors.
The sharp, incline:
Fortuners, Clay & Art of Pottery at Rajmachi Trail...-oc-1.jpg

Portion of the land that had slid down. We were most apprehensive of the stump which would have ripped apart the thin skin of the Fortuners. And there was no space on the right (left of the snap) where there was a deep drop of about 100 odd feet. Individually the braves were helped up and we cleared the spot.
Fortuners, Clay & Art of Pottery at Rajmachi Trail...-oc-2.jpg
A Pajero Sport was also helped up. What ? Treason ! Utterly preposterous !

A 'ghuspait'...infiltrator ! A Pajero Sport joined us somewhere along the way. With friendly youngsters (not that any of us were old). We helped them along the way at all the tricky points.
Well the Pajero did a neat act later on in the story.
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There was also a Discovery 4. Played a clown's role later on in the story.

Clay, plenty of it - red, sticky, miserably sticky type and Admiral's tyres also played a role in the subsequent part of the story.
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But that's another story...for another day.

Last edited by Guderian : 2nd July 2013 at 17:15.
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Old 2nd July 2013, 18:39   #26
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Talking Re: Fortuners, Clay & Art of Pottery at Rajmachi Trail...

A big thankyou to Guderian,Kedar,Karan,Monaro,Ahmed for another fab Offroading outing.

Venkat missed it this time.

River crossing,muck,slush,Minor Land slides,Sharp Rocks,Clutch burn,Wheel spinning etc etc.

The T-forts had it all.

I was unfortunate to get stuck at a mucky incline for quite a while. HL or LL, 1st/2nd/3rd gear just nothing helped. Got stuck twice in the same incline section.

Car was revving at 3000-3500 rpm in LL but the car wouldnt just move. Tried tried and tried and atlast with help of karan and Satyen (Monaro) putting stones below tyres to get some traction, i managed to complete it. Was tough but it was so much fun and i feel satisfied.
Finally the later part of this section was completed in HL rather then LL which wouldnt be of any help then.

While coming back some of us also did some donuts. What Fun !!

A sunday well spent and looking forward for another trip to Rajmachi soon.

Some pics from my end :-
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Old 2nd July 2013, 20:00   #27
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Default Re: Fortuners, Clay & Art of Pottery at Rajmachi Trail...

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Originally Posted by Guderian View Post

But that's another story...for another day.
Amazing write up Sir! I have been reading your threads but havent ever left a post. Needless to say its always an amazing read!

Once again this is an amazing thread with a congregation of amazing vehicles. I would love to be part of this as a passenger if possible and reading these threads of yours makes me want to own that Fortuner even more.

Request you to complete the full story including the guest appearance of the Pajero Sport and Discovery.

Once again I must say Guderian Sir excellent snaps, narration and initiative.
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Old 2nd July 2013, 20:06   #28
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Default Re: Fortuners, Clay & Art of Pottery at Rajmachi Trail...

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Originally Posted by Guderian View Post
Clay, plenty of it - red, sticky, miserably sticky type and Admiral's tyres also played a role in the subsequent part of the story.
But that's another story...for another day.
Quote:
Originally Posted by bhp View Post
I was unfortunate to get stuck at a mucky incline for quite a while. HL or LL, 1st/2nd/3rd gear just nothing helped. Got stuck twice in the same incline section.

Car was revving at 3000-3500 rpm in LL but the car wouldnt just move. Tried tried and tried and atlast with help of karan and Satyen (Monaro) putting stones below tyres to get some traction, i managed to complete it. Was tough but it was so much fun and i feel satisfied.
Finally the later part of this section was completed in HL rather then LL which wouldnt be of any help then.
^ A pic of the same section which is described above.

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Guderian View Post
There was also a Discovery 4
Which got stuck;

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And had to back off / Reverse

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It was such a victory moment for us that 4 Fortuners made through the same patch but the LR could'nt

Last edited by karan561 : 2nd July 2013 at 20:11.
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Old 2nd July 2013, 21:57   #29
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Default Re: Fortuners, Clay & Art of Pottery at Rajmachi Trail...

Just glued to this thread!
As always superb pics guys and Guderian's puns make it all the more fun to read.

Waiting for the story of your Fort's tyres and also the Pajero.
How I wish I had a Fortuner to accompany you'll on these wonderful excursions! Indeed a trekking for the 4x4's.

If I am not wrong then had seen Kedar's Fort a few days back in Malad, now that I saw the reg no and its tail lights I realised it was him, missed the T-BHP sticker then cuz saw the car from an angle where it was not visible.

Rated the thread truly what it deserves - 5-stars.

-Bhargav

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Old 3rd July 2013, 10:32   #30
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Default Re: Fortuners, Clay & Art of Pottery at Rajmachi Trail...

And the story continues.
But this time with the snaps flicked from Ahmed to aid the progress.
Hats off to the man from Aurangabad and our official photographer.
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Some repeats but with better snaps !

At the break on the highway. This time with Manish on extreme right:
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At breakfast. Minus the jackass of a grin:
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The line up. And if you look closely in the first snap you'll find the group in animated discussion. That's when the famous "briefing" session was on. The conversation has been reproduced verbatim earlier:
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At the landslide point.
Karan coming up:
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The Pajero Sport being helped up:
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Admiral conquered everything thrown at him but one.
The Landslide Point where the incline and spot was brushed aside easily:
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The water crossings were rushed past merrily:
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All other inclines, ditches etc were happily whistled past.

Till the incline we called the Devil's Back.
This was the final sharp incline just before the Donut Flats which was our destination. We didn't intend going up to the village this time due to the number of vehicles and the crowds of hikers.
Ahh... the Devil's Back. The same place where we had rescued the stranded Safari and a Damsel in July 2012.
And this time it was truly the Devil's Back.

At the begining of the run we had decided that Monaro would lead. And Admiral would conduct the rearguard action if required. At the last water crossing Admiral went ahead of Kedar's beast. And so at the D'sB it was fifth in the line behind Manish.
First Monaro went up effortlessly. Then Karan equally effortlessly and so with Ahmed. And Manish with some effort.

The area in the snap below is just before the curve of the D'sB. Manish in action:
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By the time Manish went up the path had turned completely squishy with tonnes of red, gooey, sticky as hell clay. And rutted as hell.

Admiral awaits at the bottom of the incline if D'sB, after the curve, waiting for Manish to clear:
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It was then I noticed that a Discovery had crept up behind us. Behind me was Kedar and then the Pajero Sp.

As Admiral waited suddenly a bunch of motorcylists appeared out of nowhere and started to come down and a few climb up !

And as was waiting the heavens opened up. Sheets of water pelted down on the slope for 5 minutes making it a quagmire.

Admiral moved up and on HL engaged went upto about 25% of the slope without any effort. And then the potter' s wheels started spinning & spinning &...you know !
HL/LL/Reverse rocking nothing helped. Beyond a certain point there was no traction at all.
Got down and saw this mirror finish:
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Realised that you need these kind of treads which were on Karan's Brute. The Conti XContacts:
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Reversed back & tried thrice in all ways -twisting/turning/shaking/rocking/jumping - no go. Luckily no clutch burn smell. Was just contemplating hacking the clay with the folding shovel and packing stones when I realised that it would take quite some time. And behind Admiral the crowd was growing.
And frankly I didn't want to ruin Admiral's clutch or gearbox...had office to go to the next day after all & limited sources of money !

Took a call to turn around as all the major points were done and only this remained which was anyway the end point. And so it was to be. Turning around on the D'sB, narrow portion, was an experience in itself. Slipping, sliding, gliding...

Then Kedar, behind me, also decided to turn around.

So both of us turned around and went down and parked to the side of the trail.

As we came back we saw that the Pajero Sport with its brand new Apollo Hawkz tyres had clambered up with no major issue !

And then came the turn of the Discovery 4. It was a JH registered one with a full family inside and a pompous gent driving it. When Admiral was in the middle of the attempt - this gent went up to Ahmed and let loose a few uncharitable remarks about having Fortuners and not able to use it properly ! Ahmed smiled.

And when I was on the way down and the guy leaned across, as I crossed him, and asked as to what happened. I mentined that I had given up. And he smiled a very sarcy smile and mentioned that his vehicle had diff locks (?) front and rear, winch etc and wanted me to watch him go up.
Which I did a few seconds later after parking Admiral. Only to see him wallowing like a beached whale some distance up the D'sB...attempting to screw up his tranny, which luckily held. 10 minutes of screaming and yelling by the engine got him nowhere, including after having offloaded his family in the clay...and finally he gave up and reversed down all the way...forlorn. Totally. Last we saw him speeding away as we all gathered for the photoshoot on return.
So much for him & his D4. I am sure he would have discovered something new about the Discovery that day.

The 4 Fortuners who went up went on to the Donut Point and rolled around in the mud...
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Kedar and me located a photoshoot point and waited for the rest who joined us in about 15 minutes:
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And after the photo-op and all the bonhomie I decided to peel off, alone, as the rest wanted a last Vada Pav break at Khandala. And Kedar too decided to break formation and roll off alone.

Admiral sailing off:
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And some more points on the way back:
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On way back saw some marquee brands. Oh ? But of what joy are these unless they are put to good use ? Then I remembered the Discovery 4 and smiled !
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The hills are alive with the sound of...motors !
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And we shall return.

Gracias - Karan, Ahmed, Kedar, Monaro & Manish !

Tally ho !


Quote:
Originally Posted by miharbe View Post
Amazing write up Sir! I have been reading your threads but havent ever left a post.
Once again I must say Guderian Sir excellent snaps, narration and initiative.
Thank you for the warm words !

Quote:
Originally Posted by Octane_Power View Post
Just glued to this thread!
-Bhargav
Thank you for the kind words and rating !

Last edited by Guderian : 3rd July 2013 at 11:01.
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