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Old 22nd February 2010, 20:18   #106
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Oh Man what an amazing trip, Iam speechless on our photography
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Old 22nd February 2010, 23:35   #107
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Thanks Bhargava!

Continuing with Athirapally Falls - Valparai Ghats trip:

Pic 1: For the night, we stayed at the govt owned KSTDC hotel. It was clean, but they offered only fried rice and eggs for dinner since we were the only customers.

100,000 kms on Indian Highways, 6 treks & a Couple of Flights-pc160142.jpg

Pic 2: Being a "pure vegetarian", I only had one egg.

100,000 kms on Indian Highways, 6 treks & a Couple of Flights-pc160143.jpg

Pic 3: Next, we headed towards Vazhachal waterfalls, which is closeby. Vazhachal is a cascade waterfall. Nice roar!

100,000 kms on Indian Highways, 6 treks & a Couple of Flights-pc170150.jpg

Pic 4: Niri switches on the timer and runs to get there before the camera goes 'click'.

100,000 kms on Indian Highways, 6 treks & a Couple of Flights-pc170158.jpg

Pic 5: We walk upstream in the forest and find a low overhanging branch.

100,000 kms on Indian Highways, 6 treks & a Couple of Flights-pc170160.jpg

Pic 6: We head home and take the route to Valparai town. Roads are narrow but smooth.

100,000 kms on Indian Highways, 6 treks & a Couple of Flights-pc170175.jpg

Pic 7: YC calls up home and tells Mum "We'll be in Bangalore in another 4 hours". We were like.. what? what did you say?

100,000 kms on Indian Highways, 6 treks & a Couple of Flights-pc170191.jpg

Pic 8: We take out our trusty map and show him how far we are Bangalore. And by the way, all those blue lines in the map are the places/roads which we have already taken on our other road trips.

100,000 kms on Indian Highways, 6 treks & a Couple of Flights-pc170194.jpg

Pic 9: And then, we come across what is arguably India's best driving road - the Valparai Ghats!

100,000 kms on Indian Highways, 6 treks & a Couple of Flights-pc170195.jpg

Pic 10: Fast straights, wide roads, sharp hair pins (not as sharp as Ooty though), solid concrete barricade and sparse traffic. 40 hair pins, and if you have a wingman (person on the passenger seat), he can even spot the traffic coming up - the roads are so well designed.

100,000 kms on Indian Highways, 6 treks & a Couple of Flights-pc170197.jpg

Pic 11: As you climb down, the Aliyar Dam reservoir looks bigger and bigger.

100,000 kms on Indian Highways, 6 treks & a Couple of Flights-pc170196.jpg

Pic 12: We finally head back home via Coimbatore. Traffic on this 2 + 2 lane Coimbatore - Bangalore road is terrible after dark as trucks take over both the lanes crawling at 30 km/hr, trying to overtake eachother. Liberal use of horn helps solve the problem at bit.

100,000 kms on Indian Highways, 6 treks & a Couple of Flights-pc170206.jpg
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Old 23rd February 2010, 00:46   #108
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That valparai ghat road looks very inviting!
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Old 23rd February 2010, 12:14   #109
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Amazing Valparai Ghat roads - Wish there was more light and snaps of the road itself. You guys clearly had a whale of a time .
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Old 23rd February 2010, 12:14   #110
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What a thread 'SCat'. I'm glued absolutely.

I checked your friends 1.5 lakhed photos on flickr. But he does not seem an amateur and is not at all a half-nut.

but a complete one like many among us.
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Old 23rd February 2010, 12:35   #111
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Quote:
That valparai ghat road looks very inviting!
We did this stretch again in a Hyundai Getz - this time going up, and in the night. It was lot more fun this time, although the grip levels were comparitively lower. Since it was after nightfall, we could see the headlight beam of oncoming traffic at the hairpins and slow down if required.

In the Optra, we took the first hairpin tentatively at 30 kmph, the 2nd one at 35 kmph, the 3rd one at 40 kmph (and kept an ear for squealing tyres) and pushed the speed further on. Because our tyres were fairly new, we could take some hairpins at 50 kmph with some amount of understeering.

Backed off a bit, and took most hairpins at 40 to 45 kmph.

Quote:
Wish there was more light and snaps of the road itself.
Sorry, but I didn't want to stop the car for a photo session - I was trying to check the maximum corner speed. The guy in the passenger seat had the job of keeping an eye on the oncoming traffic - so he couldn't take photos. People sitting behind were busy rolling from left to the right!

Quote:
I checked your friends 1.5 lakhed photos on flickr. But he does not seem an amateur and is not at all a half-nut. but a complete one like many among us.
Haha. You will change your opinion if you spend some driving time with him.
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Old 23rd February 2010, 12:46   #112
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Haha. You will change your opinion if you spend some driving time with him.
I'd love to. And there are no change of opinions. Look at my signature, you'd know what I mean!
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Old 23rd February 2010, 12:59   #113
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hehe OK.

btirthankar, keep an eye on PearlJam's travelogue. He has been to Valparai too - so let's see if he has taken some good snaps of the Valparai Ghats.

http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/travel...dzire-zdi.html (1550 Kms:Bangalore-Parambikulam-Valparai-Cochin-Ooty-Bangalore in a DZire ZDi)
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Old 23rd February 2010, 13:16   #114
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Quote:
Originally Posted by smartcat View Post
hehe OK.

btirthankar, keep an eye on PearlJam's travelogue. He has been to Valparai too - so let's see if he has taken some good snaps of the Valparai Ghats.

http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/travel...dzire-zdi.html (1550 Kms:Bangalore-Parambikulam-Valparai-Cochin-Ooty-Bangalore in a DZire ZDi)
Now I start off wiki-ng 'Valparai' given my excellent knowledge of South India

I am checking the Dzired Thread.
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Old 23rd February 2010, 14:15   #115
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Are you two "club members" of Haathi Mahal?
No. I am not. It's just that I have been there a few times and I really liked the place. Unfortunate that you had to pay for the glasses though.

Quote:
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Since it was after nightfall, we could see the headlight beam of oncoming traffic at the hairpins and slow down if required.
That's the whole fun and advantage of driving at night. Empty roads, oncoming lights, Super feeling.

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Originally Posted by btirthankar View Post
I checked your friends 1.5 lakhed photos on flickr. But he does not seem an amateur
Just what I was thinking too. Your friend is good with the camera. I really liked some of the shots.

...And yes, a fantastic thread.
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Old 23rd February 2010, 14:18   #116
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We stop working, eat fish curry rice, wash it down and are back after the sun has dunked himself.

[b]

You arrange them as an inverted cone with the wicks all together and then light them Goan ishstyle.



Not his, owned by a Mining Baron. They own a couple of Maserati GTs too. Legend has it that it is the most photographed yatch in Asia but no on has seen it sail till date.


I found one photo on the net dont know if its Mallya's Yacht
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Old 23rd February 2010, 16:27   #117
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Why does this yatch need those cheap hanging rubber tyres?

Anyway, moving on, we did the biggest baddest 15 day 7000 km road trip to Rajasthan in 2006. Our route -

Bangalore - Goa - Murud Janjira Fort (Maharashtra) - Daman - Surat (for a wedding) - Little Rann (Guj) - Jodhpur - Jaisalmer - Sam's Sand Dunes -Pushkar - Sambhar Lake (near Jaipur) - Kota - Ujjain - Indore - Pune - Bangalore

The places marked in bold are the places we actually visited. The rest of the places - we just drove through. Although, we were in the Little Rann area, we actually didn't find the salty plains - even after asking a couple of locals. We gave up after some searching and moved on to Rajasthan.

On this trip, we truly found out the capabilities of a 2WD car in offroading conditions. The offroading that we did in Optra is not the usual kaccha track/dirt track runs that everybody does, as you will find out in the upcoming pics & videos.

Teaser Pic (Every travelogue writer on team-bhp has teasers, so why shouldn't I?):

100,000 kms on Indian Highways, 6 treks & a Couple of Flights-dsc00579.jpg

The conclusion: Yes - you need a 4WD vehicle if you intend to do offroading.
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Old 23rd February 2010, 16:37   #118
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Why does this yatch need those cheap hanging rubber tyres?
Those will be hanging on both sides of all vessels to protect the hull from damage while berthing at a jetty. Generally tug boats will push the vessels close to the jetty while berthing and the vessel will tend to slightly bump in to the wall. They look small in the picture, but generally old tractor tyres are used for this purpose.
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Old 23rd February 2010, 17:14   #119
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Pic 1: The main characters (from the left) - Naveen, myself, Binny & Jagga.

100,000 kms on Indian Highways, 6 treks & a Couple of Flights-dsc00245.jpg

Pic 2: Somewhere on the Goa - Mumbai highway

100,000 kms on Indian Highways, 6 treks & a Couple of Flights-dsc00215.jpg

Pic 3: We stopover in a small town on NH17. Being bachelors, we watch some late night TV in the lodge.

100,000 kms on Indian Highways, 6 treks & a Couple of Flights-dsc00277.jpg

Pic 4: It's morning now but Binny doesn't want to get up.

100,000 kms on Indian Highways, 6 treks & a Couple of Flights-dsc00263.jpg

Pic 5: Which one of you poured water on me? Ek ek ko dekh loonga!!

100,000 kms on Indian Highways, 6 treks & a Couple of Flights-dsc00274.jpg

Pic 6: We have 15 mins each to get ready. Binny looks on as I apply copius amount of hair cream to keep the mop on my head under control.

100,000 kms on Indian Highways, 6 treks & a Couple of Flights-dsc00270.jpg

Pic 7: Every morning, each one of us has work to do. 2 men to clean the front/rear windscreen, all windows & the headlights, one person to clean the interiors (bottles, sand etc) and one person to pack all our luggage in the boot.

100,000 kms on Indian Highways, 6 treks & a Couple of Flights-dsc00221.jpg

Pic 8: We are ready to start the 2nd day. We found this on Goa - Mumbai highway on our right hand side. Any idea about these caves?

100,000 kms on Indian Highways, 6 treks & a Couple of Flights-dsc00230.jpg


Note: Do not look at the datestamp on the photos. The sony camera was acting weird switching ON & OFF (like it was possessed), and in some photos, the datestamp shows "2005" instead of 2006. But eventally, sand from the Rajasthan desert got into this camera lens and finally killed it.
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Old 23rd February 2010, 17:15   #120
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gansan View Post
Those will be hanging on both sides of all vessels to protect the hull from damage while berthing at a jetty. Generally tug boats will push the vessels close to the jetty while berthing and the vessel will tend to slightly bump in to the wall. They look small in the picture, but generally old tractor tyres are used for this purpose.
I seriously thought those tyres were a cheap replacement for lifeboats - since I've mostly seen them on small passenger ferries
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