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Old 1st March 2010, 18:04   #196
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Rajasthan Trip (Climax):

Pic 1: After the Sambhar Lake fiasco, we decided to go back home. Our route plan -> Sambhar Lake - Bundi - Kota - Ujjain - Indore - Nashik - Pune - Bangalore.

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Pic 2: On the way to Bundi, on a state highway. Backbenchers watch "Friends" on a laptop while the frontbenchers tackle the potholes & manic tractors.

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Pic 3: But the state highway to Bundi from Sambhar Lake really slowed us down. We reach Garh Palace (Bundi) after closing time - so this is the only shot we got of the palace. We proceeded to Kota to stay for the night.

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Pic 4: The next day, we reached a place a Jhalawar (between Kota & Ujjain) in Rajasthan. Disaster struck us! A bike with 3 on board (including one woman) brushed us from the side in a crowded junction. What happened next was very dark & gloomy, so I'm putting up a "dark" photo of nothing

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The three on the bike fell down. The woman did an acrobatic somersault and had a few scratches on her arm. Because of the low speed impact, the front number plate had fallen off. Immediately, a mob of 20 - 30 people surrounded us and started banging on our stationary car. Because of the mob attack, the car had minor dents on the bonnet.

But a traffic cop (I call him the Good Cop. Bad Cop comes in later) came out of nowhere and pacified the crowd (dekh loonga, mein hoona etc). We got out of the car among hateful stares, and put the injured woman in the car and headed to the hospital. I got into a bike with a Good Samaritan (he refused to take money from me), who warned us not to go to the police station - and to settle the matter at the hospital itself.

But at the hospital, the biker asked for Rs. 10,000. We obviously refused and we had to go to the police station, with the Good Cop sitting in the car with our front number plate. Inside the police station, there was this Bad Cop who too suggested that we pay Rs. 10,000 or else face "action". That is, we'll have to leave the car at the police station for the day.

We refused to pay, as it was not our fault, and the bike was carrying 3 people. But, as you might have guessed by now, the Bad Cop and the biker were insisting that there were only two on the bike. We stuck to our guns and stayed in the police station compound for an hour, refusing to pay.

At the compound, we had only the Good Cop with us suggesting that we should settle the matter. He would go back & forth between us and the Bad Cop/Biker with our offer of Rs. 1000 & then Rs. 3000. For a moment, we thought of simply getting into our car and driving off (when the Good Cop was not around). We decided against it, got bored of waiting in the police compound, finally agreed to pay Rs. 5000 and get out.

I have been so mentally scarred by the mob incident that, even now, I feel a bit uneasy about taking my wife out on our highways. After marriage, we momentarily thought of driving to Sikkim - but I dropped the idea - because we'd have to pass through "unknown" (for us) areas like Orissa/WB.

Pic 5: It took us some time to get into good spirits again. An excellent late lunch at a dhaba somewhere near Ujjain (MP) helped us recover. But unfortunately, our stomachs couldn't take in the dhaba food. While I had a stomach upset which was solved temporarily by popping a tablet, Jagga has to flee to the bushes with a Bisleri bottle in hand!

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Pic 6: We reached Indore in late evening, but a few locals asked us not to proceed further in the night because of highway robberies. We stayed put in Indore that night and continued our journey the next day. The ghat road just outisde Indore on the Indore - Nasik highway was brilliant.

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Pic 7,8 & 9: It was pouring buckets near Nasik. For the first time in our life, we drove the whole night (in shifts) and reached Bangalore via Pune. Boy! We were eager to get home or what!

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Pic 10: There is no place like home. Car looks like it has just done a Raid-De-Himalaya!

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Old 1st March 2010, 22:04   #197
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Kota reminds me of my times in Rajasthan! Quaint little town, before it got bitten by the IITJEE bug. Till then it real fun living around that place.
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Old 2nd March 2010, 00:31   #198
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one bad incident shouldn't stop you from taking your wife out SC. I always get peeved interacting with cops. Just drive safe and take your wife out man. With a lady behind, the crowd and the cop might just behave a bit better.
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Old 2nd March 2010, 00:58   #199
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MX6, hypothetically speaking, if we end up in a similar situation during our planned Gujarat trip with family in 2013 (assuming the world doesn't end in Dec 2012), how will you handle the situation? Just pay whatever is asked for, and go?
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Old 2nd March 2010, 11:37   #200
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MX6, hypothetically speaking, if we end up in a similar situation during our planned Gujarat trip with family in 2013 (assuming the world doesn't end in Dec 2012), how will you handle the situation? Just pay whatever is asked for, and go?
I'll handle it when it happens. No plans for any of these.
The better way when there's a hit and run is to not stop there, go to the nearest police station and file an FIR immediately stating the true facts. Then call up the insurance guys as well and say that you've suffered some damage in the car because some moron banged you and you've also filed an FIR.
Read Aryashiv's episode on an alleged hit and run in Nagar road.
One needs to be street smart.
In case of a mob scenario, it's all your luck and your good deeds of your previous lives.
But if you are still too afraid and start thinking of hypothetical scenarios, then I have no answers for it!
Being in Gujarat, I will probably ask for help of Ramkya.
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Old 2nd March 2010, 12:46   #201
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hehe OK!

Quote:
Just drive safe and take your wife out man
Hey, we haven't been cooped up at home after the Rajasthan incident. Just did a quick calculation - my wife & myself would have done close 10,000 km on Indian highways in 1 year, 3 months. That's pretty decent right?

Starting a new travelogue on our recent Madumalai -Ooty trip -

Pic 1: Went to the trip with my wife Pallavi (in pink) and my old girlfriend Chameli (in red).

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Pic 2: Pallavi takes over the wheel on Bangalore - Mysore highway, scaring away poor cyclists on the road.

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Pic 3: We reach Madumalai after 5 hours, throw our bags into our cottage..

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Pic 4: .. and head into the forests looking for elephants, in a Jeep.

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Pic 5: Straight away, we encounter dangerous animals like deer, peacocks etc. That sets our adrenaline pumping.

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Pic 6: The Jeep driver stops at a temple in the middle of the forest, waiting for the sun to set completely - so that elephants come out in the open. I use my extra long limbs to take our photos - without using timer or tripod.

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Pic 7: After sunset, we drive around for sometime and hear some sounds in the bushes. We then see a small herd of elephants, and one of them gets agitated by our presence.

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Vid 1: The driver quickly hits the reverse gear, faces the elehant herd and switches on the high beam. The bright light either has a calming effect or a confusing effect on the elephants, and they keep staring at the lights without moving much.



Pic 8: View outside our cottage the next day, early in the morning.

100,000 kms on Indian Highways, 6 treks & a Couple of Flights-p2250100.jpg
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Old 2nd March 2010, 13:43   #202
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Just loved this pic; simply awesome.
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Old 2nd March 2010, 17:10   #203
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keep them coming mate they are really cool....
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Old 2nd March 2010, 18:03   #204
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Thanks Kaushik.

Quote:
Just loved this pic; simply awesome.
Looking at the hills and the weather, we thought Nashik was a hill station!

Madumalai - Ooty Trip Continued:

Pic 1 & 2: The resort owner looks at the L-Board on the car, assumes that I'm still learning how to drive and offers some basic tips on how to handle the ghats. I politely listen, nod my head and leave our Madumalai resort for Ooty.

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Pic 3, 4, 5 & 6: Wife goes berserk with the camera, as we cruise towards the ghats.

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Pic 7: Best Ooty ghat drive ever - The road is one way! Vehicles coming down the hill have to take the longer route.

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Pic 8: In Ooty, it is cold, misty and windy. We immediately go to a shop where Pallavi dresses up like a biker (note the gloves).

100,000 kms on Indian Highways, 6 treks & a Couple of Flights-p2250149.jpg
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Old 2nd March 2010, 18:06   #205
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Pic 7: Best Ooty ghat drive ever - The road is one way! Vehicles coming down the hill have to take the longer route.
Which is this One-Way route? Is this the Kalhatty Road via Masinagudi? It was 2-way last time I been there. The scenery looks awesome really.
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Old 2nd March 2010, 18:14   #206
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Ya this is the Kalhatty ghat road with those 30 plus hairpin bends. The cops had blocked this road at the top, and were redirecting the traffic intending to come down to the longer Gudalur route (NH).

I guess they made the Kalhatty ghat road one-way temporarily for safety reasons - it was drizzling the whole time and the road was wet.
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Old 2nd March 2010, 19:04   #207
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Is the ooty hairpin road(36 bends IIRC) one way. Way back around 2003 or so I remember going via the 36 hair pin bend route, and also coming back the same way.
Ooty-Banglore, it was the longest solo drive of my life!
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Old 2nd March 2010, 19:52   #208
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Is the ooty hairpin road(36 bends IIRC) one way. Way back around 2003 or so I remember going via the 36 hair pin bend route, and also coming back the same way.
Ooty-Banglore, it was the longest solo drive of my life!
It is not one way. I guess smartcat is right when he says they blocked one way due to the slippery road conditions.
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Old 2nd March 2010, 22:53   #209
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I've been to Ooty 3 or 4 times, and this is the first time I've seen the ghat road being one-way. Around the time we visited Ooty, there was some kind of agitation in Masinagudi - not sure if that has any connection with one-way rule though. We saw very little traffic on the road that day.

The authorities should make it permanently one-way. It is a lot more fun, and is safer.
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Old 3rd March 2010, 11:42   #210
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Pic 1 & 2: We first decide to go to the Botannical Gardens. Although we've been to Ooty many times, we usually ignored the "family/touristy" places like the Gardens & the Lake for boating. We get in and take some photos of flowers, birds & the bees.

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Pic 3: This picture reminds many software engineers of the salary hikes they got this year.

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Pic 4: The smile in this photo is only for the camera. Off camera, there is always a frown "Why did you ask me to wear this stupid skirt? The ground is all wet. Eeyuck"!

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Pic 5, 6, 7 & 8: All that pitter patter drizzle get to us and we decide to drive down to Doddabetta - the tallest peak in South India. The problem is - in every state in south India, there is a "tallest peak of South India"

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Pic 9: On top, the visibility is about 5 feet. We drive down back to Ooty town - we don't even get down from the car.

100,000 kms on Indian Highways, 6 treks & a Couple of Flights-p2250171.jpg
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