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Old 19th September 2013, 15:54   #16
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Default Re: 25-0-40 DownUnder to UpOver - LEH'd 2013

The Sumos rear was hereon being used as a notice board of sorts to record the days emotions
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Old 19th September 2013, 15:59   #17
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Great start Hirak. Bring it on. The story is yet to unfold and the log will turn interesting from now on. Will be adding snaps and descriptions when and where possible .
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Old 19th September 2013, 16:02   #18
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Default Day 4 - 26th Aug

DAY 4 – Warring Parties
Circa 2013: August 26th 5:30am
Location: Ratanpur
Destination: Hanumangarh
Route: Rantapur – Udaipur – Chittorgarh/Nathwara – Kishangarh – Kunchaman City – Ratangarh – Sardarsaher - Hanumangarh


Having slept after 12AM it was quite a task waking up at 5AM for the early morning start of 5.30AM. Our team of Hari & Venkat woke up without any issues and got ready in time. But we had waking up issues with the Team Duster and they were late. We had decided to try and reach Hanumangarh today so as to make up for the lost time yesterday.

Early morning group picture before the departure
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All 3 cars Manza, Sumo & Sx4 got ready in time. Got to know from Team Duster that they would take another 15 mins. So after having waited till 5:45AM for them to come, we 3 cars decided to start off and let them catch up. Early morning ghat section after Ratanpur was pretty cool especially with the coolness around since the sun had not woken up as yet. Even though less sleep for me, I was fresh once behind the steering wheel. I guess the idea of travelling everyday as per schedule was accepted by the brain and hence, it was always fresh no matter when we slept from hereon.

We were able to travel a distance of 50kms till Rishabdev when we received a call from the Duster stating that they had started and wanted the convoy to stop. Well the same was relayed to Sumo & Sx4 who decided to move on as they had to get some PUC certificate done for the Sumo. We agreed to stay back for the Duster just after Rishabdev. So the wait started for the Duster to catch up.


Somewhere after Rishabdev, awesome roads of Rajhastan
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The whale is angry at having to stop again
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A chip based petro card for the trucks can be taken online
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Waiting takes away a lot of your energy, you can see it in Hari’s face
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Finally after a wait of almost 40 mins, the Duster turns up and once again 3rd time in this trip the two south cars drove together. As usually with Sathya at the helm Duster wanted the lead, I allowed it as I wanted to drive sedately taking in the scenery and the early morning freshness.

Duster trying to overtake a spirited Nano
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This is the reason why I was driving sedately
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Fevicol ka jodda kabhi tutega nahi, the award winning advert must have been inspired by these scenes on Rajasthan roads
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Another section, another beauty
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After an hour or so, we entered Udaipur. The plan was to take the Udaipur airport road NH76 via Chittorgarh. Now this is where the confusion started between the lead parties. I am not too sure how as both the Sx4 & Sumo left us together near Rishabdev. Apparently the SX4 stayed on NH8 and proceeded towards Nathdwara via the Udaipur Bypass while the Sumo took the Udaipur Airport road towards Chittorgarh.

There were a lot of messaging back and forth on Whatsapp which incidentally we Manza & Duster were not aware off. Sx4 then did a U-turn and came back to follow the Sumo through Chittorgarh. At this point of the time the best option would have been for the lead vehicle or whoever was ahead to stop wherever they are so that no other vehicle has to do more than the required kilometers. But that was not to be as the plans were different and Sumo deciding to stop for breakfast only at around 9.30AM or so. While the Sx4 was doing a catch up through NH76.

If you remember last night we had a lengthy talk and decision on group driving but they flew out of the window today morning or was flushed down the toilet. Interestingly and oblivious to all these confusions up ahead, the Manza and Duster were actually driving in a 2 car group and decided to stop for breakfast after crossing the horrible pothole ridden Udaipur bypass. Inside the Manza the unanimous idea was to have road side breakfast to taste the authentic Rajhasthani food and just after taking the right towards NH76 we spotted a clean place and halted for filling up our tummies.

The breakfast stop for the Manza & Duster
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All seated and waiting for the food to arrive
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So what did we have for breakfast that day? Well it was a 3 course meal so to speak. The first course was a round of Khaman or as we all know it as Dhokla’s though the ingredients are slightly different. The 2nd course was a round of Rajasthani Poha, I generally don’t like Poha’s or flat rice, but that morning it was mouthwatering. The final round was one Kachori each. These were the Khasta Kachori or flaky Kachori’s which were very soft from the inside and coupled with some sweetened curry and fried green chilies made up the morning.

Khaman freshly prepared
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Even Poha was being prepared in front of us
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For this 3 course breakfast, all we spent for the 6 of us was 300 bucks. I am sure the congress were referring to Rajasthan when they were deciding on the meals that a common man can eat for 20 bucks. As a group for us it rounded up to about 20 bucks. After completing a hearty breakfast and spending about an hour there, we started our journey onwards to Chittorgarh. All this time we were unaware of what chaos was happening up front.

We crossed Chittorgarh and were informed to stop at Shri Ram hotel where apparently the others were having breakfast. Well in 30mins we were at the hotel but all we could spot were Jaswant & Manoj, both of whom were fuming like the ambient temperature around. As soon as we met them we came under a deluge of questions, let me see if I can recount the conversation.

Quote:
Jaswant & Manoj: Hey why did we take this route through Chittorgarh?
Me: I am not sure but that is the usual route that is taken.
Jaswant & Manoj: But this is 80kms longer than the other one. We are hungry no breakfast and we have been roaming around trying to catch up through this route. Did you guys have anything to eat?
Me: Yeah, we had breakfast some one hour back (wrong answer at that time)
Jaswant (more irate): Arre, we are hungry no breakfast and driving driving like crazy. Is this how we are going to do this trip. What happened to all the talking last night.
Me: Ok calm down, you guys have something and then we can talk. Where is the Sumo?
Jaswant: They are waiting at some CCD few kms ahead, where is the Duster?
Me: I have no idea about the Duster, they were ahead of us. Ok then lets go to CCD and you guys can have something we will wait. We have been sweeping ever since Rishabdev, so nothing new.
Apparently the Sx4 has been doing catch up thinking the Sumo will stop somewhere, and adding to the fire was that the Sumo already finished breakfast and went ahead to some CCD. But calming both of them somewhat, we proceeded towards the CCD.

This is the CCD in question in Soniyana, it is actually tied together with BP Dhaba (picture is taken by Rajendra Atreya and posted in Google)
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Finally we met up with the Sumo, which was getting its PUC completed. Then started a heated discussion between Sx4 and Sumo on what went wrong and why. We stayed away and let them sort it out. In all this confusion the Duster apparently did not stop even seeing the Sumo and went ahead to fill Diesel. I am assuming this was due to the anger of getting left behind today morning at the hotel. With the help of Venkat we managed to get the Duster to stay wherever they were and wait for us. Meanwhile, things cooled down a little bit and to calm down all the concerned parties, the Sumo went in search of the Duster (Rajesh & Chandrakant), while Nariman & Neeraj, stayed back with the SX4 till they finished their breakfast.

During breakfast, matters cooled down and it was decided that at least the SX4 and Manza will proceed as a group from here on. Being more agile and faster this decision was good. So once everyone had finished their breakfast, the two cars set out together. With us leading, Sx4 was content with a follow up. While we were about to start we got a message from the Duster that they saw the Sumo go ahead of them. More than getting angry, we all had a nice laugh as it was becoming the story of who goes ahead of whom. Frankly, I was beginning to lose it more so due to the heat as well. It was somewhere close to 40deg and it was not even afternoon.

But keeping a cool head we started searching for the Duster, thankfully they did not move from their place and we were able to make them join the convoy after a few kms. Next up the task of looking for the Sumo, thankfully we were able to locate them another few kms ahead. Having enough of the confusion and chaos, I decided to start with the lead, after all how much sweeping was I to do. And this time with good open roads, the Manza always kept ahead of the pack. Every time I saw the Sumo closing in, assuming it wanted to overtake, one tap of the accelerator and the Manza went far ahead. Behind somehow everyone was in line at least for the next 20-30 kms and in view of each other. This apparently also increased our pace as we did not have to have the hassle of waiting for someone.

The roads after Bhilwara
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Butter smooth roads
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The good pace probably was not liked by Mr. Murphy as he showed his ugly face once again. Somewhere around Bijainagar if my memory serves we right, we faced another traffic jam 2nd day in a row. But this time I decided to quickly take a u-turn and drive on the wrong side as some of the trucks were doing so. Agreeing to the decision others also followed suite, however, it was not such a good decision as the jam started clearing as we approached an intersection. Apparently there was some accident and it was promptly cleared. But still we lost some 30-40 mins in that mess. Next was to wait on the wrong side to join the correct side. Thankfully few locals put some traffic cones to allow us to pass on. After clearing the jam it was a run towards Kishangarh.

It was already past 1.30PM when we probably crossed Nasirabad. After invoking some fire in everyone’s belly by picking up the pace to somewhere around 120’ish, we were able to come close to Kishangarh pretty fast. This time we unanimously decided to stop for lunch and since everyone was together it was easy to find a dhaba and stop. We found a dhaba named Sharma Paranthas, it looked pretty nodes script but he was ready to make fresh aloo panrathas which tasted heavenly. This place is certainly recommended for anyone passing on NH79A.

Truck traffic after the traffic jam
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Sharma Parantha wala, true dhaba style with charpais
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After the lovely lunch or hot paranthas in a hot weather, it was time to get inside the car a/c and proceed towards our destination. The destination was revised to Ratangarh considering the fact that we were still 222kms away and it was going to be single lane roads from here on.

Well single lane or double lane the sedans took the lead, Sumo was taken over by Nariman, while the Duster was now driven by Mohan. With everything set we were off towards our revised destination. The way to get on to the road for Ratangarh road is a bit confusing due to expansion work in some sections. But once you hit the towards Ratangarh, you will be welcomed by the Super Highway of India. This highway is built and maintained by Road Infrastructure Development Company of Rajasthan or for short RIDCOR. We entered our first toll and paid some 200 odd bucks all the way to Hanumangarh.

Quote:
RIDCOR is an ambitious initiative of Government of Rajasthan that would change road travel in the State into a sublime experience and propel Rajasthan to the forefront of States in the country.
This is what welcomes you when you hit the mega highway
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Awesome sublime almost 3 lane road considering the shoulder width provided
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One can just keep going on and on on such kind of roads, the best part very less traffic
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This is how the toll gates look like on this Super Highway
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But Super highway or normal ones, in India you have to be aware of animal hazard
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Closing in on SX4 which had gone a little ahead seeing the road conditions
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It was probably the best time to drive as a convoy as all the 4 cars were in line of sight. In fact we were also waiting at turns if the back cars were not in sight so that its easier for them to follow. The driving was such precise with good team work that it left me wondering why we were not able to do this since yesterday. I guess the before lunch sprint had made all the egos go bust and now everyone was ready to fall in line. If only we could follow such team work since yesterday we might have been somewhere else by now today. But all said and done, there is a saying “Better late than never”.

After some 100 odd kms we stopped at another dhaba for a round of chai. Everyone was happy that we had made good time. We had covered these 100 kms in little more than hour. But sitting among us Mr. Murphy was smiling as he was unfolding another of his twisted works. As soon as the Duster parked near the Dhaba, a puncture was detected in the rear right tyre. Now the entire area was sandy so putting up the OEM jack was troublesome. I tried to fix my jack but then it was made for a sedan and of only 2 ton capacity, so that one did not work. Finally, we got a jack used for trucks, put that under the B pillar and jacked up the Duster. My jack was put under the suspension to ensure that the inflated tire has some space.

The puncture wala being used to only truck tires was struggling with the tubeless repair even though he did have the repair kit. So everyone pitched in trying to insert the tubeless stick. Finally, sense prevailed and the whole was made bigger for the stick to go in. It was funny seeing so many of us fixing one tire. I guess in the heat of the matter we all forget the basics of fixing a tubeless tire.

Some truckwalas having an argument with the puncture wala, apparently he broke their tube valve.
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Duster all jacked up
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Our Mr Cool trying his hands with the tire
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Meanwhile the Sedan brothers cooling off their heels
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This is the end of Part 1 of Day 4. The next part is coming up soon..
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Old 19th September 2013, 16:07   #19
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Originally Posted by madhu33 View Post
Great going on the travelogue motomaverick.
Enjoying reading every bit of it . Eagerly looking forward to further updates.
being a Manza owner myself , i find some of the snaps with the front stance from the lower camera position very attractive .
Manza looks the best from the front 3 quarters is what I think, also if you are taking head on then from a little height. Lol I have researched and experimented a little to click the white whale

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Originally Posted by JoseVijay View Post
Lovely Travelogue. Hats off to all of you. Forming a group on Social network sites and undertaking the most coveted journey is laudable. Your introduction about each member of your group is very interesting. That set the mood towards the journey where each member is very important with the responsibilities that they were given to them. Enjoyed reading and waiting for more. This TL is going to be a lengthy one I suppose and I am also very eager to see the next episode.
Thanks, yes the TL is a long one, but will be trying to finish it fast.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sierrakamat View Post
The Sumos rear was hereon being used as a notice board of sorts to record the days emotions
I can relate to the time when all this was written, infact the trip log I have just posted You can comment in from your side as I know only so much.

Quote:
Originally Posted by narsi_6989 View Post
Great start Hirak. Bring it on. The story is yet to unfold and the log will turn interesting from now on. Will be adding snaps and descriptions when and where possible.
Thanks Narsi, yes, there are a lot of stores to unfold. And as decided this travelogue will not only give the happy part but also what goes behind the scenes.
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Old 19th September 2013, 16:24   #20
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Originally Posted by motomaverick View Post
Manza looks the best from the front 3 quarters is what I think, also if you are taking head on then from a little height. Lol I have researched and experimented a little to click the white whale

Yes exactly what i feel . Actually when i said the front stance . i actually meant the front 3 quarters stance. . Anyways your TL is keeping me all glued and it also gives me lots and lots of confidence to cross my targeted 5 years with my Manza. How i wish , even i could push myself to fulfill this dream of mine. I am so jealous of you guys now. While in Mumbai so recently it would have been great to shake hands with you guys early in the morning at Fountain. Missed the opportunity though.

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Old 19th September 2013, 16:53   #21
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Superb travelogue!!! Waiting for more!! I had the same problem which you had at Bharuch! I was on my way from Ahmedabad to Lonavala and got stuck in a mile long traffic jam. However i took the town route of the Golden Bridge (it was open at that time) and managed to cut it just fine.

Did you guys spot a Blue Swift with Team Bhp stickers near the Ratanpur Border by any chance? My friend who owns that car commented a 'Xylo' going to Leh had a word with them (But now i think he may have confused the Grande with a Xylo)
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Old 19th September 2013, 17:19   #22
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Default Day 4 - 26th Aug - Part 2

Part 2 – Day 4…continued

Finally after losing an hour we started towards Ratangarh. With Ratangarh being more than 100kms away, we all were resigned to the fact that it was our destination for the day. Sun was setting down fast for the day, however, for 6.30PM it was still very bright and excellent conditions to drive.

Setting sun clicked from a moving car (Venkat)
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Tried another shot (Venkat)
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Then another (Venkat)
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Some art work by Venkat
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The Grande hogging both the lanes
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But what drive is a drive if you do not meet the heart of India’s cross country public transport, the railways. Just as we were about to cross Ladnun, we faced our first railway crossing where the gate was closed. Thankfully we were the first ones near the gate. The Sumo which was in front of me gave some side and I came and stood beside it forming a 2 lane. Next comes SX4 just behind me and forms the 3rd lane. Not to be out done the Duster is actually coaxed into forming a horizontal line of all the 4 cars together. Seeing the events unfold all our shutterbugs came out jumping to click the photographs of the formation. Seeing the chaos the locals were thinking some film shooting was taking place, in fact we invited one of the locals to stand in front of the cars to get his photographed clicked. It was fun 15mins waiting for the train. I guess all these small small incidents is what makes a road trip such pleasurable. You forget all the misunderstandings and get a laugh out of such comic situations.

Parking besides the Sumo
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3 abreast
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The line nautanki at railway gate
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Locals amused at what was happening
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The 3rd guy from the left got himself clicked with the cars, he will have a story to tell for a long time
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Finally the train comes
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No its not suicide but showing off Fukra to the locals
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We reached Ratangarh after sun down, all the cars except Duster went to fill Diesel & Petrol. While filling up we chatted up with the petrol pump attended asking if we can go further for some hotels. He informed us that there will be a hotel in Sardarsaher some 50kms from here and further there might be eateries in a village named Pallu some 100kms. Then comes the surprise question.


Us: Yeh, Hanumangarh kitna door padega? (How far is Hanumangarh from here?)
Pump guy: Jee kuch dosoh km hoga (Some 200 odd kms)
Us: Road acchi hain, raat ko gaadi chalasakte hain? (Are the roads good, can we drive at night?)
Pump guy: Jee bahut accha hain (Everything is good)
Us: Kitna time lagsakta hain? (How much time it might take?)
Pump guy: teen jhantay toh lagenge (Minimum 3 hours)


Taking these information we decided to push our drive for the day to Hanumangarh. After some thought I agreed as it would ensure we did not lose 1 day due to the Baruch Fiasco, plus it will ensure that we have fewer distances to cover in the mountains. This would be the first time I would be doing night driving after almost 1.5 years. Though I don’t mind night driving I had avoided it after a bad incident. But seeing the roads that we had travelled just now, I was confident it was doable. Next job was to get votes from everyone, thankfully Duster also agreed although reluctantly.

So at around 8PM we decided to push to Hanumangarh. I was unanimously made the leader as I knew a hotel in Hanumangarh with whom I had interacted before. My only instruction was to stay in focus of the car following. I really enjoyed the opportunity and kept the pace at 90-100 for the first few kms. The Duster was behind me but somehow it was coming too close sometimes which was kind of annoying, plus the car had its high beam on. We somehow indicated it to lower the beam but every now and then it was tailgating. I forgot who was driving but it was not the best of moments having one of your own group breathing down your neck. So in the bargain I increased the pace a little. But with increase in pace, the flip side was I went past Sardarsaher and was close to Pallu. It was funny when the Sumo came close and sounded bewildered on why I did not stop. So it was the Sumo’s turn to take the lead a finding a place to eat. Thankfully just near Pallu we found a decent enough dhaba and stopped for dinner, probably the time was around 10PM or there about.

Sorry no pictures of this section as we were all just waiting to reach Hanumangarh. After dinner again it was the Manza which was asked to lead, and I obliged by leading all the 90 kms right up to the hotel. It was one of the best drives in the dark. Aided by the newly upgraded headlamps, awesome roads, and next to nil traffic, this portion of the drive is one of my favorites of the trip.

We reached the Hotel Narang in Hanumangarh at around 12.30AM. After a bit of negotiation, we got ourselves some nicely furnitured rooms for pretty decent prices. I will be listing out the prices and hotels after the travelogue. With the start time decided as 7AM we ended the day.

Tomorrow we were slated to hit the mountains as our revised destination was Patnitop.

Distance covered: 865 kms
Time Taken: 19 hours
Map:

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So did we start at the scheduled time? Did we reach Patnitop? Find out in the next update.
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Old 19th September 2013, 17:46   #23
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Default Re: Day 4 - 26th Aug - Part 2

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Originally Posted by motomaverick View Post
The Duster was behind me but somehow it was coming too close sometimes which was kind of annoying, plus the car had its high beam on. We somehow indicated it to lower the beam but every now and then it was tailgating. I forgot who was driving but it was not the best of moments having one of your own group breathing down your neck. So in the bargain I increased the pace a little.
It was Sathya at the wheels and he was not able to see the side of the roads with the low beam. To counter that, the high beam was on and tailgating started. Dangerous though.
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Old 19th September 2013, 18:17   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by narsi_6989 View Post
It was Sathya at the wheels and he was not able to see the side of the roads with the low beam. To counter that, the high beam was on and tailgating started. Dangerous though.
That explains I thought he was trying to overtake or pushing me further. Thank god he lowered the beam otherwise with the huge windows in the Manza it was like floodlights being lit inside.

Last edited by motomaverick : 19th September 2013 at 18:20.
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Old 19th September 2013, 19:26   #25
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Hey Sathya, just saw your travelogue, I am also wondering how we missed and its pretty hard to miss an XUV or a Manza (not many upthere) . We were in Leh on 29th Aug at around 10.30pm. 30th we were in Leh itself. We stayed in a Hotel Omasila. 31st we did the Pangong circuit and Hunder circuit on 2nd Sept. We actually had to cut short a lot of things, will be revealing everything in the trip log.
Oh man.. I was in Leh on 28th August, 2013. Was stay put at Leh for 2 full days - 29th and 30th.

We went to Turtuk on 31st August, 2013 and stayed there. We came back to Leh on 1st Sep, 2013.

We left to Pangong on 2nd Sep and stayed there. From Pangong, we went directly to Hanle via Chushul on 3rd Sep.

Started from Hanle on 4th September and reached Tso Moriri on the same day.

5th Sep - Started from Tso Moriri and reached Keylong and further came down the following days...

All in all it was one day stay at each of the place - Turtuk, Pangong, Hanle and Tso Moriri.

How the hell did I miss you. It would have been a cherry on the cake to have met another BHPian in Leh.
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Old 19th September 2013, 19:47   #26
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Originally Posted by Sathya_sc View Post

Oh man.. I was in Leh on 28th August, 2013. Was stay put at Leh for 2 full days - 29th and 30th.

We went to Turtuk on 31st August, 2013 and stayed there. We came back to Leh on 1st Sep, 2013.

We left to Pangong on 2nd Sep and stayed there. From Pangong, we went directly to Hanle via Chushul on 3rd Sep.

Started from Hanle on 4th September and reached Tso Moriri on the same day.

5th Sep - Started from Tso Moriri and reached Keylong and further came down the following days...

All in all it was one day stay at each of the place - Turtuk, Pangong, Hanle and Tso Moriri.

How the hell did I miss you. It would have been a cherry on the cake to have met another BHPian in Leh.
True it would have been good to meet. Probably next time we can time it a bit more perfectly. :-)
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Old 19th September 2013, 21:04   #27
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Good going #motomaverick
Loved the intro. Eagerly waiting for the next installments.
Your style of picture story telling is pretty interesting.
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Old 19th September 2013, 23:06   #28
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Oh what a thread! The pictures are just amazing. The narration of events wow and the captions to the pics awesome! The captions are so informative along with being funny/lively. Man you have got some writing skills!

I can only imagine how much fun it would have been. Driving 4 cars in convoy, with people from Chennai, Bangy and Mumbai! Thats a superbly executed plan!
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Old 19th September 2013, 23:28   #29
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Awesome writeup motomaverick, and so is the introduction of all the members of this wonderful trip. Thanks for sharing.
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Old 20th September 2013, 01:38   #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HillMan View Post
Good going #motomaverick
Loved the intro. Eagerly waiting for the next installments.
Your style of picture story telling is pretty interesting.
Quote:
Originally Posted by LP640 View Post
Oh what a thread! The pictures are just amazing. The narration of events wow and the captions to the pics awesome! The captions are so informative along with being funny/lively. Man you have got some writing skills!

I can only imagine how much fun it would have been. Driving 4 cars in convoy, with people from Chennai, Bangy and Mumbai! Thats a superbly executed plan!
Quote:
Originally Posted by gurha View Post
Awesome writeup motomaverick, and so is the introduction of all the members of this wonderful trip. Thanks for sharing.
Thanks for the comments everyone. It truly is also a lot of fun presenting all the events in this forum. I am also reliving each day once again as I write.
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