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Old 16th July 2008, 19:56   #61
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@Samurai Speedy recovery to your dad.
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Old 17th July 2008, 00:05   #62
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In the photos I published, some of you might have noticed that all are not of same quality. This is because many of the shots were taken using the ultra compact Panasonic FX-36 by my wife when I was pulling driver duty. Since she caught much more action being on foot, I have generously used it wherever needed. The FX-36 obviously doesnít produce images anywhere closer to E3.

After lunch we started off again and almost immediately hit the next traffic jam.

Sarvinder, the Jeep Thrills moderator from Delhi looks bored.

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This is a steep drop into the tiny river bed, but angle is not evident since it is shot from inside. But the tilt of the Jeep compared to the trail.

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Initially I was afraid the water may be too slushy, but the river bed was quite firm.

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The water was splashing all the way up.

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Now Sarvinder is happy.

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We had to wait our turn in the river bed too since getting out was not easy.

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Although it is not evident in the photo, the ground under the red Jeep is extremely slushy, and this incline goes 50 ft further in a S formation. I didnít climb the first part in the first 3 attempts. In my fourth attempt, with lots of help from local folks who put extra weight on the Jeep by jumping on it, I managed to pull though and then practically flew through the S curve.. In the photo you are seeing Jammy Anand (MM440) on his red petrol Willys, he made it in his high-revving style.

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Photographing an offroading event is a very challenging affair. Most off-road hurdles looks flat and simple on a photo. It takes lots of experimentation to compose the shot to convey the real difficulty. Also, if the photographer is also the participant, he can never get out and shoot the really difficult hurdles. That is why many of the challenging hurdles are not even shown unless my wife managed to capture it.

Consider this simple looking V hurdle. Looks easy right?

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Now have a closer look at the ground, totally slushy.

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Now consider standing there in person, it would look even crazier. I am giving out these impressions as a newbie off-roader, seasoned off-roaders may not find it as crazier. But one thing is certain; you canít judge an off-road hurdle from a photograph or video. The real degree of difficulty sinks in only when you stand there and realise you have to go over it.

Soon we are told to take a U-turn, now we are supposed go back mostly on the same route. Yes, that includes the dreaded water stream which almost no one could cross.

But the reverse crossing should be easier, since we are now in the higher bank. Again participants start probing various crossing points.

Bangalore Jeep Thrills moderator Giri Tirumale tries to explore the only successful route from the earlier crossing, also the bane of many Jeeps. And he gets caught and needs to be winched out.

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One would think that this and the earlier experience would deter the participants. On the contrary, this crossing point draws more participants, like moth to the flame. See the line up, notice the yellow Jeep who was stuck here for so long, he wants to try it again. You have to applaud that spirit.

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Even the marshals with their god like offroading ability got stuck on the reverse journey, it required long time to pull them out. I have to mention that this Jeep was driven in an awesome fashion whole day, mostly by the guy standing next to it, they were running circles around us. Anybody recall his name?

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This time I was quite determined to cross it without being in winched out, but how? As I was looking around, I noticed that some of the local organisers were retrying the bamboo technique. It was very close to where I was parked. And I see that at least 3 Jeeps successfully crossed the stream using the bamboo waltzing. So I decided take that route right away.

So the local boys lay the bamboo along the stream and I take off... and I cross successfully!

First offroading event with my Jeep: Coorg Jeep Thrills OTR 2008 Report-p1000157.jpg

Behind me Patrickís son too makes the crossing successfully on the MM440.

First offroading event with my Jeep: Coorg Jeep Thrills OTR 2008 Report-p1000158.jpg

Meanwhile rescue effort is on pull the Jeeps from the extreme crossing point. During this process the Mahindra Legend from M&M team breaks its oil pan by backing into a rock. That is not something that can be fixed in the field. Later it was towed all the way to India Garage in Gonikoppal for replacement oil pan.

Now that I crossed the stream earlier than most, it was time for a long wait for others to catch up.

Wife posing with the Jeep during the wait.

First offroading event with my Jeep: Coorg Jeep Thrills OTR 2008 Report-p7121166.jpg

Now that I knew how much the Jeep can tip, I parked in this tilting position since I saw many others doing it.

First offroading event with my Jeep: Coorg Jeep Thrills OTR 2008 Report-p7121167.jpg

This strange position revealed the flexibility of Jeep chassis. Check out the wheels.

First offroading event with my Jeep: Coorg Jeep Thrills OTR 2008 Report-p7121168.jpg

First offroading event with my Jeep: Coorg Jeep Thrills OTR 2008 Report-p7121169.jpg

First offroading event with my Jeep: Coorg Jeep Thrills OTR 2008 Report-p7121170.jpg

After some time we start moving and again get stranded as the towed Legend is getting stuck in hurdles. One more long wait. The electric fence you see on the side is for the elephants.

First offroading event with my Jeep: Coorg Jeep Thrills OTR 2008 Report-p7121171.jpg


To be continued.
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Old 17th July 2008, 00:49   #63
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Now your Signature says it all.
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Old 17th July 2008, 01:30   #64
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After we crossed the last hurdle we decided to continue and get out of the forest. This is how the route looked.

First offroading event with my Jeep: Coorg Jeep Thrills OTR 2008 Report-p7121174.jpg

And then we came across the long slushy route we took in 1st low in the morning. By this time I had become cocky enough to take it in 1st high and got through it in a jiffy.

First offroading event with my Jeep: Coorg Jeep Thrills OTR 2008 Report-p7121176.jpg

One of the passing by Jeep asked us to rendezvous at Dhinuís home stay before we took for Gonikoppal for the dinner meet. But that was at least 2 hours of wait. As we were waiting at Dhinuís home, we called up Giri and informed him that we will go to Gonikoppal right way. I have some roots in Gonikoppal as I lived there during 1979-82. I wanted to visit my neighbours from then.

On the way to Gonikoppal.

First offroading event with my Jeep: Coorg Jeep Thrills OTR 2008 Report-p7121178.jpg

First offroading event with my Jeep: Coorg Jeep Thrills OTR 2008 Report-p7121180.jpg

First offroading event with my Jeep: Coorg Jeep Thrills OTR 2008 Report-p7121183.jpg

At Gonikoppal, we quickly freshened up, and chatted up for 2 hours over some great snacks and coffee. This was our 3rd visit to their house in 26 years, last was 3 years back.

Finally at around 8PM, we showed up at Silver Sky restaurant and started reliving our day over many conversations over chicken tikka and pork fry. I was hoping to find somebody from my schooling days at Gonikoppal, but most local boys turned out to be much younger than me and from other schools.

As I finally started my dinner, the prizes were handed out to the best performers of the day. Apart from that organisers and representatives from various part of the country too received souvenirs. The prizes were sponsored by North India Offroad club. Is this club different from Jeep Thrills, I am not very sure about that part. As sole representative from coastal Karnataka, I too received a souvenir.

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Unfortunately, I couldnít take any photographs as I was having my dinner. But then lots of people did take photographs during this event.

After dinner some of us left early so that we can have a good nightís sleep. Since only Kiran Kumar in our group knew the way back, I followed him. After few KMs, he stops and asked me to switch to low beam. In reply I switched on my high beam which can light up UFOs. After a dazed moment, he proceeds further keeping a distance from me, I too fall back. After reaching Alath-cad, we all quickly retire to bed.

July 13th 2008
Today I got up at 7AM dreading another cold shower like the previous day. But when I was merely 1 minute into the shower, the water turns hot. So I finally enjoy a hot shower, dress up and get out for breakfast. And an imposing line up attracts my attention.

The day after the battle with muck and slush.

First offroading event with my Jeep: Coorg Jeep Thrills OTR 2008 Report-p7131184.jpg

First offroading event with my Jeep: Coorg Jeep Thrills OTR 2008 Report-p7131185.jpg

First offroading event with my Jeep: Coorg Jeep Thrills OTR 2008 Report-p7131186.jpg

First offroading event with my Jeep: Coorg Jeep Thrills OTR 2008 Report-p7131187.jpg

First offroading event with my Jeep: Coorg Jeep Thrills OTR 2008 Report-p7131188.jpg

First offroading event with my Jeep: Coorg Jeep Thrills OTR 2008 Report-p7131189.jpg

First offroading event with my Jeep: Coorg Jeep Thrills OTR 2008 Report-p7131190.jpg

First offroading event with my Jeep: Coorg Jeep Thrills OTR 2008 Report-p7131191.jpg

Over the morning coffee/tea we all have a pleasant but passionate chat about everything Jeep. It is not every day that Jeepers get to ask questions to Mahindra insiders like Mr.Sudhir Kashyap in such a serene setting. And we make the best use of it.

First offroading event with my Jeep: Coorg Jeep Thrills OTR 2008 Report-p7131195.jpg

First offroading event with my Jeep: Coorg Jeep Thrills OTR 2008 Report-p7131198.jpg

After breakfast we start making plans for the day. My wife and I were planning to start off at 9AM, reach Mangalore for lunch and reach home by 4PM. Meanwhile I overhear a conversation between Giri and Kiran where Giri is suggesting some scenic place near Virajpet that is a must see. Since it is a small detour I quickly convince my wife to modify our itinerary for the morning. And how it turned out is an entirely different story. Since that story is different from the official OTR event, Iíll post it in another thread later once I develop the photographs.

Meanwhile, I would like to thank the Jeep Thrills Bangalore team and Coorg team for organising a fantastic event. Iíll resist mentioning individual names since I will miss out many names. The local Kodava guys did an amazing job in volunteering their local expertise and off-roading know-how to help the participating Jeepers. It must have been a mammoth effort to arrange and co-ordinate so many details, provide food, rescue and other logistics. The official Mahindra team headed by Mr.Sudhir Kashyap was in the forefront providing guidance and directing the rescue effort. It was great to see participants from distant places like Delhi, Goa and Chennai come and enrich our collective experience. All in this entire event was an unforgettable experience for us.
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Old 17th July 2008, 01:41   #65
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Quote:
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As we started climbing the Sampaje Ghats, my wife noticed that the engine was heating beyond 90C. I quickly stopped and checked the coolant level in the overflow tank, it was well above full. Then I opened the radiator cap and lots of coolant whooshed out. Well, that was a typical rookie mistake. So I added more water to make up for the loss. After some wait we continued again as we wanted to hit Madikeri before it got dark. But the engine started overheating again. So we again stop. This went on for few times, we even checked engine oil level, fan belt slackness in the dark in torch light. The heating didn’t make sense since the weather was very cool and sun was already set.
The radiator cap valve bleeds coolant when it expands into the reservoir and pulls it back when it cools. if the cap is faulty, it can release all of the coolant, or not pull back when it needs it. seeing the reservoir full can be misleading.

I will say pressure check the cap to make sure it works well, I had this problem in my galant. replaced for 8$.

you would know this happened if after a couple of drives u still have coolant in the reservoir but very low levels in the radiator.

EDIT: Oh and the cap itself has a warning about not opening when hot, it's like a pressure cooker. You could get scalded.

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Old 17th July 2008, 08:47   #66
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wow !!! absolutely enjoyed reading that and thanks for sharing the fantastic pictures samurai !! eagerly awaiting the 'near virajpet' story something tells me i know where you guys went
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Old 17th July 2008, 09:16   #67
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Nice pictures and a good writeup.Expect more
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Old 17th July 2008, 10:32   #68
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Great writeup samurai. Enjoyed every word of it.
Hope Dad has a speedy recovery too.
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Old 17th July 2008, 10:54   #69
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Quote:
Originally Posted by maddy42 View Post
Hope Dad has a speedy recovery too.
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@Samurai Speedy recovery to your dad.
Thanks guys, he is already discharged, it was just a biopsy.
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Old 17th July 2008, 10:56   #70
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Simply awesome report yet again! One of the main attractions of offroading is being at one with nature. Seems like you guys had plenty of time to do that too. I prefer relaxed offroading excursions over hurried full throttle ones. Getting to point B is not as important as making the most of the journey. Mahindra used to have a tough time stopping the informal races that inevitably became a part of each great escape.

Quote:
So the local boys lay the bamboo along the stream and I take off... and I cross successfully!
Bravo! Couple more offroading sessions and you will become a pro. Pay a lot of attention to technique. Thats more important than some others who high-revv and speed just for drama.

Quote:
The radiator cap valve bleeds coolant when it expands into the reservoir.....
Valid point, Vivek! Sometimes it can be the simplest things.

Samurai, I am happy to see that your Jeep has proven reliable and has no real issues, save for the overheating problem which is common to Jeeps. I can see that the two of you are getting along just fine.

P.S. : Clicks 5 star rating for this thread.

Last edited by GTO : 17th July 2008 at 11:00.
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Old 17th July 2008, 11:26   #71
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A beautiful photo-blog there. It would have been worth the trip just to shoot these machines doing what they are meant to be doing.

The photos showed clearly that serious off-roading shouldnt be done with machines just equipped with 4x4.

And the tractors were definitely star performers there, well weilded by people who knew their machines and their terrain.
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Old 17th July 2008, 11:32   #72
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@samurai, GREAT write-up and pictures.

Did your wife also take pictures with the E3? ....i guess the ones where you are there are NOT from E3.
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Old 17th July 2008, 12:00   #73
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GTO View Post
One of the main attractions of offroading is being at one with nature...I prefer relaxed offroading excursions over hurried full throttle ones. Getting to point B is not as important as making the most of the journey.
For me this has been the primary motive in offroading and with each trip I come back home richer in exposure to nature at her pristine best. An offroader to me is just a tool to allow me to visit places I normally may not attempt to reach on foot. This past weekend some friends and I managed to track a lake in the heart of a forest using a GPS, and what a sight it was to discover it. It is totally hidden behind hills and few people know of it.

In large events like these I have also noticed a little bit of the show off factor creeping in and you often get a lot of revved engines and smoke, which kinda detracts from the ambience of a dark lush forest.

I think smaller groups of five Jeeps max would make for more meaningful excursions rather than these large fests.

Disused quarries are better for these large gatherings.
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Old 17th July 2008, 12:10   #74
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Very captivating and detailed write up; transformed me to Coorg from my office chair. Looking forward for the Virajpet trip.
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Old 17th July 2008, 12:13   #75
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Sharath 1st of all a wonderfully written report coupled with pics. I see that you made a wonderful transition into the world of Jeeps and off-roading.

I don't know how many tbhp'ians here have been inspired as of now by you to buy a jeep. Kudo's to your spirit in participating and yeah a tbhp'ian is everywhere .
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