The whole weekend was Jeepers weekend for Indians as the Jeep Thrills (a Premier Indian Jeeper's Club) celebrates its 4th anniversary. Same is the reason for me to be part of the Jeeping activity last weekend.It was started with workshop on Jeep assembling and parts, Patrick was demonstrating the internals of Jeep to the members of our club and lunch on Saturday, myself and my two pals geared up in my Explorer towards the get together organized in the evening for the Jeepers. We all traveled around 90kms to reach a rustic village, where the whole team planned to stay over night.
For me the first attraction was offroading with Anjan the founder of Jeep Thrills, we have been known to each other for a quite a long time but never did offroading together.
Secondly my two pals (Sharon, I should say a total energetic girl who cheered all of us for the Jeeping exercise and Dominic, a gentleman from Germany as a guest to the event with me.)
I think this is one of the first Jeep Thrills events where a foreigner participated. I hope he enjoyed the offroad event today as he also floated on the Palar river bed with my Explorer.
Thirdly the offroading event conducted on Sunday was on the Palar bed (a dry river that runs across Tamilnadu a state in India); This rever bed is like any other place and just safety for your jeep so you don't damage any parts. Othewise Palar or any other river or desert offroading is not so great to talk about. Since I had my friend from German wanted to play safe today ;-)
Now the actual story about the 4th Anniversary OTR, after our dinner on Saturday we crashed into the bed and the next morning was thrilling morning for me as for the above mentioned reasons. There were ten offroad capable vehicles (mostly jeeps) participated as mentioned below here:
- Mahindra Classic (1 no)
- Maruti Gypsy (1 no)
- Willys MB (1 no)
- Mahindra CJ340 (1 no)
- Toyota Landcruiser (1 no)
- Mahindra MM550 XD (1 no)
- Mahindra MM540 XD (1 no)
- Mahindra CJ500D (1 no)
- Mahindra MM540 DP (2 nos)
I brought my tyre pressure to 20psi to float on the sand, this was suggested by Patrick. Those who have already familiar with this terrain didn’t wait for reducing their tyre pressure; almost all vehicles reduced the tyre pressue. Hot + tough with no air-conditioned drive made most of our bodied to get dehydrated. The event organizers did plan it well, we had good amount of water and butter milk on the jeeps so we were not down with dehydration issue.
We had powder like sand every where in the river bed which totally took our vehicle engines for a task.
The most difficult part was that we need to climb around 60 degree sand incline. I couldn’t cross this incline with my jeep I given up as my 4 attempts were failed already.
Here the challenges were: 1. Too steep, 2. this is sand incline, 3. the run on space for the jeeps to pickup the momentum is too less. Except the Gypsy, Land Cruiser and MM550 none of us could do it. The reason being the run on distance for Diesel engines was high but we had really little space on the bottom to pickup, but Gypsy being petrol vehicle it picked up really fast.
When we headed back, it was almost 1pm in the after noon and the offroad was really tough and everyone dipped their head into the cold water availed in the location where we stayed. Patrick's son Rufus (14yrs old) was also done a great offroad jeep driving today, Collective video graph of the Palar River bed Offroad event is uploaded to You Tube and same has been posted here:
The anniversary program was turned out good as I also met good number of jeepers and the veteran like Jeeper Patrick. All the participants (like a family) posed for a photo shot and ended the event with smile.