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Old 24th December 2017, 13:00   #1
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Default 3 Wise Men visit coastal Maharashtra

Note: This is my first travelogue. Suggestions, criticism is appreciated. All the pics were taken on our mobiles, IPhone 7plus and Xiaomi Mi3.

Prologue


I and Pramod (Chad) had both put in our papers and had managed to get some free time before our next assignment. We had planned to do a trip to North East for a month but ruled it out due to monsoon season in the months of June and July. Since I had already completed Zanskar and Ladakh a couple of years ago, they were out as well. While surfing through some of the travelogues in Team-BHP, I came up with an idea to cover the portions of the Himalayas in Uttarakhand and Himachal Pradesh.

As we were getting close to the start date, things didn’t go as per plan and had to shorten the trip. Hence, we went back to the drawing table again and discussed over possible places to go and shortlisted two options, Western and Eastern coast. The former was preferred as I had already planned this to the T and it was canceled in on the day of the planned ride last year. Meanwhile, a third friend, Praful also volunteered to join us after hearing the idea. I got in touch with Prasanjith, the man behind the ‘behind the handlebar’ forum to help me chalk out an itinerary. This turned out to be a good decision as he had ridden through this circuit a good number of times and knew all the roads at his fingertips.


Day 0

I had to go to the office to get done with some paperwork. Chad also had to finish some chores before the start of the ride. Praful’s bike was due for service after a friend of ours had a fall on the bike during our last trip. He had to get his bike serviced and also get the toolkit and the tent from the friend who caused all the trouble. I also had to go to a service center after my work to replace my engine oil and get some small issues sorted out. We thought of starting a bit late the next day as Praful had called in the evening and declared that he needed to buy a riding jacket for the trip and decided to purchase one for himself the next day morning. Rest all set, we slept well that night hoping to at least get out of Bangalore the next day.


Day 1

Bangalore - Chitradurga
Distance Traveled : 210 kms
Time taken: 6hrs


We had decided to meet at our Man Cave which would be close to all biking accessory shops. I went to get a tubeless repair kit while Chad and Praful went on gear shopping. He finally found one for his size after going through a couple of stores. It was past noon by then and we decided to have lunch started. We had to rearrange the luggage as Chad had packed for a luxury trip instead of ride. Just when we planned to leave, nature decided to clean the roads for us.

We waited for another hour for the nature to complete this work. Finally, we left Bangalore at 5.30pm in evening. Surprisingly there were no major pile-ups in our route and made it out of the city within an hour and reached Tumkur by 7.30. After taking a break there, we further continued the boring Chitradurga expressway and finally managed to reach Chitradurga at 10 pm after a couple of breaks. We decided to have dinner there and continue. After dinner, Chad reiterated being tired and even I agreed to it as my bike wasn’t smooth and thought of getting it checked next morning before proceeding any further. We went to a cheap motel in town, unpacked and fell asleep immediately. When I say we, I meant Chad and me, Praful is borderline insomniac at that time.

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A pic before the ride started.


Day 2

Chitradurga - Dharwad
Distance Traveled : 254 kms
Time taken: 6.5hrs


Since our destination was a little north of 200kms we decided to start late. I and Chad woke up at 8 and went in search of a mechanic. To my surprise, there was no TVS service center here and with a quick trip around the city, we came to a conclusion that it was a waste of time to wait for the local mechanics and thought of getting it checked in Hubli. Went to Lakshmi Bhavan Tiffin Room and had the usual flair of south Indian breakfast and took a parcel for the insomniac. After the daily routine, we were geared up and left Chitradurga by 12 pm.

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Tasty breakfast. Would recommend it for sure.

My bike had gone from bad to worse and I decided to stop in the next city to get it rectified. Luckily Davanagere, which was the next city had an authorized service center and I reached there by quarter past one. The responsible guy filled a job sheet which was basically a one-liner and then declared that they will work on it after lunch break which would be after 2.30pm. Cursing myself for starting late I informed others to continue towards the destination and I would meet them there at the end of the day. I thought of having my lunch at the same time so as to optimize the time. Apparently, the place where this service center is located seemed to be the Karol Bagh of that city and there were no restaurants nearby. Luckily someone opened a make-shift stall bang opposite to service center. I was surprised by with the taste of the food. It was one of the best lunches I have had on this trip.

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Amazing north Karnataka lunch

While I was waiting for their lunch break to end, a bike from an accident scene had arrived. Though the bike wasn't in a good shape, nothing happened to the three people who were traveling in the bike.
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After the lunch break, the problem was solved in 10 minutes after the senior mechanic took over the task. The fault was with the carburetor as the air screw thought setting its own air to fuel ratio instead of having the preset ratio, which in turn spoilt the spark plug. I would like to thank Prashanth, a good friend of mine and owner of a TVS showroom in Bangalore who guided me through this ordeal. After it was completed, I made good progress and reached Dharwad by 6 in evening. We freshened up from at my friend’s place and visited Karnataka University. I would recommend a visit to this place, which has a history of 100 years and has produced many notable alumni including Girish Karnad. Then we for dinner at Sai Fast food which is famous for its special egg rice. After this, we went back to our base location to have a good night’s sleep as we had a major task of negotiating the traffic of Maharashtra the next day.


Day 3

Dharwad - Panchgani
Distance Traveled : 362 kms
Time taken: 8.25hrs


Today we woke up early and left Dharwad by 8 am. We made swift progress on butter smooth Dharwad Belgaum highway and made our first stop after 100 km, a little before Sankeshwar. We had the usual Maharashtrian breakfast, misal pav and started again. Little did we know that this will become our staple food for the next few days.

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After this, we road through Nippani ghat section made the next stop in Kolhapur. The rain gods wanted to give a visit at the same time and we stopped near Karad. Meanwhile, it was Mr. Insomnia’s turn today to make the day interesting. His tail lamp and left rear indicator dismantled by itself in a way which couldn’t be fixed by us. Luckily, we had RE Service center within a furlong and stopped there to get it rectified. The guy over there took his own sweet time to get the work done and all the lead we had taken by starting early that day was gone. We started again by 3 pm and immediately stopped outside the city for lunch. Post lunch we made some good progress to reach Satara by 5.30pm and deviated towards Wai. The traffic started increasing and at the same time, the roads started to deteriorate. The ride uphill was similar to riding in IT corridor of Bangalore with our riding skills being tested. Just before Panchgani there was pileup and took 20 mins to clear out and we finally reached our hotel at 8 pm, named Silver Valley which was in the Bhillar right next to King Strawberry wine factory outlet. We decided to stay for one more day and explore the place. The owner of the place was a rider himself.

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Enroute Panchgani


Day 4

We had decided to have a relaxed day today and switch into tourist mode. I and Chad went for breakfast while Mr. Insomniac was doing what he was best at, trying to get some sleep. We went to Mapro Garden and tried out their Sandwiches and coffee. The coffee was bad but sandwiches turned out to be good. I was impressed by the way they managed the place and the crowd.

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Awesome Sandwiches

We just left in time when the crowd started picking up. We went to “Wax Museum” which was right opposite to this place (This can be given a miss). Meanwhile, I met a cousin of mine who had come his with friends for the long weekend. We went back to the room and got ready for the next phase. We thought of visiting only a couple of places as it would be meaningless trying to visit 10 places in a day with each place having a traffic congestion ranging from a few hundred meters to a few kilometers. All three of us left to visit table land which has been falsely claimed as the second largest plateau of Asia. It was a good place and we spent about 1.5 hours covering the entire stretch.

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Then we headed to Rajpuri caves which turned out to be a temple inside a cave with a mythological story created by locals. This can be given a miss. After that, we went to purchase some jams and syrups and some wine from King Strawberry. We then had some dinner at a local place and retired for the day.

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Day 5

Panchgani - Murud
Distance Traveled : 310 kms
Time taken: 13hrs


I wanted to ride through Bhor ghat and visit Anjarle beach on my way. Mr. Insomniac wanted to visit Mahabaleshwar and Prathapgad. We agreed to disagree on the route to be taken and decided to part our ways and meet at our destination later today. I decided to give a visit to Dhom reservoir and started at 8 am. I reached the place by 9 and met my cousin and his friends who had also driven down to Mahabaleshwar for the long weekend.

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After spending some good time at the place, we decided to part our ways. Just as we decided to leave one of the cars got stuck as they had parked quite close to the river bed. The other car was called for rescue and it also got stuck in the process as well. We then called the tow truck for rescue. Even he got stuck while pulling the car out and finally a tractor was called for rescue which took 2 hours of precious daylight. I had more than 250 km to ride and it was already 12pm which meant I had only 6 hours of daylight left to cover the distance most of which was in the form of mountain passes.

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To be continued...
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Last edited by Aditya : 9th January 2018 at 08:45. Reason: Rule #11
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Old 7th January 2018, 06:53   #2
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Default Three Wise Men

I started from there at 12 pm and had to do some off-roading to get to the other side of the dam as the road on the dam is barred for private vehicles. I finally made it to Ambeghar by 2 pm after going through some village roads with some beautiful vistas. Zero traffic, good roads to no roads, asking villagers for directions due to lack of network made the ride even more mesmerizing. I had to do with a couple of Vada Pav’s as lunch in Ambeghar and then joined the road connecting Bhor and Mahad.


Some views were mesmerizing.
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I reached Mahad by 5 in the evening after riding under almost continuous rainfall. The pics don’t do any justice to the views along this route. I had received a call from the other two on reaching Murud. They had reached Dapoli by now and asked me to meet them at the overnight stop in either Murud or Karde beaches. I had two options from here, either to take NH 66 and go through Padlapur and Khed or go through the village roads of Mandangad, Kelshi. I chose the latter and made good progress, thanks to the smooth roads of the Konkan.

Some more pics for the day.
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The roads passed by beautiful villages covered with people in colorful dresses. Yes!!! It was Ramzan and everyone was on road to greet each other. I finally reached Anjarle post-sunset but with still some light left around. Took out my mobile and shit!! There was no mobile network there. I did ask a villager to give his phone to make a call to my friends but my friend's phones weren't reachable as well. I climbed the road towards Dapoli and tried called them again but no luck, again. Within five mins I get a call from Chad statin that he is in Dapoli and asks me to come asap. I’m not able to find the right words to explain what felt at that time, but I can say this for sure that call gave me back life. I immediately rushed through that 20 km and met him. He had informed me that we would be spending that night in Karde and room is already booked and Praful is waiting for us. Both of us informed to our homes and we also informed our third friend’s parents about our whereabouts and left to Karde. I finally parked my bike at 9 in the night after 13 hours and covering close to 300 km.

Day 6

Today, we had planned a relaxed ride. This meant Chad and Insomniac wouldn’t wake up early. I couldn’t sleep due to lack of electricity (no fan breeze and I hate humidity). Woke up by 6 and went to the beach. There was no living soul on the beach except me and a bunch of crabs. Spent a good one hour and got reception of my BSNL mobile there. Called home and spoke leisurely and waited for others to wake up. Once that was achieved, we went for a walk to the beach again. There was a noticeable increase in the tide now and some part of the beach was covered with water. Loafed around sometime and then we went to gear up for the ride ahead.
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By the time we started, it was 12 noon. We took the interior roads to Dabhol and reached there by 2.30. The route was scenic as usual. We used to climb the hill and then get down to a beautiful view of the sea and ride along with it for some time and go inside the canopy made of forest trees. This became a ritual for us. After Dabhol. We saw a deviation towards the lighthouse and went there. This can be given a miss. The deviation along with the rains cost us one hour. We made swift progress towards Tavashal from there and stopped in a town around 4 pm for lunch. After a leisurely paced one we left the place at 5 and reached the jetty right in time for the ferry. We crossed the sea in eager to ride on the famous MSH4 to Ganapathiphule and man-o-man we were in for a treat.21 km of blissful tarmac along the sea in many places. We thoroughly enjoyed it and reach Ganaphatiphule by 7 pm. Looked for a decent home for a decent pay and crashed for the day.

Good view enroute
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Tasty Dinner in the night to end the day.
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Day 7

Everyone was up and ready by 7 am today as Insomniac wanted to visit the temple in the beach from which this town earned its name. Did that, had breakfast and spent some time on the beach. Went back to the room and we were in the saddle by 10.30 am. Today, our plan was to go to several beaches and stop at a good place past Malvan.
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The road between Ganapatiphule and Ratnagiri was even better when compared to yesterday’s ride. We made some good progress till the rain started to play foul with us, again. While we were negotiating with the rains, we missed our deviation from the road and went straight till Rajapur. We had to take an alternate road which cost us 22 km extra. Finally, we reached Devgad amidst heavy rains and stopped for lunch.
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No prizes for guessing what the lunch menu was this time. Had some Vada Pav and had a glass of tea while waiting for the rain to subside. Then we reached Kunkuneshwar. The road leading to the temple along the beach was scenic. From Kunkuneshwar we took the road to Talashil beach via Achara and other small beach villages. We reached there by 6 in evening and looked for a room. Since it was off-season many of the places were closed and we finally found a decent place to stay. We spent the night socializing next to the beach and called it a night by 11 pm after dinner.

We felt like we owned the beach for the day.
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Place we socialized.
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Day 8

It was a lazy day and we didn’t have a long distance to cover. The destination was to cross Goa border and stay in one of its beaches. I had Arambole in mind as I had never been there. Started around 12 and reached Malvan in 45 mins. Decided to have lunch there and started from Malvan by 1.30 pm. We wanted to visit Khavne and Kalavi before crossing the border. There is a greenfield airport being constructed on that road which in turn translates the road to slush. We took more than an hour to cover the next 10 km and finally, the road regained normalcy. Reached Khavne beach around 3 pm and I was surprised with the view. There was no beach, it was covered with sea and it merged with the backwaters literally swallowing the beach. The view was good. It was there that we decided to end the Coastal trip on this note. We skipped Kalavi and rode towards Goa. We reached Arambole by 5.
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The trip ended for me here.
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After having spent the last few days in serene beaches of Maharastra we didn’t feel like staying on the crowded beaches of Goa. We thought of stretching the ride by reaching Dharwad by midnight. Little did we know what was in store for that night. Started by 6 pm from Arambole and filled the tummies of our bikes. Mr. Insomniac suggested Chorla as the shorter Mollem-Alnavar route will be infested with trucks I was overwhelmed with the suggestion as there were two benefits of that route. First, the road quality was far better than the other route and second, food from Niyaaz in Belgaum. As we started and reached the deviation of Chorla in Sanquelim. It was 8.30 by then we had 80 km to cover by 11 to reach the restaurant (Easy peezy). As we started the ascent, the rain god got a smug and blasted rain at us with full force. The visibility reduced to just a couple of meters and combined with the rain we could somehow manage to reach the top and took some shelter in a closed dhaba. By then it was 10 pm and there was no way we could cover the next 55 km in one hour, especially with the constant rains. After a break of 15 min, we resumed our journey and made it to Jamboti by 11. Decided to gulp some food so that we could renew our energy to fight the rains. Started by there just before midnight and reached Belgaum by 12.30. and continued to reach Dharwad by 2 am in the night. Crashed on the bed but not before getting the luggage out of the bikes.


Day 9

This was a rest day and just roamed around Dharwad and had amazing food at various places in the city.

I love Dharwad a lot and also the food there. Some pics about food in Dharwad.
Biryani time.
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One of my favorite Dosas.
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Day 10
This was the last day of the trip and hence we weren’t excited. Made a lazy start at 11 am and thought it would be an unexciting day. Boy-o-boy was I wrong. We had stopped around 3 for lunch after crossing Chitradurga. Just after lunch, my bike developed the same problem as what it did during the first day and almost in the same section of the road. Talk about coincidence.

By the time I reached Sira things got ugly and my bike stopped. I figured out that a new spark plug would do the trick and called from friends, Chad and Insomniac. They were already near Tumkur and I asked them to get a spark plug from Tumkur and wait for me near the toll gate at the other end of town. By the time I got that done and changed my spark plug to an old one which I luckily had with me. It took me over two hours to complete the next 60 km where my friends were waiting for me. Took a break and started thinking about my bike. Over the years, this bike had taken me to different regions of India. It had also taken me to the world’s highest motorable road (It’s not Khardung La), through deserts, rugged terrains, roads covered with snow and places without roads. So finally, I felt it’s time to retire my bike from the long rides. I wanted it to retire with dignity than just die in the line of duty.

Last edited by Leakypistonring : 7th January 2018 at 06:55.
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Old 7th January 2018, 08:07   #3
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Thread moved out from the Assembly Line (The "Assembly Line" Forum section). Thanks for sharing!
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Old 8th January 2018, 12:34   #4
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Awesome travelogue! Enjoyed reading it since I had been to the coastal regions of Maharashtra couple of years back. A very detailed travelogue considering this is was your first travelogue!

The beaches near the areas of Ratnagiri and Malvan are just serene. They are clean and untouched. Recently, commercialisation is seen on some of these beaches, but if you just go looking, you are sure to find some extraordinary places.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Leakypistonring View Post
I reached Mahad by 5 in the evening after riding under almost continuous rainfall. The pics donít do any justice to the views along this route.
The beauty is just too much to capture. Though, very nice pictures I must say.

Sharing a few pictures from my trip.
A random click on the way:
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View from a cliff. That's the Aare/Waare beach:
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Found a secluded beach as well:
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Literally not a soul on the beach...
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... except for the dog I guess
3 Wise Men visit coastal Maharashtra-img_20151231_180910136.jpg
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Old 8th January 2018, 13:02   #5
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Default Re: 3 Wise Men visit coastal Maharashtra

Thanks for this travelogue. Short and sweet, not too much or too little detail IMO. A good first-time expression for what looks like a great ride.

The food photos are making my mouth water - and I just had breakfast...!

And the hill and seaside scenery is truly wonderful. Some of the formerly pristine places have now been over-run / over-built for their popularity (including Manali lately) and have lost their quiet charm. But what you've shown us is that there are still so many stunningly beautiful, peaceful places to be appreciated - and if just passing through, all the better. Let us tread lightly, for most of it would be better kept as it is.

Regards,
-Eric
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Old 9th January 2018, 14:50   #6
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Congratulations on your first TL Leakypistonring. Nice descriptions to each day complemented by some good pictures. I loved the way you guys improvised on each hurdle on the first few days especially. I noticed an action camera on your helmet. Any videos/pictures coming up later?

It would have helped if you introduced the rides and the respective riders from the picture. I was interested to know the RE that had an issue was the Dessert Storm or the Thunderbird? I own a Dessert Storm myself and was happy to see it in the Sand.

Just a small thought I had - including the dates along the days would help others to plan out/for your later reference. Also, the daily summaries were a good bit till the third day. Should have kept them on
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Old 10th January 2018, 14:01   #7
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Nice Travelogue Leakypistonring. Excellent pictures - especially of food. I am planning for a Malvan coast of Maharashtra for some time. Your write up will help me on this. Thanks for sharing.
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Old 13th January 2018, 23:43   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Omkar View Post
Awesome travelogue! Enjoyed reading it since I had been to the coastal regions of Maharashtra couple of years back. A very detailed travelogue considering this is was your first travelogue!
Thanks Omkar. your Pics reminded me about my trip. Konkan coast has somehow managed to maintain the pristine beauty.

Quote:
Originally Posted by navsjab View Post
Congratulations on your first TL Leakypistonring. Nice descriptions to each day complemented by some good pictures. I loved the way you guys improvised on each hurdle on the first few days especially. I noticed an action camera on your helmet. Any videos/pictures coming up later?

It would have helped if you introduced the rides and the respective riders from the picture. I was interested to know the RE that had an issue was the Dessert Storm or the Thunderbird? I own a Dessert Storm myself and was happy to see it in the Sand.

Just a small thought I had - including the dates along the days would help others to plan out/for your later reference. Also, the daily summaries were a good bit till the third day. Should have kept them on
Thanks for the kind words. I will imlement the suggestions in my next travelogue. I do have a few GoPro videos but coulnd't find the a way to upload here.
RE with the problems I mentioned wasn't Desert Storm, though DS also had some minor niggles. It was Thunderbird 350. My thinking behind the numerous problems of TB should be due to an accident it was part of earlier that month. The service center didn'tdo a good job on it after the fall.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Prowler View Post
Nice Travelogue Leakypistonring. Excellent pictures - especially of food. I am planning for a Malvan coast of Maharashtra for some time. Your write up will help me on this. Thanks for sharing.
Thanks. Do let me know if you have any questions while planning the trip.
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Old 14th January 2018, 22:29   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Leakypistonring View Post
Thanks for the kind words. I will imlement the suggestions in my next travelogue. I do have a few GoPro videos but coulnd't find the a way to upload here.
RE with the problems I mentioned wasn't Desert Storm, though DS also had some minor niggles. It was Thunderbird 350. My thinking behind the numerous problems of TB should be due to an accident it was part of earlier that month. The service center didn'tdo a good job on it after the fall.
The usual RE service center issues

Try compressing the videos/trimming them and upload them to your youtube account. Share the links here thereafter. http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/announ...our-posts.html (Embedding Videos into your posts)
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