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COVID19 Compliant - Afternoon Intermediate Desert Drive - 100 Drive Celebration Long Range Patrols - 10 Jul 2021


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5 hours ago, Thomas Varghese said:

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5 hours ago, Thomas Varghese said:

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@thomas varghese for the lovely pictures.

On 7/5/2021 at 3:59 PM, Ale Vallecchi said:

Hello @Gok Krish, You are #1 on the WL. Thanks

Hello @Ashok chaturvedi, You are #2 on the WL. Thanks

@Ale Vallecchi thanks sir

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Dear Desertnauts -  @Mario Cornejo, @Jorge Stepniak Felippe, @MUHAMMAD Kashif RAZZAQ, @Craig Finlayson, @Thomas Varghese, @Melenany, @Amir Amiri, @Kalahari - Welcome to the 100th Carnity drive celebra

Thanks for organising this centenary drive @Ale Vallecchi, and invite us along!  Everybody has their favourite type of drive, and this one had all the ingredients for me.  The first half was pure

It is @Ale Vallecchi always a pleasure and an honour to be in your convoy  equally the learning experience we get. I am looking forward to your upcoming drive postings. 

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Thanks for organising this centenary drive @Ale Vallecchi, and invite us along! 

Everybody has their favourite type of drive, and this one had all the ingredients for me.  The first half was pure exploration, but at a very good pace, in an area with very deep and soft sand, with multiple treacherous pockets.  This was an ideal intermediary learning area and highlighted the capabilities of car and driver required for this level.  The second part was pure fun, with small to medium long-ish dunes, great sideys from left to right while zig-zagging dune straights one after the other.   The minimum refusals confirmed the skills of the convoy and it was great to join you in this celebratory drive. 

Maybe @Ale Vallecchi can take us all the way to KSA for his 200th?

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@Ale Vallecchi it is always a professional experience when you lead the drive. At every steps, hurdles, difficulties in sand as well as and my personal favourite the Oryx and Camels were all pointed out to us. I recall except for one stuck incidence there were negligible amount of even refusals which happened. The gentle breeze and reduced humidity made the blazing hot afternoon bearable and we did wait to see the desert horizon but failed the sunset as a cloud of curtain hid the last part. Once again Ale thank you for the Ferrero chocolate at the end of the drive (lasted less than 5seconds, also the hint to other leads) as well as the sticker. Congrats again on your Birthday and centenary drive as well as your holiday break. Had a good team all highly experienced drivers. 

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100 Drives Anniversary: Long Range Patrols - Drive Report

When I am silent, I fall into that place where everything is music – Rumi

First of all, sorry for filing the report with much delay, due to my travelling overseas. I have been busy with business and family matters and have just been able to write up the usual recount of my latest drives.

While July 9th and 10th anniversary weekend’s main theme was enjoying my drives with as many Carnity members as possible, to celebrate a milestone I never thought of reaching (100 drives, incidentally, on my birthday’s weekend), two more things, of no less importance, became a common thread that wove my itineraries together: to bring on new challenges, and enjoy long stretches of silence, during the drives.

Since friendly camaraderie, new challenges, and enjoying the silence were shared with all drivers, throughout this triple outing, I will write a common report for all 3 drives, with just a few specifics, here and there, referring to each.

Friendship and the feeling of being part of a family are the traits that distinguish Carnity from other off-roading clubs. Hence, I was blessed for having part of this enlarged family with me during my birthday and 100 drives’ weekend, sharing the pleasure of driving on surprisingly pristine sand with as many fellow off-roaders as possible. On top of that, the huge number of wishes I have received from members in the last few days has been heart-warming. I couldn’t have asked for a nicer birthday and milestone’s celebrations, filled with fellowship and fun.

Now, on with the part regarding raising the bar, and offering new challenges. All the three drives were upped and pushed beyond the average level of difficulty and skills expected from each rank. So, the Newbie outing slowly became a Fewbie, the Fewbie was pushed at least to a Fewbie Plus, and the Intermediate one turned into an Exploration Drive.

The Long Range Patrol Intermediate drive became an Exploration drive from its very inception. As soon as I started reviewing the itinerary, I realized there was an area of desert, between Murqab and Faqa, which I had never visited. It was supposed to be a complex, technical area, but the analysis of the satellite maps showed enough passages among some extremely tight dunes, with occasional stretches of more open and longer dunes, that reassured me about the possibility of bringing experienced drivers through it, unharmed. After all, wasn’t the mission of the LRP that of reconnoitering, opening new passages, and preparing the ground for troops to come? After entering Murqab from the traditional meeting point, and warming up on its tall, long dunes, we entered the uncharted territory, finding it quite complex, but full of opportunities to cross the dunes in the North to South direction, zig-zagging our way along the cordons. The greatest obstacle was represented by a wide step of very soft sand, blown on top of the ridges, on the dunes’ hard-face side, by an unusual wind, coming from the South, instead of the usual North direction. This made the access to the top of the ridges very shifty and uncertain, limiting the amount of criss-crossing we were able to do from the hard-face (literally too soft to climb), and forced the convoy to patiently drive along the cordons, until a “door” opened onto the next line of dunes, or the ridge provided a lower, and practicable, climb and crossing. Once we reached Faqa in 1 hour and 30 minutes (record time, considering the lack of experience in driving through the area), we obviously continued through Faqa, with the goal of reaching Solar Park (as initially planned). As usual, this area never fails to provide a great stage for off-roading: tall, clean, long dunes, with plenty of bowls, climbs, and ridges to shoot for. Another great driving experience, which brought the convoy to reach the area of Little Sweihan, where we chose to exit on the sand track to Solar Park, due to a mechanical issue with one of the cars.

Many thanks to @Mario Cornejo, @Ashok chaturvedi, @Thomas Varghese, @Kalahari, @MUHAMMAD Kashif RAZZAQ, @Melenany and @Jorge Stepniak Felippe.

We concluded the drive after 3:27 hours (2:47 moving time), covering 94.2 Km, at an average moving speed of 34 Km/h (27 Km/h total).

In each of these drives, silence was loudly heard most of the time. Except for my briefing, redirections, and driving tips, all three itineraries had prolonged spells of no communication whatsoever. This is usually the sign of a drive proceeding super smoothly, during which the convoy falls into a perfect, yet silent, rhythm, each member both exploiting their skills to perfection as well as enjoying the route, its landscape, and the performance of the rest of the convoy.

What a pleasure it was to celebrate with as many of you as possible, all rising to the challenge, fully enjoying our beautiful desert. Thanks to all and see you soon in the sand.

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