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Old 17th November 2011, 06:14   #31
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Default Re: Desert Storm Travels (Travails?)

Niranjan's last days entry from Desert Storm 2011:

Quote:
February 27 : After a breakfast halt at Neem ka Thana the rally was to move to Delhi where the end was at Hotel Grand in Vasant Kunj.Since till then there was nothing else to do I had been loitering around to kill time.
Finally the much awaited results are out and Hrishi made it to the 4th position in the XPLORE category. Once the rally moved on to Delhi I hitched a lift from another official, Nitin, to Delhi and reached at around 1230. Thankfully all officials were given a room at The Grand, otherwise I would have had to find my own accommodation.
The cars were flagged in and the winners were given champange bottles and garlands to honour them. Later that evening we were all invited to the rally ball for dinner and prize distribution which was magnificent. Then came the dinner with drinks. Everyone was in a gala mood as they knew that they deserved this dinner for slogging themselves beyond the limits and not going over the edge.
Quote:
The rally ball is the best chance every one gets to get up close and personal. And share stories of special times shared in last few days or incidents that made the time and effort more than well spent. Preceded by handing out the trophies this is also time for clicking pictures with trophies and friends.
Thats all. I guess the most happening week of my life ends here. Tomorrow I will be consumed in vacuum. Nothing to do. Didn't want the rally to end. It was super fun. A life time experience. Something I won't forget my entire life. Looking forward to come for all the events of NMS
At the end I would say this blog was possible because of Hrishikesh Deshpande who inspired me to contact Sudev and Neha Dixit ( the friend who sent “The Text” to the wrong number which fortunately landed me here.)
The small break in the journey was necessitated due to presence needed another event that is happening in Mumbai right now - Autocross - and it also gives me opportunity to get the mechanical issues of Thar sorted out.

Coming back we traveled to Delhi via a slightly direct route. Leaving the NH11 at Fatehgrah and linking to Gurgaon through Mandawa, Jhunjhunu, Chirawa, Charkhi Dadri, Jhajhar, Farukhnagar. Mostly good roads but I do not know if time taken is any less due to over all lower speeds.
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Old 17th November 2011, 06:21   #32
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Default Re: Desert Storm Travels (Travails?)

Oh just realised that pictures for the following did not get uploaded:

Quote:
Originally Posted by sudev View Post
November 12:
By now you must have realised that this is not a travelogue of the usual type......
Me testing sand surface before attempting dune bashing.
Desert Storm Travels (Travails?)-100_4546.jpg

Laying the tow line for front pull
Desert Storm Travels (Travails?)-100_4548.jpg

At bottom of dune's steep side posing for a picture
Desert Storm Travels (Travails?)-100_4547.jpg

........ The air conditioner stopped working again. This time it was not the locked anchor bolt but the bolts of base plate on which compressor is mounted that sheared ....
Desert Storm Travels (Travails?)-100_4551.jpg
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Old 29th November 2011, 06:27   #33
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Default Re: Desert Storm Travels (Travails?)

Just a quick note that after a break of a week the journey was resumed on Sunday. Poor connectivity speeds are making me restrict this update to just a picture taken at end of day one after going the whole day through dune country tracks and enjoying the thrills of deep send driving.

Desert Storm Travels (Travails?)-378563_2807390303832_1230903589_3355524_617845177_n.jpg

Thar
While in Delhi for the break the Thar was attended to at a proper workshop. One item was to replace the air conditioner compressor completely. Found the OE compressor for Scorpio CRDE. This fits perfectly and sits properly on the engine flange. No more welded plate which flexes and breaks the nuts/bolts.
Second was to get a fiber glass half cabin top so that the canvas becomes tight and does not create almighty racket when travelling at anything more that 50kmph.

More updates soon.
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Old 4th December 2011, 09:11   #34
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Default Re: Desert Storm Travels (Travails?)

Lost my data dongle and was restricted to crippling 9.6kpbs speed on the android phone so no posts from the field.

November 27th:

We just finished the Mahindra Great Escape event in Jaipur. The POA was to head directly in to deeper Rajasthan and complete the route for Desert Storm. As it is we were running late by two weeks in completing this activity. When the Jeep thing happened:
Alka: I am thinking of going back to Delhi
Me: Why?
Alka: Aise hee
Me: You are all packed up for a week out in Desert
Alka: But you have company this time so...

(Raj, Philip and Rahul were also accompanying us on this trip in another Thar)

Me: Yeah but how does that matter? They are in another vehicle
Alka: No. I was thinking you;d be more comfortable with two to a car
Me: They came like that from Delhi
Alka: But the third guy is always uncomfortable
Me: Is that the reason?
Alka: ...aur khuli jeep mein mitti bahut aati hai.....

So finally that was the reason. Too much dust settles everywhere when you travel off-road and we had done enough of that in last three days. Its a Jeep thing.

So she went back to Delhi with others who had come for the event to Jaipur while four of us pushed off to Sardarshahr.
Where? Sardarshaher.
Where is that? Look at map of Rajasthan and you will find it tucked away in middle of nowhere slightly north east of Bikaner.
Why we were going there? To see some lovely dune country tracks.

It was difficult to travel right through heart of Jaipur on a Sunday evening. The roads were full and shops open with locals and tourists mingling on pavements. Must say that local women bring a riot of colour to the scene with their bright "odni's"

Jaipur has grown amazingly in last decade. Once the Expressway bye-pass on Sikar road was away from the city. Now the city goes on and on even beyond that and at this rate Chomu would become contiguous with Jaipur soon. The highway development work is going on in full swing till Ringus which meant so many diversions and haphazard traffic conditions.

We drove on NH11 till Rattangarh. From here we turned right and too another highway to Sardarshahr. It was a very nicely marked and maintained road that sees high volumes of truck traffic. Basically the traffic coming north swings off NH8 at Kishangarh and uses this highway to reach western portions of Punjab or carry through to J&K thus bye-passing Delhi NCR region and additional state RTO problems by directly entering Punjab from Rajasthan.

The hotel at Sardarshahr was a surprise. We expected some small highway side motel but this was a large affair. On questioning we learn't that there is no other place locally to hold large functions so the owners, NRS's - Non Resident Sardarshari's, have built this hotel with a large air conditioned banquet hall with capacity of 1500+ people. Kuber Palace is certainly nice place to stay though it has hardly any occupancy on normal days. But is sold out during wedding season.
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Old 4th December 2011, 10:08   #35
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Default Re: Desert Storm Travels (Travails?)

Anyways back to travels.

NREGA funds have been used extensively in Rajathan to build road or what appear to be roads. Villages have grit roads that some times lead to nowhere and end abruptly in middle of emptiness. Usually the grit roads are so poorly made that the local carts driven by camels also avoid them and instead go through the sand adjacent to the tracks. Camels hurt their foot pads when travelling over sharp pebbly surface offered y these tracks.

Whats not good for camels is usually good for rallying! Sometimes. So when we go and recce the interiors we come across many such "roads" and some of them are fun to drive. There is no traffic and you can do all the power sliding you want as the surface is super packed!! May be one day we should organise a special race series on such roads.
Desert Storm Travels (Travails?)-325324_2843406604217_1230903589_3368119_70817321_o.jpg

Picture by Raj shows us travelling on one such stretch. It ended abruptly and the sand track continued. Later enquiry revealed that this happened to be the border line between one district and the next. One district had deemed the connect to be important and had made a lovely grit road but the next district had not though so.

Some more shots of the Thar as we traveled through Rajasthan:
Desert Storm Travels (Travails?)-339503_2843409524290_1230903589_3368124_797962213_o.jpg
Going through windmill farm. As mentioned earlier tremendous number of wind mill generators have been installed.

Desert Storm Travels (Travails?)-324824_2843408844273_1230903589_3368123_1463694299_o.jpg
You can always find repair gang tracks along the railway lines. Last year we had used this section and was very popular with competitors and photographers alike.

Last edited by sudev : 4th December 2011 at 10:09.
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Old 4th December 2011, 12:19   #36
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Thar is meant to be off roader but the fuel cap is without a lid. This results in filler cap getting dust laden and if you are not careful about cleaning it before loosening it you ruin risk of dust going into the tank.

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Old 4th December 2011, 16:36   #37
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Default Re: Desert Storm Travels (Travails?)

Apart from the so very interesting travelogue about uncharted routes in Gujarat & Rajasthan, it is also giving a deep insight on Thar's performance & travails.
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Old 4th December 2011, 17:40   #38
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Default Re: Desert Storm Travels (Travails?)

@gd1418 : Yes. What ever vehicle is used does get highlighted. Till date its been Esteem, Gypsy, Forestor, GV and Fortuner. For now we got two Thar's to do recce of Rajasthan for another Mahindra event and the Desert Storm. 8-)
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Old 4th December 2011, 17:49   #39
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Default Re: Desert Storm Travels (Travails?)

Quote:
Originally Posted by sudev View Post
Monday evening, the day after F1 races:
Me: Whew F1 is over!! It has taken its toll in form of time and energy.
She: Yes. And pretty pretty please do press that leg a bit more I am tired.
Me: Why are you so tired? It was me who was walking the track for four days getting all track and flag marshals in to their posts all over the track. And there were 350 of them reporting to me.
She: So? Do you mean to say that I did not do anything? Who fed the baraat of 1000+ marshals for a week? Our department.
Me: You used vehicles to deliver food
She: That was only on track. And do press the other foot also.

Taking my moment of silence as a possible victory.......
She: And do remember that we delivered breakfast early morning....yeah press it right there a bit harder....and then cold drinks and then lunches and then dinners. It is no cakewalk.

I was heading for a surrender and it continued....
She: Your people did duty 5~6 hours while we worked virtually round the clock managing the feeding of hungry army. And my maid is not coming for duty for last two days.

F1, Desert Storm and Maid???!!!

In case you are wondering where this is leading to let me just say so was I.
Hi Sudev,

I just saw this thread

Please give a Big Thanks to your Better Half. She/They really did a good job with the handicaps they had to run with

Best Regards & Drive/Ride Safe

Ram
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Old 4th December 2011, 18:47   #40
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Default Re: Desert Storm Travels (Travails?)

Sudev sir its been a pleasure going through your posts here. I very frequently travel on these routes, both on Jaipur Sikar and on the Sardarshahar side.
Sardarshahr is on our way to parental village so have a first hand experience on the transformation of those roads over the year.
Sardarshahar has often being a midway for us on our journeys and i had a sumptuous break fast of alu parantha and dahi only 3 weeks back at Kuber palace.

Some of the first driving lessons I had were in our family jeep on such village tracks only and all your pics made me quite nostalgic.
The dust anyway is one of the things synonymous with desert and we have to live with it once we are in desert. There are lots of nice tracks around Sardarshahar towards Bikaner and also on the Taranagar route.

Am really looking forward to Desert storm this year.
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Old 7th December 2011, 07:13   #41
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Default Re: Desert Storm Travels (Travails?)

@amikacin: Yes dust and desert are same side of same coin!! Not even two sides.

When you travel through such paths what ever you do some amount of dust will always finds its way inside the vehicle cabin. And after a couple of days of doing this some amount of coughing also starts as lungs try and expel the inhaled dust particles.
Happens more when you go to colder deserts of Ladakh region

Paratha and dahi are staple at all dhabas. I found in general quality of curd at all places to be excellent.
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Old 2nd January 2012, 00:03   #42
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Default Re: Desert Storm Travels (Travails?)

Sudev sir, awesome write-up. I love the way you intermingle Niranjan's log into this log. The non-linear narration makes it very interesting. Specially, as I was also there (in DS).

Looking forwards to lick some desert sand in February.
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Old 2nd January 2012, 00:57   #43
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Fantastic is the word. Really enjoying the effort that goes into making events successful. Please keep up the good work. The effect on the vehicle is also great knowledge for people who is into 4 wheeling. Real superb read.
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Old 2nd January 2012, 12:33   #44
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Default Re: Desert Storm Travels (Travails?)

Thanks wanderhermit & vloct for the appreciations.

The next lot of travel for finalizing the road books starts this week. The objective will be to do a final check of all distances and instructions so that the competing vehicles are not in for a rude shocks.

For definition of rude shocks see the video at this link:


The road book showed two dips in succession but with a single caution. When doing road book checks we were at slow speeds and were not able to anticipate the combined effect of high speed approach and last moment braking.

Hopefully this will not be repeated.
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Old 3rd January 2012, 16:36   #45
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Default Re: Desert Storm Travels (Travails?)

For those who have been wanting to help out and "officiate" at the Desert Storm 2012:

Registrations are open for volunteer official at Maruti Suzuki Desert Storm 2012

Fill in details as "New User" and choose "official" tick box before registering. You will get confirmation link by email that you need to complete.

Preference is given to those with motorsports experience but that does not mean that others cannot volunteer.

Last edited by sudev : 3rd January 2012 at 16:37.
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