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Old 1st December 2013, 23:28   #16
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Default re: Bangalore to Bhutan (via Gangtok & Kolkata)

Great thread. Thanks for inspiring me to explore more! I admire your family's joie de vivre and look forward to many more interesting travelogues of this intrepid couple
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Old 2nd December 2013, 11:32   #17
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Originally Posted by samish_g View Post
First of all Congratulations SIR!!! for completing the "epic" trip. Hats off to your courage and determination to drive for over 6000 Kms.

One of the pictures show the windshield completely opaque. Was it ice/snow due to the overnight parking as you mentioned in one of your posts?

Regards

Samish
Yes that is ice on the windshield-every morning washed it off with warm water. It happened all nights at Bhutan with the thickest sheet formed at Paro.

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@Judemayne - Sir, hats off to you on the epic drive!

Belated birthday wishes and what a way to celebrate with ~6000 Km of driving.

Nice pictures and great report of road conditions and what to expect on such a drive.
A week or so ago I read another Bhutan travelogue by another member who had taken the train + bus mode and was itching to ask if this can be attempted by road in a self driven car and now here you've done it

The Dantak Canteen, Paro price list - food per 'Peace'!
Thank you for the Birthday wishes. That's the reason I posted that picture-"Peace' to all travellers enroute to Paro.
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Old 2nd December 2013, 12:06   #18
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Default re: Bangalore to Bhutan (via Gangtok & Kolkata)

Epic drive truely! And while reading all these travelogues, I just wonder that how reliable our cars have become!

Bhutan is truly a wonderful place to relax on a holiday. Last year, I along with my wife went to Bhutan and experienced one of the most beautiful holidays. Had posted a travelogue here too.

& you are right, Paro is awfully colder than Thimphu. I remember that we used to roam of foot in Thimphu till 0800-08:30 in the evening (albeit in all woolens we had) before returning to our hotel. We tried to do the same in Paro but were forced to go back to our hotel by 06:30 in the evening. It was that cold! We simply could not stay out.

All mornings were used to rise to see frozen water at multiple places. The magic of the trip was such that I feel like going to Bhutan again this winter.
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Old 3rd December 2013, 12:22   #19
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What a great way to celebrate 60th Bday!!!

How did the Ritz perform in such a long drive? What kind of petrol mileage did the car return? What was the preparations you did for the car?
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Old 3rd December 2013, 14:06   #20
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Default Re: Bangalore to Bhutan (via Gangtok & Kolkata)

Informative and nice pictures Jude Saab. It seems the road condition from Dalkhola to Bagdogra has deteriorated after your visit as reported by Anirban (1100D). So it took you 11 hrs from Bolpur to Siliguri. That’s quite a nice timing you maintained sir.
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Old 3rd December 2013, 17:55   #21
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What a great way to celebrate 60th Bday!!!

How did the Ritz perform in such a long drive? What kind of petrol mileage did the car return? What was the preparations you did for the car?
Dear Ajit,

As stated by another BHPian that cars, across the board, have become reliable. With Service Centers even in small towns performance of a maintained vehicle is never an issue. Got the 45000 kms servicing done before starting and 50000 kms carried out at Bhubeneswar on the way back.
Carried my tyre repair kit, pump, jump start cable ands towing rope-thank our stars none of these came into use.
Sorry about the mileage, yet to calculate the same, will post the figures as soon as possible.

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Informative and nice pictures Jude Saab. It seems the road condition from Dalkhola to Bagdogra has deteriorated after your visit as reported by Anirban (1100D). So it took you 11 hrs from Bolpur to Siliguri. That’s quite a nice timing you maintained sir.
Dear ME_Sid
Agree with 1100D on the road conditions. The road is pretty good till Islampur with surface worn out at places and one can maintain good speeds. The road deteriorates, if I am not totally mistaken, after Sonapur before one crosses the river?? The nightmare of crossing Bhagalpur make all roads look like runways!! Secondly while returning made a small mistake and took 31 C at Bagdogra and rejoined the NH at Islampur, after turning South at Thakurganj. Made up time after crossing the Vikramshila.

Last edited by Judemayne : 3rd December 2013 at 17:58.
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Old 3rd December 2013, 18:06   #22
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Wow fantastic TL Jude Saab, really nice to read this. Brought back memories of our visit that we did earlier this year. A bit lazy to write a TL but now this gives me inspiration to share our details as well.
Very well detailed writeup. Where did you folks stay in Gangtok? I really liked Gangtok, a very spic and span city. Does not resemble like an Indian City with some fantastic weather. People have a great amount of civic sense but the city closes down by 2100 hours which is understandable because of the harsh weather.
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Old 4th December 2013, 06:46   #23
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An indomitable spirit, determined mind and a true lover of the highway !

What else could you encompass more, Colonel ?

Congratulations on completing the drive and wishing you many such more, including the ladakh drive next summer.

Thank you very much for sharing the details.
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Old 4th December 2013, 06:56   #24
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Fine thread and kudos to your adventure. Btb, is the TBhp sticker on the hatch of your car from the official sticker pack?
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Old 4th December 2013, 12:08   #25
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While our Swift VDi appears to have a 10k service interval, why does your Ritz have a 5k service interval please? Also, what sort of suggested top speeds did you maintain as part of what appears to be a very safe and pleasant journey with plenty of stops to check out the sights!

Congratulations and thank you for such an exhaustive guide. I have been trying to work out a 3-Nation drive for some time now with some friends (India - Nepal - Bhutan) and this is certainly very helpful - grateful for the same.
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Old 4th December 2013, 15:09   #26
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Fine thread and kudos to your adventure. Btb, is the TBhp sticker on the hatch of your car from the official sticker pack?
Yes this is from the Original pack received in 2009. Lost two or three when selling the previous car, while trying to remove them as vehicle was handed over to True Value.

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While our Swift VDi appears to have a 10k service interval, why does your Ritz have a 5k service interval please? Also, what sort of suggested top speeds did you maintain as part of what appears to be a very safe and pleasant journey with plenty of stops to check out the sights!

Congratulations and thank you for such an exhaustive guide. I have been trying to work out a 3-Nation drive for some time now with some friends (India - Nepal - Bhutan) and this is certainly very helpful - grateful for the same.
Every 5K I give it for a check up and servicing. At 10k for oil change and filters. Its been a practice for the past 26 years with all my cars-majority being from Maruti. Been driving a lot, ever since our first car, but never saw a trip the way we do now, after joining BHP.

Last edited by Judemayne : 4th December 2013 at 15:12.
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Old 4th December 2013, 20:42   #27
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Absolutely inspiring and spirited to say the least. And not to mention well written too. I have to say that it can't get more memorable on the momentous occasion sir. I would love to do something similar next year for my fortieth b'day. I have to thank you sir for starting a spark.
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Old 5th December 2013, 18:21   #28
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Default Re: Bangalore to Bhutan (via Gangtok & Kolkata)

Hi,
Will you please give an idea what may be the room charges in Thimpu and Paro, in a budget type hotel? May I get a double bedded room within Rs 2500/- per day? I am also told that food is a bit expensive in Bhutan, is it true?
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Old 5th December 2013, 19:03   #29
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Default Re: Bangalore to Bhutan (via Gangtok & Kolkata)

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Hi,
Will you please give an idea what may be the room charges in Thimpu and Paro, in a budget type hotel? May I get a double bedded room within Rs 2500/- per day? I am also told that food is a bit expensive in Bhutan, is it true?
Rahul da, Definitely you would get. Hotel Chophel Norkye is right opposite to the watch tower which is comparatively cheap and a great budget hotel. You can also look in Norzim Lam Hotel 89. These are the hotels i stayed in and were pretty good with reasonable rates couple of years back. Food is reasonable and not that expensive if you look at the proper places.
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Old 5th December 2013, 19:37   #30
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Rahul da, Definitely you would get. Hotel Chophel Norkye is right opposite to the watch tower which is comparatively cheap and a great budget hotel. You can also look in Norzim Lam Hotel 89. These are the hotels i stayed in and were pretty good with reasonable rates couple of years back.
Thanks. But did you book in advance? It is even difficult to call them up, because of steep ISD call charges. How do I get a confirmed reservation?
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