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Old 13th October 2008, 13:16   #1
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Default 2100kms - To the Desert and Back(Jaisalmer Phalodi Sambhar!)

5 days, 2100kms, through traffic jams crawling at 5kmph to cruising at 150kmph on lonely highways, right to the dunes.
What a trip it was!
There are hundreds of pics to be processed, as the travelogue progresses....

The Highway Star
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Was she a Camel in an older life?
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Or Maybe a Sambhar,
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Jams, Desert, Road, No Road, Lake bed, Lake, this trip had it all. The motto was simple. If we can see it, we will go there. No matter what it takes, 4H, 4L or just brute speed!


Day 1:
Best laid plans always go haywire, esp starting times. We always plan to start at 5am, and actually start at 8am. This time therefore we planned to start at 3:30am, and it was 6:25am as we rolled out of apartment gates
Till Delhi border at DND it was easy.
After that the traffic started thickening. I really wonder where do people go at that unholy hour! 6:30am and traffic.
And when there is traffic, there is a Jam, and on the ring road near Hyatt, there was indeed a long jam.
Reason?
A truck driver had climbed flyover railing and toppled blocking the entire road.
So traffic had to go under the flyover, and this usually causes a huge jam.
After that it was smooth sailing on the Toll road, but after that whoa.
Silly trucks and sillier traffic.
Speedo needle would do its 20-40-60-70-20 dance again and again, as trucks dragged with each other blocking all lanes at 40kmph.
The sun was high, and traffic was rising, and I thought "Its going to be a nightmare till jaipur.
Thankfully shortly after Haryana border, the roads improved, and we could manage high 3 digit speeds.
Kishangarh came quickly(surprise), and the real nightmare was waiting at Ajmer.
Going to Jodhpur you cannot take NH8A but have to take the older highway.
After we tanked up at Ajmer, we came across this railway crossing, and huge truck jams.
It was 4pm when we hit Jodhpur, helped in part by the excellent highway after Beawar
We started asking for directions for the Jodhpur bypass, and Voila, everybody is telling us something different.
It was finally 5 pm when we came across the signboard which said - Jaisalmer 230kms

After that it was ripping all the way, with couple of tea breaks, and at 8:30 we were tucked in Shahi palace.

A long 14 hours drive, more than 900kms!
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Old 13th October 2008, 13:31   #2
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Hi Tsk!! great start to the journey, would be eagerly waiting to read more about this trip as my wife and I plan to do the same Ex-Jaipur) sometime next year. I believe this trip was done recently, so also please mention about the weather, as this time of the year it is still pretty hot during the days atleast in Jaipur. Also if the places you visited were busy with tourists ( as i would rather go when its not that busy) thanks and looking forward for the details
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Old 13th October 2008, 13:32   #3
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A mammoth of a travelogue in the making!

Treating the beast as it is meant to be treated, is it TSK?

With so many pictures, I am sure this one is going to be a treate!
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Old 13th October 2008, 16:24   #4
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Good start and The Beast looks great in desert
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Old 13th October 2008, 17:02   #5
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This is gonna be a real good one

Come on Tanveer, you know the policy on Adam Teasing don't you
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Old 13th October 2008, 17:26   #6
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Seem's a yummy travelogue, awaiting the pictures to relish
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Old 13th October 2008, 18:50   #7
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It appears raining travelogues here in TBHP!! I guess this travelogue will be very interesting to read because Safari is right vehicle to visit Desert. I feel one can expect lot of pictures although right now full travelogue is not yet posted.

PS 150kmph even in open lonely highway is scarry for Safari!! according to me, since maximum speed my Innova is allowed to touch is 120kmph. Drive safe and come with more travelogue to cool our eyes.
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Old 13th October 2008, 21:24   #8
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I mostly drove around 130kmph. The really high speeds came in short bursts, when I was tempted.
These stretches actually don't have any villages, any fields, any animals, any people. Its like twilight zone!

Here are some pics from Day 1
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Did not stop for pic taking. Aim was to get to Jaisalmer quickly, we had lost a lot of time till Jodhopur, and inside Jodhpur, but the roads after that were quick!

After reaching Shahi palace, we checked in.
The room was lovely
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The View from terrace was mind blowing.
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Finally it was time to retire, it would be a long day tomorrow

--- END of DAY 1---
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Old 14th October 2008, 00:44   #9
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Damn! I was supposed to be in this travelogue...
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Old 14th October 2008, 01:02   #10
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This is going to keep us rivetted. What a view of the "Sonar Kella". Safari looks as if it was born there!
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Old 14th October 2008, 05:30   #11
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Excellent start to a very interesting travelogue. Rajasthan is one of my most favourite places. I have been there twice and plan to go there again next year. But the main problem with Rajasthan is that there are so many places to visit that taking adequate time out of office is difficult. The last pic of the Golden Fort (Sonar Kella) is awesome.. waiting for the rest of the story...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Samurai View Post
Damn! I was supposed to be in this travelogue...
did you plan to go there in your Vitara? what happened that you missed this opportunity?

Last edited by BlackPearl : 14th October 2008 at 05:33.
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Old 14th October 2008, 08:29   #12
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Hi Tanveer - nice travelogue, I feel I am there once again (been there many times, part of what I do to earn a living). How was the 4WD working? Also looking forward to more photographs. Keep them coming.

Best regards,

Behram Dhabhar
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Old 14th October 2008, 10:13   #13
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Awesome pic of Sonar Kella (Jaisalmer Fort). I watched Satyajit Ray's Sonar Kella 7 times and am still tempted to watch it whenever it comes in TV. It also has the highway shot of Jaisalmer - Pokhran - Ramdevra, Pokhran Railway station etc. I think you too did the same road. The road was through desert.

Keep the pics coming !!

Abhi
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Old 14th October 2008, 10:21   #14
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Looks nice tanveer, keep them coming.
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Old 14th October 2008, 11:50   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Samurai View Post
Damn! I was supposed to be in this travelogue...
Maybe next time

Quote:
Originally Posted by 1100D View Post
This is going to keep us rivetted. What a view of the "Sonar Kella". Safari looks as if it was born there!
Quote:
Originally Posted by BlackPearl View Post
Excellent start to a very interesting travelogue. Rajasthan is one of my most favourite places. I have been there twice and plan to go there again next year. But the main problem with Rajasthan is that there are so many places to visit that taking adequate time out of office is difficult. The last pic of the Golden Fort (Sonar Kella) is awesome.. waiting for the rest of the story...
Quote:
Originally Posted by akroy View Post
Awesome pic of Sonar Kella (Jaisalmer Fort). I watched Satyajit Ray's Sonar Kella 7 times and am still tempted to watch it whenever it comes in TV. It also has the highway shot of Jaisalmer - Pokhran - Ramdevra, Pokhran Railway station etc. I think you too did the same road. The road was through desert.

Keep the pics coming !!

Abhi
Quote:
Originally Posted by ashthedivx View Post
Looks nice tanveer, keep them coming.
Thanks for your comments guys
Rajasthan is indeed an amazing place. Schedules willing, plan to go there in Feb again. The desert is one place you can go to again and again. This was our first desert trip, and inspite of 40 degree daytime temperatures it was a blast! Pics are being processed, and next installment will have the desert SAFARI, literally, and plenty of off road driving.
I also did Pokhran Phalodi on Bikaner highway, but took detour through the dirt tracks at Ramdeora, and saw in interior villages. Its all 4x4 Mahindra Jeep territory, ours was the odd one out, with people giving curious looks as to what is this strange white elephant doing there. Even the wildlife and camels which kind of ignores the jeeps, was wondering "Whats this?"


Quote:
Originally Posted by DHABHAR.BEHRAM View Post
Hi Tanveer - nice travelogue, I feel I am there once again (been there many times, part of what I do to earn a living). How was the 4WD working? Also looking forward to more photographs. Keep them coming.

Best regards,

Behram Dhabhar
4WD worked great. I took care not to slow down or stop whenever the track was deep sand. Since the track was not really a track in the dunes, but just a path where jeeps had left their tire marks, it was scary. The key was momentum. The Mahindra jeeps are really an amazing contraption. I always used to wonder whats the fuss about a jeep, but seeing them in action, I now believe that if you drop the jeep of a cliff, it would probably start flying.
If you take it into the ocean it would float. Its unstoppable. The jeep drivers told me that sometimes that go up and down the dunes at high speed for thrills. I would not even dare attempt that in the safari or any other softroader. The 2.5 ton weight is not really sand friendly.
However the torque in 4L and the LSD make up for it somewhat. If she had more torque in 4H, it would have been easier, but every time I had to stop in sand, I had to engage 4L to extract her. The whole vehicle would start shaking as I left the clutch, and gently tapped the accelerator so no to cause a high speed wheelspin.
The wheel would first spin slowly in the sand, with one left wheel, and one right wheel slipping, then LSD would kick in and the other wheel would slowly start rotating, the vehicle used to shake a bit, and like a behemoth climb out.
In 4H all you would do is spin the wheels and sink in.
but one thing I am not happy about is vegetation hitting the sides. there are minor scratches at a few places. You can call them the battle scars.
I think I need to borrow the "Vehicle Camauflage" thingy from Tata, the kind they use when they are testing "secret vehicles".
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