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Old 12th October 2015, 19:43   #16
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Default re: Where no Elantra has gone before - 5500 kms, 6 States & Bhutan!

Day 14: Siliguri - Bodh Gaya
Day 15: Bodh Gaya - Satna


Nothing was done on these days except for covering the distance back home.

Where no Elantra has gone before - 5500 kms, 6 States & Bhutan!-bodh_gaya.jpg
From spectacular mountain views to the plains of Bihar, what difference two days make - at Bodh Gaya

We had done Bodh Gaya in 2010. So there was not any sightseeing or visit to the Mahabodhi temple this time. All we did was check into a hotel in the evening and check out the next morning. The same goes for Satna.

Why Satna? It is off the highway and logically made no sense. But it is the only town with a decent hotel between Bodh Gaya and Bargi. So we chose this. Why Bargi?

Day 16: Satna - Bargi

Bargi is 4-5 hour from Satna. If I wanted to, I could have done Satna to Hyderabad. But I did not want to. I wanted to do Bargi. And good that I did.

Where no Elantra has gone before - 5500 kms, 6 States & Bhutan!-bargi_06.jpg
Where no Elantra has gone before - 5500 kms, 6 States & Bhutan!-bargi_04.jpg
Where no Elantra has gone before - 5500 kms, 6 States & Bhutan!-bargi_05.jpg
Bargi Dam on the river Narmada

Bargi is 12km off NH7. That road is horrid. I did not know. It took us an hour to do 12km. But we also spotted this fellow.

Where no Elantra has gone before - 5500 kms, 6 States & Bhutan!-fox_01.jpg
Where no Elantra has gone before - 5500 kms, 6 States & Bhutan!-fox_02.jpg
A fox goes about its business

MPTDC runs a small 6-room hotel at Bargi. We had prior reservations. The place is usually booked during the weekends.

Where no Elantra has gone before - 5500 kms, 6 States & Bhutan!-bargi_01.jpg
Where no Elantra has gone before - 5500 kms, 6 States & Bhutan!-bargi_02.jpg
Where no Elantra has gone before - 5500 kms, 6 States & Bhutan!-bargi_03.jpg
Where no Elantra has gone before - 5500 kms, 6 States & Bhutan!-bargi_07.jpg
Where no Elantra has gone before - 5500 kms, 6 States & Bhutan!-bargi_08.jpg
Our room in Bargi. What views!

Day 17: Bargi - Hyderabad

Hmm. The last day of our journey. 800km to go. Time of Departure 5:22am. Time of arrival 7:20pm. A stop for lunch made at Radisson Blu in Nagpur.

Route update:

From Jabalpur to Nagpur, get off NH7 onto NH347 at Seoni. At Chhindwara bypass, take a left and get on NH547. At Saoner, get on NH69 to Nagpur. This avoids the rutted road via Rookhad. It is longer by around 50km but you will be in Nagpur in 2 hours. The road is that good.

As Looney Tunes signs off, “That’s all folks!
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Old 13th October 2015, 08:36   #17
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Default re: Where no Elantra has gone before - 5500 kms, 6 States & Bhutan!

Thread moved out from the Assembly Line (The "Assembly Line" Forum section). Thanks for sharing!

What a log! Amazing details and a whole LOT of stories. I just smelt the aroma of each post. But I still need to digest them at my own leisure.
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Old 13th October 2015, 09:15   #18
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Default re: Where no Elantra has gone before - 5500 kms, 6 States & Bhutan!

Wonderful narration and good sense of humour! Seeing such escapades convinces me more that taking up challenges is more of mind over car! You don't need a brand new 4x4 to handle anything, but yes, what you did definitely needs guts and as mentioned in your FAQ, some amount of madness! Glad to know that your wife is equally supportive for such trips.
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Old 13th October 2015, 11:43   #19
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Default Re: Where no Elantra has gone before - 5500 kms, 6 States & Bhutan!

B-E-A-U-T-I-F-U-L!
What a post! What a wonderful post!

Very well detailed.
Could you please share the details/contact of the guide you took (I understand that it must be present on Bhutan tourism's website)?
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Old 13th October 2015, 12:17   #20
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Default Re: Where no Elantra has gone before - 5500 kms, 6 States & Bhutan!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Divya Sharan View Post
B-E-A-U-T-I-F-U-L!
What a post! What a wonderful post!

Very well detailed.
Could you please share the details/contact of the guide you took (I understand that it must be present on Bhutan tourism's website)?
Thank you for the kind words .

You asked for two things:

1. Contact Details of the Guide: I engaged Myth Road Adventure. Contact details can be found on the Bhutan Tourism website: http://www.tourism.gov.bt/directory/...road-adventure
2. Guide is not a must for citizens of India, Bangladesh and Maldives. But it makes good sense to take one along.
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Old 13th October 2015, 13:39   #21
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Default Re: Where no Elantra has gone before - 5500 kms, 6 States & Bhutan!

Wow! Beautiful travelogue! Transported me to that beautiful place.
Makes me want to visit Bhutan again!
Thanks lucifer1881
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Old 13th October 2015, 14:07   #22
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Default Re: Where no Elantra has gone before - 5500 kms, 6 States & Bhutan!

Woah! That's a lot that the Elantra did. Salute!

You completed the whole journey on high spirits and never ever dreaded the fact that a sedan might have its limitations.



I was glued to post for almost an hour.
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Old 13th October 2015, 14:25   #23
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Default Re: Where no Elantra has gone before - 5500 kms, 6 States & Bhutan!

WOW !!!! What an amazing travelogue and even better and crisp narration. So calmly and cooly describing everything was jus brilliant. I loved the bit where u said your an indian at the Moore plains or be it in south Bombay.

Hats to your better half to support you through the full trip.
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Old 13th October 2015, 15:41   #24
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Default Re: Where no Elantra has gone before - 5500 kms, 6 States & Bhutan!

Stunning post indeed! And a deserved 5 star rating and a definite 5 star for your trusted steed, the Elantra! Quite literally, you had the will and you made the way where others wouldn't have dared tread in a sedan!

PS: Was this really the first Elantra in Bumthang?
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Old 13th October 2015, 16:27   #25
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Default Re: Where no Elantra has gone before - 5500 kms, 6 States & Bhutan!

Awesome journey! Bhutan is on my list for some time now and your travelogue ignited the passion. I must say that apart from your family ,your steed Elantra is in the center of all the happiness you derived out of this trip.

Rated 5*.

Cheers,
gearhead.
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Old 13th October 2015, 17:16   #26
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Dear Lucifer,

Bravo and congrats, both for your beautiful sojourn in heaven. Well, that you are back, seems to be surprise, considering the road conditions to paro and back. Do you think, a manza diesel, a swift or innova could manage the trip, considering the fact, that none has traction control and abs. I was shifting pages, since i am planning to start on 17th oct. i have 16 days to spend, from kolkata, so i want to take the sojourn at more leisurely way, unlike yours, as you did from hydrabad.

Any guess what kind of expense i should forward to, considering, i am travelling with wife, only. Any service stations you had seen, inside bhutan; of toyota or tata or maruti. 165mm of GC ok or should i up it by an inch or so, by fitting aftermarket adjusters. your advise is very much solicited.

regards

-----

by the way i voted 5 stars for the excellent narration and the photos. Wish you will describe the food and the resting places, also. As in my opinion, they leave an ever lasting impression of the place and the journey. But as you had described in your early part, that food do not excite you much, so its ok. Please do it for the others, like me !

Last edited by Rehaan : 13th October 2015 at 17:37. Reason: Please use the EDIT button to add to an existing post within 20 minutes instead of posting another consecutive post. Thanks.
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Old 13th October 2015, 19:03   #27
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Default Re: Where no Elantra has gone before - 5500 kms, 6 States & Bhutan!

Quote:
Originally Posted by dr. sen View Post
Dear Lucifer,

Bravo and congrats, both for your beautiful sojourn in heaven. Well, that you are back, seems to be surprise, considering the road conditions to paro and back. Do you think, a manza diesel, a swift or innova could manage the trip, considering the fact, that none has traction control and abs. I was shifting pages, since i am planning to start on 17th oct. i have 16 days to spend, from kolkata, so i want to take the sojourn at more leisurely way, unlike yours, as you did from hydrabad.

Any guess what kind of expense i should forward to, considering, i am travelling with wife, only. Any service stations you had seen, inside bhutan; of toyota or tata or maruti. 165mm of GC ok or should i up it by an inch or so, by fitting aftermarket adjusters. your advise is very much solicited.

regards
Road conditions are bad beyond Thimphu. Thimphu and Paro are 45 minutes away. Basically from Phuentsholing, it is the same road to Thimphu / Paro. Around 20km or so before Thimphu, you make the left for Paro. So if you plan going only upto Thimphu / Paro then roads are not an issue. Beyond Thimphu, you will encounter road works.

Elantra's GC is 185mm. I am running one size bigger tyres than the ones she comes factory fitted with. So perhaps that gives me an additional GC of 5mm. But, and there is a but here, GC is not the only factor. For a short wheelbase car, a GC of 160mm might be enough compared to a longer wheelbase car. It is all in the dynamics of the car.

Can a Swift do it? Should be easy. Small cars, in fact, got through those roads quite easily. A Hilux got stuck in one place, but the Santros and the Altos just breezed across. Can an Innova or Manza do it? Don't know. Never driven one. You will find service centres for Toyota, Tata, Hyundai, Maruti, etc. easily in Thimphu. Beyond that, you won't. You will find mechanics the way we find in India. Their skill levels could be a hit and a miss.

Traction control and ABS are good to have. You will probably have to drive more carefully and manually do the pumping action to replicate the ABS action to keep the car in line. You might have to half-clutch a bit if there is no traction control. But with a bit of careful driving, you should be okay.

But more than the roads in Bhutan, what really should worry you are the roads in Bengal. They are .

-----
Quote:
Originally Posted by dr. sen View Post
by the way i voted 5 stars for the excellent narration and the photos. Wish you will describe the food and the resting places, also. As in my opinion, they leave an ever lasting impression of the place and the journey. But as you had described in your early part, that food do not excite you much, so its ok. Please do it for the others, like me !
Thanks, much!

Are you engaging a travel agency? I suggest you do. Give them a budget. And they will be able to fit you in that. Hotels in Bhutan are all lovely, unless you stay in those not meant for tourists. Food is good. I flipped on their vegetables. All organic. I still remember the asparagus! I know now what Maugham meant when he said, "The smell of melted butter tickled my nostrils as the nostrils of Jehovah were tickled by the burned offerings of the virtuous Semites."

Last edited by lucifer1881 : 13th October 2015 at 19:11.
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Old 13th October 2015, 21:05   #28
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Default Re: Where no Elantra has gone before - 5500 kms, 6 States & Bhutan!

What a fantastic log! It took me a lot of time to take all the sights in, and it is an epic trip. You write extremely well too, keeping it short yet keeping the reader's interest alive.

I own a 7 yr, 1L+ km old Hyundai myself, and this log is also proof that these cars keep on going if maintained properly. Take a bow, this is indeed an achievement.
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Old 13th October 2015, 21:19   #29
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Default Re: Where no Elantra has gone before - 5500 kms, 6 States & Bhutan!

Fantastic travelogue. 'Satna", well I only know one Satna, my father was working there from 1982 till 2000. My last visit to Satna was in 1998. I really wonder where did you stay for the night, as during my days, there was not a single hotel that one could call a 'hotel'.

Khajuraho being the nearest airport to Satna, the road went via Mahuranipur (famous for 'khurchan') and Panna. Two ghat sections where the condition of the roads were at its 'worst best', only the humble Ambassador could survive that - add to that many sections was single track. Single track for the 'new gen drivers' is that each time a vehicle came from the opposite direction, one had to practically come to a dead stop, take the left side wheels off the black top and let the other vehicle pass by. At times one had to take all four wheels off the black top (if there was enough space available) to allow the overloaded truck to pass by.
Looking at his load, it was always a good decision to give the entire road to him, lest while trying to take his left wheels off the road, he topples!!

Those days, driving was a different ball game altogether. I remember driving at 25 kmph for hours at a stretch on the Ajmer Jaipur highway, as the road had just enough width for two vehicles to pass each other - oncoming traffic of vehicles being so heavy that it was impossible to overtake. Add to that we did not have creature comforts like airconditioning, power steering and many features which we take for granted these days. Still we journeyed!!
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Old 13th October 2015, 21:25   #30
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Default Re: Where no Elantra has gone before - 5500 kms, 6 States & Bhutan!

Amazing narration and details.

It does take guts to decide, plan and follow it up with action for such a long trip. Glad that the better half thinks similar. I am sure a lot of homework was done before the actual trip.

Did you have any OMG moments with respect to the drive ?

Rated a deserving 5 stars.
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