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Old 1st July 2016, 11:19   #16
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Default Re: XUV500: Karwar/Goa to Leh Ladakh

Originally Posted by vdm295 View Post
How has the clutch been performing after that horrific experience?
Hoping you would have completed the travel without any other problems though Mahindra have worked extensively on the XUV 500 and sorted out all the niggles.
Thanks vdm. The clutch has been flawless all the way after that. No difference in the play and has given me no reason to suspect any other issue.

Originally Posted by lovecars21 View Post
What a coincidence! I was also stuck there on 24th May 2016. while driving towards Kargil. You might have noticed a Red Aspire with WB number and LTD sticker.
What can I say, its a small here with us BHPians! Matter of fact, i do remember your car for the colour and the WB regn, which was not a very common sight there.

Originally Posted by landcruiser123 View Post
Very detailed and well written TL injunRD. Eagerly waiting to see the rest. While driving on inclines, use your handbrake

A lot of not-so-good things have been said about the Ladakh taxi mafia. There have been lot of discussions on the matter in our forum. Hopefully, you weren't troubled.
Thanks for the appreciation, as also the drive tip. The XUV even has hill hold, which is a great help in these uphill situations. My wife loves the car double for this one added bonus!

I was lucky not to have a single altercation/ trouble with the taxi mafia. We did not sight any other car having such trouble too, except for the Khardungla climb, where like i said, these guys were not permitting non-selfowned cars to move up. Not permitting any personal cars to move up would be taking things to a different level, which could be very detrimental. Hope good sense prevails upon the administration.

Originally Posted by Rajith View Post
Later M&M introduced dust caps,.
In your case due to continuous usage of clutch temperature has raised inside the transmission.
From last 10days M&M has introduced a high temperature resistant golden color grease
Thanks a ton Rajith for explaining the system so well. Even the M&M guys could not explain to me what had gone wrong. Will try to get more info on this new system and see if i can incorporate it in my car anytime soon.
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Old 1st July 2016, 13:56   #17
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Default Re: XUV500: Karwar/Goa to Leh Ladakh

Originally Posted by lovecars21 View Post
What a coincidence! I was also stuck there on 24th May 2016. while driving towards Kargil. You might have noticed a Red Aspire with WB number and LTD sticker. Here is my photo.
Attachment 1522605
And here goes my Travelogue
http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/travel...ire-amaze.html (Ladakh Reloaded: 4 friends, a Figo Aspire & an Amaze)

Nice Travelogue. Please check the dates you have mentioned. On 24th May I was also driving from Sonamarg to Kargil and was stuck in the same jam.
World is small, at least for BHPians
We did meet there buddy, just that we forgot the handles . I've shared our snap at Pangong here (Ladakh Reloaded: 4 friends, a Figo Aspire & an Amaze)
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Old 1st July 2016, 14:11   #18
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Smile Re: XUV500: Karwar/Goa to Leh Ladakh

Originally Posted by Aficionados View Post
World is small, at least for BHPians
We did meet there buddy, just that we forgot the handles . I've shared our snap at Pangong here (Ladakh Reloaded: 4 friends, a Figo Aspire & an Amaze)
Thanks for the lovely photo. Indeed world is a small place for Bhpians
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Old 1st July 2016, 22:01   #19
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Default Re: XUV500: Karwar/Goa to Leh Ladakh

Its again that time of the year where BHPians will be raiding Ladakh . Good to see so many different BHPians with different type of cars going there and coming back safely which will help others in planning their own trip in their cars.

Thanks to Rajith for that important update about Clutch. Even I own a XUV500 and would be checking with M&M service center next time I visit them.
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Old 4th July 2016, 13:49   #20
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Default Re: XUV500: Karwar/Goa to Leh Ladakh

Thanks for sharing detailed travelogue. Please do share more details of your experience related to driving XUV500 in such terrains. Where did you feel any limitations and what would you different? It will be very useful for fellow owners like us.
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Old 12th July 2016, 10:56   #21
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Default Re: XUV500: Karwar/Goa to Leh Ladakh

Originally Posted by supertinu View Post
Thanks for sharing detailed travelogue. Please do share more details of your experience related to driving XUV500 in such terrains. Where did you feel any limitations and what would you different? It will be very useful for fellow owners like us.
Thanks for the appreciation. Well for the car, I can share some thoughts now:-
(a) Power: Have not found this car wanting in this segment. Of course there is no end to improving 0-100 kmph statistics. However, in my opinion there is a basic reserve of power which is required in a vehicle, to pull you out of tight situations, such as when overtaking on single lane roads with a sudden oncoming vehicle making things uncomfortable. In this regard, this car is truly a beast. The acceleration in the 60 - 120 kmph segment is spectacular and puts sudden smiles on your passengers faces. i did not find any issues with the power and pull of the car even at high altitude where oxygen content is lower. And point to note, this car was fully loaded all the time. Which brings me to the next point.

(b) Space: Oodles and oodles of it. With the car in 5 seater mode, there is no end to how much you can stuff behind. I was carrying 4 large suitcases, water camper, bucket, tent, guitar, 3 large duffel bags, and loads of other odds and ends, with everything coming behind comfortably. Matter of fact, i did not even use the car carrier on the way back, considering the monsoons and our plans of frequent sightseeing stops on the way. This would entail frequent unloading of stuff from the carrier.

(c) Stability: Only SUV lovers can understand what a moot point this discussion of high CG and body roll is. This car is quite refined in this regard. Probably owes some to the monocoque construction, but this body roll is really minimal. On the Himalayan ghats, we frequently saw Xylo and Innova taxi passengers stopped on the roadside, doubled up being roadsick. I got complaints on only two occasions from the rear seat during the entire ride. Both times I was in excess of 50 KMPH on the otherwise excellent ghat road. The stability of the car was also tested (see the remaining travelogue coming up by tonight), and it came out with flying colours.

(d) ESP. Probably for this one feature, the W8 is worth the additional money.

(e) Tyres. One of the only SUVs in which there are not too many people upgrading to larger tyres, because the size has really been well thought of, and suits the overall specs of this vehicle.

(f) Fuel economy. No complaints at all. Only compliments, specially when you compare other players in this segment.

One of the down sides is the jump of the after section on speed breakers. I feel this is a bit on the higher side, particularly when there is no luggage. Though Ive not compared, so not sure if its the same in other such cars.

I love the 70 litre tank. Specs like these are where a true blood SUV stands out against the pseudo SUVs and crossovers. Gives you tremendous endurance on long rides.

Hope this initiates more discussions. Meanwhile look out for the last phase of the trip .Some really interesting things happened during this stretch!
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Old 12th July 2016, 17:08   #22
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Phase III - Chandigarh to Karwar

I appreciate all of you who have taken time out and gone through the travelogue. It took some time and patience to get the first blog up and running, but its been worth it. In addition to all your valuable comments and insights, its also given me the opportunity to arrange my thoughts, create a wonderful memoir for us to cherish for long, and certainly a booster for more such trips in the future.

Well, here goes my effort at documenting the last phase of the trip, from Chandigarh to Karwar, a trip of over 2,500 km (planned distance.)

Phase III – The Return to Southern Latitudes

It had been an amazing trip so far. I had got a decent break and was able to spend some quality time with parents and in-laws after almost a decade. A lot of pending personal jobs were also taken up during this time. The car was already a celebrity by now, as all our friends and relatives knew about the long journey upon which we had embarked.

Good times do not last, and it was time to head back. We chose Monday, 20 Jun as our departure date. While contemplating my route for the return trip, I was keen on exploring an alternate route, notwithstanding the great roads we encountered on our way up. Sometime around this, the idea of visiting Agra germinated; and the girls were super excited on the idea of visiting Taj Mahal. My wife had also not seen the heritage site. So I decided to take the central India route, via Agra Gwalior and Indore to Pune via Malegaon. I had taken inputs on the roads in the trip. The only niggle was the road from Gwalior to Indore, which was receiving flak for being in a bad state. Inputs from a couple of Whatsapp groups also indicated that I would be better off avoiding this stretch. I did leave a message on the Team BHP thread on inputs, but by the third day with no inputs, I had made up my mind. I decided to head to Agra and detour back to Jaipur via Fatehpur Sikri. The next day reach Mhow via Nasirabad and Ratlam. Then Pune via Malegaon and Shirdi, followed by back home via trusted old NH4 and NH63. With the decision taken, it was time to prepare and execute.

Leg 1 – Chandigarh to New Delhi, Monday 20 Jun 16

The car was loaded like never before. Setting out of home for the first time in own car, it was stacked up to the brim with everything possible including kids games, pickles, a world of shopping, clothes, even RICE! We finally bid teary goodbyes with the kids all emotional leaving their grandparents, but also excited about the drive that lay ahead. The first leg from Chandigarh to Delhi was simple as pie. We set off at 8 AM, and took the only break at Mannat Haveli at Murthal, before reaching Vikaspuri at 1230 hrs, where we were to meet relatives. We then also managed to meet friends and relatives at Janakpuri before heading to Dwarka to friends with who we were putting up for the night. Ended up being a long night, with lots of catching up. We finally slept at 1 AM, with a long and exciting day ahead of us.

Trip Summary

Distance Covered – 250 km
Time on road – 4.5 hrs (after which we were travelling within Delhi till 7 PM)

LEaving Chandigarh - towards the National Capital
XUV500: Karwar/Goa to Leh Ladakh-1-leaving-chandigarh-delhi-ahoy.jpg

At Haveli, Murthal - really lovely decor
XUV500: Karwar/Goa to Leh Ladakh-2-haveli-murthal.jpg

XUV500: Karwar/Goa to Leh Ladakh-3-welcome-delhi.jpg

Leg 2 – New Delhi to Jaipur via AGRA (Taj Mahal), Tuesday 21 Jun 16

We set off this morning at 0650 hrs, and hit the outer ring road, after which the DND flyover got us to the Yamuna expressway. This is by far the best road I have seen in the country. Of course, the meagre traffic on a Tuesday morning also helped affairs. It was a good drive, and we stopped for a tea break at 0820 hrs, after covering about 100 kms.

The Yamuna Expressway
XUV500: Karwar/Goa to Leh Ladakh-4-yamuna-expway.jpg

XUV500: Karwar/Goa to Leh Ladakh-5-way-taj-mahal-yamuna-exp.jpg

We set off again at 0900 hrs after which it was a non-stop drive till the West Gate of Taj Mahal. We parked the car at 1100 hrs and got out. For Rs 50/, an electric cart took us till the entry ticket point, and it was a walk thereafter. Meanwhile a horde of guides and photographers had taken over, who had to be tackled. I finally took a very enthusiastic young photographer, with the intention of getting some photo prints of the kids, and we set off inside. We had been warned of pickpockets, as my own Uncle who had visited a couple of months earlier lost his wallet containing all his cards in addition to cash, which was naturally a big hassle.
The splendour of the Taj cannot be described in words. It is not without reason one of the most beautiful structures of the world.

The beautiful Taj mahal
XUV500: Karwar/Goa to Leh Ladakh-6-taj.jpg

My elder daughter was so excited, she told me to close her eyes and then open them once she was in front of the monument! The awe in the kids eyes and their excitement was totally worth the planning. We had planned to spend two hours total detour for the visit, and I managed to do it in just about that time. We got out from there, collected the lovely album of memories made by the photographer while we were visiting, took a tonga back to the parking lot, and then set sail at 1325 hrs for Fatehpur Sikri, which is about 50 KM away.

Through the tonga's eyes
XUV500: Karwar/Goa to Leh Ladakh-7-tonga.jpg

The road for the first 15 km out of Agra put me in a doubt whether I had chosen a wrong option, but after that it cleared into a good two lane road, and by the time we visited Fatehpur Sikri and moved ahead, it was a four lane highway with divider and good surface. It was smooth driving all the way till Jaipur thereafter. The last one hour was spent negotiating the Jaipur traffic, which was classic old-city type no-holds-barred. We reached our guest room by around 1830 hrs, and settled down for some good rest.

Trip Summary

Distance Covered – 488 km
Time on road - 12 hrs

Towards Fatehpur Sikri
XUV500: Karwar/Goa to Leh Ladakh-8-fatehpur-sikri.jpg

At Sikri
XUV500: Karwar/Goa to Leh Ladakh-9-reaching-sikri.jpg

The Buland Darwaza
XUV500: Karwar/Goa to Leh Ladakh-10-buland-darwaza.jpg

Way to the Diwaan-e-Aam
XUV500: Karwar/Goa to Leh Ladakh-11-diwan-e-aam.jpg

Leg 3 – Jaipur to Mhow, Wednesday 22 Jun 16

Looking back, this was the day with the only setback of the entire 8000+ km trip. It was a great morning. We got up, took packed breakfast and got an early start to the journey at 0530 hrs. The road was familiar till Nasirabad, and was in the same great shape. Monsoons were not to be seen, save for some clouds here and there, after 10 AM. After a short tea break at 1100 hrs, we got on the road again, and headed towards Chittorgarh. I had seen the Garh with my parents when I was young, and was keen to show it to the girls and my wife. We reached off Chittor at 1030 hrs, and as if on cue, two youngsters in a bike got after our car, asking if we would like a guide. I was irritated and stopped the car. I told them I was not interested. But as expected they were perseverant. Miffed, I asked them what was the rate. They said it would be Rs 200. Then I asked them if they would leave me alone if I would pay them the money now. That caught them a little off guard. Then I told them, that the way they were driving along the car was very unsafe and could have led to an accident. Students of some local college there, they were embarrassed. Finally I took one of them along with me in the car, and he did a great job of showing us around the entire city complex inside the fort. We had a real good tour of the fort, took some good pics and were on the road again by 1200 hrs. We then pressed on for some time, before finally breaking for lunch at 1415 hrs at Hotel Yashodhar, run by MP Tourism. Not much to say about the food, though the hygiene and the hospitality of the staff was appreciable. Anyways, there is not much of choice in this stretch of the road. Finally with lunch over at almost 1500 hrs, we hit the road again for the last stretch.

The road ahead of Nasirabad
XUV500: Karwar/Goa to Leh Ladakh-12-ahead-nasirabad.jpg

Heading to Chittor
XUV500: Karwar/Goa to Leh Ladakh-13-towards-chittor.jpg

XUV500: Karwar/Goa to Leh Ladakh-15-chittor-detour.jpg

At a pit stop
XUV500: Karwar/Goa to Leh Ladakh-14-car-roadside.jpg

At the garh - the oldest temple
XUV500: Karwar/Goa to Leh Ladakh-16-chittor-temple.jpg

The Cheetah gazes over the hill
XUV500: Karwar/Goa to Leh Ladakh-17-fort-car.jpg

The Monuments
XUV500: Karwar/Goa to Leh Ladakh-18-stambh.jpg

Enroute towards Ratlam
XUV500: Karwar/Goa to Leh Ladakh-19-towards-ratlam.jpg

The Incident

This is where the twist in the tale came. At about 1615 hrs, I was cruising at about 95-100 kmph on the 4 lane highway and we were about 10 km short of Ratlam, when suddenly a dog sprinted onto the road from the bushes on the left, running towards the divider. The distance could not have been over 25 meters from the car. It was a split second decision and more subconscious than planned, which is always the case in such scenarios. I risked other cars banging into me if I braked too violently or swerved more than a degree or two. I hit the brake halfway and swerved right to avoid the hitting the dog right in the centre of the car, and immediately swerved back the instant I felt the thud of impact. At this point I actually felt the ESP activating in the car. The dog hit the car two feet left of the centreline. Both the wheels went over, which also activated the ESP. The thud and jerk was enough to wake up both the girls behind. My wife – who NEVER shuts her eyes as a co-driver – also did not see the dog coming; it was THAT sudden. I covered almost a kilometre by the time I could slow down and come to the left of the road to park. By this time, there was white smoke emanating from the bonnet of the car. I knew something other than the bumper was gone. I stepped out to a hissing sound, and sure enough, there was the AC gas leaking out. Three tons (including baggage) of mass with a momentum of 100 kmph, hitting a 35 odd kg mass created enough force to create a big dent in the solid heavy metal bumper concealed within the fibre bumper, and had just grazed the AC condenser enough to render it useless. If you see the car after the hit, you would probably not even notice it had hit something, except for the missing fog light. Preliminary damage assessment over, we decided to hit the road.
While all sort of ideas were running through my mind, my wife (we had barely gone 3 kms) suddenly beckoned me to look left. Providence had located a Mahindra service centre right there, within 5 km of where we hit the dog. This was M/s Patwa Auto, the authorised guys of Ratlam. I drove inside straight and asked for the Manager. A courteous man, he heard my story and immediately called for the body shop incharge and a test drive of the car. They assessed a damaged condenser as the primary culprit. I was just not keen on driving without the AC in monsoons/heat with family for the remaining 1200 kms. These guys, on hearing that I was going to Mhow, suggested that I get the work done at Indore, which was also Patwa Auto. In the next hour, they took a test drive, the body shop manager called Indore body shop and told them to keep a grey bumper and AC condenser ready, and I had called my Insurance, Tata AIG and registered a claim. So the call had been taken that we would stay the next day at Mhow and get the car work done. Well we reached Mhow in comparatively lower spirits, with the burden of the incident and the associated hassle that followed, and more that was to come. This also meant that I had to unload my ENTIRE car that night, in anticipation of the workshop visit the next day.

We reached at 2030 hrs. Bathed and with a drink down, we met our friend from Mhow who came to meet us. Things were looking up now when we were in a different frame of mind. Classic positive thinking, probably something good was to come out of this.

Trip Summary

Distance Covered – 664 km
Time on road – 15 hours

The Repairs at Indore – 23 Jun 16

The next morning I drove an hour (37 Km ) till the workshop at Indore reaching at 0930 hrs, and went straight to the body shop incharge. He spoke to the insurance surveyor of AIG, calling him to the workshop. Meanwhile, they had started painting the new bumper and carried out wheel alignment, which I felt was off, as the car was pulling to the left slightly. By the time the surveyor came, it was almost noon. He took pics, then they removed the bumper and he took more pics. The positive indication was that I could take the car out the same day, as he had agreed that the post-repair pics could be taken by the workshop guys and mailed to him. By the time the car was done and I paid the balance amount, it was close to 1930 hrs. I had left wifey and the kids in the guest room for the day, which turned out to be a good decision. I reached back by 2030, where I was met by my friend. We sat and chatted in the room till late. After a very long day, I decided to have a good night’s sleep and to hit the road by 7:30 the next morning for Pune. The insurance issue I’ll speak more of in another post. The car was fine, which took a load off our minds.

The Innocent looking damage
XUV500: Karwar/Goa to Leh Ladakh-20-innocuous-damage.jpg

Look at the dented metal fender - towards the right; massive impact
XUV500: Karwar/Goa to Leh Ladakh-21-bent-fender.jpg

The damaged AC Condensor
XUV500: Karwar/Goa to Leh Ladakh-22-broken-condensor.jpg

Repairs completed - ready to roll
XUV500: Karwar/Goa to Leh Ladakh-23-ready-go-car-all-done.jpg

We decided to leave the issue there and enjoy the rest of the trip. But the dog hit was a reminder of how a jumbo jet can be brought down by a small bird, all because of momentum and velocity.

Leg 4 – Mhow to Pune, Friday 24 Jun 16

Notwithstanding the late night, we left Mhow at 0600 the next morning, all fresh and ready for the last two legs of the long trip. However, the additional stop at Mhow meant that we had no margin left for Pune, which we had initially planned. Anyways, the road was good and so was the going. The detour for Shirdi came at Malegaon, after which the highway was two lane all the way till almost Shirdi. After that it was again a good 4 lane till Pune, save for the bypass road of Ahmednagar. We reached Lohegaon in good time by 1730 hrs, after a lunch stopover at Vitthal Kamat after Shirdi (very average food). By now, we could make out that we were heading into monsoons, with the sky overcast with heavy monsoon clouds, adding beauty to the countryside and the drive. We had experienced heavy downpours at Indore and Ratlam on both days, however for short durations. But today the sun remained obscured throughout the trip.

On the road to Dhule
XUV500: Karwar/Goa to Leh Ladakh-24-towards-dhule.jpg

The beautiful monsoon clouds
XUV500: Karwar/Goa to Leh Ladakh-25-beauty-drive-pune.jpg

XUV500: Karwar/Goa to Leh Ladakh-26-beauty-drive-pune.jpg

Crossing Shirdi
XUV500: Karwar/Goa to Leh Ladakh-27-shirdi.jpg

XUV500: Karwar/Goa to Leh Ladakh-28-beauty-drive-pune.jpg

The evening at Lohegaon was again memorable, catching up with old friends and reliving good times. Being the last night out of the entire trip, I had already decided that we would party till late and get up at a decent time the next day. So it was past 1 AM when we hit the bed, with the alarm for 7 AM next day; the day that would witness our arrival back home.

Trip Summary

Distance Covered – 570 km
Time on road – 11 ½ hrs

Leg 5 – Lohegaon (Pune) to Karwar, Saturday 25 Jun 16

We had picked up groceries at Pune itself the previous evening, in anticipation of reaching Karwar and starting the kitchen after a long time. So after getting on the road at 0815 hrs on this day, we had a breakfast of bread with mayo spread, prepared inside the car itself. On long drives, I have realised it saves a lot of precious morning drive time if one can arrange packed breakfast for having on the move.

The Car Niggle (also read the 'mind niggle')

Nothwithstanding the wheel alignment done at Indore, I was somehow not fully satisfied with the feel, as I could still feel a very slight pull to the left in the car. I also noticed that the left rear tyre had lost more tread on the outer side. I did not want to reach back to Karwar with this issue, considering that the closest Mahindra service centre was at Goa, and also that I would get real busy on reaching back. So we looked for the next service centre, and found the one at Satara right next to the highway. I took the car in, and explained the entire story to the manager. He deputed the senior technician and over the next two hours, they painfully sorted out the alignment of all four wheels. It emerged that my rear wheels had an almost 3 degree camber misalignment! This was indicative of the shoddy job done by the guys at Indore. It later emerged that the Mahindra workshop at Indore there had offloaded the alignment to a third party which had set up shop inside their premises.

We had spent almost two hours in the service station, but for a good cause, as now the mind was at rest, and the car seemed in perfect shape.

The rest of the journey

Monsoon showers every now and then, we cruised on home territory, as this was my fourth trip on this stretch in a year. Emotions were high, as it had been too long a journey. Sightseeing, shopping, meeting relatives, friends, going to the highest altitudes of the country and passing through some of the most beautiful terrain in the world, it was all in front of our eyes, and nostalgia was already creeping in. The drive was splendid to say the least, with the dreamy weather, and the great roads with beautiful plains on either side. We stopped for lunch at Mc Donalds at Kolhapur, where we decided to pack and move ahead. The detour from NH4 to the State highway led us through the most beautiful looking greenery, with monsoons with us all the way. By the time I had hit NH63, it was getting dark. The last couple of hours on this stretch were a tad slow and careful, as it was raining all through, heavily in patches. The heavy vehicle traffic on the single lane road with the rain was a tiring drive. More than that, it was probably the unspoken feeling that the end of an epic journey was getting nearer, which made the heart heavy. It was such a powerful feeling that both of us felt, that by the time we were reaching home at 2100 hrs, we were already talking of when life would give us the next opportunity for the next such trip. The children had had the vacation of their life, and it had been some quality family time with no distractions of TV, mobiles, routine, homework, assignments and such stuff.

The last leg of the trip
XUV500: Karwar/Goa to Leh Ladakh-29-towards-karwar.jpg

That night when we parked below the house at about 9 PM, it was emotions overloaded no doubt. Over the next hour, all four got together, and unloaded the car. I could not believe how much stuff we were carrying! Baths and dinner followed, by which time the kids were tired and went off to sleep. For us, we could not stop reminiscing the moments that we had lived over the last month.

The trip stands at _________
XUV500: Karwar/Goa to Leh Ladakh-30-trip-stands-____.jpg

A day after this, it would be back to routine for everyone. Life moves on, sprinkling experiences through your way; some good, some not-so-much, but experiences nevertheless. It is the necklace of these very experiences that is life. Wanderlust took us through this amazing experience, whetting our appetite for greater trips in times to come. In the meantime, memories would fuel the fire for the future.
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Old 18th July 2016, 22:21   #23
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Default Re: XUV500: Karwar/Goa to Leh Ladakh

Originally Posted by injunRD View Post
Phase III - Chandigarh to Karwar

The insurance issue I’ll speak more of in another post. The car was fine, which took a load off our minds.
This is regarding the Zero depreciation insurance policies.. would like to know others experiences, how 'zero' has been the depreciation or how much have you had to pay. Would like to share my experience too.
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Old 23rd July 2017, 10:40   #24
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Default Re: XUV500: Karwar/Goa to Leh Ladakh

Wonderful log there. Great write up and very useful info spread out even through photographs.
Did you not consider Parakchik glaciers, Hanle and Wari La?
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