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Old 2nd August 2010, 08:25   #301
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Just back from the organizers recce and there were many "firsts" for me over the weekend.

1. First time I spent a night at Major Roy's "Adventure Zone"
2. First time I used the wonderful shower and toilet facilities at the Adventure Zone
3. First time I drove my Gypsy to Chennai (only been as far as Bangalore until this weekend)
4. First time I've driven on sand and at Palar
5. First time I've rappelled down a 100 feet high building...first time I've rappelled, EVER.
6. First time I've eaten Biryani with Appalam (south indian fried snack)
7. First time I've met Senthil (Blue Thunder)
8. First time I've gotten so badly stuck that I needed some heavy duty towing assistance from Arka


and there's more!

The most interesting bit for many of you will be some information about the terrain and the conditions. It was HOT as HELL out there and then some more. The recent rains did nothing for the living creatures...just made it more humid and uncomfortable. The heat conducts through the soles of your feet and within a few hours of standing around on the sand...your feet are ready to be eaten.

Driving around isn't a piece of cake either. The Gypsy spent almost all the time in 1st Low even on level ground. The sand offers no traction unless you apply a different driving style from what we are used to in MH.

Innocuous looking climbs (which would have been dealt with in 2WD in MH) defeated me and I often had to reverse back out and try again with a different driving style. Moving through the loose surface isn't a consistent experience either...the texture of the sand changes and if you aren't paying attention, you will sink in before you can take counter measures.

In many areas the sand hides hard limestone rock underneath and what appears to be flat smooth surface may have treacherous tire busting limestone spikes underneath the surface!

The sand is the main enemy though...clogging radiators, getting into mechanical parts, brake disks and in your shoes, hair, clothes. My shins are pretty sandblasted by now! The heat comes a close second and will finish off what the sand fails to kill. Burst radiator hoses, batteries and electronics. No amount of water you carry is enough...electral is the way to go!

Some of the climbs look impossible and the team is working really hard to make TPC 2010 as challenging and multi-faceted as possible. It was an exciting organizers briefing and now I wish I could be a participant Perhaps next year!

A quick thank you to Major Roy, Arka, Deep, Bala, Senthil, my cousin Sriku (for giving me company), Venkat, Latif and the rest of the cast & crew at Adventure Zone. I had a fantastic weekend and I must admit, although the costs of being part of TPC 2010 are quite high for me (with the travel costs, vehicle transport costs etc.) I've seen enough to know that I will be here 2011.

I broke my "duck" by getting superbly stuck and I loved it. There were moments when I was on 2 wheels...and no wheels How can that NOT put a smile on my face?

See you all on Thursday! (12th)
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Old 2nd August 2010, 10:32   #302
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Originally Posted by gsferrari View Post
1. First time I spent a night at Major Roy's "Adventure Zone"
2. First time I used the wonderful shower and toilet facilities at the Adventure Zone
3. First time I drove my Gypsy to Chennai (only been as far as Bangalore until this weekend)
4. First time I've driven on sand and at Palar
5. First time I've rappelled down a 100 feet high building...first time I've rappelled, EVER.
6. First time I've eaten Biryani with Appalam (south indian fried snack)
7. First time I've met Senthil (Blue Thunder)
8. First time I've gotten so badly stuck that I needed some heavy duty towing assistance from Arka
Hi Guru,

Goes to prove that you are not a Motor Head!!!!.

1) First Time I've driven a 4X4 Truck aka Nissan 4W73 (1Ton)

Regards,

Arka
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Old 2nd August 2010, 12:42   #303
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Arka...you can excuse me for being overwhelmed. I need to sleep thoroughly to let all my experiences sink in. Thanks to Major and you for making us go through the Rappelling exercise. It is the coolest thing I have done in a long time and it really took a lot of mustering to overcome my fear of heights. I am going to try it again a couple of times until I get comfortable with it. That experience really was the icing on the cake.

Speaking of the 1 Ton! I am not easily impressed and after driving the 1 Ton...I was. That engine gives you a buzz that is hard to explain in words. I didn't drive it off-road (enough time to do that after TPC) but on the road it was quite a beast! I expect it would wheelspin in the first 2 gears...maybe even with a load in it

Bring on TPC 2010!

Last edited by gsferrari : 2nd August 2010 at 12:47.
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Old 2nd August 2010, 15:47   #304
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GS.....I am one among those lucky dudes who have driven this beast on Chennai roads....Yes its true, you cannot explain this in words.!!!

Venkat (venson)
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Old 2nd August 2010, 18:18   #305
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GS.....I am one among those lucky dudes who have driven this beast on Chennai roads....Yes its true, you cannot explain this in words.!!!

Venkat (venson)

Dai Vennai, Aavanaa nee..Bombay varilu CJ3B la poitu vande illa?

BTW, welcome to TBHP - Finally you seem to make your presence felt here

OK GS, any pictures to explain your statements..And how did you manage to get stuck man?
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Old 3rd August 2010, 06:11   #306
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OK GS, any pictures to explain your statements..And how did you manage to get stuck man?
Awesome videos coming up..

BUT! Vikram, avalo easy illa sir, the videos are only of travel runs. you are not going to chance upon any pictures of SS.
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Old 3rd August 2010, 08:20   #307
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Discussion between Senthil (BlueThunder), Arka and Aravind.

Aravind: "Why are you go through so many ditches?"
Senthil: "At least a 100 so far"
Arka: "and we will do a 100 more!! Stop taking the easy route"




Arkazir Bhutto




All he needs is an AK-47 in place of that camera...





Size comparisons going on!



"The Bala Challenge" - How many times can you expunge bodily fluids and waste in one day...and get left behind


Still arguing...


Now doing a Rajini walk...




I pay for my sins though...by getting nicely stuck. Front axle buried in the sand and rear left wheel left high in the air!












Senthil decides to capture my predicament in multi megapixel glory!




Dog getting ready to pee...



Rescue party arrives




We try moving forwards...


and backwards...


Unable to get out under our own power we decide to let Arka's jeep do the heavy hauling. Soon we are inexorably dragged out...


I was dejected...I rarely get stuck and this time an innocuous looking berm of sand had me sinking in beyond axle depth. In Mumbai OTRs this would have been a non-obstacle. My error was following in Arka's tracks without his skill, traction, GC and I went too slow.

Arka had a few kind words of comfort for me...mostly Gaalis in Hindi and Tamil spoken with a smile!



Arka: "see it is not for nothing that we claim to be the toughest off-roading competition in the country...you're doing very well for a first time driver!"

Me: "mumblegrumblemumblegrumble"



Well at least I wasn't the most humiliated individual of the day. That award goes to "The Bala Challenge" for shamelessly fertilizing the landscape. There was no grass at TPC for all these years until Mr.Bala came along. We expect to have an oasis and a poongaavanam next year!!

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Old 3rd August 2010, 09:26   #308
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You aint seen Bala's brother getting it..He decided to participate this year because of that!!! Can you guess the person?

Ofcourse, the cake goes to another one by the name of "the_trooper" He has decided to stay "out" of Palar for sometime now!!

BTW, terrain looks inviting man!

EDIT: GS - Never follow Arka on TPC man..NEVER!!
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Old 3rd August 2010, 09:50   #309
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I assume more photos and video were taken... plz post them all

and I personally had a very memorable day, I almost fell out of the jeep

Cheers,
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Old 3rd August 2010, 10:35   #310
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..., I almost fell out of the jeep...
That was after the 4WD levers almost fell out of the Jeep .
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Old 3rd August 2010, 11:23   #311
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I was dejected...I rarely get stuck
That's because you've hardly come with us for the biggies...

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In Mumbai OTRs this would have been a non-obstacle.
What do you mean by that?
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Old 3rd August 2010, 11:31   #312
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So Tejas, Are you in for TPC 2010?

We'll know whether you get stuck or not? LOL
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Old 3rd August 2010, 11:38   #313
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So Tejas, Are you in for TPC 2010?

We'll know whether you get stuck or not? LOL
Nope. Not this year. Next year for sure!

And anyways, i keep getting stuck in muck and love it...!
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Old 3rd August 2010, 11:56   #314
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That's because you've hardly come with us for the biggies...What do you mean by that?
I've come to EXAMM, AKC, Sawarsi, Karjat, Alibaug, Lonavala and a few more and I've only been stuck once (at EXAMM while attempting the river crossing I beached on the rocks and Allan winched me out). Call it beginner's luck if you want but it is a fact.

Regarding the obstacle where I got stuck, we don't come across such loose surfaces in our terrain. The berm in question is slightly larger than a big speed-breaker and it looked EASY. Went over it and I just started sinking...another thing that doesn't happen in MH terrain.

The point is you cannot come here and apply the same techniques we use here in MH and get through the special stages. Forget the SSs...even the transit between SSs will be challenging unless the driver learns to read the terrain and plan ahead. I can't wait to head back to Chennai next week and start driving at Palar again.

Tejas - you should come drive at Palar...even if it is not for TPC. The contrast in terrain makes things really exciting.
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Old 3rd August 2010, 12:00   #315
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Nope. Not this year. Next year for sure!

And anyways, i keep getting stuck in muck and love it...!
Sure thing DOC

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Tejas - you should come drive at Palar...even if it is not for TPC. The contrast in terrain makes things really exciting.
GS, looks like you've gone overboard doing 1 recce - Now you know why we guys are addicted to it
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