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Old 28th October 2010, 21:50   #316
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Originally Posted by MX6 View Post
Roads from Udupi to Manipal is good. I still am irritated at the 4 laning which is unnecessary at the cost of over 200 trees may be?
Can I take the liberty of putting up these photos of the Udupi Manipal road before, during and after the 4 laning?

The original road at Laxmindra nagar
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During the tree cutting
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Almost completed road
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I too feel very nostalgic about the canopy of trees on either side of the road, but yes commute to Manipal is more convenient now.
Next, it is the turn of NH 17 four laning from Surathkal to Kundapur.About 16000 trees are going to be cut as per today's Udayavani.
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Old 28th October 2010, 22:36   #317
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@Deep Thanks for the photos. The trees got fond memories in me. I've been associated with Udupi since 1990. That's 20 years now and have seen the transformation of the place!

And surathkal to kundapura requires 4 laning, with a divider. Else you have every express bus run all over you. Sadly, why do they cut trees and not look at alternate routes? Atleast, they should replant in other areas to compensate. Bad there was no need to 4-lane udupi manipal. Buses used to fly in the narrow kalsanka area in existing roads itself and it took hardly 5 mins from udupi to manipal with buses every 5 mins.

Hope they 4 lane all the way till Honnavara atleast. Beyond that you don't have the rash bus drivers.
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Old 29th October 2010, 17:39   #318
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Oct 19th Tuesday - 7 pm in the evening.
I entered my father's room to see how he was doing. My mother was almost ok. My wife had severe conjuctivitis on both her eyes and was getting better.
I was almost cured after 3.5 days. My father's eyes were swollen and he couldn't open his eyes.

We had to leave on Wednesday at any cost to reach Pune on Thursday. I had a quick chat with him. He decided to take a taxi to Udupi and not come with us in the car as we were all getting better. We felt awful and were very worried. What will he do alone in Udupi and how will he take care or manage.

My mother had to come with me as if my wife's eyes don't get cured soon, then some one needs to take care of my daughter.

My father had some pending work in Udupi so he assured that he'll finish that and come back by train. So I arranged for a taxi for him to leave on wednesday by 3. We planned to leave by 2:30 on wednesday.

Wednesday morning 9 am.
I couldn't open my eyes. My left eye was swollen again and and both eyes were deep red. The infection came back again.

And it was even worse than what it was in the first time.

10 am. We were all at the hospital again, getting medicines, opinion from the doctor. He adviced us to ensure that no dust falls in my eyes and use the A/c all the time.

3 pm. we left Sringeri.
3:20 pm. we crossed hariharapura and were off towards Koppa.
Roads were excellent till Thirthahalli.

Soon we branched off towards Ripponpet - Humcha. Thirthahalli to Humcha was in ok condition. Single lane. Every moron on a off-roading vehicle tried to push me off the road. I wonder why they buy scorpios, safaris and boleros if they can't get off the road for a poor sedan. But the buses and trucks were good. They got off the road for me.
Road to Rippopet was bad, but was motorable. I could keep an average of 30 kph atleast in that stretch.
Ripponpet to Anandapuram was slightly bad and my average speed improved.

Anandapuram to Sagara was good. But had occasional potholes.
From Sagara the road was a belter and one can keep over 100 kph easily.

Thankfully, when we left Sringeri, it started raining. Earlier it was too bright to keep my right eye open. Left eye was badly swollen.

Thanks to the rain, it became relatively dark when we left I could see more easily.

And the rain followed us till we reached Ripponpet! Then it started getting dark.

Now my left eye was getting heavier and I could not keep it even half open.
So I was driving slower to catch that sudden pothole that might spring up. By the time we crossed Sagara, it was way past 7 pm. I was planning to reach Hubli by 8:30 pm for dinner, but now we had another 180 odd kms and it wasn't possible to make it in 1 hour.

So I decided to have dinner in Yellapura.

I didn't expect my eyes to become so worse. Thought I could manage and somehow reach belgaum or even kolhapur and if possible, even reach pune by driving over night. But driving with one eye partially closed, it was difficult for me to pick up potholes between Thirthahalli and Sagara and also getting increasingly to estimate distances between me and vehicles ahead.

So average speeds came down.

Since it was already past 7, we decided to skip jog falls. Instead, turn around towards Siddapura and go to Sirsi from there. That would save us another 30 odd kms.

Around 8 in the night. In the middle of the jungle, with one eye almost closed, I was doing around 80 kph.

Bang. A pothole out of nowhere. And I felt my front right tyre dragging. Just crossed a lone tubelight (marking a busstop) seems like there's a village somewhere inside and this is the nearest place for a bus-stop and stopped the car.

Damn. Flat tyre again. And it was dark in the place where the car was stopped. And no torch on any of us. Tried reversing to the tube which was 50 ft away. But then no point, car wouldn't budge.

I had to change the wheels in the same place. In that darkness.

Had the warning lights on and opened the boot. Had to empty every luggage out.
Every time I bent down, my left eye hurt terribly.

I had to loosen the nuts. Literally I was groping in the dark to find where the nuts were. After loosening them, jacking up the car was relatively easy.

At that time there was a biker coming out of nowhere.

"Yen aayithu saar?" - What happened sir?
"Puncture aayithu. Stepney iddhey nan hathira. Fix maadtha idhenu".
Non kannadigas can make out from the three words puncture, stepney, fix!

He asked me to pull the stepney out. Before I could retreive the tyre from the boot, I saw that he'd removed all the nuts.

I then pulled out the flat tyre wheel and took it behind to put in the boot and arranged all my luggage back there.

By then he'd screwed in the stepney.

A good samaritan out of the blue. He had a torch in his mobile and clasped it in his mouth as he worked on tightening the nuts.

It took a flat 5 mins to change the wheels.

I asked him where I can get my flat tyre fixed.

"Siddhapura. Don't worry. Shops will be open till 9 pm".

We reached siddhapura by 8:00 pm. Found a puncture shop and got our flat tyre fixed there.

The shop people told me that every one in Siddhapura got conjuctivitis too!
40 bucks and 30 minutes for fixing. 8:30 we were off from Siddhapura.

we were all hungry. I searched around Siddhapura town for a nice place to eat. They were all closed. No Idly vada stalls. Let's try Yellapura.

3 of us were hungry. My eye was almost shut now. I decided to stay for the night in Hubli. Don't think I can drive more than that. Another 150 odd kms to do which would be 2.5 hours atleast with this condition. Which means we can have dinner by 11 pm.

We were soon motoring along hoping that my eye is open atleast 25% so that I can get the depth of view. And both eyes were watering like hell.

I had moist cloth dipped in tumeric near the cup holder and was constantly wiping my left eye as I drove.

9 pm we left siddhapura without finding any place to eat. Next stop planned was Yellapura - 90 kms away.

Luckily, there was no oncoming traffic between siddhapura and yellapura. But then once I crossed Sirsi, there was this moron Tata sierra guy who was tailgating me with his highbeam on.

Man that hurt. My left eye was getting fogged, like how one's eyes become if they stare at the sun. I reduced from 80 to 60. He did too. Too add to it, it was slightly foggy outside.

I wanted this guy to overtake me and go ahead and not flash his eyebeam in to my eyes. reflections from my mirror made the light appear brighter.

Finally, when I pulled over to the extreme edge of the road and drove at 30, the guy got the idea.

He overtook me. Seems he was lost.

But then when he went ahead, he was doing 50. So I decided to leave this guy behind and stepped on the gas.

Overtook him and zoomed ahead. And the moron started tailgating me again once I was ahead. I do 80, he does 80 too.

Does he have conjuctivitis too? Can't he see what's ahead too? Is that way he wants me to go ahead and he's tailing me? May be.

But the highbeam was too much on my eyes. So I floored it and in 5 mins, lost him.

10 pm. We hit Yellapura. Milk time for my daughter. I found a restaurant open. Perfect place to have dinner as well as use the milk boiler for my daughter.

Unfortunately, they had only chicken fried rice as it was a purely non veg restaurant.
But the owner was kind enough to let us boil the milk and there was a cop too there who suggested us to try Shankarnarayan hotel on NH63 towards Ankola.
That's 1.5 kms on reverse direction.

Isn't there anything on the route to Hubli?

"Sir. Please go to Shankarnarayan. Best veg hotel in Yellapura. You won't regret it. It's hardly 3 - 4 mins drive. You can go back to hubli. 10 mins extra travel is not much"

One of the employees of the restaurant, took his scooter out.

"Banni sir. I will show you shankarnarayan hotel"

He led us to the hotel, showed us the place and went back.

So many good samaritans all around.

10:30 pm, we ordered 2 veg pulavs.

I washed my eye a 100 times there. Left eye was almost shut. And yellow gooey discharge was heavy.

I was worried. What if I stay tonight in Hubli and can't open my eye tomorrow morning?

11 pm. After a nice dinner and a hefty tip of 10 bucks (the waiter was shocked and surprised at that amount. He called me to say I forgot 10 bucks and I told him, it's tips for such a nice service and tasty food. He was damn happy), we started towards hubli.

Then the torture began in NH63.
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Old 29th October 2010, 19:02   #319
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I was just looking at the map the way you have chosen to reach Hubli.
Why did you not use the Shimoga-Honnali-Harihar route to Hubli.
I think the road conditions are the same.
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Old 29th October 2010, 23:33   #320
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@Gajadonga.
The road conditions aren't the same. Shimoga - Honnali - Harihar is not so good. And Harihar - Ranebennur - Haveri stretch is still a pain. Then there's that dreaded railway crossing.

However, in the route I took, it's belter of a circuit all along except for 15 odd kms. I drove slow because of my eye.


We left Shankarnarayan hotel at 11 pm. NH63 was butter smooth. And I thought it is better to go and stay in Belgaum, instead of Hubli. My favourite hotel Durga is there. And it is easier to do the belgaum - pune stretch as it's 100 kms lesser than starting in day time from Hubli.

There was heavy traffic in NH63 from opposite side. The truck guys again were very disciplined. Used the dipper.
The volvo buses were rogues. They literally blinded me.
By the time I reached Hubli, I couldn't see anything out of my left eye. I had to ask my wife whether it's open or closed. Couldn't feel a thing, couldn't see anything. Just a white halo.

At the toll gate, I mulled. Do I go to Belgaum with just visibility in one eye? Do I get off and go in to Hubli?

The prospect of driving in day time in bright light was overwhelming. I'd rather proceed as much as possible. Belgaum, kolhapur where ever.

I started again to Belgaum.

Hubli to Dharwad was done at a sedate 70. Luckily, I had lesser vehicles coming from other side. And I was elated to see the 4 lane from Dharwad. What a site it was. Now I won't have anyone coming from front with highbeam blinding me.

Soon it was time to floor.

However, visibility reduced with heavy fog. Damn. I've never seen fog in this route till then. Visibility came down to 30 - 40 feet. Many vehicles had pulled over to the sides and stopped. Now my own headlights were reflecting back in due to the fog and hurting my eye.
I switched over to low beam and drove at a steady pace.

After kittur the pain in the left eye became intolerable. Felt like it would pop out. My right eye badly wanted to shut itself too.

I realised that I need to rinse my eyes with cold water, and apply the applicabs, eye drops, put the cold cloth with tumeric on my eyes and go to sleep.

A huge relief when I saw the board - exit to belgaum - 500 meters.

Within 10 mins I parked my car in Durga residency. Got a A/C deluxe toom with extra bed.

21st Oct Thursday - 1:30 am.
Both my eyes were clogged with a heavy dosage of the applicabs. I was getting a terrible cold. I'd applied vicks vapourub and tried to sleep

Soon everything was clogged - ear - nose - throat - eyes and I struggled to breathe as well.

My baby's milk boiler came handy. Boiled water and drank it to melt the vicks and phlegm.
Tried throwing up.
Washed my eyes completely and cleared up all the discharge
came back and put up two pillows and went to sleep.

9:30 am. I was awake. My right eye opened up easily. Left I wouldn't. I had to wash off the discharge that had stuck the lashes together.
10:00 am. We had breakfast - room service. Also packed Idly for my daughter.

11:00 am. I loaded everything in my car.
11:30 we all had tender coconut water. Got for our baby as well. It was bright and sunny.

12:00 noon. We were on NH4. Hurtling towards Pune. The moment we crossed the border, the skies opened up again. The rains were a blessing. I could see easier with my right eye.
The alignment had gone for a toss due to the puncture. So my car kept dragging to the right. Had to keep pulling back to keep it in straight line. Soon it was hurting my shoulder.

Due to the heavy breakfast, we didn't want to break for lunch.

Kolhapur whizzed by. My wife wanted to go back and sit with my daughter near Karad. I pulled over and she made a mistake of leaving the door open.

I was washing my eyes and wiping them with the moist cloth. And a sudden whiff of air blew dust right in to my eyes.

I was hollering the next 15 mins.

By the time we reached Satara, my left eye was completely shut.

4:00 pm. It was time for a Bio break. I pulled in to Mahendra (where else). My mom and wife went to have coffee and I was watching my daughter sleep (all with one eye).

Then I went in after they came and washed my eyes completely. However, my left eye was stubborn. It wouldn't open. To make matters worse, due to the dust, the right eye was swollen and red again too. And all that strains on my eyes with such driving made it worse. Right eye was half shut.

I wore my coolers again and around 4:30 we pulled out of Mahendra. The setting sun glared in my eye directly as I pulled out and I was blinded.

Traffic built up and there were too many two wheelers and estimating their position and gaps between vehicles were becoming increasingly difficult.

6:15 pm. I crossed the last toll booth before I pull out. A quick look at the panel showed my fuel gauge near empty.

Do I take a U turn and tank up in BP? I was worried that I might not be able to drive if I stop.

Even if it reaches reserve, there'd be 5 litres and I should be able to cover 60 - 70 kms. And it's another 30 odd kms home. So I decided to continue.
6:45 pm, I was in Katraj.

Navigating through Kondhwa was the worst thing ever in that trip. One eye shut, another open only 1/3rd. I was desperately looking for my home. Traffic easened up once I crossed lulla nagar and got near Wanawadi.
7:45, I pulled in to my parking lot.

I made it back safe.

"Pick what you want for tonight. I want to go and crash. We can get all the other things tomorrow in the morning".

I sms-ed many friends in T-BHP that I managed to reach home safe. Drove with one eye closed. One eye 1/3rd open. Alignment out - dragging to one side. One leg still healing. Hurt shoulder and arm.

HVK responded something like I'm crazy to attempt such a thing.

We had the packed food from durga that night and slept.

22nd Oct - Friday morning around 10. I could open my right eye and it was better. The left eye wouldn't open. I kept washing it for over 40 mins.

I went down and got all the luggage and my keyboard from the car. Finished our lunch.
12:45 pm. We drove to the post office 3 kms away from home, with a bag of Prasada from Sringeri.
1:20 pm. We were out with my wife's passport. We gave them all the prasad and thanked them immensely from the bottom of our hearts.

1:30 pm, as I neared my home, the car sputtered and I realised that I've not hit reserve. Pulled in to the BP pump and filled 5 litres.

"sirf paanch?"
"Haan bhai. I will come back after a long sleep to fill more. For now, 5 is enough".

I pulled in to my parking again. Thanked god for helping me reach home safe. He gave me amazing weather with dark clouds, fog, rains to ensure I can keep my eye partially open atleast. And he left just the amount of petrol in my tank to ensure that I reach home.

As I type this last few lines, After nearly 16 days, my left eye is slightly red and I had one of the worst attacks of conjuctivitis. Now all my family is better, so is my little one. Hope when I sleep and wake up tomorrow, my eyes are clear too!

Also I got the alignment done and found that 300 kms of driving without alignment has taken a toll on my front right tyre. swapped the front wheels for now.

Once again, thanks all readers for stopping by this thread! Cheers.
Thanks all again for following this thread.
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Old 30th October 2010, 01:03   #321
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That was quite a read! Thanks for all the detailing and the wonderful human elements in your TL, especially the engaging tales of your daughter.

You were lucky to get some good samaritans - the puncture, the restaurant, etc. Goes to prove that rural India still has some values and time left for others!

Surprised too about the Dharwad-Kittur fog.

Hopefully, the roads in the Malnad area (Huncha etc) will improve now that the rains are over.

Any idea if the road to Kollur via Nagara will get repaired in the near future?
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Old 30th October 2010, 08:11   #322
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Thank God with all kind of upset and with family in the car ill health and tyre punctures you made it at last to your home town.
Good narration
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Old 30th October 2010, 08:30   #323
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Hi MX6,

it appears that you had a very adventurous, close (d to the) left eye trip.
What is important is you reached home safe.
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Old 30th October 2010, 11:39   #324
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Whoa, as you narrate, I can actually imagine you telling the story in channels like TNL et al.

Seriously, while HVK said it would be crazy of him to attempt such things, lesser mortals like me would say it would be crazy to even think of attempting such things! You are beyond words, sir.

Here goes my hat off!
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Old 30th October 2010, 12:44   #325
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@mx6,

arey bhai,
,
man,
again and again,
whats need to do such adventures?
take care.
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Old 30th October 2010, 13:41   #326
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The gods of Shringeri were watching their favourite son all the while, though I must admit you are downright crazy to have completed this trip in the state you were.

Don't take it otherwise. Sincere Advice from a friend who may not have seen you in person all these days. I think you may have also used all your "Get out of Jail" cards during this trip, so please be careful during the next few trips until you recharge your cards.
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Old 30th October 2010, 14:11   #327
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hvkumar View Post
That was quite a read! Thanks for all the detailing and the wonderful human elements in your TL, especially the engaging tales of your daughter.

You were lucky to get some good samaritans - the puncture, the restaurant, etc. Goes to prove that rural India still has some values and time left for others!

Surprised too about the Dharwad-Kittur fog.

Hopefully, the roads in the Malnad area (Huncha etc) will improve now that the rains are over.

Any idea if the road to Kollur via Nagara will get repaired in the near future?
Saar. Such words from you are very encouraging. I feel very happy, that a person like you appreciates.
Yes. Rural India has loads of values and time left for others. Even policeman in rural India was so helpful.
I already saw widening of the Thirthahalli - Humcha route. They'd cleared trees on either side of teh singe lane roads. It would be a matter of time before they start putting up the tarmac. And the road to Nagara was also cleared up for widening. Not sure beyond that. So guess we'll have good roads in near future in that stretch.

I was surprised at the fog too. But then ParagSachania told me that it's a routine occurance in that stretch at these times.

Quote:
Originally Posted by gajadonga View Post
Thank God with all kind of upset and with family in the car ill health and tyre punctures you made it at last to your home town.
Good narration
Yes Gajadonga. We made it safe. With me there's one thing. Unless I'm 100% confident, I don't drive even half a kilometer. That's why the first 2 days I took the auto rickshaw in Sringeri.

Quote:
Originally Posted by StarVegabond View Post
Hi MX6,

it appears that you had a very adventurous, close (d to the) left eye trip.
What is important is you reached home safe.
Yes. We are safe and put all the "madness" behind. Now raring to go. Got a couple more of trips to Udupi coming up in two months time.

Quote:
Originally Posted by anilisanil View Post
Whoa, as you narrate, I can actually imagine you telling the story in channels like TNL et al.

Seriously, while HVK said it would be crazy of him to attempt such things, lesser mortals like me would say it would be crazy to even think of attempting such things! You are beyond words, sir.

Here goes my hat off!
lol. HVK was my pillar of support so much that I messaged him at 1:40 in the morning from the hotel in Belgaum about my progress.


Quote:
Originally Posted by ASHISHPALLOD View Post
@mx6,

arey bhai,
,
man,
again and again,
whats need to do such adventures?
take care.
Lol. This didn't involve offroading. It was done in 80% excellent roads, which I've been traversing regularly. I knew it like the back of my hand. It didn't involve beyond 1 am driving. It didn't involve getting lost in dangerous places due to my navigator.
Plain sedate driving on good roads at below speed limits! But it happens Bhau. Well, it happens!

Quote:
Originally Posted by pypkmsrikanth View Post
The gods of Shringeri were watching their favourite son all the while, though I must admit you are downright crazy to have completed this trip in the state you were.

Don't take it otherwise. Sincere Advice from a friend who may not have seen you in person all these days. I think you may have also used all your "Get out of Jail" cards during this trip, so please be careful during the next few trips until you recharge your cards.
Fav son of Sringeri? Wow I love it. Just like Khoj calls my daughter MX6 Jr.

Lol. I love the term Get out of Jail cards. But then, I sms-ed my conjuctivitis to HVKumar and told him that I'm stuck in Sringeri because of the same.
You know what his reply was?
"Infections are inevitable. Can't you find a driver?"

I did find a driver. And he was none other than me.

Nothing to boast here. Nothing to risk. I just recounted what exactly happened.
Here's a matter which is close to my heart.
I see people driving / riding holding mobile phones - Illegal.
I see people driving / riding after drinking - Illegal. You don't drink and putt. so why drink and drive. (recently there was a drunk driver who rammed a luggage cart on to the wing of a plane in Kolkata!)
I see people driving / riding without proper license, proper papers, vehicles in poor condition - Illegal.

But differently abled people have the right to drive and have to declare that they are impaired. I was temporarily slightly impaired, but didn't break any law. It was crazy to risk me and my family. But then I drove only because I felt 100% confident. So I can safely say that I had all the risks covered after much of thought. At everytime I ruminated on the idea of stopping and staying overnight.

And more than anything, it was 2 doctors one in his 50s and another in his 60s who told me about the condition of my eye, necessary precautions, medication etc and said, I CAN drive. Had they said don't drive, just close your eyes and stay put, I'd have done exactly that. So Medically I was cleared to drive as well by reputed doctors of a good hospital! They also told me what all I can expect to happen on the way. Worst possible scenarios. They cleared travel, the call was mine. Couple of hours of thinking and I surged ahead.

And when I wanted to make it to Kolhapur for the night and 20 odd kms before belgaum, when I felt I can't do it, I pulled out at the next exit, right in to a hotel. And if I couldn't open my eye in Belgaum next day the plan was to stay put till I can!

So not planning to recharge my get out of jail cards. It's a go or a no-go for me.

But yes, I do take your advice seriously. Will be more careful in future. And thanks for your wishes.

Now that I mention Paragsachania, we were indeed planning to meet in Srigeri for Dushera. He had to return back from CKM. I adviced him not to come over either as the red eye is not so welcoming at that time.

Last edited by MX6 : 30th October 2010 at 14:15.
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Old 30th October 2010, 14:28   #328
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MX6 View Post
Lol. This didn't involve offroading. It was done in 80% excellent roads, which I've been traversing regularly. I knew it like the back of my hand. It didn't involve beyond 1 am driving. It didn't involve getting lost in dangerous places due to my navigator.
Plain sedate driving on good roads at below speed limits!
You always change the definition of adventure.:

Last edited by ASHISHPALLOD : 30th October 2010 at 14:30.
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Old 30th October 2010, 14:44   #329
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What a adventure and I guess Shiva was watching over you. You were really crazy to attempt this in that condition.

Last edited by KRRaj : 30th October 2010 at 14:46.
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Old 31st October 2010, 21:54   #330
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I hope you have all recovered!
Esp you ! Eyes, legs and rest of the senses!

What a drive! And yes there are good samaritans all over.
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