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Old 22nd September 2015, 09:34   #16
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Default Re: Jullay! Our unplanned trip to Ladakh in a Duster AWD

Wow,
Seems like You lived my dream.
Me and my wifey plan every year, Even bought a used 4x4 pajero, but work commitments play the spoilsport everytime. Now, your post has reignited the spark to travel there again. Will our 2 wheel drive Terrano (85 ps) be able to go the distance?

Great pics, great trip. Cheers!!!

Last edited by moralfibre : 22nd September 2015 at 10:12. Reason: Formatting
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Old 22nd September 2015, 17:24   #17
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Default Re: Jullay! Our unplanned trip to Ladakh in a Duster AWD

Amazing write-up and an amazing journey, especially considering this was your first solo trip. I can't wait for the day when I'll be ready to take my motorcycle to those illusive terrain of Himalayan Ladakh.
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Old 22nd September 2015, 17:45   #18
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Default Re: Jullay! Our unplanned trip to Ladakh in a Duster AWD

Excellent report there, GhostRider! Nice pictures too.

What I feel very happy about is the fact that so many BHPians from Kolkata are now taking up road trip so passionately. I think this year the number of guys doing the ladakh from Kolkata is on the record book already. Also, we have beautiful Sikkim and North Bengal trip reports from BlackPearl, mi2n and PapaBravo, gmhossain and many more. And I am sure that the number will be compounding over the years to come.

A hearty congratulations to all Kolkata BHPians!

Regards,
gearhead
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Old 22nd September 2015, 21:37   #19
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Default Re: Jullay! Our unplanned trip to Ladakh in a Duster AWD

Congratulations on the epic trip - almost a baptism by fire in your first long trip to the mountains! Your narration and the accompanying pictures are fantastic - just finished it now in one go.

You have managed to do a complete Ladakh trip with almost no planning - hats off to you. My AWD was brought with the purpose of visiting Ladakh and I am still planning , hope to follow your foot steps some day.

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Originally Posted by GhostRider28 View Post
I happily tanked up only to find that the fuel meter to show 3/4th full even after I had put in 2-3 litres after the auto-cut. I had faced a similar issue before in Kolkata and it usually resets itself after a few hundred kilometers.

That night, to ease by nagging worry about fuel, I tried filling up using the spare fuel to see if the meter went up. Unbelievably it gobbled up close to 12 litres of diesel before I could see the level faintly. But the meter still showed as 3/4th full! However, this being a second time I was facing the issue, I reassured myself that I had more than 40L in the tank).
So this seems to be an irritant with the AWD. I have faced this too. I was going towards Chansal pass this Summer and had tried to fill up the AWD when the gauge was showing about 3/4th full. The auto cut happened after 5 liters but the gauge remained stuck , even after forcibly filling 3 to 4 liters after the auto cut. It corrected by itself the next day. I reported this to ASC during service - but they did not have an explanation nor could I replicate it.
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Old 23rd September 2015, 00:49   #20
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Default Re: Jullay! Our unplanned trip to Ladakh in a Duster AWD

Very nice write-up, Ghostrider (Sayantan). Just read the whole travelogue now. Must say it was quite a bit of dynamic planning due to the omnipresent challenges and road conditions. Awesome photographs.

One question: In Manali, why did you need permit for Leh? Is this a new requirement these days? Last year, I did not see any permit checking anywhere from Manali to Leh (except at Sarchu where you only wrote down the vehicle number in a register).

Now time for you to seriously think of Sandakphu
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Old 23rd September 2015, 08:09   #21
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Default Re: Jullay! Our unplanned trip to Ladakh in a Duster AWD

What a fantastic travelogue and its great to see your AWD in its environs!.
Amazing pictures, truly inspires me to undertake something like this.

Two questions- I have a FWD XUV 500, how do you think it will fare, as opposed to an AWD.
Do you know what the ladakh and beyond-permit formalities are for foreign nationals with overseas citizenship card of India?.

Cheerio

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Old 23rd September 2015, 09:34   #22
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Default Re: Jullay! Our unplanned trip to Ladakh in a Duster AWD

Quote:
Originally Posted by GhostRider28 View Post

.... A beautiful morning greeted us - nothing can go wrong today! ...
Truly, beautiful travelogue! Congratulation on successfully completing your Ladakh trip which is often considered as a pinnacle of Indian road adventures!

Cheers,
Golam
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Old 23rd September 2015, 11:33   #23
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Default Re: Jullay! Our unplanned trip to Ladakh in a Duster AWD

Amazing. Just when I was going through Samba & Co's travelogue and thinking it would be hard to match, in comes another well-documented, tongue-in-cheek narrative with some mindblowing pictures. Make no mistake dude, you write really well!

Leh is getting more traffic from Kolkata these days than Puri or Darjeeling, it seems.

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Originally Posted by GhostRider28 View Post
Introduction
On the way we had given company to an Innova which had broken a wheel stud but pushed ahead nevertheless. I had also tried (and failed) to revive a stuck Force Traveller carrying half a dozen foreign nationals most of whom could not speak English!

Duster which had apparently had a flat tyre. There were 4 guys who were abusing Renault saying the nuts had jammed and spanner thread had smoothened out! In a few moments I realised that they were turning all nuts clockwise to loosen and had destroyed the thread of the spanner!!!
I tried a few times without success, the nut was too tight. I was finally able to flag down a local Innova, who had a long rod for leverage and finally we could loosen the nuts. (I was more worried on the threads of my spanner now!)

We were flagged down by an army personnel at Durbuk camp only to find that he was from Bengal and was happy to see a car from his home state. He requested to ship a few personal belongings back to Bardhhaman and we were happy to oblidge, having got the chance to serve an army man back!

We left Diskit by 5 PM and raced towards Turtuk. After around 10 kms we found signs of land slides. A bulldozer was already clearing it, but failed to update us on the road condition ahead. Undaunted, we marched ahead! After a few kilometers the car was now crossing broken rocks and signs of very recent landslides was evident, until we reached a point where we had to climb up a slide zone to cross! It was cloudy and we could hear thunder rumbling nearby. We decided that we have had enough adventure when we noticed small to medium sized rocks falling from above. That was our cue, to run away! However, the road had narrowed due to slides and it was impossible to make a U turn. In the heat of the moment, I backed up too far, and got a dent on the rear hatch from a rock protruding from above which the parking sensor had failed to detect. I finally managed to reverse and raced back and found that the road was blocked by a slide! Apparently, the rumble we heared was due to this slide and not a thunder clap! Fortunately, the rocky incline was not too bad for the Dusters 4WD mode. Continental ATs came out unscathed and we retured to the safe refuge of the guest house at Diskit, and breathed a sigh of relief. But we had again missed a place in our itinerary. Soon we started our drive back and were welcomed with torrential rain!
The checkpoint at North Pullu closed the road due to local landslides and avalanches. We were stuck for an undefinite time. It was 9:30 AM.

I however struck up a cordial frienship with a shop owner and made sure that I had packed lunch of piping hot rice, mutton gushtaba and rogan josh for the road. A Bengali indeed lives for food! (Not to mention a jar of his home made Qahwa masala which remains my most treasured souvenier from the trip).
Lovely little instances. One remembers these accounts long after the actual trip has faded away, and they become stories to tell your grandchildren.

Quote:
Originally Posted by GhostRider28 View Post
It did not end here, as BHPians SSTraveller and PredatorWheelz treated us with an unforgettable dinner of rann and bada kebabs at Kareem's in old Delhi (We are forever indebted to SSTraveler and PredatorWheelz!)
Feels lovely to be thanked 3 times in a single post. The Kareems thing wasn't such a big deal really. And there can always be a next time.
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Old 23rd September 2015, 11:38   #24
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Default Re: Jullay! Our unplanned trip to Ladakh in a Duster AWD

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nitish.arnold View Post
Will our 2 wheel drive Terrano (85 ps) be able to go the distance?
There should not be any problem unless you venture off-road. But why are you not planning to take the mighty Pajero?

Quote:
Originally Posted by mr.sinha View Post
Now time for you to seriously think of Sandakphu
So, the Sandakphu bug has hit you as well When do we get to read your Sandakphu travelogue?

Quote:
Originally Posted by alphadog View Post
Two questions- I have a FWD XUV 500, how do you think it will fare, as opposed to an AWD.
You should not face any trouble unless you are looking for it and venture off-road. The problem is that there are many tempting places

Quote:
Originally Posted by predatorwheelz View Post
The Kareems thing wasn't such a big deal really. And there can always be a next time.
Why am I feeling left out even after doing this journey twice and being your oldest school pal here!!

Last edited by BlackPearl : 23rd September 2015 at 11:41.
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Old 23rd September 2015, 11:45   #25
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Default Re: Jullay! Our unplanned trip to Ladakh in a Duster AWD

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Originally Posted by BlackPearl View Post
Why am I feeling left out even after doing this journey twice and being your oldest school pal here!!
Because you never called when you were in Delhi! Ghostrider28 did!
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Old 23rd September 2015, 16:32   #26
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Default Re: Jullay! Our unplanned trip to Ladakh in a Duster AWD

@Sayantan: Awesome Travelogue. It seems that arrival of the Chameleon has benefited not only you, but also the entire Team Bhp community, cos we can read such informative travelogues and ownership reviews. Super pictures and I am sure you had super fun as well.

Regards
Premjit
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Old 24th September 2015, 21:23   #27
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Default Re: Jullay! Our unplanned trip to Ladakh in a Duster AWD

Wow! Seems like you had great time with "Girgiti" Sir! Stunning pictures and a great TL. Team-BHP is being blessed with a lot of Ladakh travelogues.

Can you please update your ownership thread on how the Chameleon performed in this trip in detail? I am sure there are many potential customers who are following your thread and would appreciate it.

OT: Did you drive past S&S Inc. on Tuesday morning?

Keep revvin'
Neel
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Old 25th September 2015, 04:51   #28
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Default Re: Jullay! Our unplanned trip to Ladakh in a Duster AWD

@ghostrider28: I thought I'd just sit back and read through your thread, relishing the lovely photographs of Ladakh (always a delight to see them in every Ladakh travelogue). And then I'd thank you and rate your thread appropriately.

But given that I actually lost count of the number of times you've mentioned my handle in that single all-encompassing post of yours (and sometimes made me feel like that number was greater than all the photos you managed to post), I thought it would be appropriate to put in a modest post telling everyone, hey, I know that ghostrider28 went overboard in mentioning me, and no, it wasn't such a big deal.

But some things are for sure... you went into Ladakh during one of the worst periods of the north Indian monsoons, you didn't have group support from multiple cars (unlike the group of 6 cars from Kolkata who travelled there soon after you returned), you were a highway newbie (not anymore!), and at certain points you had me worried (for all of the above reasons). Ladakh responded by welcoming you with open arms, and you both had an experience of a lifetime. Your car obviously gave you a lot more peace of mind than if you had been in a sedan/hatchback, and the varieties of wazwan and Mughlai cuisine that you enjoyed without getting nervous may (I suspect) have been partly because of your confidence in your vehicle!

All's well that ends well, taxi unions and boycotts notwithstanding.
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Old 25th September 2015, 14:02   #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gearhead_mait View Post
Excellent report there, GhostRider! Nice pictures too.
Thanks gearhead.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DriveTrain View Post
Congratulations on the epic trip - almost a baptism by fire in your first long trip to the mountains! Your narration and the accompanying pictures are fantastic - just finished it now in one go.

You have managed to do a complete Ladakh trip with almost no planning - hats off to you. My AWD was brought with the purpose of visiting Ladakh and I am still planning , hope to follow your foot steps some day.
Thanks DriveTrain! I must say that I was lucky to get help and support from a lot of BHPians and HVK. Without which it would have been impossible. Ladakh still remains a challenging destination, and should be done with a reasonable amount of planning.
Quote:
Originally Posted by DriveTrain View Post
So this seems to be an irritant with the AWD.
I believe Clouldmobile_deb also had a similar issue a few weeks back and he was able to replicate it in the service station.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mr.sinha View Post
Very nice write-up, Ghostrider (Sayantan). Just read the whole travelogue now. Must say it was quite a bit of dynamic planning due to the omnipresent challenges and road conditions. Awesome photographs.
Thank you Mr. Sinha! It was not challenging enough as the high passes you tackled, not to mention the incident near Hanle!
Quote:
Originally Posted by mr.sinha View Post
One question: In Manali, why did you need permit for Leh? Is this a new requirement these days? Last year, I did not see any permit checking anywhere from Manali to Leh (except at Sarchu where you only wrote down the vehicle number in a register).
There is a permit required for travelling to Leh from Manali, it is checked before Rohtang climb. This is given from the SDO office, not the tourist office. Day Passes for Rohtang are obtained from the tourist office and usually has a long queue for it. Leh passes can usually be obtained in a couple of hours upon request.
Quote:
Originally Posted by mr.sinha View Post
Now time for you to seriously think of Sandakphu


Quote:
Originally Posted by alphadog View Post
What a fantastic travelogue and its great to see your AWD in its environs!.
Amazing pictures, truly inspires me to undertake something like this.

Two questions- I have a FWD XUV 500, how do you think it will fare, as opposed to an AWD.
Do you know what the ladakh and beyond-permit formalities are for foreign nationals with overseas citizenship card of India?.
Thanks alphadog. XUV has a decent ground clearance, so you should not have any problems with it. However, some fully loaded XUVs had their skid plates broken. As BlackPearl mentioned - any FWD would have its challenges to tackle tracks off the beaten path, however inviting them may seem!
Regarding permits, I am afraid that I am quite unaware of the requirements, but foreign nationals may required inner line permit. Please confirm with Ladakh veterans!

Quote:
Originally Posted by gmhossain View Post
Truly, beautiful travelogue! Congratulation on successfully completing your Ladakh trip which is often considered as a pinnacle of Indian road adventures!

Cheers,
Golam
Thanks gmhossain.

Quote:
Originally Posted by predatorwheelz View Post
Amazing. Just when I was going through Samba & Co's travelogue and thinking it would be hard to match, in comes another well-documented, tongue-in-cheek narrative with some mindblowing pictures. Make no mistake dude, you write really well!
Thanks predatorwheelz! Your TLs are among the best I have read on TeamBHP! Feels great to get such complements from you!


Quote:
Originally Posted by premjit View Post
@Sayantan: Awesome Travelogue. It seems that arrival of the Chameleon has benefited not only you, but also the entire Team Bhp community, cos we can read such informative travelogues and ownership reviews. Super pictures and I am sure you had super fun as well.

Regards
Premjit
Thanks PC!

Quote:
Originally Posted by SS-Traveller View Post
@ghostrider28: I thought I'd just sit back and read through your thread, relishing the lovely photographs of Ladakh (always a delight to see them in every Ladakh travelogue). And then I'd thank you and rate your thread appropriately.

But given that I actually lost count of the number of times you've mentioned my handle in that single all-encompassing post of yours (and sometimes made me feel like that number was greater than all the photos you managed to post), I thought it would be appropriate to put in a modest post telling everyone, hey, I know that ghostrider28 went overboard in mentioning me, and no, it wasn't such a big deal.

But some things are for sure... you went into Ladakh during one of the worst periods of the north Indian monsoons, you didn't have group support from multiple cars (unlike the group of 6 cars from Kolkata who travelled there soon after you returned), you were a highway newbie (not anymore!), and at certain points you had me worried (for all of the above reasons). Ladakh responded by welcoming you with open arms, and you both had an experience of a lifetime. Your car obviously gave you a lot more peace of mind than if you had been in a sedan/hatchback, and the varieties of wazwan and Mughlai cuisine that you enjoyed without getting nervous may (I suspect) have been partly because of your confidence in your vehicle!

All's well that ends well, taxi unions and boycotts notwithstanding.
Thanks SSda! Girgiti did give me a lot of confidence, and got me out of sticky (quite literally!) situations on more than one occassion. It was a great learning experience overall. Hopefully, the learning was enough to get me to Sandakphu and back, alive!

I would have loved to travel with a group. It gives confidence in trying out some crazy things - e.g. - I really wanted to try out this slope up the mountain (this was near Zing Zing Bar probably), but were forced to decide against it since we were alone!
Jullay! Our unplanned trip to Ladakh in a Duster AWD-dsc_7464_1.jpg

Quote:
Originally Posted by petrolhead_neel View Post
Wow! Seems like you had great time with "Girgiti" Sir! Stunning pictures and a great TL. Team-BHP is being blessed with a lot of Ladakh travelogues.

Can you please update your ownership thread on how the Chameleon performed in this trip in detail? I am sure there are many potential customers who are following your thread and would appreciate it.

OT: Did you drive past S&S Inc. on Tuesday morning?

Keep revvin'
Neel
Thanks Neel. S&S Inc falls on my regular route to office, so there is a fair possibility that I was there on Tuesday morning, but I'm afraid that I do not remember exactly.
I do plan to update the ownership thread - with updates from the Ladakh trip. There are a few interesting observations. Coming to think of it, Girgiti will soon complete a year!

Last edited by GTO : 26th September 2015 at 12:27. Reason: Merging back to back posts
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Old 27th September 2015, 15:29   #30
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Default Re: Jullay! Our unplanned trip to Ladakh in a Duster AWD

Awesome travelogue! Big cheers to both of you! Indeed,you have done full justice to Duster AWD. Girgiti looks amazing in the Leh surroundings,not to forget the great performance.
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