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Old 5th December 2008, 01:00   #76
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Originally Posted by XetaGLGRocks View Post
I was looking more more of Sanjoy Guide! I am looking forward to the videos.
Excellent Travelogue.
I must also say that your photography skills have improved phenomenally over the years.
The polite way of saying it wasn't good to begin with! But then, since you know me for all these years, I will happily take any view that you have regarding me. On the positive note, you say there is an improvement and so the direction is definitely right.

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Originally Posted by Saurabh M View Post
Very nice travelogue, loved every bit of it.

BTW, are those new Santa Fe's being tested? They are probably being tested for the worst road conditions or offroad conditions. Is the Toyota a LandCruiser?
Yes that was the latest Landcruiser, although it has quite gone the Montero way as far as rugged appeal goes. But about these cars refer Sudipta-da's post.

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Originally Posted by Sudipto-S-Team View Post
I think the camels are for Eid sacrifice and the foreign cars are being driven for delivery to Nepal.
Absolutely. I would like to add that some Japanese cars have been making their way into Bhutan through Calcutta since a long time. A garage near Ramkrishna Mission Hospital used to keep them in transit. Infact, in prehistoric times, a close relative of ours used to be involved with selling cars (Volga, Moskovitch, Mercedes etc) to Bhutan Nepal etc.

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Originally Posted by akroy View Post
Why no pics of the nice river bank next to the Palace?

Abhi
River for you

Ikon 1.6 with weak clutch takes us to Darjeeling and a few forests of North Bengal.-picture1.jpg

Ikon 1.6 with weak clutch takes us to Darjeeling and a few forests of North Bengal.-picture2.jpg

Ikon 1.6 with weak clutch takes us to Darjeeling and a few forests of North Bengal.-picture3.jpg


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Originally Posted by gd1418 View Post
An excellant travelogue 1100, that had me glued from start to end. However my curiosity about the guide still remains unsatiated..
Ah! What an omission!

What if, you meet someone daily with the prospect of anything you say or do being drawn parallel with someone from history. Say, you just did something, and somebody gives you a lecture that Mirzafar did this with so and so. Then he would pull in stories from history drawing parallels with events. On two occasions, we savoured the experience of some local pulling his leg. One by asking "What was Sirajuddaulah doing on this sunday". The guide took it seriously for sometime, trying to chart up his knowledge base, when he found no match, he soon realised his leg was being pulled, then he just shoo-shoo-ed the person away. We enjoyed it, the person enjoyed it, the guide just grinding his own teeth, saying something like the person being an unknowledgable fool.

I too faced a little bit of his wrath, as he sensed that I was actually getting amusement out of him, although I was, but externally my sister told me I was actually keeping a serious face.

So most people try to avoid the bhasan, so give him the right of way, the path of least resistance you see.

A few car shots

Which one looks better, tyre out or tyre in (alloy visible)
Ikon 1.6 with weak clutch takes us to Darjeeling and a few forests of North Bengal.-picture4.jpg Ikon 1.6 with weak clutch takes us to Darjeeling and a few forests of North Bengal.-picture5.jpg

Another riverbed shot

Ikon 1.6 with weak clutch takes us to Darjeeling and a few forests of North Bengal.-picture6.jpg

Although this involved a little bit of driving like this.

Ikon 1.6 with weak clutch takes us to Darjeeling and a few forests of North Bengal.-picture7.jpg

The deep tracks were created by Stallion 4X4 trucks, driving anyway else, would have scraped the underbelly.

However what the car had to endure going to Bahrampore, it wouldn't have mattered even if it did scrape here (as the soil in this case was actually soft)

The clutch was holding fine till the end. But on the very next day, driving the unladen car to office, the clutch wear was apparent, it was working mostly like on-off (without the advantage of weight slowing the progress). The brakes had become a lot better in response and bite over the 1900kms of usage.

Clutch and Rear Shockers have been fixed (Front ones checked out fine).

Car did not develop any body rattles, even if its not a tank.

Last edited by 1100D : 5th December 2008 at 01:02.
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Old 5th December 2008, 03:01   #77
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I was just going to ask for a few more pics of the car when I saw this post. It seems that the car was very well maintained in your absence. From the angle of the first two pics, the second one with alloys showing looks better IMO.
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Old 5th December 2008, 09:03   #78
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Quite nice write up buddy. It was treat to read this refreshing travelogue.
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Old 5th December 2008, 13:09   #79
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both the pics of the car (tyre in & out) needs to corrected - i guess the light needs to be adjusted. the cyclewala scratch needs to be touched - why don't you DIY the same?

superb travelogue. cheers:

btw, TANKs are supposed to rattle and i am not complaining.

Last edited by planet_rocker : 5th December 2008 at 13:10.
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Old 5th December 2008, 15:05   #80
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gr8 pics and amazing write-up, and of-course awesome trip as well. i enjoyed going through entire thread.
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Old 5th December 2008, 18:41   #81
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Anirban, great write-up and pics, and it's obvious that you had a grand trip. I've been planning a North Bengal trip for a while now, but the political unrest there kept deterring me. I guess things are safe now. Will catch up with you sometime soon to get some help planning the trip. I guess the Scorp would be right at home on these roads

I had visited Gorumara a couple of years back. Was putting up at Chalsa (Sinclairs).
Early morning forest trip was quite disappointing - just got to spot some peacocks. We did see a big bison while driving through the forest though. Lovely place, but didn't get to see many animals unfortunately.
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Old 5th December 2008, 22:27   #82
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Originally Posted by BlackPearl View Post
I was just going to ask for a few more pics of the car when I saw this post. It seems that the car was very well maintained in your absence. From the angle of the first two pics, the second one with alloys showing looks better IMO.
Yes, everyone that I have shown those two to chooses the one you did. Infact, that one was taken later after turning the wheel. However, I could not get myself to delete the first one. There is some strange mysticism that I see. Probably because the first one the car and the background are almost one, the second one the car got a little bit of the flashbulb hence precedence.

Quote:
Originally Posted by planet_rocker View Post
both the pics of the car (tyre in & out) needs to corrected - i guess the light needs to be adjusted. the cyclewala scratch needs to be touched - why don't you DIY the same?

superb travelogue. cheers:

btw, TANKs are supposed to rattle and i am not complaining.
Nope, the pictures are dark because the shooting conditions were dark and any brightening won't convey the "dawn" effect. Moreover if I brighten the pics, one of the main characters of the pic, the Kanchenjungha would be burnt out. The solution could be selective brightening, but then, the reality of the pic and the situation might be lost.

Cyclewala scratch, is now gone. Dad managed to keep both cars scratch free for the period I was away. But the very day I landed, I took the car out, parked outside my house a drunk cyclist gave me his best wishes.

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Originally Posted by akas_chauhan View Post
Quite nice write up buddy. It was treat to read this refreshing travelogue.

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Originally Posted by throttleking View Post
gr8 pics and amazing write-up, and of-course awesome trip as well. i enjoyed going through entire thread.
Thanks.

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Originally Posted by razor4077 View Post
Anirban, great write-up and pics, and it's obvious that you had a grand trip. I've been planning a North Bengal trip for a while now, but the political unrest there kept deterring me. I guess things are safe now. Will catch up with you sometime soon to get some help planning the trip. I guess the Scorp would be right at home on these roads

I had visited Gorumara a couple of years back. Was putting up at Chalsa (Sinclairs).
Early morning forest trip was quite disappointing - just got to spot some peacocks. We did see a big bison while driving through the forest though. Lovely place, but didn't get to see many animals unfortunately.
Scorp is "the" car to take there! Although, you might as well enjoy taking the lovely Phoenix, the car that looks million times better in flesh than in photographs.

Dont worry about unrest, it happens all the time in our great diverse country, its just a part of our existence. You wouldn't beleive the kind of unsolicited advice and warnings that we received till the last minute of our journey, mostly from folks who have never ventured on the highway. In the end I had to say, its a 4+ year car, If someone harms it, I will use that excuse to buy a new one!! We have so many people who care for us.
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Old 7th December 2008, 15:22   #83
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Originally Posted by 1100D View Post
Scorp is "the" car to take there! Although, you might as well enjoy taking the lovely Phoenix, the car that looks million times better in flesh than in photographs.
Two reasons why I won't take Phoenix:
1. The bad roads. Stiff suspension + low profile tyres aren't really suited for them
2. Lack of low-end torque, which would make hill driving (climbing in particular) very tough.
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Old 13th December 2008, 16:39   #84
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Two reasons why I won't take Phoenix:
1. The bad roads. Stiff suspension + low profile tyres aren't really suited for them
2. Lack of low-end torque, which would make hill driving (climbing in particular) very tough.
Let me give you the reason no 3, what else did you buy the scorp for!
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Old 5th August 2009, 18:11   #85
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Hmmm! So roads are ultra bad in this sector.

Ok guys, I wanted a lowdown from the knowledgeable local ones. How viable is it to take up a road journey to Mirik, and then may be even to the jungles of Dooars, in August? I understand, this being the rainy season and unlike the rest of the country Bengal getting its share of rains, the roads may be in an even worse state nowadays. Still I was wondering whether a short 3-4 days' driving trip from Kolkata to Mirik and Dooars can be taken up these days.
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Old 5th August 2009, 18:21   #86
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Great travelogue !!! But seriously the title seemed like Dutch courage to me why,...would you off all (being an enthusiast) knowing well enough that your car needed crucial spares put it thru this ordeal running at less than desired efficiency and performance levels!! I could'nt and would'nt dream of it. In fact given an option on delaying the rent than delay servicing my car I'd choose the former !!
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Old 5th August 2009, 18:46   #87
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Hmmm! So roads are ultra bad in this sector.

Ok guys, I wanted a lowdown from the knowledgeable local ones. How viable is it to take up a road journey to Mirik, and then may be even to the jungles of Dooars, in August? I understand, this being the rainy season and unlike the rest of the country Bengal getting its share of rains, the roads may be in an even worse state nowadays. Still I was wondering whether a short 3-4 days' driving trip from Kolkata to Mirik and Dooars can be taken up these days.
Present day condition is better than what it used to be 6 months back.
Entire stretch of NH34 was repaired before elections.

But August wouldn't be ideal time, though journey through mist and fog will be exciting, and Road from Ghum to Mirik is very very beautiful
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Old 6th August 2009, 13:37   #88
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So you are saying that roads are in fact better now? All through or only in patches? 1100D has posted a pic where a couple of Toyota and Hondas are riding over roads with almost sharp rocks jutting out and potholes like mini pools. So I thought will ask.

You said the month of august is not very good time. In what way? I mean what problems do you foresee? Is it problematic weatherwise? Do you foresee landslides etc? My wife is also a bit iffy about visiting the hills in rainy season so I thought will ask the experts about the state of affairs.
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Old 6th August 2009, 15:09   #89
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So you are saying that roads are in fact better now? All through or only in patches? 1100D has posted a pic where a couple of Toyota and Hondas are riding over roads with almost sharp rocks jutting out and potholes like mini pools. So I thought will ask.

You said the month of august is not very good time. In what way? I mean what problems do you foresee? Is it problematic weatherwise? Do you foresee landslides etc? My wife is also a bit iffy about visiting the hills in rainy season so I thought will ask the experts about the state of affairs.
Entire stretch of NH34 was repaired.
May 2009 i rode to Sikkim
and June 2009 drove to Darjeeling.
and July 2009 went to Hili via Gazole.

condition were favorable for comfortable cruising. No pothole, only few rough surfaces. Now with rains road might have developed few bad patches. Not like what it used to be before April 2009.

i guess 1100D did this trip before April 2009 thus pics of bad sections are there. Infact Kolkata - Siliguri volvo which was discontinued due to bad roads is back in action.

This might be the last few months before NH34 returns to its same old state.


Darjeeling road is narrow, during rainy season Landslides may be a problem.
But its a different experience, very much enjoyable.

Though best time to visit Darjeeling is November/December

Last edited by thebagchi : 6th August 2009 at 15:10.
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Old 8th August 2009, 02:15   #90
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What if I do not go up to Darjeeling? If from Mirik I go to the forests of Dooars? Does that sound more feasible for the season? I mean, are the climbs to the Mirik just as treachorous and narrow as Darjeeling? And how about the jungles of Dooars?

The thing is if I do not go to Mirik then maybe I will go to some seaside location. Frasergunj and the area around sound interesting but then the problems are,
1. One may need to wrap up within a day. I do not think there is much around Frasergunj to stay anyways beyond a max of 2 days.
2. How does one time his arrival at Namkhana to coincide with the High Tide? Otherwise ferrying the car to the otherside may not be possible.

If nothing seems possible I may just end up doing a drive to mondarmoni.
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