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Old 15th March 2010, 09:09   #1
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Default OTRrrrrrReport! - Lonavla 14th March 2010

Arrrr! (in my best Pirate imitation)

This was my first OTR and I participated as a passenger. Gave me an opportunity to experience what the Gypsy, Gurkha and safari can do when you take them into the wilderness. Some exciting moments and some hilarious moments and I was physically, mentally and emotionally drained by the end of the day.

Met up with Imran at Bandra and hopped into his Gypsy. We met the rest of the crew (Tejas, Neville, Jay and Raj) at the McDs at Panvel and proceeded from there. Caught up with Doc. Mohan at the first toll-plaza on the expressway and from this point until we hit a fork in the Amby Valley road it was a quick blast up the expressway.

This was my first experience in a Gypsy on the highway and although I feel it could be a little faster considering the 1.3L engine under the hood, it was definitely well behaved and didn't spring any surprises. I did the driving from McDs onwards and switching over from the 1.6L ford Ikon, I did have to change my driving style a LOT to adjust to the Gypsy.

We stopped at the "Shack" on the Amby Valley road to wait for Mathew who showed up in his Classic. A modified red-gypsy also stopped by which was simply stunning to look at and the Skoda seats in it were an absolute beaut! so comfortable! I've decided to get Skoda seats in my Gypsy as well.

We also bumped into (can't remember his name) another Tbhpian in a Bolero Invader who knew the trail and would be the lead car. The convoy took off behind him and what a convoy it was!!

Bolero Invader
Jay's Safari
Raj's Gypsy
Imran's Gypsy
Mohan's Gurkha
Neville's Gypsy

We reached the first obstacle after a bit of hide-and-seek in tall grass and narrow trails where we were joined by yet another Gurkha driven by 'Pinky'. Forgive me for not remembering your names...I will have them down pat by the time I am through a couple more OTRs.

I think the videos will speak for themselves as to what happened beyond this point so please be patient while I upload and paste the Youtube links here

More to follow...
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Old 15th March 2010, 09:53   #2
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sorry tejas, Ibrahim and Pinky bhai couldnt answer your call, saturday night was too heavy .

where are the pics guys??
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Old 15th March 2010, 11:33   #3
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The first obstacle looked easy from a distance but as we got nearer and finally did a recon, the difficulties soon came to light. What looked like a shallow stream turned out to be a deep rivulet (about 3 feet deep water) with a soft slushy bottom. We quickly realized that this was not an option and looked for a crossing further upstream. The trouble was that although a slightly better crossing point was available, it was still slush followed by a steep climb with nowhere to go near the top thanks to the foliage. We decided to risk it and make the climb and turn through the bush in a gap between two stout stems. It didn't look easy and even as Neville lined up for his first run, Mohan was pointing out that a turn on the slope this steep would easily result in a roll-over. Neville therefore had to keep it straight and true and you can see his attempts to cross in the videos (still uploading...they are high-Def so it will take a couple of hours for all my videos to be available).

Neville finally made it and this got me thinking about the "dynamics" of the Gypsy. It is a VERY light vehicle but it needs some weight to aid traction. The correct placement of weights/passengers can really help in getting through these tough OTR conditions.

Next through was Imran who made it up relatively easily. So two Gypsies through and one more to go...alas it was not to be!

Raj (Desmosedici) made his first tentative attempt (OTR newbie just like me) and failed. His tires were just not good enough for these conditions. He was also heavily clutching the vehicle and spinning the wheels with too much throttle. We thought we'd let Imran try because it was getting late and we needed to get the Gurkha and Safari across after that. Imran promptly got the Gypsy deeply wedged into the slush and that was the end of any hopes of the Gypsy getting out on it's own power. We couldn't even see the tow-hook so I suggested we tow it up from the front. We employed Imran's Gypsy and gave it a couple of attempts but there was just no traction (again thanks to the Gypsy's low weight) so Neville took the wheel and Tejas and I hopped in the back. That did the trick and Raj's Gypsy was out in a jiffy. The videos of the aftermath will tell the full story.

From this point we were basically wandering around trying to find a path back to the road as we had to hit another location with slush and an island. We took a difficult exit out of the area with a very real possibility of toppling over but Swaroop (Doc.Mohan's passenger) guided us through with precision and we made it out and joined the others.

We hit the second pre-defined location with relative ease after a scenic drive through the valley. The slush and water action started in earnest with Jay getting his Safari well and truly beached. In typical human style, we didn't learn from our mistakes and after Jay was towed out, Ibrahim and Imran both got their Gypsies stuck there as well. Mohan had a go in his Gurkha and got it properly stuck...fortunately we had the right towing cables and more importantly, another Gurkha (Pinky's) to tow out Mohan's.

Got into a heated argument with the locals who wanted ridiculous amounts of cash from us...pure extortion and a very real threat of the rest of the village showing up and preventing us from leaving. You think Naxals are a problem in the East? Well they are available in abundance over here as well. It is not like these villagers OWN these lands but the power of numbers worked against us. Also we had a lot more to lose had they started pelting stones and damaging the vehicles/us. Anyway we settled it relatively calmly at the end and ensured that our future excursions wouldn't be interrupted.

After the lake-side OTR we headed to the meeting point with Mathew which followed more OTR terrain and ended up at a rocky cove with chest-deep water and nice wavelets. Looked like an astonishing place to hang out/take a boat and a picnic but I had to hurry home in time to catch the first race of the 2010 F1 season. Imran and I said our goodbye's and left the scene. We met Mathew on the way and bought our lunch/cold-beverages from him...boy were we hungry at the time. We demolished the astonishingly awesome sandwiches in record time and slowly made our way out of the valley and back to Lonavala. From there we headed straight back home.

I was tired, had a headache and in pain from all the pounding I took sitting in the Gypsy over the trails but I had a smile on my face. I can't wait for Che' (my Gypsy) to get here so I can join in the action as well.

Videos in my next post...
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Old 15th March 2010, 15:40   #4
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Ok the Video-log starts now:

Early am start for me and Imran from Bandra. Took this video while crossing the Vashi bridge:


Met up with the rest of the guys at McDs and then proceeded towards Amby Valley. Stopped at the "Shack" and did the intros and vehicle inspections:



Saw this superb Red Gypsy. Spoke to the owner about it and taking a few ideas off it for my own Gypsy:




After leaving the Shack we followed a Bolero Invader but the driver took off and Jay in the Safari lost him. Tejas turned bushman and we half expected him to make clicking noises when he spoke. Xtobele anyone?



More videos coming up. Painfully slow upload speeds thanks to the asymmetric broadband connections we have around here :(
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Old 15th March 2010, 16:20   #5
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NIce going GS ,good narration and very good videos.
keep them coming.
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Old 15th March 2010, 16:36   #6
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GS - Keep it rolling Macchi.

It was fun, hell lot of fun, but i was exhausted.

today morning while leaving from home, i just looked at my rear number plate and broke into a smile
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Old 15th March 2010, 18:17   #7
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Thumbs up

After seeing all the videos and reading the OTR report, looks like I missed out on a fun-tastic session. Will definitely be there for the next one, albeit as a passenger in GS's gypsy. The Mahindra 4x4's were very conspicuous by their absence...looks like I'll have to fix that sometime soon!

Cheers,
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Old 15th March 2010, 18:18   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mohan View Post
NIce going GS ,good narration and very good videos.
keep them coming.
@mohan: So did you do a filmed action replay of how the gurkha can masquerade as a submarine?
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Old 15th March 2010, 19:29   #9
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Couldn't upload the last set (and most interesting set) of videos today...ran out of time at work. You will be amazed how long it takes to upload these videos and convert them to Youtube friendly format! Either that or Flipshare simply sucks.

I'll post the rest of the videos tomorrow if I get time. Picking up my Gypsy tomorrow so I'll have those videos as well to upload

No pictures/videos from anyone else? I saw at least 3 other cameras on Sunday.
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Old 15th March 2010, 19:33   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gsferrari View Post
Tejas turned bushman and we half expected him to make clicking noises when he spoke. Xtobele anyone?
Lol... "but that's not how you say it" it's !!Xtobele (with the exclamation in the front)... Russell Peters is awesome man!

I saw all the vids on youtube. Tempted to post them here, but i'll let you do the honours.

Quote:
Originally Posted by pdev29 View Post
sorry tejas, Ibrahim and Pinky bhai couldnt answer your call, saturday night was too heavy .

where are the pics guys??
You should have come later man. Ibrahim came at 12:30. We finished at 6:30.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sriku View Post
The Mahindra 4x4's were very conspicuous by their absence...looks like I'll have to fix that sometime soon!
My Classic will be there next OTR! My Jeep was in the workshop.

Mathew's classic was there btw. I used that to tow out pinky bhai's gorkha.

Quote:
Originally Posted by genesis View Post
@mohan: So did you do a filmed action replay of how the gurkha can masquerade as a submarine?
The water had drastically receded from that spot. So much so that there was a dry path formed there.

Last edited by Tejas@perioimpl : 15th March 2010 at 19:43. Reason: typo
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Old 15th March 2010, 19:58   #11
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Haven't uploaded all the videos yet so these may be out of sequence but I'll clean that up later with the help of the mods.

Raj making his 2nd attempt at the first obstacle:


Aaaand....Raj making his 3rd attempt at the first obstacle. It was after this that Imran took over and put the Gypsy into wooly mammoth territory




You've been Ladak'd!!!




I was at this point of time. Never trust a guy with one-sock with your dream 4x4




And we finally managed to tow Raj's loved one out of the bog


But Raj isn't done getting stuck just yet!! Less than 20 minutes after his first waddle in the mud puddle, Raj did it again. This time he managed to wedge himself BEAUTIFULLY between 4 large rocks



I switched over to the Gurkha and enjoyed the experience immensely. Thanks Mohan for driving me around and talking to me about the upcoming 611 beast. That will be an AWESOME 4x4 to have. Those of you on the fence, go for the Gurkha with the 611 engine and I can tell you that you'll be the king of the jungle!



At the second location Jay managed to beach his safari even before the rest of us got there and figured out what was going on. His courage is to be admired but is Safari needs to be SPOAed before it can attempt these deep ruts again


Quick intro by Pinky prior to him employing the Gurkha's mass in yanking the Safari out of it's sticky predicament


Just watch the Rhino take the Safari out like a dentist pulling out your wisdom tooth root and all!!!


Just when I thought I was out...They pull me back in! (Godfather). Another sticky situation and this time Ibrahim attempts the same line through the slush that Jay took - with identical results


The Gurkha and the safari wallowing around in the mud. Remind you of hippos?


That is all for now folks...Enjoy! I'll put up the rest on Wednesday


Last edited by gsferrari : 15th March 2010 at 20:02.
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Old 15th March 2010, 20:25   #12
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Wow, i've been crowned, thanks to GS. lol

Some tag is better than no tag!

and did you manage to catch the F1 start. I just saw the race start today morning.

Cheers,
Worst Offroader of Tbhp (only for some time)
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Old 15th March 2010, 20:46   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Desmosedici View Post
and did you manage to catch the F1 start. I just saw the race start today morning
I got home in time for Lap 16. Missed the start but I wish I'd missed the race because it was such a snooze-fest. In retrospect I should have stripped and jumped into that cool water. Such a waste...

But I was wiped out when I got home. Fell asleep almost immediately after the race and slept through until 7:00am. I don't know how long you guys stayed back - I would hate driving back on the expressway feeling all sleepy. Fortunately this place isn't too far from Lonavala.

Raging headache and even looking at these videos again gives me a headache. I've been rattled to bits!
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Old 15th March 2010, 21:10   #14
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GS, i myself dont know in what condition i drove back, that too alone and no music to keep me awake. i was just hoping that i dont catch a wink on the expressway. Was keeping a sedate 80-100 kmph all the time.
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Old 15th March 2010, 21:34   #15
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i think the tire was the culprit with the white HT gypsy (in the 2nd attempt video), what tyre pressure were you guys running?

Spike
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