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Old 9th March 2009, 19:55   #16
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Default Awesome Report

Congratulation Samurai sir, awesome report with awesome pictures

waiting for the 2nd part esp with the heavy ones(Endy & scorpio) and how they faired through the trail
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Old 9th March 2009, 20:14   #17
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The next challenge was crossing a ditch. As you can see in the next photo, the offroaders have to climb down the hill we are standing on and then come up to reach the next hillock.

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This is how you climb down.

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And then climb up. This is Sreeraj by the way.

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Hurricane Vivek looks all ready to take the plunge, this one won't be a challenge to the SWBs.

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After watching couple of Jeeps negotiating the ditch, I realised that the bottom of the ditch has a sudden drop before the Jeeps can start climbing. That is going to hurt vehicles with long overhangs, especially in the rear. So we discussed this with the Endeavour drivers, made sure they know the risk of plunging into the ditch. Still the Endeavour drivers looked like they are going to try it anyway. I know what they were thinking. They didn't want others to think that they chickened out from the ditch despite having 4x4 SUV lot more powerful than the average vehicle there. Then I let it slip that my Grand Vitara cracked the rear bumper on such a trail and it isn't worth it. That seems to made them think. Really, it is not worth breaking the ultra-expensive rear bumper just to get some pats on the back. Eventually they took a alternate path that avoided the ditch.

As I crossed the ditch on foot and climbed up, I ran into the most unexpected & out-of-place duo greeting me on the next hill. Mclaren and Memo were standing there, looking lost among all the offroading hoopla. For people who don't know them (4x4 section regulars hardly know them), these are guys who spend all their waking hours making their cars a second faster than before. They would be at home in a track event or drag event, but in an offroading event, they looked so out-of-place. They had come in Memo's SX4 which was parking at the entrance of the trail. Memo did mention something about HKS kit, which sounded so alien in that place. Currently they were passengers on a friend's 4WD Scorpio.

As I looked back, I could still see some vehicles looking down the ditch with apprehension.

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Few moments later, I looked back again and swore... Somebody was going bananas!

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This image might express the emotions of the audience at the time, a princess surrounded by wild thorny bushes.

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Where Endeavours didn't dare, the Beetle did. Both are the in the frame.

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And yes, it got stuck. Without 4x4 there was really no hope at this place. It was time to tow.

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Now, I have been around many towing operations. In fact, I have been towed out 3 times myself, once had to leave the vehicle overnight after 4 hours of futile effort in rains. Generally, regular offroading vehicles have many towing points that can used for towing safely. But this vehicle was an unknown entity. So, I went down, sought the owner Raghavendra and introduced myself and asked him whether the vehicle had any towing point in the front. He replied in negative. That means it will be tricky, since he would know his vehicle best, it would be up to him to choose the right towing point.

Sreeraj was the closest Jeep with a towing cable. So we pulled out Sreeraj's towing cable and proceeded towards the Beetle hoping that Raghavendra would figure out where to fix it. And Sreeraj also backed up the Jeep back into the ditch. At this point we ran into a strange situation. A guy whom I never met before had started prowling in front of the Beetle. He was muttering comments at us, I don't recall the exact sentences, but it was clear that he didn't trust us. He stood there like a bouncer/bodyguard, blocking us from coming any closer to the Beetle. And he was passing orders to move the Jeep closer, hand over the cable, etc. I am not used to this kind of unfriendliness from strangers in offroad events, so I was a little taken aback. Since I didn't recognise him as either Team-BHP or Jeep-Thrills member, he must have come with somebody. Since he was acting so possessive of the Beetle, I concluded he might be known to the owner. So I just handed over the tow cable and backed off.

Finally, the tow cable is tied and Herbie gets pulled up.

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A little later one more Jeep in trouble. This one was a 2WD Jeep, since Herbie made the effort, they must have been compelled to do it too. By this time Sreeraj had gone ahead, so I got just the cable and came back. I talked to the 4WD Scorpio driver who was there and requested him to tow. This Jeep too had no towing hooks in the front, but with the Jeep it isn't a problem. First, I quickly looked around, this Jeep had no bodyguard. So we tied the tow cable to both the vehicles, and then I found myself trapped between them, no way to get out. I really didn't want to be anywhere near the cable. Eventually I backed myself into the bushes before I shouted the go ahead.

As I looked towards the next challenge, I realised it was an eye-candy for photography. This obstacle made every vehicle assume a 3-legged position while getting down.

Here we go.

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And the rear leg goes up.

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Ok, that's not too high. But you gotta see the Gypsies.

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Holy cow, that's really high. BTW, notice the missing tailgate.

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It was pretty clear that the axle articulation advantage of Jeeps was helping it not tilt too much.

BTW, I have a question for experts here. In couple of photos, you can see people standing on the rear to possibly counter the tilt. Does that really work? When the front left tyre touches the ground, rear right will raise. The degree of tilt will be determined by the axle articulation of the vehicle. How exactly the weight on the back going to counter the tilt, unless it is heavy enough to keep the rear right tyre on the ground?

Gypsy (high)

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Jeep (not that high)

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After watching a few climb downs, the correct approach line was pretty clear to some of us standing there. So I again became a spotter/advisor along with Prithvi and couple others. They were supposed to go down straight along the tree (notice the tree before the slope) and then, once the rear goes up, the driver should turn fully towards the tilt and then continue. That way, they will counter the tilt and go down smoothly. Some went down straight with the front paw hanging in air. Some pressed clutch instead of brake and flew down. Oh yeah, this was one place where brake was necessary unless you had PS or have really strong arms to quickly turn the steering. Hey, it was great fun just watching, can't deny that.

By this time most had cleared up and I saw that the 2WD Jeep and Beetle were finally parked. They didn't dare attempt the 3 legged circus. Now Kiran was trying to cross and I decided to shoot from below for a change. This fellow doesn't really need any help. But he insisted I shoot from the right so that I capture the raised wheel.

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He completed the climb down easily but not before drowning me in the dust he kicked up. Good thing I have a weather-proof dSLR.

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Now that I am very much in the tail end of the convoy, and Sreeraj nowhere in sight, I jumped into Kiran's Jeep. One look through the windshield, I jumped out again. I can't do justice to photography if I stay inside the Jeep even as passenger.

This is what I saw from inside, the offroad highway.

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Kiran's Jeep again. How can I shoot this if I was inside?

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Meanwhile, I noticed a familiar logo on a Gypsy, what is it doing in this part of the country?

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Then I again run into this handsome cowboy on wheels.

Savandurga OTR Event on March 1st 2009: Detailed report-p3013183.jpg

He was so camera shy, he backed away out of the trail...

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...and vanished into the bushes. He probably thought I might capture his spirit.

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Meanwhile, the Endeavours had joined the trail from the alternate path and they were climbing the rock across the river.

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Although the Endeavour had Maxxis Bighorn mud terrain tyres, I guess it was fully inflated. So it had considerable difficulty in climbing the rocks.

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Finally he makes it.

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To Be Continued...
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Old 9th March 2009, 20:37   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ram.west View Post
So after a long time the Great Samurai is in the Passenger seat !!!!
Arrey boss, I am only an online Samurai, the tag Great Samurai can only apply to Musashi Miyamoto.

Quote:
Originally Posted by gowda79 View Post
Has expected nice thread, at last it has been started after finishing the Rajasthan travelogue for his wife
At least there I don't have to think or type, but uploading so many pics is no joke.

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Originally Posted by vinod_nookala View Post
You would probably make one of the best auto journalist...rethink on your profession! Some neat writing skills.
Thanks, but writing for money takes the fun out of it.

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Originally Posted by swastikviji View Post
Sharath sir great photos we missed ur mountain goat.
Oh, even I missed my Jeep. BTW, drop this sir business.

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Sharath now this is what a report is all about, perfect with pictures. Lovely shots there and btw did you get yourself a wide angle ?
Yeah, I got the 12-60mm few months back, that gives me effective 24-120mm. Olympus Zuiko Digital ED 12-60mm 1:2.8-4.0 SWD Lens Review: 1. Introduction: Digital Photography Review

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Originally Posted by rjstyles69 View Post
A noob's question, I read on the other thread that there was a Scop' and an Endy. How did these perform keeping in mind the kerb weight of these vehicles?
Both of them did pretty well. The Scorpio suffered some damage since it was driven into a rock. But rear overhang was a problem with Endys. But they mostly made up for the weight with superior power. But yes, they struggled lot more compared to Jeep or Gypsies.

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Originally Posted by adishell View Post
waiting for the 2nd part esp with the heavy ones(Endy & scorpio) and how they faired through the trail
I really didn't cover any Scorpio this time.
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Old 10th March 2009, 10:45   #19
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God I missed the entire second sequence of events because I was late! No wonder I was relatively disappointed. Curses!!
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Old 10th March 2009, 10:53   #20
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God I missed the entire second sequence of events because I was late! No wonder I was relatively disappointed. Curses!!
What second sequence of events Venkat?

Last edited by Samurai : 10th March 2009 at 10:55.
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Old 10th March 2009, 11:47   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Samurai View Post

Attachment 109849

It was pretty clear that the axle articulation advantage of Jeeps was helping it not tilt too much.

BTW, I have a question for experts here. In couple of photos, you can see people standing on the rear to possibly counter the tilt. Does that really work? When the front left tyre touches the ground, rear right will raise. The degree of tilt will be determined by the axle articulation of the vehicle. How exactly the weight on the back going to counter the tilt, unless it is heavy enough to keep the rear right tyre on the ground?

Gypsy (high)

Attachment 109850

Jeep (not that high)

Attachment 109851

..
Hi samurai, some really neat shots there. The tilt can be managed by standing at the opposite end and not at the center like what was attempted. Also the amount of tilt will determine the number of people needed to counter the tilt.

keep the pics rolling!
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Old 10th March 2009, 12:17   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vinod_nookala View Post
... Also the amount of tilt will determine the number of people needed to counter the tilt...
Vinod,

Agree with where one has to stand, but for the above statement, number of people is inversely proportional to the weight of the volunteers!
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Old 10th March 2009, 12:26   #23
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What second sequence of events Venkat?
The one right above - your second set of posts...looks like I missed quite a bit in those couple of hours of being late and thereafter hunting for the trail under our Giri master's directions. Drat!
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Old 10th March 2009, 13:09   #24
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Amazing Pics guys, Seems everyone had an awesome time.

Cheeer !!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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Old 10th March 2009, 14:30   #25
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excellent pics guyz, keep Rocking

Cheers
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Old 10th March 2009, 15:22   #26
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Samurai,

Great shots! neat report . Congratulations
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Old 10th March 2009, 15:34   #27
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Seems you all had some good fun.

Its an excellent trip review report, and your countryside is interesting too!

Continue the fun !
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Old 10th March 2009, 19:53   #28
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Samurai san, I have long been a member of TBHP, but i use the forums for learning rather than posting a lot. over these years, i must admit that i have become a fan of your outstanding photography and writing capabilities. its really addictive.
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Old 10th March 2009, 20:37   #29
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Samurai san you make me part of the event with your great style of writing reports. Must have been fun. Waiting for the next part.
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Old 11th March 2009, 12:20   #30
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Mr.Samurai waiting for further script and the pictures of the OTR if anything is left out.


Last edited by gowda79 : 11th March 2009 at 12:25.
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