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Old 17th January 2011, 14:05   #91
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Default Re: Expressway-Sand-Gravel-Snow: 5500kms in a Chevrolet Cruze

Quote:
Originally Posted by spadix View Post
DSC_6094 - Amazement this time at the dancer's capabilities. Very nicely captured.
She had so much energy that she was continously dancing for over 3 hours and in this particular act, she lifted the blade using just her eye-lashes and thereafter, she had to wipe away the tears.

Really sad they need to go to such extents to make their act enjoyable

Quote:
Originally Posted by spadix View Post
AVi, the latest couple of installments of your travelogue have been the most exciting - even more so than reports of the superb roads and silly speeds WA experienced! There's something about deserts, mountains and oceans that just captivates the onlooker. Having experienced sunset over desert sands myself a couple of years ago I find your account bringing back those moments once again .This will continue to remain an epic travelogue, as after the deserts there are going to be mountains
Thanks Prashant for those encouraging and lovely words. It indeed was an experience and will be etched into our memories forever.

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Originally Posted by spadix View Post
Seems like Jaipur - Delhi stretch is just like the VJA - Hyd one! Thanks for that summary table. By the way, is that brake dust on the left rear rim (your picture of WA on the Jaipur bypass)?
That would be a fair comparison. I was told that this route is going to be pure heaven and I decided to take the wheel after our lunch at that Jaipur by-pass. Boy! was that a wrong decision

Quote:
Originally Posted by spadix View Post
So per this route, Hyd - Del is around 3000 kms as opposed to the 1400-1500 (?) via the N-S corridor. Lovely detour, man! Absolutely worth it, and absolutely inexplicable to the world outside TBHP (and equivalent).
Every km of this detour until Delhi was absolutely worth it. Now from hereon the nightmare ( for the WA) begins

Quote:
Originally Posted by gajadonga View Post
Nice pictures mobike008 good narration.I was away in Manali and on the way back into Rajasthan.
Will start a travelogue in a couple of days.
Am enjoying the travelogue
Thanks.

I spent last 2 winters in Himachal including Manali and HP was the first destination that came to mind even for this drive. But, i didnt want to take the risk with my new car so decided on more level grounded destination/s

On Jan1st, 2011 we got up pretty late and had mutter paranthas and home made gajar ka halwa at my in-laws place and decided to head out to Karol Bagh for a quick shopping spree. Came back home at 1pm and after bidding tearful byes to wifey left home at 2pm for Meerut which is 65kms away.

We were under impression that most Delhites would be still in bed ( tired from their new year eve's partying) but, unfortunately it was the opposite.

Seemed like all Delhities were on road. Heavy traffic everywhere and we could reach Meerut only by 5:30pm
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Last edited by mobike008 : 17th January 2011 at 14:07.
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Old 17th January 2011, 15:02   #92
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Default Re: Expressway-Sand-Gravel-Snow: 5500kms in a Chevrolet Cruze

We spent Jan-1st in Meerut and dropped off Cousin's family in Meerut and picked up Abhay ( my cousin's brother-in-law) and he suggested we go to Shukartaal which is 80kms away from Meerut where his friend Pappu bhai has about 100 acres of sugarcane fields and is currently staying there as its season to cut the cane.

He assured us it will be once in a lifetime experience of staying in amidst the fields in pitch dark with no light ( sourced some for a single bulb from a Mahindra Tractor for entire night) and spend the night in small hut. We started after lunch and reached Shukartaal around 530pm and it was already dark by then.

I was advised to park the Cruze in an ashram on the mainroad and we hopped into Pappu bhai's jeep and did some extreme offroading to reach his little hut some 15kms away in pitch dark conditions where even he missed a few turns. Had a newbie gone there he would have never found the little opening for entire night.

Temperature was close to 2C as it was very cold especially since it was all open field. His fields are next to about 200 acres of land owned by film actress Gul Panag's father ( Retired Major in the army)

We cooked some nice spicy chicken and spent the evening wrapped in the blankets catching up on various things. Next day morning, we were taken for a ride in the jeep to a nearby place where Ganga waters have extended and took a boat ride too. We even tried our hand at riding the John Deere for few meters.

We helped a few villagers cross the lake in our boat and our oarsman also helped a couple of bullocks cross the lake.

It was a fun experience for someone like us from the city. We enjoyed this one night experience thoroughly

WA was parked in this place. This picture is while taking it out next day

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We offroaded through this muck in the jeep

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Chicken being prepared behind the hut at 6:30pm ( It was pitch dark then)

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One of the barasinga's that died in the monsoon flood in that region. It seems that area saw a lot of flood during the monsoon

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Old 17th January 2011, 16:32   #93
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Default Re: Expressway-Sand-Gravel-Snow: 5500kms in a Chevrolet Cruze

Here are some more pictures from the sugarcane fields. We enjoyed a different north breakfast of Jaggery, Mutta ( Buttermilk) and Paratha's brought fresh by one of the guys we met there.

Local girl who travelled with us on the boat

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Jaggery and Muttha for breakfast

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Cooking equipment

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Nepal Singh ( 2nd in command)

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Cook

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Pappu bhai flanked by Nepal Singh and Jairaj Singh

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Old 17th January 2011, 17:19   #94
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Default Re: Expressway-Sand-Gravel-Snow: 5500kms in a Chevrolet Cruze

A superb journey, Mobike008 and great snaps too. I am really enjoying your travelogue! Waiting for the next instalment!

Quote:
Originally Posted by mobike008 View Post
Our entire trip from Ghodbhandar which we started at 6:00am until we reached Udaipur at 7:30pm was throughly enjoyable except for that 1 hour traffic jam.

Essentially we covered 745kms in 13.5 hours and if you exclude the jam timeframe then we did it in 12.5 hours which is a phenomenal coverage in that amount of time.

For me, this particular stretch after dark until we reached Udaipur was one of the most thrilling and lovely stretch to drive on those twisties with great markings of "cat-eyes" and i was keeping up some phenomenal speeds until Udaipur
I enjoyed seeing your pics of NH 8 and the twisties in RJ. My wife and I had done a road trip to Udaipur last year. It was one of our most enjoyable holidays ever! I relished driving on NH 8 and was able to reach Udaipur in 15 hours of driving from Pune. That was a total running of 959 kms.

From Ghodbunder, we covered the remaining 764 kilometres till Udaipur, in just 11.5 hours of driving. The highway was brilliant!

I had not seen or driven on such a wonderful highway before that day!

Your travelogue brought back a lot of sweet memories!!! Keep up the good work!
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Old 17th January 2011, 17:33   #95
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Default Re: Expressway-Sand-Gravel-Snow: 5500kms in a Chevrolet Cruze

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Originally Posted by Chevy_lover View Post
A superb journey, Mobike008 and great snaps too. I am really enjoying your travelogue! Waiting for the next instalment!

Thanks C_L. Nice to see the appreciation coming from you whose travelogue I too have followed in the past and you are known for long distances.

Keep tuned as in next installment the landscape changes to snow.......

After driving on GJ and RJ highways, i am totally spoilt and cursing every other piece of highway/city roads that i am driving on

Too bad we dont have such roads elsewhere in our country.

Here are the final set of snaps from the sugarcane fields in Shukartaal in UP. This one night stay in open fields would be remembered for a long time.


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This tractor was used for lighting a bulb the whole night in that hut

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Old 17th January 2011, 17:44   #96
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Default Re: Expressway-Sand-Gravel-Snow: 5500kms in a Chevrolet Cruze

Great Avi..
5500kms is a lo..ong drive. Description has been great as ever, pics as well.
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Old 17th January 2011, 18:13   #97
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Default Re: Expressway-Sand-Gravel-Snow: 5500kms in a Chevrolet Cruze

Lovely lovely lovely snaps buddy!

I get hooked to all the WA's snaps especially. She is a stunner!

The chicken being cooked really looks hot and yummy. SLRRPPPPPP...
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Old 17th January 2011, 18:43   #98
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Default Re: Expressway-Sand-Gravel-Snow: 5500kms in a Chevrolet Cruze

I go off the forum for 3 days and the travelogue has also reached Meerut.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mobike008 View Post
After an exciting and re-living our history type of visit to Mehrangarh Fort where there were so many exhibits, it was indeed a marvellous experience our next pit stop was "White Memorial, Jodhpur"

We were told that this place is where all the maharaja's are buried after they pass away!
Hindu kings being buried? Are you sure
The name of the place is actually Jaswant Thada and here is what Google Baba returned me
Quote:
The Jaswant Thada is an architectural landmark located in Jodhpur. It is a white marble memorial built by Sardar Singh in 1899 in memory of Maharaja Jaswant Singh II. The monument, in its entirety, is built out of intricately carved sheets of marble. These stones are extremely thin and polished so that they emit a warm glow when the sun's rays dance across their surface. Within this cenotaph, there are also two more tombs. The Jaswant Thada is a traditional cremation ground of Jodhpur rulers. The grounds also include exquisitely carved gazebos, a beautiful multi-tiered garden, and a small lake It was close to sunset and it was hot and sticky in a desert climate.
Excerpts taken from Visit Jaswant Thada in Jodhpur, Travel to Jodhpur, Jaswant Thada Tourism, Golden Triangle with Jaswant Thada
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Originally Posted by SDP View Post
Nice travelogue there. Crisp description and decent snaps.
I was aware of pink city and blue city. Golden city was a surprise.
Any other 'color' cities in Rajasthan?
Jaisalmer became famous as the Sonar Kella City (City of the Golden City) after a movie made by Satyajit Ray based on his own novel called "Sonar Kella" featuring the imaginary character "Feluda". More can be found here Sonar Kella - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


@Avi: Some shots of the farmhouse stay and sunset are awesome. I think you should do some PP to enhance their beauty

Cheers
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Old 17th January 2011, 19:04   #99
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Default Re: Expressway-Sand-Gravel-Snow: 5500kms in a Chevrolet Cruze

wonderful shots

Was it really fun spending night in that hut ? Or may I have to be there to appreciate something I am not able to see
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Old 17th January 2011, 19:18   #100
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Default Re: Expressway-Sand-Gravel-Snow: 5500kms in a Chevrolet Cruze

Avinash,
No exaggeration, the chicken pic. just opened up my saliva glands and I could nearly smell it.
Those antlers fixed on the wrong side of the tractor are of a Sambar stag.
Your moves with the folk women are just awesome.
Regards,
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Old 18th January 2011, 12:38   #101
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Default Re: Expressway-Sand-Gravel-Snow: 5500kms in a Chevrolet Cruze

Quote:
Originally Posted by naveen.kk View Post
Great Avi..
5500kms is a lo..ong drive. Description has been great as ever, pics as well.
Thanks Naveen. WA deserved a long drive. So we did it!

Quote:
Originally Posted by ajay_satpute View Post
Lovely lovely lovely snaps buddy!

I get hooked to all the WA's snaps especially. She is a stunner!

The chicken being cooked really looks hot and yummy. SLRRPPPPPP...
Thanks Ajay. You seem to be an equally big fan of Cruze like me. After getting the Cruze, i dont have eyes for any other car.

They all seem so insipid in front of a Cruze. Don't you think?

Quote:
Originally Posted by MileCruncher View Post
I go off the forum for 3 days and the travelogue has also reached Meerut.

@Avi: Some shots of the farmhouse stay and sunset are awesome. I think you should do some PP to enhance their beauty
Thanks for the Wiki gyan. From hereon our nightmare on UP roads commence.

As you know i am not an expert on PP or any other image editing tools. I just add or minus contrast and light and there they are for your viewing pleasure.

Quote:
Originally Posted by rkbharat View Post
Was it really fun spending night in that hut ? Or may I have to be there to appreciate something I am not able to see
Trust me, i am equally used to luxury at home so i need my comfort items to make myself comfortable. And, this experience of staying in the hut was truly extraordinary as it was equipped with 5 layers of razai for the flooring and thick razai for each to ward of the extreme cold weather that night.

We enjoyed our dinner wrapped in our thick blankets and yakked long into the night. It was an unforgettable experience for sure.

Quote:
Originally Posted by fazalaliadil View Post
Avinash,
No exaggeration, the chicken pic. just opened up my saliva glands and I could nearly smell it.
Those antlers fixed on the wrong side of the tractor are of a Sambar stag.
Your moves with the folk women are just awesome.
Regards,
That chicken was cooked with lot of chilly as they thought the southern state guests prefer spicy food. It turned out to be really well made and too spicy even for our palate

We used it for snacks as well as the main course with hot chappatis made by the cook.

Next morning after the ride to the river and back. We bid adieus to Pappu bhai ( a true UP bhayya ) who was a real fun person to be around with.

We headed off to Nainital through some horribly congested towns of UP like Jhalu, Bijnor, Najijabad, Kathgodam to Nainital.

It took us over 6 hours to reach Nainital from Shukartaal which is roughly about 290kms. Road conditions were not good at all and there was so much of traffic and we had to pass through so many small towns, it was truly a frustrating experience to reach Nainital.

This trip to Nainital gave us a fairly good insight as to why UP is densest in population. Everywhere there are people, 2-wheelers and people are just lazing on roads. Massive headcount everywhere

The best part of reaching Nainital was the 40kms ghat section that I drove in the night. There are 2 different ghat sections to reach Nainital. We went in through one and came out through another.

The markings on the ghat is fabulous in night. Clear indications when the road is turning and trust me this ghat section is really twisty ( albeit the ones in HP) I dont think I have driven anywhere so steep and twisty in my life. It was super fun.

We reached the top around 6:30pm and immediately found a hotel near the mall road. The hotel came dead cheap. Rs.800/day for 3 people

And, the room was very big with sofa set and an additional mattress et. all

The only issue was their parking was quite dangerous. We spent almost 15 minutes to park the WA as you can see in pictures below my rear tyre was only an inch or two away from open air

2nd Leg of our Journey ( Meerut-Nainital-Meerut)


WA resting somewhere enroute Nainital where we stopped at a Sardarji's dhaba for some delectable egg bhurji, roti, paratha and lassi

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If you look closely, rear tyre is inches away from open air. There is atleast a 25-feet drop below

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Pretty flower

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Twisty roads of the hillstation

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Last edited by mobike008 : 18th January 2011 at 12:41.
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Old 18th January 2011, 14:11   #102
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Default Re: Expressway-Sand-Gravel-Snow: 5500kms in a Chevrolet Cruze

Next day, we hired an Alto and toured the entire hillstation as a proper tourist. Temperatures were very cold and must be in 0C-2C with lot of cold gushing winds despite some sun during the afternoon.

Here are some random snaps of Nainital
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Old 18th January 2011, 14:52   #103
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Default Re: Expressway-Sand-Gravel-Snow: 5500kms in a Chevrolet Cruze

splendid pictures of the mountains
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Old 18th January 2011, 14:56   #104
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Default Re: Expressway-Sand-Gravel-Snow: 5500kms in a Chevrolet Cruze

As we drove up in the ghats from Nainital town, we found a lot of snow to our joy. It seems there was heavy snowfall on Dec 31st and this was the remains of the same fall.

It is tricky to walk on that snow and we had near miss falls several times and some patches had the dreaded black ice which to naked eye looks like tar road until your almost on top of it.

After spending more than an hour enjoying the white, we descended and were taken aback to view the famous Nainital lake from a particular point. It indeed looked like in a shape of Nain ( EYE).

We made a good decision of going to Nainital instead of Dehradun which I was told has become extremely commercial and there is nothing hillstation about it anymore.
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Old 18th January 2011, 15:00   #105
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Default Re: Expressway-Sand-Gravel-Snow: 5500kms in a Chevrolet Cruze

WOW ! That's some travelogue and whatta ride. Do write more about the way the car handled...niggles if any.

Where are you headed from Meerut.......Kolkata ? Lucky you !
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