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Old 1st March 2010, 22:13   #1
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Thumbs up The story of a great off-road weekend at JNPT & Lonavla!!!

DISCLAIMER: This is going to be a one hell of a long report. Pictures are taken by lots of different people, so it will take time to compile all. Be patient.

Day 1. Saturday. 1600hours.

Plan: Do a recce for the next day
Number of cars: 4 (Gypsies: Devang, Sharit, Imran; ML: Danny's Friend)
Crazy People: Me (as passenger), Imran, Devang, Danny & friends
Alok comes in 10 minutes late and misses the main part

Terrain: Rocky & dusty with loose gravel pits

The plan was to meet up by 4pm and do a quick recce of the area. But, we got stuck in the Eid processions and got delayed by an hour and a half.

We reached the stone quarry and scouted around for half and hour but didn't find anything interesting. We reached another water spot which seemed good to slush around but the locals said no since it was their fishing grounds. We then chanced upon a hill climb with very loose gravel. Monstar (devang) was the first in to try it out. Unfortunately, the gravel was very loose and Monstar stuck beached at the start of the incline. We tried everything from rocking the car to sliding stones under it, but there was no traction.

Finally Imran's gypsy was called to pull her out. Now the problem was that we had only one short cable with us and imran's gypsy had to go in very close. And as Murphy's ghost is omnipresent, his gypsy got stuck too! Now the problem was that our only cable was tightly strung between the two beached gypsies!!!

At that very moment another local comes running and says, "we have planted dynamite and it's going to blow in a minute at the hills nearby and run since rocks fly". He then gets on a moving lorry and makes a quick getaway. The ML also makes a very very very hasty retreat. We all just duck behind the beached gypsies. A series of very loud explosion follow for over a minute but not even a tiny pebble flew 20 meters near us.

A hard hat should now be added to essential gear for OTRs.

But we did feel shock waves traveling very fast beneath our legs.

We finally jacked up imran's gypsy, slid a couple of huge stones below and got her out. Others meanwhile dug out a lot of gravel from devang's gypsy but still no traction.

Then someone came up with the idea that imran's gypsy should just tug devangs and devang's gypsy should not also try to help with it's own power to prevent further digging in.

I'm driving imran's gypsy (the tugger) with imran and danny sitting behind on the left side to give more traction to that rear wheel. The rest of the guys are pushing devang's gypsy and devang is near the driver's door of his car also pushing, but not in it so that the car is lighter.

Devang's gypsy has to be pulled out in reverse and imran's gypsy is pulling the car out in 1st gear. So basically both the cars are facing back to back and devang's gypsy is on a slight incline.

Now you know what happens...

And you know how it is in OTR's: everyone shouting.. GO GO GO STOP STOP STOP, GO GO... So you have no idea who to listen to.

The first mightly tug and devang's gypsy is free. Nearly runs over his own feet. And is now coming back at me with force. The stop and go shouts are confusing. Now i can't go too much further since there is a huge stone ahead. In the nick of time i manage to turn slightly left and devang's car goes straight and comes to a halt right next to my door (parallel). And it's only and exactly 1 inch between the two cars!!!

A very valuable lesson learnt!

Too bad we didn't get a video of it. But danny has pics and he should post them soon.

Had a great laugh afterwards and tried to find more obstacles but didn't get anything challenging and we decide to go to lonavla (rachmachi) early the next morning.

... continued....
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Old 1st March 2010, 22:37   #2
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Day 2. Sunday. 0700hours

The early morning drive especially after a saturday night has very few takers. So it was just me (classic), danny(gypsy) and sharit(gypsy).

Devang, Alok and Ibrahim were joining us later in the afternoon.

We meet up at Mc Donald's and headed out towards lonavla via the expressway.

I was very confident about my jeep since she was serviced just 2 days ago and a brand new water pump was also installed by Mahindra Service center.

After driving for a total of 70 odd kilometers, i start noticing vibrations and rattling sounds and i'm like crap, a new water pump can't fail! so i assume it's a loose pulley. Call up Arka and even though he's on an OTR, he patiently explains how to tighten the pulley. Thanks man!

I drive again and the vibrations are less. We reach lonavla and the vibrations increase tremendously. The pulley and water pump had gone for a complete toss. I refuse to drive the car, lest i damage the radiator. Thankfully the maruti serivce center was a few kilometers away and danny tows me there.

Read all about my 2 time failing water pump issue in detail here:
http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/4x4-te...e-why-how.html (Water Pump Failure - Why and How?)

Anyways, so now only two gypsies are there (my classic is at Maruti A.S.S.) and we head towards rajmachi. The municipality has made efforts to improve the approach road by filling the stony road with sand. This is all going to was away in the first rain and make it worse!

We reach the first hill climb and do it with easy. It's no fun without the slush.

We did notice the there was fencing work in progress and locals are not at all happy with jeepers around. And it may not be possible to organize major events there. Infact heard that the cops are seized two jeeps last monsoon.

Anyways, the hill climb done, we decided to head back to lonavla for lunch and to check on my car.

Thankfully my car is done. And it cost me less than half of what Mahindra charged and they also diagnosed and rectified why my water pump failed twice in 3 months.

We head towards Rainmaker Shack.
rainmaker's shack | Facebook

A little about this: It's a privately owned place, not open for anyone. You need to call ahead and come only with a reference of someone. A guy called Mc Mathew and his wife run the place. Wife makes awesome food! There is no menu, its like a home diner. Eats what's in stock.

Mathew organizes jeep and bike events around lonavla (again on invitation only).
http://www.facebook.com/event.php?ei...6367789&ref=mf

We are joined there by Pinky Singh (Gorkha).

Have a great great great lunch. Danny and his friends need to go back to bombay and head out. Mathew owns a 1997 black classic so we chat about it.

... continued...

Last edited by Tejas@perioimpl : 1st March 2010 at 22:42. Reason: typo
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Old 1st March 2010, 22:54   #3
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Default Some Pics

Below are a few pics of me getting towed in the morning, pinky singh taking a two hour "quick nap" and of the rainmaker's shack:
Attached Images
       
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Old 1st March 2010, 23:04   #4
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A few of the JNPT snaps:

Pick of where the 2 gypsies got stuck and how the other two cars rushed back on hearing about the dynamite.
Attached Thumbnails
The story of a great off-road weekend at JNPT & Lonavla!!!-p2270180.jpg  

The story of a great off-road weekend at JNPT & Lonavla!!!-p2270181.jpg  

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Old 1st March 2010, 23:10   #5
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A few pics of the Rajmachi climb. It looks so different in the dry and it isn't half as much fun.

I'm sorry, these are the only pics i have as my camera battery ran out of juice after this. All the hardcore and fun night off road pics are taken by others. I'll have to gather from the rest and post with more write ups.

Still to come: muck, slush and water fording at night at the lonavla lake. I'll post all this tomorrow unless someone else can do it now...
Attached Thumbnails
The story of a great off-road weekend at JNPT & Lonavla!!!-p2280185.jpg  

The story of a great off-road weekend at JNPT & Lonavla!!!-p2280186.jpg  

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The story of a great off-road weekend at JNPT & Lonavla!!!-p2280190.jpg  

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The story of a great off-road weekend at JNPT & Lonavla!!!-p2280197.jpg  

The story of a great off-road weekend at JNPT & Lonavla!!!-p2280198.jpg  

The story of a great off-road weekend at JNPT & Lonavla!!!-p2280196.jpg  

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Old 2nd March 2010, 01:11   #6
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Wow, what a trip and experience. Missed a lot of fun. You guys were lucky re the blasting. Please make sure you guys dont get into any trouble like that in the future. Will be there when you guys go for your next. This Rajmachi climb looks mean, is it very hard on the vehicles? any traction problems there?

This rainmaker shack looks like a fab place. Can you give its exact location and how to find it?
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Old 2nd March 2010, 09:08   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by V-16 View Post
Wow, what a trip and experience. Missed a lot of fun. You guys were lucky re the blasting. Please make sure you guys dont get into any trouble like that in the future. Will be there when you guys go for your next. This Rajmachi climb looks mean, is it very hard on the vehicles? any traction problems there?

This rainmaker shack looks like a fab place. Can you give its exact location and how to find it?
We are going there again next weekend (overnight). Going late saturday evening, doing the OTR at night, then there is a 4x4 event happening at Khopoli trak on sunday morning. Will do that and back home.

Rajmachi is very bumpy now due to no slush. To do the climb, you will need speed and that ofcourse is hard on any vehicle. The gypsies need more speed and bounce around a lot more too. No traction problems though.

Rainmaker shack is on the amby valley road around a couple of kms from the left turn from the market. It's after we travel parallel to the dam and then cross the small bridge. Comes on the left and you will see the black classic parked outside.

Teaser videos of the night otr:

Gurkha pulling the classic out:



And payback time... Classic towing the gurkha out...


Last edited by Tejas@perioimpl : 2nd March 2010 at 09:20. Reason: added videos
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Old 2nd March 2010, 10:29   #8
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this was one crazy OTR, those who couldnt come.. you guys MISSED IT.

i am preparing my boat (wink) for next weekend.
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Old 2nd March 2010, 10:39   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pdev29 View Post
this was one crazy OTR, those who couldnt come.. you guys MISSED IT.
Absolutely Crazy!!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by pdev29 View Post
i am preparing my boat (wink) for next weekend.
hahaha... let's break this report slowly and build up the suspense...

Anoop is mailing me the snaps tomorrow.

To the rest:

Trivia question: What is the water carrying capacity of a Gypsy door? How many litres?
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Old 2nd March 2010, 22:57   #10
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Wow! What a weekend


I really miss that JNPT wala scene but tht night OTR was awesome, much better then burning our skin in mercury.

Ibrahim was @%*ing crazy even without his machine, the best part of the whole OTR was the Drunken Driver & the Navigator. They were ready to make the car fly or to swim, I hope u guys can make out.

Let the videos & pics tell you the story. Few videos from my side, pics will follow soon.

On the way to trail on Expressway.




Start of Our First Night OTR (Sorry for the quality of video as I was driving while shooting)




Tejas making Halwa for Gurhka to Enjoy (c forward & backward motion)




Devang coming out after a Holy Bath (some maha kumbh dip)- His gypsy's all the sins are washed out



All tired machines returning back



Cheers!

Alok
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Old 3rd March 2010, 02:14   #11
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Whoa! Awesome stuff guys.
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Old 3rd March 2010, 09:22   #12
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Awesome story awesome pictures. I wish to be the part of these story in feature.
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Old 3rd March 2010, 10:05   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tejas@perioimpl View Post
Absolutely Crazy!!!



hahaha... let's break this report slowly and build up the suspense...

Anoop is mailing me the snaps tomorrow.

To the rest:

Trivia question: What is the water carrying capacity of a Gypsy door? How many litres?
Good report Tejas.

Gypsy's each door can carry atleast 20 ltrs of water if filled to brim.

Any plans of carrying fuel in the door?

Last edited by dwaraka : 3rd March 2010 at 10:07.
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Old 3rd March 2010, 11:01   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dwaraka View Post
Good report Tejas.

Gypsy's each door can carry atleast 20 ltrs of water if filled to brim.
Correct!!! It took nearly 7-8minutes to drain the water completely!

Quote:
Originally Posted by dwaraka View Post
Any plans of carrying fuel in the door?
The thought did cross the mind!

Anyways:

Continuing from where i left off:-

1800 Hours. Sunday 28 February 2010.

Devang (with ibrahim as passenger) and alok soon arrive in their gypsies at the Shack. After a quick bite, etc we decide to head out.

Mathew and his wife lead the trail in their classic.
We head to the first spot (2030hours). It's off the road going towards Amby valley. A narrow dirt road descent.

We reach the lake which has shrunk in size since the monsoons but still holds isolated patches of water and thus muck.

Start of with Devang's Gypsy which crosses easily and is followed by Alok's gypsy. Next up my Classic. Get's stuck halfway due to the weight and lower speed (i guess). I churn up the mud (or halwa as alok says) but no avail. Finally the gurkha pulls me out. I try again and same issue. Need to be pulled out again. (videos of it attached earlier). Finally Ibrahim get's into my Classic's driver's seat and puts in 4H and slams the accelerator and we cross the 20 meter water patch. Ofcourse every part of the jeep and both of us are now covered with mud due to the big splash that was created!

Next up Gurkha. Meets the same fate. Gets stuck in the middle. Now the Gurkha didn't have a hook at the back. So first we try to pull her out from the front but towards the side. Didn't work. We then attach two tow cables totalling 15 meters in length to my classic. Just to add more power, we attach the from of my classic to alok's gypsy with his nylon cable.

First tug and the nylon cable snaps! And as Devang put's it: "the only thing that is good for now is to hand cloths"

Anyways, the classic manages to pull out the gurkha with 5 locals pushing and rocking the gurkha from behind.

Mathew's Jeep did not participate.
Attached Thumbnails
The story of a great off-road weekend at JNPT & Lonavla!!!-img_2589.jpg  

The story of a great off-road weekend at JNPT & Lonavla!!!-img_2593.jpg  

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The story of a great off-road weekend at JNPT & Lonavla!!!-img_2639.jpg  


Last edited by Tejas@perioimpl : 3rd March 2010 at 11:03. Reason: typo
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Old 3rd March 2010, 11:38   #15
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Next we head towards a bigger crossing. Atleast a 100meters towards an island in the center of the lake.

See the pics below to understand the previous and next obstacle. Sorry about the quality of the pics. These are neither clicked by me nor is the image filters applied by me.

Devang's only wish: "I WANT TO GET STUCK" IS GOING TO COME TRUE

The locals wade through and the deepest point is just above their knees and is mostly rocky, unlike the previous one which was mud.

Devang gypsy goes first and water enters his K&N air filter and he stalls mid way. He is followed by alok (with K&N) who also meets the same fate.

The locals push them both to the island. The cars start and on the way back they again stall and are pushed back again.

The diesel gurkha and classic have no issues. They go and come back safely. Ibrahim is missing his snorkel equiped gypsy and vows that the coming sunday he is going to run rings inside the lake.

Devang tries nearly 5 times and stalls everytime. Locals now don't want to enter the water since they are freezing. So classic goes and pulls monstar out. By this time, water has gone everywhere and the classic is towing the monstar around in circles trying to jump start.

Finally ibrahim makes the first crossing driving monstar with maybe a couple of cylinders firing only.

But devang is highly resilient and he too takes another plunge and finally makes it to and fro!
Attached Images
   

Last edited by Tejas@perioimpl : 3rd March 2010 at 11:41. Reason: typos
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