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Old 17th December 2009, 18:33   #16
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H3LIOS: Great pictures and very interesting to read travelogue. Thank you. Very happy to see that the Xylo is shining through the tough conditions. Really like the Xylo (was pretty neutral initially, but over time have even started liking the shape).

@SPIKE ARRESTOR: My Xylo is a March '09 make. No cold start problems.
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Old 17th December 2009, 19:37   #17
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Nice pictures again, post all pictures at a go, we can't wait. TFS.
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Old 18th December 2009, 09:22   #18
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OT @ SPIKE Arrestor: Mine is a Jan09 E6. No cold start issues. I am from the Nilgiris, where it can get really cold in the mornings. Why do you ask?
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Old 18th December 2009, 16:57   #19
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Default Day-4: Machkund Dam & Duduma waterfalls

Last-Day: Started out a bit late - packing our stuff and checking out took a bit more time than planned. We headed towards the Machkund dam and Duduma waterfalls on the Andhra-Orissa border. The area is a naxalite stronghold and there was very little traffic. Progress was slow on the twisty narrow ghat road. We missed a turn at one point and had to come back 10km - lost some time for that. We reached Machkund village at 1PM, and apparently we needed a "pass" from the police office before they allow us to proceed further. So we stopped there for lunch and I went out to apply for the pass.

The police station was blown up by the naxals a while back and there was no-one there (should have taken a photo) . A kind villager directed me to a small non-descript shed that was the make-shift police station. Inside there was just one person sleeping with just a towel around his waist (I kid you not). I was debating whether to wake him or not when villager shouted something in Oriya and he towel-guy woke up with a start. His english was surprisngly good (I guess a sincere officer being punished with a bad posting) and he helped me fill up the application form, took a copy of my driver's license and issued the pass. As I was stepping out, he warned me to watch-out for any suspicious persons and activity.

It was 3PM when we reached the power-station "winch" point. The power station is located at the base of a cliff and the only way to each there is to take a winch (combination of train & lift) from the cliff-top. It should be an excellent memorable ride, but unfortunately we couldn't take it. The winch driver was AWOL. Strictly speaking, the winch is only for offical use i.e for the power station staff only. But this is India and we can always get a joy-ride with a little persuasion. I wasn't allowed to take pics of the power station or the winch track on the cliff face. But they let me take one of the Xylo and you can see the winch-train in the back-ground.

Xylo at Deomali - Highest peak in Eastern Ghats-imgp1457s.jpg

The Dudumi water-falls are actually three seperate falls in one location. But there is no good view point to take a decent photo. The largest one has drop of 157 m (520 ft) and is quite voilent. There is goat-path to the bottom, but it was scary just to look at and I was sure I'd break my neck, so didn't even attempt it. There is another approach - drive out another 10km and the road winds down to the river bed, park your car there and hike up about 1km along the river-bed to reach the bottom of the falls. We didn't have time for that - it was getting dark and we wanted to leave soon. Here is the best pic I could manage.

Xylo at Deomali - Highest peak in Eastern Ghats-imgp1458s.jpg

Stopped at the Machkund reservoir & dam on the way back. The dam is Andhra-Orissa border, one side Koraput Dt and the other side Visakhapatnam Dt. It is a joint venture between Andhra & Orissa Govts and is one of the most efficient & productive hydel power stations in the region. The generated electricity is shared between the two states.

Xylo at Deomali - Highest peak in Eastern Ghats-imgp1470s.jpg

At 4PM we crossed back into Visakhapatnam Dt, but were still quite a way off from the city. We had to drive another 4-hours in the eastern ghats before we were finally back on plain land, and another hour before we reached home.

The kids just loved the trip and are already planning another one for the Sankranti/Pongal vacation.

Thanks for your interest.

Last edited by H3LIOS : 18th December 2009 at 16:59.
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Old 18th December 2009, 17:07   #20
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H3LIOS : very nice pictures of the fall. Glad to know that your kids enjoyed the whole trip.I see that you didn't have any seconds thought on visiting the naxals infested area. So did you notice anything suspicious there ?
This is the apathy of our government, inspite of such tragic loss of the public infrastructure/property our government is still sleeping.
Anyways, I am so glad to see the picutes and they have come out very well.
I think Xylo has done it's trick on you. hehe.. enjoy the vehicle. IMO a very VFM vehicle.
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Old 18th December 2009, 19:05   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SPIKE ARRESTOR View Post
Dear H3LIOS- are you facing any cold starting problems in your xylo? what is the month of manufacturing of your xylo?
No, haven't experienced any starting problems - cold or otherwise.
The car was rolled out in August 2009.
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Old 21st December 2009, 06:31   #22
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H3LIOS, Excellent photos. It is really sad such beautiful places are hidden from the world. Did you anytime thought that it is not a safe place? The Xylo looks awesome with the red colour. I saw another xylo in my office parking lot, it looks stunning in the red colour. Thanks for letting us know another great place near Vizag.
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Old 21st December 2009, 09:05   #23
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Excellent travelogue H3LIOS. great pictures, places we never heard of before, and nice write up. way to go. any safety issues? like bala asked?
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Old 22nd December 2009, 11:22   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by venki.bala View Post
H3LIOS, Excellent photos.... Did you anytime thought that it is not a safe place?
Quote:
Originally Posted by goandude View Post
Excellent travelogue H3LIOS.... any safety issues?
Thank you fellas.

Machkund was the only place that had some safety concerns. We inquired about it and decided to make the trip only after we were reasonably sure that there is no great risk. What we found is that the Naxals usually do not bother civilians, and they have been lying low in the area for a while.

So to answer your question, No, we never feared for our safety - for most of the way we followed a convoy of one Indica, one Winger and a Bolero.

Cheers.
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Old 24th December 2009, 15:47   #25
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H3LIOS, I am not sure if you are aware. This travelogue is there on the Xylo community page on Orkut.
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Old 24th December 2009, 16:36   #26
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Well written H3lios. The picture of the Chitrakoot waterfall is really good. People like you make others want to travel!!
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Old 24th December 2009, 18:16   #27
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Awesome pics H3lios. I never knew that such a place existed in India. But now that I know (thanks to you) I have made up my mind to visit this place come what may. I can just imagine how exciting it would be to witness such a wonder. And i am sure Xylo also must have made the trip a bit easier as compared to another car. Xylo does look like a vehicle that is ideal for such trips. It makes good sense to rely on something like Xylo for such trips.
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Old 2nd January 2010, 10:46   #28
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Hey H3LIOS
A very nice travelogue!
Do post pics and details of your beast!!
Regards
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