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Old 10th November 2011, 12:44   #31
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Default Re: How to drive an unknown JEEP for 1500kms - A Travel/Photologue by a n00bie JEEP'r

The next stop: Cracking the speedo.

Well.. its evening, and we pass Kholapur (which was really unexpected and surprising). Its also time for tanking up the diesel. Now, somewhere near the Kholapur, NH4 has some pumps located in some really scenic locations.

How to drive an unknown JEEP for 1500kms - A Travel/Photologue by a n00bie JEEP'r-46.jpg

How to drive an unknown JEEP for 1500kms - A Travel/Photologue by a n00bie JEEP'r-47.jpg


We drive in to one of these pumps, and ask the attendant to tank up. Now.. I don't really remember the exact quantity of fuel the Jeep took, but after the last tank full, we had made a mental note to check the highway mileage of the Jeep.

IIRC, we topped it up for about ~1600 bucks. We checked the odo, and see that we had just traveled ~300 odd kilometers. So the total highway mileage came to about 9-10!!!.. Now.. that was really low, and I was devastated. How can I maintain a machine with this kind of FE????!!!!..

Many thoughts run around my mind.. the speedo being one, FE being the other, and overheating the icing on the cake. Well, it was then, I thought about checking how many kilometers we really traveled in the GPS. And... it came to about ~400 odd kilometers!. So, the Jeep's speedo/odo was wrong indeed!. Now, what would cause such a huge speedo error?.. Nothing other than my huge tyres.

The 540's stock tyres are 165/70 - R16 IIRC. The tyres which I have now are 265/70 - R16. A back of the envelope calculation shows that the speedo is erring about 25%. So, infact, 300 kms in the odo means ~375 kilometers. 70kmph in the speedo is actually ~90kmph. No wonder the engine was screaming.. we were travelling at 90kmph in an unknown Jeep!!!!.. Now.. that.. was risky!!..


All the thoughts concerning the Jeep vanish in thin air!. How wouldn't a XDP 2.1 not heat up, when pushed through ghats at 70+ !!.. I get a peace of mind..

Last edited by dhanushs : 10th November 2011 at 12:47.
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Old 10th November 2011, 15:14   #32
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Default Re: How to drive an unknown JEEP for 1500kms - A Travel/Photologue by a n00bie JEEP'r

Quote:
Originally Posted by ninjatalli View Post
Nice TL @dhanushs! The only thing I miss out here are pics of your jeep at the various locations. Considering the numerous stops you guys did, a few pics would have been good!

And as for the speed of posts, I know the effort one requires to write a TL
Thanks ninjatalli. Watch out for further posts for pics of Jeep!.

And, yeah.. this is my first travelogue, and I'm not so confident with words. Also, work is getting on top, hence the speed.
Quote:
Originally Posted by ASHISHPALLOD View Post
That is Khambataki ghat between pune and satara.

Nice write-up..
Yeah.. now I remember.. Thanks Ashish!
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Originally Posted by Samurai View Post
Interesting read Dhanush, I can relate to this very much. I took delivery of my Jeep at 7:30AM and right away drove 400+ kms with my wife riding shotgun. Took 13 hours cover it. Had multiple heating problems, filled radiator in between, heavy rains in the Shiradi ghats, it was an unforgettable experience. And it was the second time I was driving a Jeep.
I have seen your thread Samurai. I can only imagine you traveling in the 340 with your wife.

In my case, the confidence was that we were only guys, and got good contacts/friends along the way to pull us out of trouble.
Quote:
Originally Posted by DHABHAR.BEHRAM View Post
By the time you reach Kerala, you will master most of the MM540s idiosyncracies!
Infact, on reaching Kerala, I was so tied up with the Jeep, that driving my Ford seemed like.. you know..

Quote:
Originally Posted by DHABHAR.BEHRAM View Post
imagine if you had the Thar, you would have reached Kerala by now
True, the CRDe NGCS is a no comparo for the 540 XDP on good tarmac.
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Originally Posted by Fauji View Post
NH4 definitely looks lovely after rains.
Quote:
Originally Posted by himavanth_m View Post
And yes, the Nh4 becomes really beautiful and after the monsoons. But during monsoons it becomes frustrating because it rains almost through out the entire stretch and one cannot enjoy the greenery and scenery outside. I think just after monsoons is the best time to drive around NH4
Yeah.. October and November are the best months to travel. I guess.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sutripta View Post
May this be the start of a beautiful, tempestuous, friendship! (That too is a Jeep thing!)

Last edited by Technocrat : 25th November 2011 at 22:25. Reason: Only 2 smilies per post please, thanks
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Old 10th November 2011, 19:02   #33
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Default Re: How to drive an unknown JEEP for 1500kms - A Travel/Photologue by a n00bie JEEP'r

Now.. after the tank up, and my brilliant discovery which followed , we felt relaxed for the First time. Not tired a bit, I felt proud of my machine!

Also, for the first time in the entire trip, around Kholapur, we are ON schedule!!.. We were less than 200 kms from our destination for the day, and our third target is very near. More over the roads to it were brilliant, and my Jeep can now do a cool 90-95kmph!. So we decide to indulge ourselves to a good relaxing break, check the radiator water et al.. of my beloved machine and take some photographs.


The lush greenery alongside the NH4.
How to drive an unknown JEEP for 1500kms - A Travel/Photologue by a n00bie JEEP'r-48.jpg
How to drive an unknown JEEP for 1500kms - A Travel/Photologue by a n00bie JEEP'r-49.jpg
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How to drive an unknown JEEP for 1500kms - A Travel/Photologue by a n00bie JEEP'r-51.jpg

The super roads:
How to drive an unknown JEEP for 1500kms - A Travel/Photologue by a n00bie JEEP'r-52.jpg
How to drive an unknown JEEP for 1500kms - A Travel/Photologue by a n00bie JEEP'r-53.jpg

The wonder machine which can do a cool 90-95 kmph!!..
How to drive an unknown JEEP for 1500kms - A Travel/Photologue by a n00bie JEEP'r-55.jpg

The trio:
How to drive an unknown JEEP for 1500kms - A Travel/Photologue by a n00bie JEEP'r-56.jpg

How to drive an unknown JEEP for 1500kms - A Travel/Photologue by a n00bie JEEP'r-54.jpg


After the relaxing break, and taking some pics we leave.. towards the target: Nipani.

How to drive an unknown JEEP for 1500kms - A Travel/Photologue by a n00bie JEEP'r-57.jpg
How to drive an unknown JEEP for 1500kms - A Travel/Photologue by a n00bie JEEP'r-58.jpg
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Old 11th November 2011, 12:58   #34
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Default Re: How to drive an unknown JEEP for 1500kms - A Travel/Photologue by a n00bie JEEP'r

Very surprisingly, we reach Nipani, just as planned by about 6:00-6:30. Now, by this time, even though we are not tired, our stomach's starts to call out. And, like godsend, we see a good hotel on the right side, just about 2 kilometers from the diversion to Sawanthavadi. It looked like a nice, and neat vegetarian hotel. Moreover a Prado, a C Class is parked, so we decide to trust the contents of the hotel.

The exact location of the hotel. So that any bhp'ns traveling can identify.

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We ordered some nice buttery Masala Dosa's, Utappam, Vada, and the aromatic Filter coffee. Well, the food was OK, considering it was just a highway hotel.

The Food
How to drive an unknown JEEP for 1500kms - A Travel/Photologue by a n00bie JEEP'r-59.jpg

We recharged our mobiles, took a smoke and spent a relaxing ten minutes in the lawn of the hotel. Time was just late evening, and we had enough time. It was only 200 kms to our final destination for the day. Goa.

The sunset
How to drive an unknown JEEP for 1500kms - A Travel/Photologue by a n00bie JEEP'r-60.jpg

The Lawn
How to drive an unknown JEEP for 1500kms - A Travel/Photologue by a n00bie JEEP'r-61.jpg

After the refreshment, we set sail again. Target: Goa.
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Old 11th November 2011, 14:48   #35
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Default Re: How to drive an unknown JEEP for 1500kms - A Travel/Photologue by a n00bie JEEP'r

Hey Dhanushs,
Firstly congratulations for the jeep, the tyres provide a super character, though would have loved to drool on human-less photos of it
And, Thanks for providing a manual for jeep-acclimatization for guys like us.
I must share, have been toiling across 4X4 sections of the forum quite often but now hooked onto your TL. I too have been nourishing a small dream of owning this genre of beast (not SUVs), someday, where I can "keep" it.
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Old 11th November 2011, 15:33   #36
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Default Re: How to drive an unknown JEEP for 1500kms - A Travel/Photologue by a n00bie JEEP'r

Hooked to the thread!! Lovely writeup, lovely photos and lots of fun. . .waiting for more. Rated 5*.

PS: Your jeep reminds me of my pre-owned Yamaha bike he he he!!

Last edited by whitesquall : 11th November 2011 at 15:34.
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Old 11th November 2011, 15:36   #37
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Default Re: How to drive an unknown JEEP for 1500kms - A Travel/Photologue by a n00bie JEEP'r

Looking forward to read how your jeep reacted on nipani-uttur road?
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Old 11th November 2011, 15:56   #38
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Default Re: How to drive an unknown JEEP for 1500kms - A Travel/Photologue by a n00bie JEEP'r

Target 3: Nipani, Achieved. No problems.

Target 4: Goa. By 2AM max.


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Now.. the Jeep and us, both are tanked up and ready for the next stretch for the day. The final one. Till Goa.

According to the GPS, there is a diversion to the right, from NH4, after about 2 kilometers from the restaurant. This road is supposed to touch Sawanthawadi, which is on NH17, and then we should be proceeding towards Goa along the highway.

But, strangely, we missed that diversion. Came back searching.. and again missed it. Returned and came back once again .. but.. again and again.. we miss it. We just cant see the road. After missing the road for the fourth time, we stop and decide to proceed through the service road on the extreme right. But to get into that service road, we need to go about 2 kms. As we were a bit frustrated my friend decides to check the vehicles capabilities. Well, when we think of it now, it was the stupidest thing to do. But amidst all that uncertainties, we going off the road, and that too with time nearing nightfall was just.. you know...

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We successfully managed to go up, and the fruit of our effort showed up. We located the diversion towards Sawanthawadi. No wonder we failed to locate it. Coming from NH4, the quality of this road is strictly village type. Just wide enough for two vehicles to pass. We guess its fine, and proceed. Well, a bit further into the roads, daylight fades away, and it was kinda deserted. With few people and gatherings here and there.

We pass along Uttur, Maselwadi, Salgaon and Gatkar.

The strange thing I noticed about these roads (area) is that, 7 out of 10 lighted places where people gather is a bar, which somehow, I felt funny.


The road from Nipani to Sawanthawadi:

How to drive an unknown JEEP for 1500kms - A Travel/Photologue by a n00bie JEEP'r-62.jpg
How to drive an unknown JEEP for 1500kms - A Travel/Photologue by a n00bie JEEP'r-63.jpg
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Old 11th November 2011, 16:05   #39
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Default Re: How to drive an unknown JEEP for 1500kms - A Travel/Photologue by a n00bie JEEP'r

Now, it was along this stretch, that for the first time, we couldn't hear ourselves talking. Reason: the hard top was making such a racket.

Well.. it was kinda funny, but the only solution we came up with was to stuff the edges, and the doors with t-shirts and jockeys, and guess what? We managed to shut it up quite a bit!!.. Sorry, no pics of the stuffed Jockey!

I was a bit concerned that if the parts under the hood would hold up, or rattle away to a breakdown. But, after the stuffing and silencing up, the only (well you know..) sound we could hear was the squeak of the leaf springs. Which we could do nothing about and decided to proceed taking our chances. We just drove a bit cautiously over pot holes.

Also, as the night fell, the temperature of the Jeep dropped down considerably.

How to drive an unknown JEEP for 1500kms - A Travel/Photologue by a n00bie JEEP'r-64.jpg

Now.. as luck would have it, it was me who was sitting at the rear of the Jeep through these roads. My dear fellow bhp'ns: The next time, you are offered a trip in a Jeep, please do something or anything or everything to make sure you are not seated in the back. You WILL lose your back!.

I made a mental note, to somehow NOT sit in the back hereon. And let my dear friends take the rare opportunity further in the trip.

Last edited by dhanushs : 11th November 2011 at 16:13.
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Old 11th November 2011, 16:58   #40
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Default Re: How to drive an unknown JEEP for 1500kms - A Travel/Photologue by a n00bie JEEP'r

Quote:
Originally Posted by dhanushs View Post
Very surprisingly, we reach Nipani, just as planned by about 6:00-6:30. Now, by this time, even though we are not tired, our stomach's starts to call out. And, like godsend, we see a good hotel on the right side, just about 2 kilometers from the diversion to Sawanthavadi. It looked like a nice, and neat vegetarian hotel. Moreover a Prado, a C Class is parked, so we decide to trust the contents of the hotel.
How is the road from Nipani to Sawantwadi? We always take the road from Sankeshwar (it's around 30-40kms ahead on the NH4); the road from Sawantwadi is good, two lane and with decent traffic. Have traversed on this road for 3 Goa trips; during different seasons, never had any issues.
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Old 11th November 2011, 17:09   #41
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Default Re: How to drive an unknown JEEP for 1500kms - A Travel/Photologue by a n00bie JEEP'r

wonderful narration in a relaxed fashion , you have taken it all in a stride . I was a little bit worried as you didnt call me , but after Pratheesh's message of you reaching Manglore made me relaxed

Quote:
Originally Posted by dhanushs View Post
Well.. it was kinda funny, but the only solution we came up with was to stuff the edges, and the doors with t-shirts and jockeys, and guess what? We managed to shut it up quite a bit!!.. Sorry, no pics of the stuffed Jockey!
Oh--- I forgot to tell you to carry a pair of good Ear Plugs ( in all those tips )


Quote:
I made a mental note, to somehow NOT sit in the back hereon. And let my dear friends take the rare opportunity further in the trip.
Another wonderful aspect of Jeep Thing you discovered--- the Back Massage

Carry on Jeeping & as Behram Sir said the Jeep perhaps would have told you all her secrets by now .

Sudarshan
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Old 11th November 2011, 20:48   #42
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Default Re: How to drive an unknown JEEP for 1500kms - A Travel/Photologue by a n00bie JEEP'r

Quote:
Originally Posted by ninjatalli View Post
How is the road from Nipani to Sawantwadi? We always take the road from Sankeshwar (it's around 30-40kms ahead on the NH4)
Nipani to Swanthawadi are typical village roads. Well, for a Jeep its difficult, but I guess for a car it should be fine, as there no huge or sudden potholes.
Quote:
Originally Posted by ninjatalli View Post
the road from Sawantwadi is good, two lane and with decent traffic. Have traversed on this road for 3 Goa trips; during different seasons, never had any issues.
I found the road from Sawanthawadi till Goa border in a really bad shape. Not sure if we were wrong. We just followed the google maps.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sudarshan View Post
I was a little bit worried as you didnt call me , but after Pratheesh's message of you reaching Manglore made me relaxed
You know.. as I mentioned through phone...
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sudarshan View Post
Oh--- I forgot to tell you to carry a pair of good Ear Plugs ( in all those tips )
Another wonderful aspect of Jeep Thing you discovered--- the Back Massage
Oh.. the back massage!!.. The only issue is one cant just get it out of his mind!
Quote:
Carry on Jeeping & as Behram Sir said the Jeep perhaps would have told you all her secrets by now .
Yes Sir!!.. And, thanks a lot for your valuable inputs which helped me complete the trip successfully!.

Last edited by dhanushs : 11th November 2011 at 20:56.
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Old 11th November 2011, 23:15   #43
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Default Re: How to drive an unknown JEEP for 1500kms - A Travel/Photologue by a n00bie JEEP'r

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Originally Posted by dhanushs View Post
I found the road from Sawanthawadi till Goa border in a really bad shape. Not sure if we were wrong. We just followed the google maps.
My bad - what I meant was the road from Sankeshwar to Sawantwadi is generally in good shape - a 2 lane tar road that has few potholes.

As for Sawantwadi - Goa road, if you note carefully, the road till MH is bad, it improves as you cross the border. Atleast that was the case whenever we went there!
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Old 11th November 2011, 23:21   #44
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ninjatalli View Post
My bad - what I meant was the road from Sankeshwar to Sawantwadi is generally in good shape - a 2 lane tar road that has few potholes.
Oh.. is it? My bad for not checking the Forum for route updates along that route. Bombay - Goa, the only place where we lost the average is along that road.

And, yes, its till Goa border the roads are bad. In Goa roads are just fine.
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Old 12th November 2011, 01:38   #45
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Default Re: How to drive an unknown JEEP for 1500kms - A Travel/Photologue by a n00bie JEEP'r

The drive till Sawanthavadi was pretty uneventful. IIRC, it took us about 2.5 hours to cover the distance from Nipani till Sawanthawadi. Well.. till Nipani we weren't feeling a bit tired, but the journey from there started seeping our energy. By the time we reach Sawanthawadi, we hope that the roads get better, and we reach Goa soon.

Even as we reach Sawanthawadi, the condition of the roads doesn't get better and we proceed along the broken tarmac. The only relief is that we have covered more than half of the way till Kerala, and even better Goa is just ~50 kms away. The best part was that, the Jeep holding together and was giving no problems whatsoever. Even the overheating problem has vanished.

Now.. it was when we reached the Maharashtra - Goa border, we were stopped at the check post, and were told to write down the Reg Number of the vehicle, name of the owner, and the license number of the driver. His name too. I have seen this in many border crossings, and even more, and just as I expected, the guys over there asked for an entry fee.

We were bored, tired, frustrated and almost exhausted. Moreover, we were ON schedule and had nothing to do today, after reaching Goa. So, the demand for entry fee gave me an opportunity to brighten up things. I decided to refuse-on-the-face !!.. Very surprisingly, all three of us reacted the same way!. It was very unlike me, to react this way. Usually, I don't ask for trouble, and give whatever they ask for, and save time. But may be the the back-massage the Jeep was giving me over the past 100 kms made me act like this.

(Conversation Translated to English)

They: Show the vehicle papers
Me: Here.
They: Ok, give the entry fee and proceed.
Me: What entry fee? Why?
They: 100 bucks, this is the normal procedure. Give and leave soon.
Me: Sorry, I cant give you a single rupee. (Walk towards the Jeep)


I open the Jeep door and slam shut and ask Anjith (My friend who is driving) to drive off in Hindi.

Two men come to our Jeep, with mixed emotions (which could be clearly seen from their faces). They ask Anjith to get down.

Anjith: We never pay any fee, and will not.
They: You better pay if you need to pass.
Anjith: I build ships for the Navy and you ask an entry fee? (Me =)
They: Show some ID.
Anjith: Here.. (He flashes his ID. He works in the ship design department of Bharati Shipyard and is a Design Engineer or something like that..)

I was ROTFLMAO!!.. and thought that was it!. and we would need to spend the next couple of hours fighting these guys off. But surprisingly, they bought it.

They: OK Sir, please proceed.

Now, coming to think of it, it was not so wise to act or bluff like that at night in an unknown town. But, as luck would have it, we came out of the situation rather well.

Well, my friend does build ships, but a Navy one?. And they bought it?... the rest of journey was pretty charged up, and we were laughing all the way, speculating on what would happen if they had decided to mess up things!.





And.. finally, at about ~12:30 - 1:00AM, we reach Goa. Baga Beach.

Target 4: Achieved!!!..

Last edited by dhanushs : 12th November 2011 at 01:40.
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