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Old 20th August 2013, 11:40   #16
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Default Re: GKEIC's Road Trip - 4 Average Joes, 16000 KMs, 16 Countries, 40 Days in a Puny Ca

Every time I view the Travelogue thread I see them getting more adventurous going off the beaten path. First it was TBHPian (vardhan.harsh) travelling to Central Asia, Robi Mahanta to Brazil's Amazon jungle and now you guys are treading the Silk Route across 2 Continents. Hats off to you guys and thanks for sharing! Rated 5 stars as with the other threads.
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Old 20th August 2013, 12:02   #17
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Default Re: GKEIC's Road Trip - 4 Average Joes, 16000 KMs, 16 Countries, 40 Days in a Puny Ca

Whoa... this is an amazing travelogue! And I am sure must have been many stories to tell and hear about. Really hooked up to the thread.... 5 Stars! I am sure you would cover at some point of time on this thread what kind of preparations you did - more of administrative than car preps. That's one thing I have never done before. The organizers may have helped you in anything there? But don't rush in answering these questions - the curiosity at the moment is to hear you until last day of the rally So keep them coming in!
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Old 20th August 2013, 14:03   #18
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Default Re: GKEIC's Road Trip - 4 Average Joes, 16000 KMs, 16 Countries, 40 Days in a Puny Ca

This is one hell of a travelogue. Waiting with bated breath for the remaining. Keep going guys.
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Old 20th August 2013, 14:30   #19
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Default Re: GKEIC's Road Trip - 4 Average Joes, 16000 KMs, 16 Countries, 40 Days in a Puny Ca

Very good start to your Travelogue; has already hooked me on. Hats off for being the 1st Indian Team to participate in the Mongol Rally.

Last edited by Hurrycane12 : 20th August 2013 at 14:31.
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Old 20th August 2013, 14:31   #20
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Default Re: GKEIC's Road Trip - 4 Average Joes, 16000 KMs, 16 Countries, 40 Days in a Puny Ca

Interesting trip, glued to see more actions from the puny but lucky car. Got to know of the Mongol Rally too!
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Old 20th August 2013, 14:36   #21
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Default Re: GKEIC's Road Trip - 4 Average Joes, 16000 KMs, 16 Countries, 40 Days in a Puny Ca

Hi rejoycjohn,

I think I am good friends with one of you guy's brother when he was working in my office last year in JP Nagar, Bangalore, I recall loads of pics in a website you guys had made after the trip.
Are we on the same page here.

Regards
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Old 20th August 2013, 14:56   #22
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Default Re: GKEIC's Road Trip - 4 Average Joes, 16000 KMs, 16 Countries, 40 Days in a Puny Ca

I am speechless. Awesome. I will be glued to this thread. waiting for more.
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Old 20th August 2013, 16:16   #23
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Default Re: GKEIC's Road Trip - 4 Average Joes, 16000 KMs, 16 Countries, 40 Days in a Puny Ca

Was interested to know about your trip from the time Manorama Sunday Supplement had carried it as its main story last year. Once googled and saw your web site as well. Never knew you were in TBHP. Happy to see the log here.
5*
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Old 20th August 2013, 18:29   #24
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Default Re: GKEIC's Road Trip - 4 Average Joes, 16000 KMs, 16 Countries, 40 Days in a Puny Ca

Rated 5 Stars. No other words available to appreciate.

Team GKEIC - 4 regular IT guys, 16,000 kms, 16 Countries, 40 days in a Car without air conditioner - this is simply unbelievable. I am absolutely speechless. You have given me one more reason to be hooked on to T-BHP.

Eagerly waiting for your story to unfold & your experience in driving in not so tourist friendly countries.

Thanks,
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Old 20th August 2013, 23:33   #25
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Default Re: GKEIC's Road Trip - 4 Average Joes, 16000 KMs, 16 Countries, 40 Days in a Puny Ca

Super thread and a story worth following. Very nice write up with loads of relevant pictures to convey the moments. I will be glued to this thread for some time now.

The Indian drivers have arrived in the global scene and this is a testimony to that. Amen!
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Old 21st August 2013, 00:50   #26
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Default Re: GKEIC's Road Trip - 4 Average Joes, 16000 KMs, 16 Countries, 40 Days in a Puny Ca

Quote:
Originally Posted by NPV View Post
Wow, guys rejoy and co. HATS OFF!!! Awesome start to an epic travelogue, envy (and infinitely appreciate) your passion, team work and drive to achieve results, rating very well deserved 5 stars
Quote:
Originally Posted by R2D2 View Post
.... travelling to Central Asia, Robi Mahanta to Brazil's Amazon jungle and now you guys are treading the Silk Route across 2 Continents. Hats off to you guys and thanks for sharing! Rated 5 stars as with the other threads.
Thank you guys :-)

Quote:
Originally Posted by abirnale View Post
Whoa... this is an amazing travelogue! And I am sure must have been many stories to tell and hear about. Really hooked up to the thread.... 5 Stars! I am sure you would cover at some point of time on this thread what kind of preparations you did - more of administrative than car preps. That's one thing I have never done before. The organizers may have helped you in anything there? But don't rush in answering these questions - the curiosity at the moment is to hear you until last day of the rally So keep them coming in!
Well organizer's help is restricted to providing us invitation letters for UK and Schengen visas. They actually offer visa machine service to other countries, but then they mainly concentrate on folks with British passport. Moreover due to the process involved in getting for other countries its difficult to manage remotely from India.
They also do all the paper work for importing the car into Mongolia. They take care of all the paper work on that respect.
Thank you again for your wishes.

Quote:
Originally Posted by aneezan View Post
This is one hell of a travelogue. Waiting with bated breath for the remaining. Keep going guys.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hurrycane12 View Post
Very good start to your Travelogue; has already hooked me on. Hats off for being the 1st Indian Team to participate in the Mongol Rally.
Quote:
Originally Posted by jacs View Post
Interesting trip, glued to see more actions from the puny but lucky car. Got to know of the Mongol Rally too!
Thank you gentlemen.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Roomy View Post
Hi rejoycjohn,

I think I am good friends with one of you guy's brother when he was working in my office last year in JP Nagar, Bangalore, I recall loads of pics in a website you guys had made after the trip.
Are we on the same page here.

Regards
Well I think we are on the same page. But then if you mention his name then I can be sure.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mohan Mathew A View Post
I am speechless. Awesome. I will be glued to this thread. waiting for more.
Quote:
Originally Posted by rajesh1868 View Post
Was interested to know about your trip from the time Manorama Sunday Supplement had carried it as its main story last year. Once googled and saw your web site as well. Never knew you were in TBHP. Happy to see the log here.
5*
Thank you Mohan .
Yes Rajesh , they covered us before we went for this trip. Nice to see that you recognized us .

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jignesh View Post
Rated 5 Stars. No other words available to appreciate.

Team GKEIC - 4 regular IT guys, 16,000 kms, 16 Countries, 40 days in a Car without air conditioner - this is simply unbelievable. I am absolutely speechless. You have given me one more reason to be hooked on to T-BHP.

Eagerly waiting for your story to unfold & your experience in driving in not so tourist friendly countries.

Thanks,
Thank you Jignesh.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sen2009 View Post
Super thread and a story worth following.
.....The Indian drivers have arrived in the global scene and this is a testimony to that. Amen!
Amen
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Old 21st August 2013, 03:18   #27
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Default Re: GKEIC's Road Trip - 4 Average Joes, 16000 KMs, 16 Countries, 40 Days in a Puny Ca

Day 2

It was not at all a bright sunny morning. It was drizzling like the previous day and the sky was cloudy. After getting ready we got out of the Hotel F1 and head towards the near by KFC for our breakfast.
While having our breakfast we also ensured that we follow CET time zone and got the times on our watches changed to the same. We got into the car and then started driving. We headed towards Germany via Belgium.

The plan was to reach somewhere near Frankfurt and stay the night in Frankfurt and early morning head to the airport to pick up the forth person Mr Kent.
The drive was not particularly interesting except for us trying to keep up with the traffic. Soon we crossed into Belgium – again not at all dramatic. I don’t even remember seeing a board saying Beligum on the highway to make us realize that we entered the country. Actually we realized that we crossed the border after we started seeing a lot of cars / trucks with Belgium registration plying on the Highways. If you note closely you can definitely see B written on the number plates. Also the font is in red colour.

This uneventful border crossing really made me think about our country. Crossing from one state to another takes so much harassment, bribery, checking cars, unloading your entire luggage, opening your bags and what not! The degree to which you will be harassed is really high if you are not a family. I am sure that most of us would have gone through one or the other kind of harassment while driving to Kerala / Tamil Nadu from Karnataka. Really its high time that our country start some kind of standardization in terms of sales tax / road tax or any of state specific taxes.

Anyway back to Belgium – well by the time we finished our discussions in the car about the state border crossings in India and its problems we crossed into Germany. Germany is famous for many things. But for us the one thing that comes to our mind is the Autobahn.
The highway which hardly has any speedlimit, the holy place for the petrol heads, the highway network across the length and breadth of this country where drivers from different countries dream to drive their exotic machines without being fined.
However in our Micra, we were trying hard to hit 100 Miles/hr so that we seem moving for the passing traffic! The speed of the traffic hits you with the real picture when you are stationary in a parking lot off the highway. Its just unbelievable. Its also hard to come back and join the highway which is filled with cars zooming past at around 160 Miles/Hr.

GKEIC's Road Trip - 4 Average Joes, 16000 KMs, 16 Countries, 40 Days in a Puny Car!-autobahn4.jpg
GKEIC's Road Trip - 4 Average Joes, 16000 KMs, 16 Countries, 40 Days in a Puny Car!-autobahn1.jpg
GKEIC's Road Trip - 4 Average Joes, 16000 KMs, 16 Countries, 40 Days in a Puny Car!-autobahn2.jpg


While me and Sibynho was discussing all this, TV who was sitting at the back seat was finding our conversation very boring and started amusing himself by …
GKEIC's Road Trip - 4 Average Joes, 16000 KMs, 16 Countries, 40 Days in a Puny Car!-bored-tv-2.jpg
GKEIC's Road Trip - 4 Average Joes, 16000 KMs, 16 Countries, 40 Days in a Puny Car!-bored-tv.jpg

We were approaching Frankfurt, and we had to find a place to stay that night. We obviously did not want to go closer to the city as that would really upset our budget. We know that we could pull over to a camping ground and set our tents up. But honestly we were not really confident after the struggle that we had with the tent on the Day 0. Moreover it was getting dark and we thought its wise to find some cheap motels like the previous day than to finally end up sleeping in the car!

We took one of the highway exits and just drove until we found some small deserted village – asked the locals about hotels near by. But then the people that we spoke to were not really interested in hearing us speak English. Luckily we had a phrase book – but then the problem was we were not able to understand what they were replying to our questions. But somehow we found one chap who showed us the way to one small motel near by. The hotel was run by some people from Croatia. They were charging almost similar to a regular hotel, but then as they were not from Germany, were happy to negotiate the rates. Finally we agreed upon a rate that was not cheap but then reasonable as they included basic dinner in the same.
The folks at the hotel was really talkative and were interested after we mentioned to them our plans and route. They wanted us to travel through Croatia as well. After the chit chats and a decent dinner we went to our room to have more chats and discussions.

Day 3
2 Main Agendas!
1 – Pick up 4th team member from Frankfurt.
2 – Reach Klenova castle which is somewhere in Czech republic for a European Launch of the Mongol rally.

All the teams from Europe ( non UK ) normally start their journey from here. Those who started from UK too come here and have fun one last time before they are left on their own.

We left the hotel early in the morning to Frankfurt airport to receive our friend. Before he boarded the plane we asked him to get some gadgets like FM transmitter, Air pump for the tire and ropes to tie our luggage. We also warned him about the lack of space so told him to get only the very essentials in terms of clothes as well. The main thing that we wanted was more space in the car. And there was no way that he can bring that. Anyway, we drove to the international terminal at the airport, saw him waving his hands at us and we stopped at the place where the taxis were dropping and picking up the passengers in and out of the airport.

So let me now introduce the 4th Joe or Mr Kent. The guy who sow the idea of Mongol rally in our brains!

GKEIC's Road Trip - 4 Average Joes, 16000 KMs, 16 Countries, 40 Days in a Puny Car!-ff1-small-1.jpg
GKEIC's Road Trip - 4 Average Joes, 16000 KMs, 16 Countries, 40 Days in a Puny Car!-ff1-small.jpg

We were happy to see him, but the happiness was overshadowed by the sight of his luggage. Well poor guy did get only the bare minimum clothes, but then due to some brain wave he got from the airport he bought an Air Sofa. According to him he found the air-sofa to be the perfect gadget for us when we are camping. We can put that in front of our tent and chill or relax on it. If you are wondering what we are talking about , take a look at this.
Behold Gentlemen!
We presents Air sofa from Telebrands.

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Even though we liked the idea about the camping and getting this sofa out, we dint quite like the size of the same. It was huge!

Anyway, we dint have much time to waste, before someone comes and fines us , we had to repack the whole luggage and make place for the 4th Joe.

Guess what it wasn’t easy. We dumped all our luggage in front of the crowd at Frankfurt and started packing. Many were amused seeing 4 Indians in shorts and doing some kind of circus with lots of bags, laughing and talking in some unknown language!
But for some I think they took it as business as usual as they see lots of hippies around.

We left the airport and headed east to Czech republic.

The spirits were getting high with the team being complete. Even the weather started to become better.
Autobahn drive was not really getting interesting after that initial enthusiasm. Not really our fault. Our car now with roughly 90 kgs added, was not going at any commendable speeds. It was struggling to get past 70 Miles / hr. Finally we got off the highway and took the A / B roads to enjoy a bit of German villages. We also started nearing to Czech Republic. We stopped at some Bavarian village for coffee and beverage before we entered Czech Republic.

GKEIC's Road Trip - 4 Average Joes, 16000 KMs, 16 Countries, 40 Days in a Puny Car!-autobahn3.jpg

GKEIC's Road Trip - 4 Average Joes, 16000 KMs, 16 Countries, 40 Days in a Puny Car!-german-cafe.jpg
The castle where the party was arranged was quite into the interiors but after a bit of struggle we finally reached the camping area.

GKEIC's Road Trip - 4 Average Joes, 16000 KMs, 16 Countries, 40 Days in a Puny Car!-czech-party1.jpg


By the time we reached there almost all the places were occupied by other teams. More worryingly, today there was no other go for us other than setting up the tent and camping. No way all 4 of us were going to be in the car! All 3 of us were looking upto Mr Kent, who is the only person among us who have done camping before. He was in Sainik school and during his school days as pert of their course they had to do camping and many other activities. So we made him our camping captain and all 3 us were waiting to hear instructions from him.

GKEIC's Road Trip - 4 Average Joes, 16000 KMs, 16 Countries, 40 Days in a Puny Car!-prep-fr-camping.jpg
We got cracking and with Kent’s instructions / guidance and Mr TV’s explanation of user guide, GKEIC team finally got the tent up in a shape that was similar to the other tents near ours. We also unpacked the Air sofa and was trying to pump air into it with all the possible pumps among us. But then for some reason everything except air was going inside the sofa!
After repeated failed attempts, we thought we should move on and kept the sofa inside the tent and decided to get ready for the party.

The party was a themed one, till date I have no idea what exactly was the theme. Anyway we did not have any other costumes with us nor did we have the patience to go out and find one, after the entire struggle that we did to get our camp ready. However, we had a back up plan. We thought we should get traditional! The purists among you may differ, but we thought we should get dressed in Dhoti!
Or Lungi – as we say in the southern part of India.
Now that Chennai Express is the latest bollywood hit, Lungi has almost become the symbol of a cosmopolitan Indian youth!
We had made it popular much before in one of the remotest castles in Czech Republic among many crazy motorists!

The Lungi themed Czech Out party 2012

GKEIC's Road Trip - 4 Average Joes, 16000 KMs, 16 Countries, 40 Days in a Puny Car!-czech-party3.jpg
GKEIC's Road Trip - 4 Average Joes, 16000 KMs, 16 Countries, 40 Days in a Puny Car!-czech-party2.jpg
GKEIC's Road Trip - 4 Average Joes, 16000 KMs, 16 Countries, 40 Days in a Puny Car!-traditional-indian-wear.jpg

We remember going to the party and having food. Delicious pork / beef and many other dishes were available. Majority of the people in the party were aware of Mundu / Lungi and many have seen it during their trips to India. So there you go one more advantage of Mundu – Helps socializing with Mongol rally folks.

The night was getting vibrant with different events happening around at different corners of the castle.
I was getting a feeling that the night will go on till dawn!

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GKEIC's Road Trip - 4 Average Joes, 16000 KMs, 16 Countries, 40 Days in a Puny Car!-czech-costume.jpg


At around 4 30 / 05.00 AM in the morning we headed to our campsite to catch some rest
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Old 21st August 2013, 10:46   #28
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Default Re: GKEIC's Road Trip - 4 Average Joes, 16000 KMs, 16 Countries, 40 Days in a Puny Ca

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Well I think we are on the same page. But then if you mention his name then I can be sure.
The guy I am referring to is Sijohn, my guess is that he is the elder brother of 'Sibynho'.

Awesome writeup man, please take us through this journey of a lifetime with more pics and details.

Quote:
Originally Posted by rejoycjohn View Post
Day 2


While me and Sibynho was discussing all this, TV who was sitting at the back seat was finding our conversation very boring and started amusing himself by …
That is quite interesting there!! His own hand you say!!!
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Old 21st August 2013, 16:49   #29
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Default Re: GKEIC's Road Trip - 4 Average Joes, 16000 KMs, 16 Countries, 40 Days in a Puny Ca

Hi Rejoy!

I have been keenly following your thread. A typical cross-country story with all necessary ingredients of a masala movie! Every single alert from Team-BHP app on my iPhone will make me spring up from whatever I am sitting on and eagerly look for the alert on your thread. You blokes got a very long travelogue to write about and hence please speed up the installments. By the way, you guys seem to be professional in wearing lungis and kudos for upholding OUR CULTURE! Please try to upload videos, if any, of places visited.
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Old 21st August 2013, 18:29   #30
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Default Re: GKEIC's Road Trip - 4 Average Joes, 16000 KMs, 16 Countries, 40 Days in a Puny Ca

Fantastic is an understatement for the TL you are about to pen. For sure this will be like a holy grail for people aspiring to do the silk route. Keep it coming Bro and yes if you can share the admin preparations towards the end of your TL it will be worthwhile and might save you some from loads of PM.
Do not be surprised if you are invited for lunch/dinner to go through with your preparations. Keep it rolling dude.
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