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Old 26th October 2008, 19:36   #76
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hey adc, must say an awesome trip and an even better travelogue!!
Good to see the Safari being put to its paces!!

Did you, during any part of the journey, feel the lack of a 4WD??
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Old 26th October 2008, 21:12   #77
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Originally Posted by Strangerintown View Post
What road is that? .
ADC - I don't know about this road (and thanks for explaining where it is) but in eastern Bhutan there is something similar (and I have travelled there umpteen number of times). I had a friend who used to live near the top of such a section. Whenever he wanted to take a bus (to come to our town called Mongar), he used to start to get ready when he could hear the bus coming up from below.
It used to take the bus a good 45 minutes after you heard it first at the bottom of the section.
I am talking about a place between Yadi and Tashigang (for those who know) called Rolong.
A traverse of Bhutan (from Phuntsholing to Samdrupjhongkar via Thimphu, Bhumthang, Tashigang, Yangphula etc) could be an interesting two year anniversary drive. Only problem with this route is that Bhutan government doesn't allow entry through one point and exit through another, so you might have to trace back the same route, which might be boring. Otherwise Samdrup is just a few hours from Guwahati.
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Old 27th October 2008, 05:28   #78
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Hi ADC, thanks for bringing us this excellent travelogue. It is one of the best that I have ever read.
Thanks for sharing the document, it has a great deal of info to be dug out. I have always planned to do similar trips but never had a suitable vehicle. If I am able to execute my plans properly for my next car after I return to India, my be I will do a similar trip.

Thanks again!!
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Old 27th October 2008, 19:14   #79
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Thanks for sharing such a memorable trip with beautiful pics & comments!

BTW, did you feel need for 4X4 at any stage?
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Old 27th October 2008, 19:34   #80
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Originally Posted by KVS View Post
I have made up my mind now to take up this journey. KVS
Sure you should!!

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Originally Posted by Strangerintown View Post
What road is that? .

Thats the Stillwell [Ledo road] around Lake Of No Return through Hell Gate [Pangsau Pass. [Arunachal-Burma border]

Stilwell Road (Ledo Road)

And then read this book

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Now the Hell Will Start: One Soldier's Flight from the Greatest Manhunt of World War II is a 2008 book by United States author Brendan I. Koerner. It is a non-fiction narrative investigating and recounting the story of Herman Perry, an African-American World War II soldier stationed in the China-Burma-India theatre of the war. Perry shot and killed a superior white commanding officer while helping construct the Ledo Road.

He subsequently retreated into the Indo-Burmese wilderness and joined a tribe of the headhunting Nagas, successfully joining one village and marrying the fourteen year old daughter of one of the tribesmen.
It also relates some of the history of the CBI theatre as it pertains to Herman Perry's, as well as explores the injustices of the Jim Crow mentality and policies carried out by the military during World War II.

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Originally Posted by Strangerintown View Post
BTW I see that you prefer to do the transport sections of your trip by night. Why is that? Don't you find night driving on Indian highways actually more stressful inspite of the lesser traffic? Also you would be sleeping during days on these stretches and driving during the day during the holiday part of the trip. Doesn't this sudden changes in sleep pattern cause extra fatigue?
Whatever been my experience in all these years is that it is not that traffic is nowadays signficantly less in the night. Over a long distance it in fact evens out - the factor is that one has uniform traffic. - all trucks and more trucks. In the day you have all kinds of vehicles and non-vehicles including trucks and all things coming from all direction.

So for a transport section I would prefer night driving on highways because with a Safari, which itself is close to a truck, I cover distances quite rapidly. But just for the heck of it I would not do a night journey. The transport section of this journey had to be done at night and it was done at night. In other travels like while going to Orissa or North Bengal, the travel schedule was like I can travel in the day, I did it in the day.

Another thing for night journey is that it is quite sapping in a hill road. I travelled all through from Sai Ropa to Mathura, going by the Narkanda and Shimla at night, it becomes troublesome and is energy sapping as suddenly road turns or you have half of the road closed due to landslides. Any hill journey is best done during day.

The change in sleep pattern did not affect me, anyways in the hills by 9-10 everyone is in bed and so one does have a good night sleep.

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Originally Posted by dadu View Post
So you got to use the hydraulic pin type jack, although not in an ambient atmosphere.
Oh it was hard work and since it was at an incline, the jack wont fit at the original location - and also after 6 hours of hill driving. Next tyre change sure will be tubeless and/or will carry a portable compressor.

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Did you, during any part of the journey, feel the lack of a 4WD??
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Originally Posted by breezydrive View Post
BTW, did you feel need for 4X4 at any stage?
No not quite but some of the sliding and fish tailing that was going on in the ice would have lessened and also while going the Jalori Pass, a very steep gravel incline and my rear tyres spinning sometimes. Whatever said and done, a 4wd is a exactly what it is and anyday would prefer to have a 4wd, and particularly for a loaded Safari, but then the cost was and is too much for me.

A 2.2 2wd Safari is still a very potent vehicle with all that torque. The first gear, which is othewise almost useless in the city or highway, comes to its own in the hills. And also these two points that go in favour of a Safari.

1. A solid steel factory built engine guard/skid plate. I did hit quite a few stones underneath once when backing up after taking a wrong downturn to a river. The back gear torque and the skid plate saved me from being stranded.
2. A huge diesel tank of 65 L that did not make me carry any extra diesel cans.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sudipto-S-Team View Post
A traverse of Bhutan (from Phuntsholing to Samdrupjhongkar via Thimphu, Bhumthang, Tashigang, Yangphula etc) could be an interesting two year anniversary drive.
Yes Bhutan is too on the radar as in September/October time, more so as the North East would be still recovering from the rains. Best time for NE looks like around Dec-Feb.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Saurabh M View Post
I have always planned to do similar trips but never had a suitable vehicle. If I am able to execute my plans properly for my next car after I return to India, my be I will do a similar trip.
You may not need a SUV to do this, Hvkumar has done it in a Matiz. You just have to aware and be comfortable what limitations your car has and then it is doneable.

We were stopping quite a lot to enjoy the landscapes and we also went to a lot of the remote places. Where Safari helped me is that when driving I could drive quite fast than the normal average speed and thus still keep schedule.

Also thanks all for all the wonderful comments. The word document does have a wealth of information. Just a reminder, all the timings and distances that are mentioned in that word draft are not that what we followed but all the info that I gathered from different websites and forums.

Last edited by adc : 27th October 2008 at 19:54.
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Old 28th October 2008, 08:48   #81
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Originally Posted by adc View Post
Yes Bhutan is too on the radar as in September/October time, more so as the North East would be still recovering from the rains. Best time for NE looks like around Dec-Feb.
Avoid eastern Bhutan like plague in September. Late October is fine though December is best if you want to see frozen streams and rivers. I have lived in a place called Mongar in eastern Bhutan for close to two years (where they had hand pumps in petrol pump).
October is when they recover from the land slides. We used to remain marooned for months on end in monsoon - with connection to the rest of the world cut off due to landslides.
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Old 30th October 2008, 23:19   #82
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Beautiful Travelogue adc. I am also planning this trip soon after reading this. Thanks for giving such a detailed travelogue. and best of luck for your next trip. The Magnificent Tourer.
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Old 31st October 2008, 09:52   #83
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Originally Posted by AMAN_SACHDEV View Post
I am also planning this trip soon after reading this.
Sure do. You do have 2 very good vehicle choices, may be the 2.2 VTT will do better as the LSD does make a difference in small slip situations.

In the VX model, is there a switch whereby you can switch off the ABS? - it does need to be put off in slippery snow and ice surfaces.

Last edited by adc : 31st October 2008 at 09:56.
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Old 31st October 2008, 11:41   #84
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Originally Posted by adc View Post
Tirthan River by Sai Ropa
Attachment 63616

Next day we have a big, big journey and that too with a stops as we cross some very virgin forests and Jalori Pass - we travel from Sai Ropa to Mathura.
Wow, so you went to Tirthan. What a coincidence that I have a picture at the same location
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We also stayed in a same guest house. Considering this place gets < 10 visitors in a year, its quite possible you would have seen my signatures too on the register! Our story was also similar. We went all the way to Shoja guest house, only to find water frozen so rooms were not operational. Then we came down heading towards Raju's at Ghushiani, but eventually chose this as our destination. Did you visit the trout house 2kms down?
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Not only that we also went for that nature watch
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Old 31st October 2008, 12:34   #85
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Wow, so you went to Tirthan. What a coincidence that I have a picture at the same location
Sai Ropa by Tirthan is a fantastic place to stay, much more "natural" than Gushaini. In fact, went up to Bathad, where the road ends, and wanted to stay at the Circuit house there but again was disappointed.

Sai Ropa tourist house has the best location among all these, in midst of the pine trees, by Tirthan river, nature trail, big rooms with a big verandah, and of course your own kitchen.

In the evening we went for a walk and came across a couple of trout houses by the river.

While coming to Jalori Pass saw the Shoja FRH, that also has a very good location.
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Old 31st October 2008, 23:23   #86
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@TSK1979 - The first pic is really awesome. Very good use of the slow shutter speed in broad daylight.

@ ADC - fantastic travelogue. Next time i will also take some videos. Really adds that bit more to a travelogue

Last edited by Locomotive : 31st October 2008 at 23:25.
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Old 31st October 2008, 23:55   #87
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Originally Posted by adc View Post
Sure do. You do have 2 very good vehicle choices, may be the 2.2 VTT will do better as the LSD does make a difference in small slip situations.

In the VX model, is there a switch whereby you can switch off the ABS? - it does need to be put off in slippery snow and ice surfaces.
I wont be talking Vitara there. I have recently bought Safari and love it a lot more than vitara. Becoz safari has got lots of torque and horses which everyone driving it can feel but only between 1600-3000rpm. -ve about safari is that its quite heavy.
and both dont have stiwch to switch off ABS. LSD is much much more better than open.That I have experienced .
You are extremely right ADC, on snow and ice surface ,ABS give a feeling of brake faliure. It takes quite long to stop. Company should provide a switch to switch it off. Is there any other way to switch it off like removing the relay off ABS. Plz tell me about that.
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Old 2nd November 2008, 01:23   #88
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Originally Posted by AMAN_SACHDEV View Post
You are extremely right ADC, on snow and ice surface ,ABS give a feeling of brake faliure. It takes quite long to stop. Company should provide a switch to switch it off. Is there any other way to switch it off like removing the relay off ABS. Plz tell me about that.
I have a 2wd Safari and the way and how you switch off ABS is totally above me. Of course, with ABS giving brake failure feeling, I would suggest that you definitely find to a solution to this.

Post a query with that question in the "Technical Stuff" part of the forum and sure you will be guided suitably.
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Old 4th November 2008, 15:22   #89
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Truly nice trip ADC. Wonderful photographs too.
The snow had just started on the night I was at Lossar. You got to experience it full on.
This trip was another testament to your effective planning and resolve.
Why did you carry the gas cylinder. Did you actually cook. I didnt find any mention about it in the thread... or did I miss it...!
After looking at your puncture episode, I feel im extremely lucky to have done the whole Spiti Loop without a puncture, considering that I had a null stepney.
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Old 5th November 2008, 11:44   #90
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Originally Posted by jaysmokesleaves View Post
Why did you carry the gas cylinder. Did you actually cook. I didnt find any mention about it in the thread... or did I miss it...!

JSL, we were not taking any chances, especially with a child, as we were going off to the remote places, taking the very less travelled roads that branched off from NH22 - like going to Ropa and Giabong and also like going to Mudh, Tashigang, Comic, Demul, off Kaza.

We had ration for 15 days and that 5 kg cylinder was good enough for that many days too.

The cylinder and the single stove was used at Sai Ropa, cooking was done also at Ropa but the LPG cylinder there was the circuit house one.


Quote:
After looking at your puncture episode, I feel im extremely lucky to have done the whole Spiti Loop without a puncture, considering that I had
a null stepney.
Good that you got the stepney issue solved through TML, yeah no one looks at a stepney before purchasing!!

The puncture had to happen in the most metalled portion of the hill journey. Definitely, what is needed is a branded 12 V air compressor that would at least let me roll till the nearest tyre shop.

Last edited by adc : 5th November 2008 at 11:46.
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