Go Back   Team-BHP > Buckle Up > Travelogues


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 31st January 2010, 12:03   #1
Newbie
 
buddha141's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Hyderabad
Posts: 20
Thanked: 9 Times
Default A trip to Bhutan that led to Nepal - Guns, Buddha and BHP

I have always wondered how it would be to drive into another country by road and my added facination for the North East of the
country culminated in my planning a trip to Bhutan. The trip ultimately fell apart at Varanasi and we modified our trip to Nepal
instead.This is a account of how and what happened along with some important event markers.
The trip would be on my '91 Gypsy and accompanying me would be my friend and partner of many road trips, Santosh.
We planned too leave on 23rd Jan and return by 30th after Santosh flew in from Hyderabad on 22nd. The trip was planned with
generous input from Ashit who has lived in Bhutan for 4 years and had planned and executed the flawless trip to Bhutan in December.
Our route was to be:
New Delhi - Agra - Kanpur - Varanasi - Gaya ( NH 2) - Nalanda - Purnea - Siliguri - Phuentsholing (NH 31) and then on to Thimpu.
I met up with Ashit and planned the entire trip and armed with his kind offer to stay at his place in Thimpu, I waited for Santosh to
happen.
This is when things started falling apart and kind of set the tone for the rest of the trip. Santosh was to take off from Hyderabad at 9:30
pm on 22nd and as things would have it he left Hyderabad only at 11 due fog in Delhi. I reached the airport to recieve him only ot be told
the flight was diverted to Jaipur, a event that could candel the whole trip as it ment he wouldnt be in the city till the end of next day
leaving not enough time to do the trip. I reached home frustrated only to get a call from Santosh that he had landed, the trip was on !
We reached home from the airport at 3 am and this meant that our early morning start was screwed. We could only leave by 1 in the
afternoon on 23rd and left Delhi in a hurry to make up for lost time.
Time and Date: 2:25 pm 23rd Jan
Place: Greater Kailash 2
ODO : 7455
Leg Distance: 0
Average Speed: 0
Kilometers in Trip: 0
Started from Delhi at the worst possible time, peak traffic leading out of Delhi slowing us down to a crawl. Reached Ballabgarh amid
bad traffic and stopped to pick up fruits. The traffic pettered out as we gunned out of the city and was good going till we hit our first Toll
gate at Srinagar Toll Plaza. Paid 35 Rs and were off again. It was smooth sailing, engine at full clip, the temp and fuel looking good not
other noises not rattles, life was good and then "thunk" and no response from the accelerator pedal. We coasted to a stop and pulled
aside right next to a mechanic shop.
Time: 5:15 pm 23rd Jan
Place: Somewhere on NH 2
ODO : 7567
Leg Distance: 112 Kms
Average Speed: 37.33 Kmph
Kilometers in Trip: 112
Popped open the bonnet and quick inspection revealed a broken accelerator cable at the carb end. As luck would have it we had
stopped at a mechanic shop and he had the spare cable. Fixed the cable and some play in the clutch pedal and a general inspection
later started again. Lost about 40 mins here. Started off and stopped only about 7 kms before Agra.
Time: 7:15 pm 23rd Jan
Place: 7 Kms from Agra
ODO : 7647
Leg Distance: 80 Kms
Average Speed: 80 Kmph
Kilometers in Trip: 192
Stopped at the "Tee 'n' Gee pure veg" restaurant for a meal of roti, dal, fried chicken and omlette! Food was good. Enquired about how
th eroad conditions were and were being persuaded to stay back at the hotel as the fog was really bad ahead and no other place to
stop blah blah. We thanked the hotel guard for his info and left anyway at 8 to Kanpur.
Time: 2:00 am 24th Jan
Place: Hotel President, Kanpur
ODO : 7926
Leg Distance: 279 Kms
Average Speed: 55.8 Kmph
Kilometers in Trip: 471
About a 100 kms before Kanpur we hit fog, and boy was it bad. Traffic simply stopped dead. No movement absolutely and that made
things worse because people who could or needed to move were stuck behind traffic. In zero visibility we manuevered to the head of
the pack of stopped vehicles. A WagonR driver, a local, asked if we were from the army and could help as they needed to reach Kanpur
soon. We decided to help by leading them. Switched my lights to low beam, switched on my GPS on the phone and my wipers and
started out. Using the line markers on the road and the general orientation of the road from the GPS, we crawled on the road the
Kanpur. We realised that we had become a pack leader for 60 odd vehicles including truckers. The NH2 is surprisingly well made. Most
villages are bypasses by building the road elevated and bordered off on both sides to reduce road incursions. On the flip side it means
that to stop for food or access the village one has to exit the NH and those exits are hard to see in the day at high speed forget at night
or in fog conditions and are not at all marked. We reached Kanpur at about 1:00 am and with much difficulty reached the city as the
inner roads had no markers. We had to rely on my GPS to see how the road turns and plan accordingly. Helped the driver to a place
where he could go on from and reached the hotel at 2 am.
Hotel President: filthy, dusty and cheap. Checked into room 315 for 500 Rs and after making the beds with our sheets ( dont want to
think about the ones they provided) hit the sack.Woke up early at 7 and after a quick review of the fog situation finally left Kanpur at
9:35 am. Decided against stopping anywhere to maximise the distance to be covered during daytime. Felt for the first time things a re
going wrong. Gut feeling that the trip was falling apart but pushed the though away and continued on. Got stuck in a jam at Chodgra
where a bridge under construction made life hell. Frustration building, cuss words flowing till we jumped the kerb and after some yogic
manuevering left the jam behind. Only a Gypsy for this.
Time: 4:30 pm 25th Jan
Place: Outside Varanasi on NH 2
ODO : 8243
Leg Distance: 317 Kms
Average Speed: 52.8 Kmph
Kilometers in Trip: 788
After a break for lunch at a Reliance Khana Khazana, we were cruising along till I heard a loud whine from the engine bay, after a
moment of panic we slowed down and parked aside on the shoulder and popped the bonnet. A prlim inspection revealed a jammed
alternator. Again luck on our side( or is it?) we were about 100mtrs from a mechanic. Slow drive to mechanic and just before I can turn
the ignition off the fan belt gives way. The 'mistry' ( thats what mechanics are called here in UP) askes me if he should fix the old one
ore order a new one for 1000/- , he says its faster to put in a new one and we agree. A new one is brought in and th eprice is bumped up
to 1250/- finally at 5:50 pm we leave with a new alternator. We cross Varanasi on the bypass and after a toll bridge near Mughalsarai the
alternator light comes on and the vehicle starts stuttering, we just manage to enter Mughalsarai and catch the last mistry before he
shuts shop. The owner of the shop, a cussing but helpful sardar, tells us that the new alternator is shot and he has a refurbished Lucas
one for 2000/- and says the local ones are crap. He asks 2k and the old alternator for the refurbished one. After some discussion and
no budging from him we get it replaced but the battery is drained so he sets off to get another from a friend. Another mechanic joins the
party and finally things are fixed at 10:30 pm. We are asked to drop the mechanic at his place 12 kms enroute in our way. We think its a
good idea as we would have some one to help if things broke again. We set off in peak fog outside Varanasi and crawled to the
mechancs home and realised there is no way to go further due to the fog. Decided to turn back to varanasi. This proved to be a wise
decision.
On the way back about 5 Kms from the town, the lights started dimming and the engine sputtered to a halt. The self made no noise at all
. Not a whirr at all. The fog was blinding and we were in the middle of the NH2. Pushed the car aside.The thick fog meant that there was
no traffic on the road and the occasional truck was not willing to stop. Cant blame them I guess. So we take out our mobiles to realise
Santoshs phone is dead and mine has low power. We were hoping to use the car charger to recharge but the battery was now dead. I
tried calling Ashit and just managed to give him our location and situation before I get a low battery warning on my mobile. I was in mid
sentence when the battery died. I stepped out to find it chilling cold ( it was 4 degrees outside) and decided walking was out of
question. We looked at each other.

To be continued. Pics coming up as well.
buddha141 is offline   (1) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 31st January 2010, 19:02   #2
Senior - BHPian
 
navan49's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: CHENNAI
Posts: 998
Thanked: 68 Times
Default

Hi Buddha,

Seems you are giving the detailed travelogue. Please go on. I had traveled Nepal and Bhutan. If necessary I will compliments some thing in your article.
navan49 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 31st January 2010, 19:42   #3
Senior - BHPian
 
hvkumar's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Mumbai
Posts: 7,369
Thanked: 3,354 Times
Default

This is like a nightmare come true - you guys were onto all kinds of problems!

Planning a winter drive in North India is always dicey.
hvkumar is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 31st January 2010, 21:25   #4
Newbie
 
buddha141's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Hyderabad
Posts: 20
Thanked: 9 Times
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by navan49 View Post
Hi Buddha,

Seems you are giving the detailed travelogue. Please go on. I had traveled Nepal and Bhutan. If necessary I will compliments some thing in your article.
Yes its going to be fairly detailed. Thanks for the support
Quote:
Originally Posted by hvkumar View Post
This is like a nightmare come true - you guys were onto all kinds of problems!

Planning a winter drive in North India is always dicey.
Yes it is! we underestimated the fog a lot, and that is a lot coming from a pilot like me . Things did turn around after this tho

And sorry to every one about the formatting. Tried fixing it but the system wont allow me. Will be more careful with the rest of the blog
buddha141 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 1st February 2010, 08:15   #5
Distinguished - BHPian
 
phamilyman's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Gurgaon
Posts: 5,601
Thanked: 3,452 Times
Default

Jesus this is crazy.

A winter drive is challenging - the unreliability of your Gypsy added an unnecesary adventure element into it!
phamilyman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 1st February 2010, 08:49   #6
Senior - BHPian
 
mjothi's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Bangalore
Posts: 3,252
Thanked: 216 Times
Default

I love to visit those countries. Hope one day it will be fullfilled. For now, your travelogue should

Btw, I was not much aware of the fog in north Delhi, untill I was on the GQ trip in end of December. Yes, nature does affect our plan. Unfortunately, we cant do anything against the nature who acts in his own way!!! Except to plan for the worst.
mjothi is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 1st February 2010, 10:09   #7
Newbie
 
buddha141's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Hyderabad
Posts: 20
Thanked: 9 Times
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by phamilyman View Post
Jesus this is crazy.

A winter drive is challenging - the unreliability of your Gypsy added an unnecesary adventure element into it!
Yup winter drives are challenging, and we learnt it the hard way and you will soon see that the gypsy was actually very reliable, it was the mechanics of UP that were unreliable.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mjothi View Post
I love to visit those countries. Hope one day it will be fullfilled. For now, your travelogue should

Btw, I was not much aware of the fog in north Delhi, untill I was on the GQ trip in end of December. Yes, nature does affect our plan. Unfortunately, we cant do anything against the nature who acts in his own way!!! Except to plan for the worst.
You said it! I guess we didnt plan for the worse.

I am waiting to upload pics as soon as I get the camera cord, and the fact that I need MOD approval for posts slows my travelogue a little. Please bear with me as I finish my upload. Thanks to all those veiwing my post, comments will be appreciated.
buddha141 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 1st February 2010, 13:12   #8
BHPian
 
srikanthpotluri's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Bangalore
Posts: 369
Thanked: 19 Times
Default

I am sorry about how the things went, but cant wait to hear the rest.
srikanthpotluri is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 1st February 2010, 14:30   #9
Senior - BHPian
 
sbraj's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: B L R / T V M
Posts: 1,071
Thanked: 4 Times
Default

... broken accelerator cable ... frustration building, cuss words flowing ... jammed alternator ... pushed the car aside ...

That is an interesting buildup to the travelogue.

Looking forward for further part of the story. Also the pics.
sbraj is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 1st February 2010, 19:23   #10
Distinguished - BHPian
 
laluks's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Bangalore
Posts: 5,805
Thanked: 7,799 Times
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by buddha141 View Post
Stopped at the "Tee 'n' Gee pure veg" restaurant for a meal of roti, dal, fried chicken and omlette!
Pure veg?? . I like this restaurant.


Quote:
Originally Posted by buddha141 View Post
........
We looked at each other.
. You guys were into all problems!
laluks is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 1st February 2010, 19:36   #11
MX6
Senior - BHPian
 
MX6's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: City of seven islands.
Posts: 2,882
Thanked: 210 Times
Default

Fortune favours the brave. No wonder you were lucky enough! your travelogue is more like reading a mystery novel! pics please.
MX6 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 2nd February 2010, 09:33   #12
Newbie
 
buddha141's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Hyderabad
Posts: 20
Thanked: 9 Times
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by srikanthpotluri View Post
I am sorry about how the things went, but cant wait to hear the rest.
Thanks, but on introspection we loved every moment of it.

The rest will be up in about an hour, unable to upload pics for some reason.
Quote:
Originally Posted by sbraj View Post
... broken accelerator cable ... frustration building, cuss words flowing ... jammed alternator ... pushed the car aside ...

That is an interesting buildup to the travelogue.

Looking forward for further part of the story. Also the pics.
Thanks, im trying to get the pics uploaded

Quote:
Originally Posted by MX6 View Post
Fortune favours the brave. No wonder you were lucky enough! your travelogue is more like reading a mystery novel! pics please.
Pics are proving to be a pain, but should get it right soon.

@laluks: yep all sorts of problems...
buddha141 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 2nd February 2010, 09:55   #13
Newbie
 
buddha141's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Hyderabad
Posts: 20
Thanked: 9 Times
Default

Some pics till now. Will upload more with the rest of the blog
Attached Thumbnails
A trip to Bhutan that led to Nepal - Guns, Buddha and BHP-dscf0009.jpg  

A trip to Bhutan that led to Nepal - Guns, Buddha and BHP-dscf0027.jpg  

A trip to Bhutan that led to Nepal - Guns, Buddha and BHP-dscf0040.jpg  

A trip to Bhutan that led to Nepal - Guns, Buddha and BHP-dscf0042.jpg  

A trip to Bhutan that led to Nepal - Guns, Buddha and BHP-dscf0043.jpg  

A trip to Bhutan that led to Nepal - Guns, Buddha and BHP-dscf0044.jpg  

A trip to Bhutan that led to Nepal - Guns, Buddha and BHP-dscf0046.jpg  

A trip to Bhutan that led to Nepal - Guns, Buddha and BHP-dscf0049.jpg  

buddha141 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 2nd February 2010, 17:25   #14
BHPian
 
Wolfheart's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Bombay
Posts: 160
Thanked: 22 Times
Default

Whoa you guys seem to have had quite an adventure. It's funny how your car always conked off just a few metres from a mechanic's shop. It seems that the mechanics in north India employ some major mojo just like puncture shops spread nails on the roads.
Wolfheart is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 2nd February 2010, 18:14   #15
Senior - BHPian
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Bombay
Posts: 1,038
Thanked: 681 Times
Default

Excellent write up Buddha, would love to be able to do the same route someday. Look forward to reading more.
Lalvaz is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
A 13000 km, 72 day ride through India, Nepal and Bhutan magiceye Travelogues 23 17th May 2016 13:53
Goa to Siliguri, Bhutan, Nepal and Sikkim? erlebrito Route / Travel Queries 9 14th May 2013 09:20
The Buddha has smiled buddha Introduce yourself 9 30th June 2010 12:55


All times are GMT +5.5. The time now is 20:48.

Copyright 2000 - 2017, Team-BHP.com
Proudly powered by E2E Networks