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Old 29th August 2008, 17:11   #31
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Finally managed to update the video.

The first video is the one which shows us extracting Mukund's gypsy. Its a 23 min video.



Once we were able to extract Mukund's (Ragpicker) Gypsy, Khan_Sultan (Shahnawaz) and Suresh drove the other 2 vehicles carefully negotiating around the trees.

Finally at a point 2 Kms from the top, we reached a point where we had the track littered with pebbles.
At this point, we heard a elephant trumphet. Quiet possibly it was walking on the path and had to make a quick dash into the forest after hearing the noice being made by our vehicles.

All of us assumed it to be a herd of elephants possibly with calves due to the way in which they were trumpheting to show their displeasure at us for invading their domain.

Chennappa informed us that we might be able to track the elephants once we negotiate this track and reach the top.

The pathway was littered with dried elephant dung which made it all the more clear that the path we were using was frequented by elephants.

At this point i have shot a video of us negotiating the trail. I am not sure if you guys can hear it or not, but in the background we can hear the elephant trumpheting. Also we can see the path taken by elephants to dash into the forest.



Once we reached the top, we could still hear the elephant trumpheting and Chennappa offered to track the elephant.

So we parked our jeeps and started to track the elephant on foot. Now i must say with some dried leaves we found it very difficult to follow the elephant without making any noise.

Then we reached a left hand curve.
I was the last one in the group and when i reached the curve, i see the rest of the guys running back at me with Jammy (MM440) looking dead serious and telling me to get the hell out of there.

The minute he said it i knew that the elephant must have either tried to unnerve us with a mock charge or must have really charged. I didnt want to stand there and verify either of the 2 things.

Thats it i started running as fast as i could over the rocky and uneven terrain trying to keep up with the guys as best as i could.

Finally after running a safe distance, Chennappa stopped as did the rest of the guys.

It is here that Mukund, Anand Chennappa, Suresh and Shahnawaz informed me that what we thought to be a herd of elephants turned out to be infact a solitary elephant ("Makhna") which had infact earned a bad reputation after having trampling an unsuspecting villager on his thigh.

We stood there on top of a couple of boulders for a bit waiting to make sure that the elephant was not going to follow us.

Once we got the all clear, we slowly headed back to our steeds and got going.

Although i had the camera with me i didnt take any snaps at this point as running was of paramount importance when compared to taking snaps.

After another 2 kms, we reached the top of the Solgere hills.

The time at this point was around 05:30 P.M and we were really really starved.

We went to the end point there and sat down on the rocks and "watered and fed" ourselves. The idea of keeping the "RAJMA" next to the radiator was outstanding one as it kept the "Rajma" really hot. We ate the rajma along with the Poori's and "Vangibath" which we also shared along with Channappa and "Tiger" an adorable stray mutt which has been around for quiet some time and seems familier with Mukund and Jammy.

The hot "rajma"

Solgere OTR with the Bangalore Jeepers on 24th August 2008-img_0605.jpg

Quenching our thirst.

Solgere OTR with the Bangalore Jeepers on 24th August 2008-img_0601.jpg

Solgere OTR with the Bangalore Jeepers on 24th August 2008-img_0602.jpg

Cauvery river from top of the Solgere betta.

Solgere OTR with the Bangalore Jeepers on 24th August 2008-img_0598.jpg

One more on the opposite side.

Solgere OTR with the Bangalore Jeepers on 24th August 2008-img_0599.jpg

Sun set.

Solgere OTR with the Bangalore Jeepers on 24th August 2008-img_0600.jpg

Solgere OTR with the Bangalore Jeepers on 24th August 2008-img_0603.jpg

Solgere OTR with the Bangalore Jeepers on 24th August 2008-img_0604.jpg

Solgere OTR with the Bangalore Jeepers on 24th August 2008-img_0606.jpg

We sat on top until 6:50 and then decided to get down using the normal easy trail and also it was getting pretty dark.



Once down we hit the highway we reached the Kanakpura town in no time at all.

After we crossed the Kanakpura town, Shahnawaz informed us that he would be rushing home. So our convoy of 3 jeeps was now reduced to a convoy of 2 jeeps.

Another 10 minutes later, we saw Mukund slowing down and informing us that there was a problem with his gypsy but then continued driving at a much reduced speed. Then after a couple of 100's of meters, Mukund stopped the jeep again.
The problem was determined as a T-case failure. Since it was around 8 we decided to tow the gypsy with my MM540.

We towed the gypsy for some distance when Anand and Suresh stopped the MM540 and informed us that they would try and fix the problem.

[Guys i am not very sure about the problem with Mukund's jeep as i dont still understand lots of things about jeeps]

MM440, Khan_Sultan, Ragpicker are requested to explain this part in detail to the rest of them.

Finally the problem got fixed and i hitched a ride along with Mukund back home along with Mukund and reached home by around 11:00 P.M.

This ends the travelogue of my first OTR,
One of the main thing that i learnt from the OTR is that the satisfaction that one achieves after completing a tough trail and then reaching a destination that others would not be able to do on normal vehicles is something that has to be experienced and cannot be expressed with words or through pictures.

I felt on top of the world once we reached the top spot. We had the whole place for ourselves (Just the 5 of us).

Offroading is a very serious thing and should not be attempted alone unless the person attempting is an experienced offroader who knows the mechanicals of his jeep in and out and also has a winch or something mounted on his vehicle to be able to get out of a "Sticky" situation.

Hope you guys enjoyed this little travelogue. Sorry for the limited numbers of pictures that were taken. Next OTR that i goto will have more pictures.
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Old 29th August 2008, 20:28   #32
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karthik, nice videos and report buddy. you going for the weekend slush drive in Choodemahalli, off Sarjapur road OTR?

Checkout the jeep_thrills site for details. do go if possible. it should be fun.

Cheers,
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Old 29th August 2008, 22:45   #33
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You guys seem to be having a nice time on top of that mountain.. anyway i wonder what did you guys do with all that plastic cover, empty beer cans and food packets? did u guys leave it there?

Last edited by Monster_BHP : 29th August 2008 at 22:48.
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Old 29th August 2008, 22:51   #34
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Monster_BHP View Post
....anyway i wonder what did you guys do with all that plastic cover, empty beer cans and food packets? :P

Great point. .

All that stuff is meticulously collected, packed into polythene and brought back to be disposed at our houses. we NEVER litter the place. In fact, we even go to the extent of collecting other trash (like bottles etc) that we find there (left by some morons) and bring it back.

You should sometime have a look at my Gypsy while coming back from a trail. it's a literal waste basket at the back.
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Old 29th August 2008, 22:52   #35
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All non bio degradeable wastes are carried back and emptied in the cities appropriately.
cheers
jammy


Quote:
Originally Posted by Monster_BHP View Post
You guys seem to be having a nice time on top of that mountain.. anyway i wonder what did you guys do with all that plastic cover, empty beer cans and food packets? did u guys leave it there?
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Old 29th August 2008, 23:28   #36
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Quote:
Originally Posted by khan_sultan View Post
Great point. .

All that stuff is meticulously collected, packed into polythene and brought back to be disposed at our houses. we NEVER litter the place. In fact, we even go to the extent of collecting other trash (like bottles etc) that we find there (left by some morons) and bring it back.

You should sometime have a look at my Gypsy while coming back from a trail. it's a literal waste basket at the back.
Thats nice to know, most ppl actually feel shy to bring the garbage back becoz no one else in our country does it but i appreciate your care for nature. Good work khan, keep it up.
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Old 30th August 2008, 06:29   #37
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Quote:
Originally Posted by khan_sultan View Post
karthik, nice videos and report buddy. you going for the weekend slush drive in Choodemahalli, off Sarjapur road OTR?

Checkout the jeep_thrills site for details. do go if possible. it should be fun.

Cheers,
Thanks Shahnawaz. I am working on this weekend so wouldnt be going for the OTR.

B/W guys Jammy, Khan_Sultan, Ragpicker, we should definately stay overnight at Solgere. Should be fun.
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Old 2nd September 2008, 18:21   #38
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Since Mukund (ragpicker) hasn't posted about it as yet, I am taking the liberty of posting the Solgere OTR jaunt on the 31st Aug here.

Mukund in his Gypsy with 2 more jeeps (MM550, Willys Petrol) headed to Solgere on Sinday noon and went the difficult way up. With rains, it was more difficult than a week before. They were there on top at dusk and started the descent the easy way down. Little they know that it would become the most difficult way down.

The stretch of some ~3kms on way down is being redone with mud road and it has JCB's putting in lots of soft mud there. With the weekend rain around Bangalore, that mud road had virtually turned into a muddy swamp/marsh, ready to suck in whatever came there.

All of them, except Mukund's gypsy to some extent, got royally stuck there and they spent the entire night go to village, procuring a tractor and getting their stuck vehicles out from there. They were in knee dep mud all night with every things running short -- patience, food, water etc.

They reached Bangalore at 2.00 am next day. Yes.!!!

Also, I hear that the petrol willys engine got seized. Yes seized. Don't know how but it got seized. And this was the first OTR for that person who had bought a willys after looking at wonderful pictures of OTR's. I feel really sad for that jeep.

And yes, NO one was carrying camera's so no pictures. This one is like the 175 from Kapil Dev at 83 world cup. no recording. Only the people who were there can relive those moments. Rest of us can only imagine what would have been like spending literally the whole night in getting the vehicles out of that soft mud.


Cheers,
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Old 4th September 2008, 13:07   #39
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Ouch that would have been painful. Off roading is about getting dirty and all.. but getting a vehicle stuck in mud and slush at night is no fun..
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