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Old 30th August 2016, 12:37   #1
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Default Hawk-On-Fours® (H-4®) Roadtrip: Reluctantly to Mussoorie (Landour)

We needed a break. And a convenient extended weekend cropped up around 15 August.

But this was not a time when we wanted to go on a roadtrip. This was the first time in many years, that we were alone at home, without our daughter. And we hate to be on the highways when everyone tries to take advantage of such extended weekends - too much traffic on the highways, overcrowded and unusually expensive hotels, and a general feeling of not having our own space on a holiday.

Along came a friend the previous week, enquiring about why we don't take a holiday over that coming weekend. We told him why. He offered us a holiday home in Landour and insisted that we go. After a bit of hesitation, we decided to go - but shifted the dates a bit to avoid the holiday traffic on the highway.

13 August was a Saturday, and we decided to stay at home (and work). We left in the morning on Sunday, 14 August, to return on Tuesday, 16 August. It wasn't a bad decision, since we had minimal traffic on the plains - but Mussoorie was so severely overcrowded that it took us over 2 hours to cover the last 3 km to our place of stay.

Sunday dressing in red!
Hawk-On-Fours® (H-4®) Roadtrip: Reluctantly to Mussoorie (Landour)-m1.jpg

Brunch
Hawk-On-Fours® (H-4®) Roadtrip: Reluctantly to Mussoorie (Landour)-m1.5.jpg

On the road
Hawk-On-Fours® (H-4®) Roadtrip: Reluctantly to Mussoorie (Landour)-m4-2.jpg

Hawk-On-Fours® (H-4®) Roadtrip: Reluctantly to Mussoorie (Landour)-m4-3.jpg

Ominous rain clouds on the horizon
Hawk-On-Fours® (H-4®) Roadtrip: Reluctantly to Mussoorie (Landour)-m4-1.jpg

Stuck before the tunnel, after the famous Maa Daat Kali Temple, about 14 km before entering Dehradun. Sometimes, sitting in the middle of a traffic jam on the highway can be magical.
Hawk-On-Fours® (H-4®) Roadtrip: Reluctantly to Mussoorie (Landour)-m3.jpg

The result of a minor brush with a scooter rider in the hills, when he skidded off on a curve and crashed into the side of the car.
Hawk-On-Fours® (H-4®) Roadtrip: Reluctantly to Mussoorie (Landour)-m4-4.jpg

Last edited by SS-Traveller : 30th August 2016 at 14:27.
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Old 30th August 2016, 13:04   #2
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Default Re: Hawk-On-Fours® (H-4®) Roadtrip: Reluctantly to Mussoorie (Landour)

There's a multi-level parking lot next to where we were staying. It was choked full of cars, and the attendant wanted me to leave the keys of the car with him if I wanted to park there - and a fee of Rs.200 per day. I was not about to part with the car keys overnight - as a matter of policy, I never do!

The car park
Hawk-On-Fours® (H-4®) Roadtrip: Reluctantly to Mussoorie (Landour)-m5-2.jpg


The holiday home had some space to park, but it was a tight fit. Someone had placed a Scorpio there and built the pillars 1 inch away on either side (with the mirrors folded ). And it was up a wet, slippery slope. 4L to the rescue, as I inched up the slope. Here's a video of when the car was taken out 2 days later, to give you an idea of the clearances.


Given that we'd spent 2+ hours stuck in traffic inside Mussoorie, we were not about to take the car out till it was time to return home. We settle in...

Hawk-On-Fours® (H-4®) Roadtrip: Reluctantly to Mussoorie (Landour)-m6-4.jpg

Hawk-On-Fours® (H-4®) Roadtrip: Reluctantly to Mussoorie (Landour)-m6-3.jpg

Hawk-On-Fours® (H-4®) Roadtrip: Reluctantly to Mussoorie (Landour)-m6-1.jpg

Now, where's that network?
Hawk-On-Fours® (H-4®) Roadtrip: Reluctantly to Mussoorie (Landour)-m6-2.jpg

The next day, in the evening, the car park has emptied
Hawk-On-Fours® (H-4®) Roadtrip: Reluctantly to Mussoorie (Landour)-m5-1.jpg


No wonder we hate to travel to popular tourist destinations during peak season!

Last edited by SS-Traveller : 30th August 2016 at 14:28.
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Old 30th August 2016, 13:38   #3
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Default Re: Hawk-On-Fours® (H-4®) Roadtrip: Reluctantly to Mussoorie (Landour)

Eat. Sleep. Repeat. That's pretty much what we did.

It should have read: Eat. Read. Sleep. Repeat.

But I forgot to carry my usual supply of novels that are generally reserved for holiday reading. And there was not a single bookshop open in the whole region on Independence Day. Just a lot of schoolkids parading around town shouting nationalistic slogans at the top of their lungs.

Hawk-On-Fours® (H-4®) Roadtrip: Reluctantly to Mussoorie (Landour)-m7-1.jpg

Hawk-On-Fours® (H-4®) Roadtrip: Reluctantly to Mussoorie (Landour)-m7-2.jpg

So we modified our original agenda to: Eat. Click. Sleep. Repeat.

And here are the photographs from our short walks in the vicinity of our digs.

Hawk-On-Fours® (H-4®) Roadtrip: Reluctantly to Mussoorie (Landour)-m8-1.jpg

Hawk-On-Fours® (H-4®) Roadtrip: Reluctantly to Mussoorie (Landour)-m8-2.jpg

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Hawk-On-Fours® (H-4®) Roadtrip: Reluctantly to Mussoorie (Landour)-m9-4.jpg

It often rained in short, heavy spells, but the weather cleared up equally quickly
Hawk-On-Fours® (H-4®) Roadtrip: Reluctantly to Mussoorie (Landour)-m9-5.jpg

Hawk-On-Fours® (H-4®) Roadtrip: Reluctantly to Mussoorie (Landour)-m9-6.jpg

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One place we'd like to visit sometime
Hawk-On-Fours® (H-4®) Roadtrip: Reluctantly to Mussoorie (Landour)-m9-18.jpg

The restaurant we took a particular liking to - especially because they served up some nice parathas
Hawk-On-Fours® (H-4®) Roadtrip: Reluctantly to Mussoorie (Landour)-m9-19.jpg

Hawk-On-Fours® (H-4®) Roadtrip: Reluctantly to Mussoorie (Landour)-m9-20.jpg

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Hawk-On-Fours® (H-4®) Roadtrip: Reluctantly to Mussoorie (Landour)-m9-22.jpg

If I find a car badly parked in the middle of the road next to a prominent 'No Parking' sign, I usually expect it to be a DL-plated car - and I was absolutely correct in this case!
Hawk-On-Fours® (H-4®) Roadtrip: Reluctantly to Mussoorie (Landour)-m10.jpg

One incident about the crazy traffic in Mussoorie needs to be recounted, because it was both funny and sad. As we walked along the road in the evening, there was a loud sound of an engine being revved hard. I took a quick glance back, and realised that a red Chevy Spark with a novice driver at the wheel, was trying very hard to make a controlled start uphill on the steep slope. Quite recognizing the danger, both of us stopped walking and ducked behind a bright orange 3-door Mini badly parked on the road. In a few seconds, the Spark came rocketing up the slope, side-swiped the rear corner of the Mini, passed us about 2' away, and disappeared. The couple in the Mini had an interesting reaction - the gentleman started blowing the horn continuously, and the lady climbed down to gently caress the dented and scraped part of the car.

I hope both drivers never go visiting crowded hill stations in peak season again!

Last edited by SS-Traveller : 30th August 2016 at 14:32.
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Old 30th August 2016, 13:59   #4
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Default Re: Hawk-On-Fours® (H-4®) Roadtrip: Reluctantly to Mussoorie (Landour)

Tuesday, 16 August, the holiday rush was over, and the roads had cleared of incorrigible traffic, albeit covered with dense fog.

We left in the morning and stopped over at this cafe for a leisurely cup of tea.

Hawk-On-Fours® (H-4®) Roadtrip: Reluctantly to Mussoorie (Landour)-m11-4.jpg

Hawk-On-Fours® (H-4®) Roadtrip: Reluctantly to Mussoorie (Landour)-m11-5.jpg

This must be the most innovative 'No Trespassing' sign I have ever come across - translated, it warns that it is dangerous to proceed ahead of this point because there is danger of (being bitten by) poisonous insects, spiders, scorpions and snakes.
Hawk-On-Fours® (H-4®) Roadtrip: Reluctantly to Mussoorie (Landour)-m11-6.jpg

We drive down to the Bhatta Falls, but the fog deters us from proceeding further on foot.
Hawk-On-Fours® (H-4®) Roadtrip: Reluctantly to Mussoorie (Landour)-m11-3.jpg

Hawk-On-Fours® (H-4®) Roadtrip: Reluctantly to Mussoorie (Landour)-m11-2.jpg

Hawk-On-Fours® (H-4®) Roadtrip: Reluctantly to Mussoorie (Landour)-m11-1.jpg

Last edited by SS-Traveller : 30th August 2016 at 14:00.
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Old 30th August 2016, 14:07   #5
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Default Re: Hawk-On-Fours® (H-4®) Roadtrip: Reluctantly to Mussoorie (Landour)

On the way back, we stopped over at another homestay at Rajpur, to catch up with a relative who's spending some time there. The old-fashioned house from the British era is worth spending some time in winter.
Hawk-On-Fours® (H-4®) Roadtrip: Reluctantly to Mussoorie (Landour)-m12-2.jpg

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Hawk-On-Fours® (H-4®) Roadtrip: Reluctantly to Mussoorie (Landour)-m12-1.jpg

After a heavy brunch here, it was an incident-free run back to Delhi.

::: THE END :::
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Old 30th August 2016, 15:10   #6
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Default Re: Hawk-On-Fours® (H-4®) Roadtrip: Reluctantly to Mussoorie (Landour)

Thread moved out from the Assembly Line (The "Assembly Line" Forum section). Thanks for sharing!
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Old 30th August 2016, 20:38   #7
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Default Re: Hawk-On-Fours® (H-4®) Roadtrip: Reluctantly to Mussoorie (Landour)

The Scorpio literally squeezed itself out of that opening, if I may call it so. Liked the details accounted and the way you planned the trip to avoid the highway crowd. The little incident about flying Chevy indeed was an interesting read. That picture of the switch board took me back to my childhood! Thanks for sharing!
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Old 31st August 2016, 14:28   #8
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Default Re: Hawk-On-Fours® (H-4®) Roadtrip: Reluctantly to Mussoorie (Landour)

Quote:
Originally Posted by SS-Traveller View Post
After a heavy brunch here, it was an incident-free run back to Delhi.
This is the o-n-l-y reason I envy the NCR residents. One long weekend and you can drive away to experience snow, fog, High altitudes, whatever. We have a 30 hr drive before we can do that from down here.


Having said that, what is the FE you got on your vehicle? What speeds do you maintain on 4 laners?
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Old 1st September 2016, 14:23   #9
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Default Re: Hawk-On-Fours® (H-4®) Roadtrip: Reluctantly to Mussoorie (Landour)

Nice read.
Loved the photographs from your "Eat. Click. Sleep. Repeat." agenda.

Please share some details about auxiliary LEDs on your Scorpio's front bumper. Looks interesting.
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Old 1st September 2016, 14:33   #10
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Default Re: Hawk-On-Fours® (H-4®) Roadtrip: Reluctantly to Mussoorie (Landour)

That switch from a bygone era made me smile. I really like its function & form. Less food pics this time?

Thanks for sharing this lovely travelogue
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Old 1st September 2016, 15:55   #11
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Default Re: Hawk-On-Fours® (H-4®) Roadtrip: Reluctantly to Mussoorie (Landour)

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Originally Posted by SS-Traveller View Post
. I was not about to part with the car keys overnight - as a matter of policy, I never do!
I have not yet read your full review, and in the beginning when I came across this piece I just could not wait to add my piece. Excellent policy. I remember a a few years ago I had gone to Nainital in my Scorpio and had left the car keys with the attendant after parking the car on the road as their car parking was full. In the morning the fuel tank was almost empty, appeared either the car had been taken for a couple of downhill trips, or someone had simply siphoned off the diesel. Since then I am also wary of leaving car keys with the attendants anywhere, except where there is no other option.
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Old 1st September 2016, 19:33   #12
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This is the o-n-l-y reason I envy the NCR residents.
And this is the only reason some of us in NCR do not attempt the hills at all over a long weekend. Mile long queues/traffic snarls where none should be on account of errant (mostly NCR) drivers, and the difficult exit and entry points on almost all highways connecting to the hills is too much of a dampener. The NCR drivers every time need to prove that they are children of higher Gods by trying to encroach upon your road space, create a bigger funnel effect than what the road works departments intended by driving from all sides, etc. The drive time increases substantially over long weekends at least in the Uttarakhand area as everyone is headed in those directions.

On another note and in continuation to a similar query above, do let us know a little bit more on the LED auxiliary lamps you have installed. Are they helpful without blinding the oncoming traffic so as to pose a risk to ourselves?
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Old 1st September 2016, 20:00   #13
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Default Re: Hawk-On-Fours® (H-4®) Roadtrip: Reluctantly to Mussoorie (Landour)

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On another note and in continuation to a similar query above, do let us know a little bit more on the LED auxiliary lamps you have installed.
Auxiliary LED lights? Do you mean Chetak or Hariya?
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Old 1st September 2016, 20:36   #14
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Default Re: Hawk-On-Fours® (H-4®) Roadtrip: Reluctantly to Mussoorie (Landour)

Nice report Doc!
No visit to Kalsang or the famous Lovely Omelettes?
And how are the roads now? Roads were awful couple of years back when I drove the same route.
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Old 2nd September 2016, 18:18   #15
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Default Re: Hawk-On-Fours® (H-4®) Roadtrip: Reluctantly to Mussoorie (Landour)

Quote:
Originally Posted by arindam_xeta View Post
The little incident about flying Chevy indeed was an interesting read.
Thank you, Arindam. Yes, that was actually a close shave for us.
Quote:
Originally Posted by arindam_xeta View Post
That picture of the switch board took me back to my childhood! Thanks for sharing!
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sheel View Post
That switch from a bygone era made me smile. I really like its function & form.
Those switches get me all nostalgic.
Quote:
Originally Posted by n.devdath View Post
This is the o-n-l-y reason I envy the NCR residents. One long weekend and you can drive away to experience snow, fog, High altitudes, whatever. We have a 30 hr drive before we can do that from down here.
In my kind of job, that kind of holiday is a rarity. In any case, I hate the highway traffic during those days. As Rajiv mentioned rightly...
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And this is the only reason some of us in NCR do not attempt the hills at all over a long weekend. Mile long queues/traffic snarls where none should be on account of errant (mostly NCR) drivers, and the difficult exit and entry points on almost all highways connecting to the hills is too much of a dampener. The NCR drivers every time need to prove that they are children of higher Gods by trying to encroach upon your road space, create a bigger funnel effect than what the road works departments intended by driving from all sides, etc. The drive time increases substantially over long weekends at least in the Uttarakhand area as everyone is headed in those directions.
...it's getting worse year by year. And the self-drive cars aren't helping any.
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...what is the FE you got on your vehicle? What speeds do you maintain on 4 laners?
It was a total run of 629.6 km, and the overall FE was 12.15 kmpl, including the traffic jams and heavy rain on the way out. NH58/334 is not a fast road, with high risk of pedestrian and animal traffic coming on to the carriageway, and it's not safe to maintain speeds above 80-100 kmph. Some sections don't let you go faster than 40-50 kmph. That's pretty much how fast I drove.
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Nice read.
Loved the photographs from your "Eat. Click. Sleep. Repeat." agenda.
Thanks.
Quote:
Originally Posted by revharder View Post
Please share some details about auxiliary LEDs on your Scorpio's front bumper. Looks interesting.
Quote:
Originally Posted by rajivrt View Post
...do let us know a little bit more on the LED auxiliary lamps you have installed. Are they helpful without blinding the oncoming traffic so as to pose a risk to ourselves?
These are 27w LED flood lamps with short throw and wide spread, and yes, they do dazzle oncoming traffic. I hardly use them unless absolutely required in really poor road/weather conditions, in the absence of oncoming traffic. When switched on, they are a boon in poor visibility conditions.
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Thanks for sharing this lovely travelogue
Thank you for reading this! Not one of my detailed travelogues, and unfortunately I am stuck halfway through my previous travelogue due to my hard disk crashing and my photo backup now residing in Australia as RAW files!
Quote:
Originally Posted by rajivrt View Post
I remember a a few years ago I had gone to Nainital in my Scorpio and had left the car keys with the attendant after parking the car on the road as their car parking was full. In the morning the fuel tank was almost empty, appeared either the car had been taken for a couple of downhill trips, or someone had simply siphoned off the diesel. Since then I am also wary of leaving car keys with the attendants anywhere, except where there is no other option.
I am just glad they didn't switch your tyres, steal your jack, dent a couple of doors or even lose your car overnight.
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Originally Posted by avingodb View Post
Nice report Doc!
No visit to Kalsang or the famous Lovely Omelettes?
Thanks Avinash.

We thrived on parathas! And parathas make for really boring photographic models!
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Originally Posted by avingodb View Post
And how are the roads now? Roads were awful couple of years back when I drove the same route.
The road through Deoband is bad in a few stretches, perhaps 20-25 km in all - troublesome for a small car, but not so bad for SUVs. Traffic is comparatively sparse on this road. We took this on the return journey.

The road from Muzaffarnagar to Roorkee is generally good, but with very high traffic due to the bottleneck at Manglaur and before the Roorkee flyover, as well as through Roorkee towards Chhutmalpur. We used this on the way out.
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