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Old 12th April 2012, 15:25   #2191
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Default Re: HumbLeh'd II (Indo Polish Himalayan Expedition to Ladakh & Himachal Pradesh)

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Originally Posted by laluks View Post
Wow! So much of discussions. This indeed shows the keenness with which our humbl log is being followed. Thank you guys.
Laluks, Thanks a lot for humbly starting this Humblehd thread and most importantly having so much of detailed pics than any one in our team could click.
Showed us even the minutest things which happened or or seen during this Expedition. We all were busy driving and I saw many new things through your pics which I missed seeing during the trip.

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As HVK had put it, I would like to iterate the fact that it was one hell of a team to be in.
Yes we are!! This was indeed a Hell of a Team! Congrats to all the IPHE 2011 Team Members! HEAVY CANNONS!! as Tadek aka TS always says

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HVK is a resourceful guy to travel with, and I have no idea what all we discussed under the sun when we drove through.

Without HVK!!! Dont even dream about during this or any such Expedition! We owe you a lot Sir. Learned a lot from you in those few weeks. I can fill pages writing about my experience with HVK.. He is a treasure chest of knowledge for all the Travelling freaks.. Err.. I mean folks


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KSM-Vtec and the Mumbai Roadsters were so full of josh, that I just want to have another adventure with them in their swifties. Ofcourse the pleasure of driving a swift to KLa was just the best gift they gave me.
KSM-Vtec & Mumbai Roadsters,Yes as rightly said by Lalu, they were the Josh Team!! When I met them in Kaza for the first time! I was thinking to myself. Himalayan Expedition and that too in 2 Swifts?? Are you serious??
But after a day and half or few discussion over lunches/dinners together and after knowing the team. Then I had to correct myself!

Kaushik is the guy who got me a taxi from nowhere.. to goto Reckong Peo from Kaza when I left the team for my Kaza -Delhi-Cochin -Delhi- Srinagar Expedition. when there was not a single Taxi in Kaza who was ready to go due to the weather anomaly and also due the local Festival! He used all his contacts and tactics to convince a taxi driver ( a Hyundai Santro) to take me to Reckong Peo, which was almost a full day drive.
Thanks a lot KSM-VTec and your team. It was fun watching you driving and tackling the Himalayan Terrain in your swifts.

For those who dont know.. My Discovery Bolero was the sweeper of the convoy most of the time. Which also gave me some advantage of stopping and clicking lots of pics and then drive fast to catch up with the convoy. That also helped me to watch carefully all the cars/SUv's ahead of me in the convoy crossing in slush , sand and water crossings and helped me to take the best route and cross without any issues or damage to the underbody.

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BolBolero and his team were so fun loving that every evenings we had good discussions and fun chatting about the days experience while unwinding with SS's hospitality.
Bol Bolero aka Gautam and me were Bolero Brothers for long time.Even though I gave him a shock of his life by calling and asking me to pick me from Srinagar Airport while he was in Punjab or just before crossing into J&K. We had a amazing time toegther from Srinagar to Kargil in his Bolero and then doing the rest of the rest in two Boleros. Thanks a lot BolBolero for you support and help.Thanks to his team esp SS.


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Jeep Captain and Nobin - what a team! So helpful and energetic every moment.
I should thank Nobin, Who was the silent Hero of this Expedition and then ofcourse Tadek aka TS aka Tadeusz Sokolowski who was the inspiration behind this Expedition for me. He calls himself the Provacator!
His knowledge about everything in the world is something out of the world. Esp his knowledge about India and our history and culture put all of us to shame.

Last but not least the great mentor and NLP Trainer JP aka Jayasekran Pillai for his numerous short training sessions and motivation.

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Guys - lets go again - tell me when
Lalu I am ready as always!! You know me right? I will plan the dates and inform you all.. SHALL I??
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Old 12th April 2012, 17:04   #2192
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[quote=JeepCaptain;2744278]Laluks, Thanks a lot for humbly starting this Humblehd thread and most importantly having so much of detailed pics than any one in our team could click.
Showed us even the minutest things which happened or or seen during this Expedition. We all were busy driving and I saw many new things through your pics which I missed seeing during the trip.

I have seen more of Ladakh & Himachal in Lalu's photos than I remember seeing during the drive



Quote:
KSM-Vtec & Mumbai Roadsters,Yes as rightly said by Lalu, they were the Josh Team!! When I met them in Kaza for the first time! I was thinking to myself. Himalayan Expedition and that too in 2 Swifts?? Are you serious??
But after a day and half or few discussion over lunches/dinners together and after knowing the team. Then I had to correct myself!

You bet! The Mumbai Roadsters were not even part of the original team. When we had a briefing meeting - he wanted some advice on planning his drive - I found that our dates were clashing and Kaushik also said he would try to join our team.....and that is how we went together as one team from Kaza onwards, notwithstanding that he had left Bombay 1 day later than us.

KSM-vTEC has oodles of experience driving on Indian highways and he has gone to Ladakh, North East India, South India and what not!


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Kaushik is the guy who got me a taxi from nowhere.. to goto Reckong Peo from Kaza when I left the team for my Kaza -Delhi-Cochin -Delhi- Srinagar Expedition. when there was not a single Taxi in Kaza who was ready to go due to the weather anomaly and also due the local Festival! He used all his contacts and tactics to convince a taxi driver ( a Hyundai Santro) to take me to Reckong Peo, which was almost a full day drive.
Not the only reason why he was such an efficient organiser - he was the guy who used to take charge of the food, board (negotiations) & money collections - which kept the team going well throughout.
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Old 12th April 2012, 17:28   #2193
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Default Re: HumbLeh'd II (Indo Polish Himalayan Expedition to Ladakh & Himachal Pradesh)

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Originally Posted by JeepCaptain View Post
Kaushik is the guy who got me a taxi from nowhere.. to goto Reckong Peo from Kaza when I left the team for my Kaza -Delhi-Cochin -Delhi- Srinagar Expedition.
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Originally Posted by hvkumar View Post
KSM-vTEC, he was such an efficient organiser - he was the guy who used to take charge of the food, board (negotiations) & money collections - which kept the team going well throughout.
Hello,

Sorry for going off-topic, but Yes, even I have experienced negotiation skills of KSM-Vtec (Kaushik). This was on 15 January 2012 at Mumbai TBHP meet Oye Punjabi hotel.

The situation was that we were short in numbers of what was originally planned & hotel had already made arrangements for quoted number of people. Kaushik single-handedly negotiated with the Manager & convinced him to reduce the cost of the food. This was despite the fact that he was not going to have food that day & was already exhausted from late night party & drive all the way to Igatpuri.

Thank you Kaushik.

Regards,

Last edited by Jignesh : 12th April 2012 at 17:29.
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Old 13th April 2012, 11:10   #2194
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Hai HVK and other Raiders of the Leh Arc,

Went over your account of Kargil - Padum section carefully and also from Pangong to Tso Kar through Sarchu... a tale fit to tell grandchildren!! I am sure all of you would carry the war scars, drink over it, chew the memories for a long long time to come. Have a feeling you just might repeat it with some members of the team from the bonding that has happened.

When the team is this big and when you go through difficult times, a lot happen that tie you together. I can make a case study on leadership, leadership styles, team building, planning, execution, taking decisions on the fly, using scarce resources, synergizing resources, delegating, importance of keeping communication loops in place etc.... out of this story and use it for training my senior personnel, can I?

There are too many accounts, gets confusing at times, would be worthwhile tabulating it all in some plac like you are planning: date, palce, pictures, road conditions, facilities, contacts, impressions, recommendations etc., you have it all here, but spread out. I have cut pasted information into roads, conditions, cautions, stay, contacts into my own archives... you know my craziness to research into anything I go into

Some questions:

1. From Spangmik to Chushul: Are there many places a vehicles can get stuck, if you go off the track, the over-enthusiastic can go towards the lake. I see the track skirts Pangong for a long time, about 40 KMS and then veers right to Chushul, is this all non tarmac roads?

2. Reportedly there's a track from Chushul- Mitpal Tso - tack skirts through the right bank of the lake, goes through Yahe Tso's right bank and joins at Mahe. Difficult track, 4x4 needed and about 80 kms, would be shorter to Mahe by 30-35 kms. Any information on this or would it be better to take the longer one through Tsaga, Loma, Nayome, Mahe?

3. Tsaga La: Tsaga Village: Are the tracks clear, or are there misleading forks, junctions without direction? I think you entered the village here, got lost a litttle and crossed over through water to join the track towards Loma?

4. Loma-Mahe-Karzok: Any cautions here on this seciton? I see form your logs and SS Travellers there is tarmac on this seciton.

5. If one starts at 6 AM from Karzok, spend time in Tso Kar, drive easy, will it be possible to reach Sarchu by 6 PM to stay there. Idea is to enjoy Baralacha la in the morning glory and full light of the next day. I see in your drive that you flogged the horse hard to reach in time to catch the fuel pump shut down time, awesome timings taking into consideration the terrain and conditions!!

6. Do you have the excel sheet logs uploaded somewhere or can you please mail me? Any GPS / KML files?

I think enough questions for now, more later. Thanks in advance.

--Ramky
======

Last edited by ramkya1 : 13th April 2012 at 11:13.
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Old 13th April 2012, 12:25   #2195
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Originally Posted by ramkya1 View Post

When the team is this big and when you go through difficult times, a lot happen that tie you together. I can make a case study on leadership, leadership styles, team building, planning, execution, taking decisions on the fly, using scarce resources, synergizing resources, delegating, importance of keeping communication loops in place etc.... out of this story and use it for training my senior personnel, can I?
That is a great honour, please do! We will all be happy to give you more insights if you desire.


Quote:
1. From Spangmik to Chushul: Are there many places a vehicles can get stuck, if you go off the track, the over-enthusiastic can go towards the lake. I see the track skirts Pangong for a long time, about 40 KMS and then veers right to Chushul, is this all non tarmac roads?
Spagimik-Chushul is all dirt road.
Only 2 villages - Man & Merak.
Merak check post to show permits. No foreigners permitted beyond Merak.
No signages anywhere. Just stick to the bank of the Lake for almost 30 kms & follow other tyre tracks.
Difficulties - yes, watch out for loose sand in many places, do not deviate from the other tyre tracks.
There are a few water crossings which involve complete "dipping" into the water and then steep climb from there, can be a problem for small cars who can scrape their bumpers and get into difficulties clambering up the steep slope especially if there is lots of water.
We did not face any serious problems but then we were travelling at the "driest" time of the year in those parts.
Only place where we faced a Q was where the Lake goes off to China (before Chushul) - at which point there is a fork in the "road" - so we were unsure which one to take, continue on the banks or climb up the mountain? Luckily, there were a few army jawans repairing a truck at that point and they guided us.
Otherwise, it is one path to Chushul.
Needless to say, you will find no one to guide you if you do get lost or want to ask for directions.

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2. Reportedly there's a track from Chushul- Mitpal Tso - tack skirts through the right bank of the lake, goes through Yahe Tso's right bank and joins at Mahe. Difficult track, 4x4 needed and about 80 kms, would be shorter to Mahe by 30-35 kms. Any information on this or would it be better to take the longer one through Tsaga, Loma, Nayome, Mahe?
No idea.
There is a direct road from Tangtse to Chushul too.


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3. Tsaga La: Tsaga Village: Are the tracks clear, or are there misleading forks, junctions without direction? I think you entered the village here, got lost a litttle and crossed over through water to join the track towards Loma?
We did not get lost in Tsaga.
Approaching Chushul, one of the bridges had broken and the river could not be crossed, so we had to guess the deviation. I tried going up and down some sections to find a "track" to get us to the other side.
Finally, we had to take a detour through a neighbouring village to get to Chushul. Once the bridge is repaired, no problems whatsoever.
Exiting Chushul town, there are 2-3 roads, one of them the road going to Tangtse direct.
After Chushul, it is one dirt track upto Tsaga la.
NO signages of course. No vehicles either. But you can clearly see the path made by tyres of mostly military trucks that go this way.
Left side is one solid wall of mountains - other side is China! - so you have to keep going straight. At one point, there were 2 tracks going away to left and right (at different places), but I took a decision by plotting what I tjought would be the best way to reach the top of the hills looming ahead, since I knew we had to climb steeply to reach Tsaga la. Serious This is like navigating in the time of Columbus! Happily, I was right although at some places, the track was so faint that I thought it would run out. BTW, the road that forked to the left also goes up there, rejoins this track, being an alternative "road".
I can show you detailed videos and GPS tracks of this section sometime we meet.

Tsaga la is an unpretentious place, which has a left fork - with signboards - going off to the border post of Tara whcih overlooks CHinese positions. We continue straight down the hill towards Tsaga village. Roads are much better.
Tsaga village also has a bypass.
The check post is after Tsaga village.
From the check post, it is tar road all the way to Hanle!!!!!!

Quote:
4. Loma-Mahe-Karzok: Any cautions here on this section? I see form your logs and SS Travellers there is tarmac on this seciton.
Beauty - real beauty! Top speeds, assuming you have some good suspension in your car to cushion against the frequent humpiness.
Caution - between Loma & Hanle, road has many troughs (presumably created for water flows) which you have to slow down else you may run into the ground or go airborne and crash badly!

Quote:
5. If one starts at 6 AM from Karzok, spend time in Tso Kar, drive easy, will it be possible to reach Sarchu by 6 PM to stay there. Idea is to enjoy Baralacha la in the morning glory and full light of the next day. I see in your drive that you flogged the horse hard to reach in time to catch the fuel pump shut down time, awesome timings taking into consideration the terrain and conditions!!
Yes, Sarchu by 6 pm is possible, with a couple of food and lots of photo breaks! Hopefully, if the road through More Plains is done this year, you will achieve 3-digit speeds on the Debring-Pang sector and maybe cut journey durations by at least 1 hour.

Sarchu is quite an inhospitable place - and the luxury tent camps situated some 5-7 kms out of the Sarchu "Camp" (all tea shops with cheap dorm acco) - are quite expensive, so be sure to drive a hard bargain with them. Don't make a mistake of booking in advance, the travel agent rates are a total rip-off, you may get them down to 30-50% of rack rates on the spot.

Yes, we drove like dickens to cross Baralacha la before dark and be at the Tandi petrol pump before it closed at 7-8 pm - and we did! I also needed to get some battery distilled water which was the main motivation for me to whip my Scorpio - way ahead of the other 3 cars - so that I could locate a garage (which I did, seconds before he closed, and also picked up the last distilled water bottle in town - at Keylong!).

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6. Do you have the excel sheet logs uploaded somewhere or can you please mail me? Any GPS / KML files?
Tons of it. Log books. GPS tracks, etc. All GPS tracks so far have already been shared in the thread, as also log book notings till Chamba. Will put up complete ones after we finish the TL. Or please PM.

Last edited by GTO : 14th April 2012 at 14:19. Reason: No more than 2 smilies per post please. Thanks
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Old 13th April 2012, 12:45   #2196
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That is a great honour, please do! We will all be happy to give you more insights if you desire.

.......................

Tons of it. Log books. GPS tracks, etc. All GPS tracks so far have already been shared in the thread, as also log book notings till Chamba. Will put up complete ones after we finish the TL. Or please PM.
Thanks for the useful information.

I have seen EVERY SINGLE video on your Log, many sections seen it frame by frame, I don't think anyone would have analyzed your video and thread inforamtion like me

I need the KLM files, I've seen the GPS track photos, would need the KLM files to upload into Google and check out the track. If available let me know the link, also will PM you.

---Ramky
======

Last edited by ramkya1 : 13th April 2012 at 12:46.
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Old 13th April 2012, 18:00   #2197
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All of us make many phone calls everyday using mobile phones, so do i. But this was going to be a special phone call. It was around 23:00hrs. May be i did not realize and underestimated the kind of reaction i will get from HVK Sir. He was ecstatic as we moved on.


We agreed to Sir’s advise of finding a hotel at Tissa and spend the night there. We were just out of Bhairavgargh as we reached the junction where there were 2 ways out of which one went to Tissa. Thinking that we have understood the directions alright we moved in one direction. However we did not see any milestones here and called Sir again to check if we have taken the right way. HVK Sir then confirmed that we are on the right track and this is the same place where the SUV’s made a wrong directional move and ended up losing out on an hour.


We were moving ahead and i almost felt dead by now and i just couldn’t keep my eyes open. The track was much better and i asked Ankit if he’d be comfortable if i take a quick nap. He was ok and i just crashed. It was about a 90minute nap and we had just crossed Tissa and come a little ahead. Tissa, i was told had nothing open and completely dark. I was also told that just sometime back the team stopped for a quick bite after realising that nothing was available at Tissa and we can expect the same thing ahead. They said they also tried to wake me up but i did not respond at all. I was probably eating mum cooked hot parathas in my dream.


I guess i woke up just after 1 am, just in time to fill in for the boys (Yogen and Ankit). It was me driving Yogens car and Kaushik following me in the other swift while the 2 boys took a nap. I would like to mention that i did like the stretch from Tissa to Chamba as it was tarmac, broken only around edges at a few places. We were now not very far from spending a full day inside the car on the move. Kaushik was pretty quick behind me and kept pushing me as well. It was a nice corner carving battle against him, in total darkness nobody on the road. Really needed some adventure or excitement to gain the energy required to push it up to Chamba.

We were inside the town of chamba at 3.30 in the morning.

Have already shocked half the world by now, it was about time for the staff at the Maruti Suzuki workshop to get their share of Mumbai Roadsters.
Coming up next.
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Old 13th April 2012, 18:17   #2198
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We were inside the town of chamba at 3.30 in the morning.

Have already shocked half the world by now, it was about time for the staff at the Maruti Suzuki workshop to get their share of Mumbai Roadsters.
Coming up next.
Hatts Off Mumbai Roadsters

Hope RGV doesn't stumble upon this Thread, otherwise he will base his next film on your adventure to Chamba
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Old 13th April 2012, 20:33   #2199
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Having got the call (and SMS) from the Mumbai Roadsters, we were still incredulous as we went to bed that night. We had warned the hotel to keep room for them and crashed for the night, we were not sure if they would come to Chamba or stay back in Tissa or wherever.

We get up in the morning and Lalu tells me about this FB update from KSM-vTEC, which says he is staying in Room No XXX!! Surely one innovation in communicating during a drive - and betting that the first thing Lalu would do on waking up is to check his FB!

So that was confirmed - the Mumbai Roadsters had indeed arrived. But I still could not believe it - so I walked down to the compound and sure enough, both the cars were there, parked inside the hotel compound, in one piece , looking as good as ever! Had I been Karol Józef Wojtyła (a.k.a. Pope John Paul), I would have knelt down and kissed the earth before the tyres of the cars, so happy I was in their reaching the destination without damage or delay. They were just 4.5 hours behind us, a phenomenal achievement considering the drive circumstances.
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Old 13th April 2012, 20:51   #2200
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Here's the FB update

Name:  Fullscreen capture 4132012 84513 PM.jpg
Views: 1254
Size:  49.2 KB

Check the time! The moment I got out of the shock I've updated our IPHE group on FB about the SWIFT Story.

By 3:45AM KSM had already updated that they are in their rooms.

What a day, what a team - Craziness unlimited
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Old 14th April 2012, 00:12   #2201
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One of your team member is not seen around for some time now. Had he remained with the Mumbai Roadsters' team, I feel, he also would have crossed the Such pass.
He is none other than no_enthu_da aka Baby Alto. In which case it would probably been the first Alto to cross the Pass with the First Swifts ever.

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Old 14th April 2012, 01:08   #2202
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One of your team member is not seen around for some time now. Had he remained with the Mumbai Roadsters' team, I feel, he also would have crossed the Such pass.
He is none other than no_enthu_da aka Baby Alto. In which case it would probably been the first Alto to cross the Pass with the First Swifts ever.

....but then you have not heard the rest of his story yet even as he was setting some new benchmarks......
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Old 14th April 2012, 01:36   #2203
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hmm.. Smell something here? Plot thickens. Just cant wait to hear this out. My F5 is almost worn out.

Team One request. Please speed up the updates.

Mod's Note:You are using too many ellipsis or what we call dotty posts. Please refrain from this practice as we discourage such practices.

Also, type in english without the use of SMSey shortcuts and half sentences with dots.

Post edited for this once.
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Old 14th April 2012, 08:25   #2204
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He is none other than no_enthu_da aka Baby Alto. In which case it would probably been the first Alto to cross the Pass with the First Swifts ever.
Didn't Baby Alto go to Leh along with JeepCaptain's Bolero instead of taking Sach Pass. I forget the name of the place where they parted ways but it is a few pages back I guess.

IMO a sound decision given the challenges reaching Sach Pass. While a human can push one's own limit through grit and perseverance the same cannot be expected of a machine. The fault tolerance level of a Swift is higher than that of an Alto and in my opinion it is a bit foolhardy to push a machine beyond limits of what it is capable of, probably unnecessary risk. I am taking nothing away from what Baby Alto or the Swifts have achieved and I am sure Baby Alto overcame some more equally difficult situations going to Srinagar through Zozila. There has been already one heady and intellectual discussion around how the team carried itself through even though they decided to break up so not going there any more .

Given most members of this team are pretty experienced drivers having driven this kind of terrain at least speaking for myself, I probably won't take a hatch or a sedan into this terrain. It is simply because besides human skill and a machine's capability the factor of luck comes into play big time in all this which might not be on my side every day and could turn fatal.
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Old 14th April 2012, 15:41   #2205
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Originally Posted by hvkumar View Post
Having got the call (and SMS) from the Mumbai Roadsters, we were still incredulous as we went to bed that night. We had warned the hotel to keep room for them and crashed for the night, we were not sure if they would come to Chamba or stay back in Tissa or wherever.

We get up in the morning and Lalu tells me about this FB update from KSM-vTEC, which says he is staying in Room No XXX!! Surely one innovation in communicating during a drive - and betting that the first thing Lalu would do on waking up is to check his FB!

So that was confirmed - the Mumbai Roadsters had indeed arrived. But I still could not believe it - so I walked down to the compound and sure enough, both the cars were there, parked inside the hotel compound, in one piece , looking as good as ever! Had I been Karol Józef Wojtyła (a.k.a. Pope John Paul), I would have knelt down and kissed the earth before the tyres of the cars, so happy I was in their reaching the destination without damage or delay. They were just 4.5 hours behind us, a phenomenal achievement considering the drive circumstances.
Sir, your words never fail to re kindle the sense of achievement we have from the drive. The joy of meeting you for the first time followed by the days spent during the drive and now going through all your write ups, hope all this never ever ends.


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Originally Posted by laluks View Post
Here's the FB update

Attachment 915523

Check the time! The moment I got out of the shock I've updated our IPHE group on FB about the SWIFT Story.

By 3:45AM KSM had already updated that they are in their rooms.

What a day, what a team - Craziness unlimited

Thank you for this update on FB. Actually, cant Thank you enough.
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