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Old 4th October 2008, 03:24   #1
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Smile 2 Avenger 200s - Chennai to Mahabalipuram - 02 Oct 2008 - Photos with Captions

Hi everyone,

I have now attached the photos with this post along with the captions. Enjoy the snaps.

Warm regards,
Venkat

----------------

Captions:

1. This was taken at the Hot Kitchen restaurant on East Coast Rd (ECR) on our way to Mahabalipuram. These shots were taken after we had finished lunch as we were famished by the time we got there. And
these guys delayed the food like anything due to the place being quite crowded (due to the public holiday). Taken using Canon PowerShot S3, self timer mode, on a tripod, 02 Oct 2008.

2. Same snap but taken with flash activated.

3. An extra one, since Vivek was not smiling in the previous shot !!

4. Shot of both our Avenger 200s in the Hot Kitchen parking lot. It was a nice shady place and lovely spot to take photos. We just made good use of this spot ! Vivek's is an Oct 2007 Avy 200 while mine is a Mar 2008
Avy 200. Mine has imported chrome alloys while Vivek's is in stock setup as of now. Upgrades on his bike to be done soon, with me for guidance !!

5. Close up of our bikes.

6. Another shot of both our Avy 200s.

7. Close up shot of just the wheels.

8. Close up of the rest of the bike (both of them).

9. Self timer shot using the tripod, but oops !! The top of my head was chopped off !!

10. Now that's better !!

11. Close up shot of both the proud Avy 200 owners with their bikes !!

12. This was taken at one of the streets off ECR, which led straight to the beach. We skidded and stopped, using all our braking power as we suddenly noticed that the road ended, and there was a drop into the sand
right ahead !! We stopped merely a few inches away from the edge !! Whew ... that was close !!

13. Slightly closer shot of the same scene.

14. Both of us with our Avy 200s. But again oops - my right hand has been chopped off a bit !! Taken using self timer mode on the Canon PowerShot S3 using the tripod.

15. Ah ... that's better. Both us completely in the frame with our bikes.

16. Shot of both our bikes from a different angle. The road behind the bikes continues along the beach for some distance (ie parallel to the ECR). It would have actually been nice to ride along that road, looking at
the beach. Hmm ... we missed out on that one. Maybe next time !!

17. Slightly closer shot of both our bikes.

18. This was taken on ECR when we had stopped on the left, using my new Nokia N96 phone which has a 5 megapixel camera with Carl Zeiss optics, image stabilizer and a dual LED flash. Amazingly clear for a
mobile phone camera and it really stunned us.

19. This was taken using my N96 (which can be seen as a reflection on the rear view mirror), mainly to capture Vivek who was right behind me. Again a superb clear shot.

20. Shot of my speedometer / odometer / tripmeter to see the distance. Can't believe I've already clocked 3500+ kms. The tripmeter was reset from the petrol bunk in Adyar (near Malar Hospitals).

21. One final shot of the road before continuing towards Mahabs.

Higher resolution versions here.
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Old 4th October 2008, 03:30   #2
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Nice pics there. The story is interesting too, in the other thread.

But why?
2 threads?
It would've looked better in one!
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Old 4th October 2008, 03:52   #3
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Well Speedzak I was actually thinking I wouldn't be able to include the captions for the photos in the same thread. But now I realise, the captions could have just been pasted at the bottom of the same posted message. Oh well - for the 2nd travelogue which I will be posting in a few minutes, I've got 44 snaps in total. And I can attach only 20 snaps per message. So this would have to be in 3 separate posts !
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Old 4th October 2008, 04:23   #4
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Default Avenger 200 & Pulsar 220 - Chennai to Vedanthangal Bird Sanctuary - 03 Oct 08 Snaps 1

Hi again everyone,

This is the 2nd ride in 2 days I've been on !! My friend Sathish (who worked with me in the same company in Chennai from 2000-2003, after we lost in touch after I went to Melbourne to do my MBA) bought a Pulsar 220 last month and I somehow got in touch with him by email and then by phone after exchanging numbers by email. He used to be a PC/software freak and a general techie in those old times - 2000 to 2003 as far as I knew him. He used to be talking about networking and operating systems and at that time Greek & Latin stuff (at least for me) like slipstreaming Windows 2000 & XP Service Packs (like SP1, SP2 etc) into the main Windows installation files, and then creating a bootable CD/DVD of the same !! Though I eventually did my own research, understood the process more or less and then successfully created those slipstreamed Windows bootable CDs in 2004-2005 when I was in Melbourne (where I had more free time too), at the time when Sathish used to mention these things in office it was literally Greek & Latin to me.

Well, I suddenly remembered him when I decided to install Windows Vista Ultimate on my PC as a dual boot along with Windows XP, and decided to somehow track him down. Luckily for me he was accessing the same Yahoo account he used earlier along with a new Gmail account now as well. So it was easy for us to get back in touch.

Just the day after we exchanged emails and mobile numbers, we decided to meet near Odyssey at Adyar just to catch up with old news and exchange info on our friends etc. Well we did that, and what a surprise - he landed up there on his brand new blue Pulsar 220. He said he had got it just in August. We met sometime in early September. Among other things, we were talking about bike rides too and decided we would do some rides soon.

He had already had a blast on a ride to Mahabs on his Pulsar 220 recently and he said it was superb. This got me even more interested as I had never gone upto the end of ECR in a very long time. I had done it twice - once on my CBZ 2001 soon after it was purchased, along with my cousin when we rode to Pondy and another time when my wife and I (then my girlfriend) rode till that Pondy turning on ECR, stopped there, chatted for a few minutes and then turned back towards Chennai. This was also in late 2001 or early 2002.

I left for Melbourne in 2003 just a month after our wedding and after that I was only dreaming of bike rides till Sep 2006 when I got back.

In Melbourne, we enjoyed some nice drives on the freeways at 100-110 kmph and a superb interstate drive from Melbourne to Sydney - almost 850 kms or so - in a Ford Territory which had a 4 litre straight six with a brand new 6-speed German ZF automatic transmission that Ford had just introduced in the Falcon and Territory range. This vehicle was one of the last pre-production prototypes I think, and my wife's colleague from Ford India who was on a 1.5 year assignment in Melbourne had taken this SUV upon my advice (he hardly had any driving experience back in India) for an out of town trip. At that time, Ford was giving these vehicles on lease to those who could cover more than 500-600 kms in one trip just to get feedback and to incorporate some last minute changes, as the vehicle was not available for sale in the market yet. It felt so exclusive to be driving one of those vehicles which Aussies could only see and read about in newspapers and magazines but could not buy yet !! Well, this was back in late 2004 and I shall maybe sit down one day and write a separate travelogue on this.

Apologies for the deviation from the main topic - the ride from Chennai to Vedanthangal Bird Sanctuary. Somehow, Sathish and I have not been able to make it on these rides due to different work schedules, extended hours and so on. Something always came up during the weekends and for the last 2-3 weeks we couldn't plan any ride. However once I told him that just yesterday I had done a ride with another Avenger 200 owner to Mahabs and back, he called me up the same night and asked me what I thought of riding to this sanctuary the following morning by 6.30am. Well, I was excited after hearing this and since I didn't have anything much planned for Friday I immediately said we would go for it !! So this is how we decided on this ride - hardly in a matter of minutes. Such quick planning and execution comes with some excitement too which we enjoyed. I doubt I would be able to do with 6-7 others as part of the group.

Coordination and getting the guys together, deciding on the destination, stops etc is gonna be a real herculean task I guess. But what's the big deal - I plan to try this out anyway !! Since Sathish said he had a nice white Ferrari jacket and riding gloves etc, I decided to get my black and blue jacket (reversible type) which I had bought in Mysore during a trip to Masinagudi with my wife's office friends in Nov 2007. I had my riding gloves handy and my tripod was ready too as I had used it just the previous day. I just packed my Canon PowerShot S3 digital camera, took my wallet, keys and mobile phone and started off. I had only 5 hours of sleep the previous night since I was sitting and transferring all the previous ride's snaps to the PC, along with the video clips.

Well instead of 6.30am I ended up meeting him only around 7.15am near Tambaram, after which we proceeded straight on the NH 45. We stopped on the way at a decent-looking highway hotel and finished our breakfast - pongal and vada, with nice coconut chutney and sambar. We also picked up 2 cool drinks - an Appy and a Maaza - both 500ml bottles and I put these in my sidebox. Wow - the usefulness of the sidebox became even more obvious only on such long rides. Sathish could not keep anything in his Pulsar 220 though he had a tank bag for his documents. Anyway we were off from there.

The NH 45 is an excellent highway to ride on. 2 lanes on each side with a divider. At some points there are even 3 lanes per side. Surface is pretty good and I as usual was cruising at a leisurely 70 kmph in my Avy 200 while Sathish was having fun on his Pulsar 220 doing probably 90 kmph and beyond. After a while of high speed riding though, he would slow down to 60-70 kmph and wait for me to catch up. Somehow I prefer relaxed cruising at 70-80 kmph as it is more enjoyable. It's not as if my Avy 200 can't do 90-100 kmph. It can very comfortably and I have tried this on the ride to Yelagiri with my wife in June 2008. However, I somehow enjoy riding at 70-80 kmph more. Plus, continuous high speed riding is also not good for the engine. So I was just varying the speed between 70 and 85 kmph.

It was a lovely ride. From Tambaram, it was about 40-45 kms I think, and we had to get past Madhuranthagam to take a left turn towards the Vedanthangal Bird Sanctuary. There was a board which indicated the left turn to this sanctuary and we took the turn. The sanctuary was 12 kms on this road which led straight to the place. The road was probably 1.5 lanes wide but quite well paved. Greenery on both sides and very quiet. We both cruised at 65 kmph throughout (except for a few small bad patched up sections), listening to nothing but the sound of our bikes' engines. Wow - this felt really nice and relaxing. The greenery on both sides of this road just added to the nice feeling of riding on this road.

Once we reached the sanctuary, we immediately noticed that there was almost nobody visiting the place at that time. The ticket counter which read "Adults - Rs. 5, Children - Rs. 2, Camera - Rs. 25, video camera - Rs. 150" was empty and there was nobody to be found. There was just a fruit seller, and a tea shop, tiffin shop and cool drinks shop near the entrance. There was plenty of space for vehicle parking though. We just decided to enter and start exploring. To our surprise there literally was nobody when we entered the sanctuary. We took a leisurely walk down the walkway which was reasonably clean and nicely made to go around the lake. The lake was in bad shape with its greenish and mouldy water - nowhere near what it looked like in the photos shown on the Tamil Nadu Govt website. Oh well - it's not as if we were gonna jump into that water.

The place as such was very calm, peaceful and quiet. There were nice benches along the side of the walkway for people to just sit and chat etc. We made use of this too and sat and chatted for a while catching up on old news etc. Sathish wanted to explore the GPS feature in my Nokia N96 but I had not gone through the manual fully and was not sure how to activate the thing. So that was not successful.

We learnt after going there that the actual season was from Nov-Feb and about 20-25 different types of birds could be seen at that time. There was even a viewing tower with a telescope etc but it was locked since it was off season. There were some birds though which gathered on top of one of the trees etc and didn't miss out capturing these on photos.

The photos taken (around 40) are attached in this post as well as one more separate post due to the number of photos and the attachment limitation. No captions this time as the pictures speak for themselves.

The video clips can be watched here:

Vedanthangal ride - part 1

Vedanthangal ride - part 2


As mentioned in my earlier travelogue, you may choose the "watch in high quality" option to view the same videos in much better quality. The URL can be obtained from the embedded video itself.
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Old 4th October 2008, 04:29   #5
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Smile Avenger 200 & Pulsar 220 - Chennai to Vedanthangal Bird Sanctuary - 03 Oct 08 Snaps 2

Here are the remaining 13 snaps or so. Enjoy.

Higher quality versions can be viewed here.
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Old 4th October 2008, 08:14   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by speedzak View Post
Nice pics there. The story is interesting too, in the other thread.

But why?
2 threads?
It would've looked better in one!
Quote:
Originally Posted by VSG12777 View Post
Oh well - for the 2nd travelogue which I will be posting in a few minutes, I've got 44 snaps in total. And I can attach only 20 snaps per message. So this would have to be in 3 separate posts !
VSG, you're a 62 post old BHPian and a member for 2 years now. There is a difference between making multiple posts and multiple threads. And you've made 3 threads instead of 3 posts.
You can attach 20 photos per post within a thread. AND you can make 3 posts or as many as you want in one thread. With your multiple threads, everyone is confused where to comment!

No matter - a moderator will be along to merge your posts into one thread.
However some feedback from me

1) It is confusing to see the captions and photos separately.

2) I know it is the age of the digital camera and there is no film wastage, but when you post multiple photos of the same subject and post all your faulty photos too, you dilute the message of your travelogue.
I suggest you post the photos you think are enjoyable by all, no matter how many they are.

EDIT: jesus, Mary and Joesph - you've made 4 separate threads of one travelogue! Slow down boy, lol. One does not make a new thread for every post he wants to put up. Imagine the mess then!

Last edited by Sam Kapasi : 4th October 2008 at 08:30.
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Old 4th October 2008, 10:12   #7
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Nice and detailed travelogue.
More pics of bikes than birds.

BTW, what is name of that white bird on the tree?

Last edited by ASHISHPALLOD : 4th October 2008 at 10:20.
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Old 4th October 2008, 10:21   #8
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Quote:
Sam Kapasi : ... but when you post multiple photos of the same subject and post all your faulty photos too, you dilute the message of your travelogue.
Actually, you seem to have posted 3-4 copies of the same photo ! 'Anti-climax' would be putting it a little mildly.

Waiting to see a better thread here. Suggest you take help of the Support Team for this.
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Old 4th October 2008, 11:05   #9
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Hey sorry about the mess guys. I was just too excited to put up the snaps and videos in the forum and I guess I was also sleepy since I did all this in the middle of the night yesterday. However yesterday during the day I had finished typing the travelogue in Notepad. I just had to paste it, attach the snaps and create the threads/posts.

Once again apologies for this mess and I assure you all a much better and neater one for my next ride. I shall do my best to clean up this one as well.

Warm regards,
Venkat
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Old 4th October 2008, 11:12   #10
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Smile 2 Avenger 200s - Chennai to Mahabalipuram - 02 Oct 2008 - Travelogue text

Hi everyone,

I am trying my hand at writing a travelogue for the 1st time, having been inspired by the many others who have written some really nice interesting travelogues on this forum. So if this travelogue is not really upto the mark, please do not mind it.

I have recently got a group of Avenger owners together at Tidel Park where my office is located (3 of them), along with 2 others whom I knew a little earlier too. So now we are totally 6 people, all with Avy 200s except one guy who has a silver grey Avy 180. One of these guys Vivek has one of the earliest Avy 200s - it was purchased in Oct 2007 / early Nov 2007 soon after the bike was launched. He and I were very excited about doing rides, and we just decided to start off the "rides" thing in this group with just the 2 of us taking a ride down the East Coast Rd to Mahabalipuram from Chennai.

We met at Adyar near the Malar Hospitals by 1pm, filled up our fuel tanks to the brim, checked air pressure in the tyres and headed off through ECR to Mahabs (short form for Mahabalipuram, commonly used, for those not familiar with Chennai). On the way, we stopped at Hot Kitchen for lunch. Those guys really delayed the food like hell since the place was full due to the public holiday, so we ended up wasting almost 2 hours there for lunch. But we got good food which we enjoyed, and then proceeded on ECR.

One of my friends, actually a close colleague from a company where we both worked together from 2000-2003 (who has bought a blue Pulsar 220 last month) told me that there was a street from ECR not far from
Mayajaal, which led straight to the beach. Vivek and I were really excited about this and decided to check it out. We found that turning and went straight in for about 500-600 metres and there we were !!

We literally squeezed our brakes, skidded and stopped at the edge on that road as there was drop into the sand after that !!! What a shock. The sea was facing us and we just stopped there with our bikes looking at the
ocean and the waves for a while. What a beautiful sight it was. Once we started enjoying this view and the serenity there, we felt that we wouldn't have minded even riding straight and just dropping onto the sandy area with our bikes !! It was just a beautiful view. And not much of a crowd so it could actually be enjoyed, listening to the sound of the waves. So peaceful, and it wasn't something we could have done in
any of the city beaches. We just loved this.

Since I had taken my Canon PowerShot S3 digital camera (6 megapixel, 12x optical zoom) and the tripod with me, we decided to get some shots there and we did. The photos are attached at the bottom of this
travelogue. We got a few photos at the Hot Kitchen restaurant too and in the parking lot with both our bikes as is described with the photo attachments. The snaps have come out pretty well.

We then decided to keep going till Mahabs and just started from there. On the way, I decided to check out the supposedly excellent photo and video capabilities in my new Nokia N96 mobile phone (which I got just
12 days back on 18 Sep 2008. So I took a nice video clip of us riding the bikes on ECR .... wow !! It's come out really well. I took 2 video clips at the highest quality and for about 2 minutes duration - they are about
64 MB each in size. So I definitely can't attach the videos here. However the clips have been uploaded on YouTube and the links are as follows:

Mahabs ride - part 1

Mahabs ride - Part 2


While doing the ride itself, I had decided to post the photos and a description of the ride on the forum as it would also serve as a practice for me in writing a travelogue. My dad being such a great scholar (he'd got 2 Ph.Ds and a D.Litt in Indian Philosophy - one Ph.D. from Madras Univ & another from McMaster univ, Canada) I hope I've inherited at least a bit of his excellent writing skills !!

Anyway once I was done with the video clips, we rode straight to Mahabs and then stopped there since Vivek wanted to have a smoke. We also had some nice cold Maaza to drink and we were off from there in about 15-20 mins or so. We decided to come back through OMR (Old Mahabalipuram Rd) on our way back since we found there was a lot of traffic on ECR for quite some distance. Another reason was the umpteen police check posts (and random stopping & harassing of 2 wheeler riders by the cops for no rhyme or reason) and the ridiculously low 40 kmph speed limit boards in so many sections on the ECR. We hear that the cops stop many 2 wheelers in those 40 kmph zones for over speeding !! We did not take a risk and maintained the speed around 45-50 kmph in those zones which eventually made our ride a much longer one in terms of duration. So we rode upto the Kelambakkam turning on ECR and turned left there - this is a lovely curvy road with water and greenery on both sides and leads to OMR. Going straight down OMR would lead to Tidel Park and then on to the Madhya Kailash temple, Adyar, IIT Madras etc. Once we got to the OMR junction, we simply had to turn right and keep going straight till Tidel Park signal with no turns or deviations anywhere.

OMR was where we both actually enjoyed the ride - do you guys know why ? Cos there were 3 lanes on each side with a divider so it was safe. 2nd thing was we could both ride side by side on the same lane, listening to the sounds of each other's bike engines !! We also tried riding on adjacent lanes, in sections where there was no traffic - which was practically 50 to 60% of the way. We were totally relaxed and just didn't care about the time, so by the time we reached the OMR junction on that connecting road, it was dark. And it was time to turn on my HID !!! Well well .... a long stretch on OMR had no lighting yet. This was the case for nearly 10-12 kms I think. However there was not much traffic and we both really enjoyed the ride there, my HID beautifully lighting up the road ahead. Vivek's Avy 200 is in stock setup and now he wants to go for some add-ons like my Avy 200.

Once we got to Vivek's apartment complex (he's a bachelor who's been placed in TCS, Chennai for the last 2 years and stays with 3 room mates) on OMR on the left side, we were totally shocked since the Chennai Corporation had dug up the entire front of the apartment complex, so there was no way to enter !!! But Vivek said he could take a U turn and enter the complex through the back, from somewhere near Lifeline Hospitals (apologies for those not familiar with Chennai, once again). So he took a U turn shortly after the complex, while I continued on the ride and got back home. We waved a "bye, see you soon on another nice ride" kind of goodbye to each other and proceeded to our respective homes. His apartment is only about 2-3 kms from the Tidel Park signal. So I reached home from there in about 10 mins flat. I happily cruised on that Tidel Park Road (continuation of the OMR) - a stretch of about 3 to 4 kms at a nice 70 kmph.

The maximum speed we ever touched on this ride was only about 80 kmph but we really enjoyed the ride. The stops for photos, videos, drinks, lunch etc was good too. We really felt that we were going out of town somewhere but before we knew it we were back in town - our own Good Old Chennai !!

From the Malar Hospitals petrol bunk where I reset my tripmeter at Adyar, the total distance covered when I parked the bike at home in the evening was 101 kms.

Whew !!! That was one superb ride. Hope you all enjoyed this travelogue, and please do see the snaps attached and enjoy the video clips too. All your comments are most welcome.

Thanks and warm regards,
Venkat
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Old 4th October 2008, 11:18   #11
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Hi Ashish

Unfortunately I am not sure on the variety of the birds sitting on that tree. There was actually nobody there to guide us except a watchman kind of a guy who was walking around with a stick. All he told us was that this was not the season and the season was from Nov to Feb where we could see almost 25-30 different varieties of birds, parents fetching food for their young etc. The telescope tower was also closed due to the off-season time and we could not go up there and use it. However the place was calm and peaceful and it was a nice ride to and fro.

Yes - unfortunately very few birds this time of the year. More next time perhaps !!
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Old 4th October 2008, 12:41   #12
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Good Pics ! Anything about the Bikes ??? That's where most of us would be intrested. Cheers
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Old 6th October 2008, 07:51   #13
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Good triplog Venkat, and some nice photographs too.
It looks like you folks have been visiting some very good places around Chennai; bird sanctuary, beach, rocks.. good to see some riding threads on travelogue section. keep them coming, I'm sure you will only get better as you keep riding and writting

some constructive ones:
  • Too much details, not sure whether everyone would be intersted - try to get something that interest most of the audience if not all of them
  • Filter your pictures when you post them, that way you can cover lot more with less and quality pictures
  • I have never been on ECR (I wish I can ride once, I heard a lot about that road); I would suggest not taking videos / pictures while riding unless you have a pillion at this task - I could see lot of traffic during the video shoot. I know it was just you and your friend so no need to be much organized. However, when you go for your next ride with a bigger group, have all of them watch MSF (motorcycle safety) videos on you tube I have always enjoyed organized group rides and leisurely solo rides lot more than fast rides on indian roads
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Old 6th October 2008, 11:42   #14
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This traveloue would have been better and interesting with a more focused approach. What I meant was;

1. Pics and text in the same thread.
2. Filtering the pics with the best and right one. For eg: posting the shot of the same bike multiple times, makes reader little boring. Could have kept it to the minimum.

As far as a travelogue is concerned the reader would be more interested to know about the route, the places you have visited with the pics, places where you get good food, places of stay with additional infomation like, the vehicle used, FE, any issues faced etc.

But anyway it was a nice attempt.cheers:
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Old 8th October 2008, 07:27   #15
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@ Venkat - nice attempt man. Don't i know you from TMS?!!

@ Satish aka Nutty Professor - I wanted to type a whole lot, but am refraining meself
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