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Simon D

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Posts posted by Simon D

  1. What an amazing Drive @JeromeFJ , this drive was more of testing the drivers focus, stamina and endurance . as you described the terrain was unpredictable, but fun specially when driving with such capable drivers.

    @Joji varghese@Salim Akhtar,  @Foxtrot Oscar @Amr Aydin,@Rajiv Sam @Beide Worku,@MMansoor it was a pleasure to drive with you and looking forward to see you soon in the next adventure 💪

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  2. On 1/16/2023 at 6:59 PM, Zed said:

    well it's now over 48hrs, and I did go to the doctor per @Gaurav & @Srikumar's recommendation. Doc said since no vomitting, no broken ribs, no blurry vision and no pain whatsoever, she declared me fit to drive & work again 🙂

    I would rather focus on the positive things and the good lucks, so here they are:

    • alhamdulillah I managed to return home unharmed, thanks to every single one in the convoy, I pray God bless you all for your kindness.
    • thanks to my trip marshal @Srikumar for leading the team during the incident. There were other younger blood he could direct & delegate to, but he chose to unroll his sleeves and in the process hit his head against my rear bumper (luckily it's stock fibre... imagine if it's the Y62 with 4mm steel 😱)  
    • it was good luck @Haitham Khattab pushed himself to join the drive eventhough he overslept and started driving at 5:30am. For his presence helped a lot, as we needed an Arabic speaker to translate and bridge the communication with the police.
    • i had a nice recovery driver who shared me his Naan & vegetables lunch
    • in short, eventhough it was an unfortunate incident, I am thankful and happy with the people who surrounded me & helped.

    Thanks for asking @Tom B @Rob S @ASAD. , not my first rollover with perfect landing on all 4 wheels, so the shocks were subdued a bit 😅, but nevertheless humbles and amazes me how we're given second..eh i mean... fourth chance. My wife reminded to watch the latest Puss in the Boots movie  😂

    And this is the finale good news: only Windshield (500dhs second-hand) + Front Right Fender (300dhs second-hand) + Front Right Passenger Door (300dhs second-hand) are badly damaged. According to the Denting Specialist, the roof can be fixed without replacing the whole roof. I'll probably start a thread on the LC 10K bring-to-life restoration project 😄

    @Zed i am glad you are ok man. Seriously , i love your +ve vibes and energy. hopefully this will be your last bad incident . 

    and i am glad that you weren't killed by your wife :D  😂.

    looking forward to see you soon 

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  3. first, i would like to thanks @Ale Vallecchi for making this drive happen. i would have to say its one of the most enjoyable Newbie drives i ever been part of. it was mix of most type of terrain, pace and difficulty combined with with a nice weather , amazing desert sand together with wonderful people .

    every one drove really well it was a pleasure to meet you all ( some of you for the 1st time )  @Klaus Pedersen, @Sajan.S, @Rashid Alseeni, @Ron.P , @rohit kumar, @Misha Puskar@GeorgeFJ, @Siby

    I know how you might feel intimidated, ashamed and uncomfortable in some situations like stuck, refusals of certain maneuvers. your heart racing , sweating from everywhere and  million thoughts crossing your mind !! this have happened to the best of us . but, what i would like to state that at  @Carnity family you dont need to feel any of that as we don't judge you for these situations. we all share the love to Nature , Dessert and  off-roading excitement and what makes us even happier is seeing the new members skills and confidence getting better by every drive.

    My Advice to all the newbie , get to know our car better ( maybe read the user manual ) check how to engage the diff-lock and 4L , check how to turn off Traction control, ABS,  maybe a kill-switch is required in some situations etc.

    in addition to that remember that communication is prime in this sport! practice using the Radio and when you are having a stuck or a refusal announce your car number and the situation you are in and wait for the instruction from the Support or Marshal, and NEVER reverse without getting the clear instruction to do so as many times you might be reversing into a pit or even a cliff without you noticing. 

    @Siby, i am glad that you only had a pop-out when you reversed down the hill ( God forbid ) it could have been much worse. i am sure lesson learned and you will be more in control of your car next time.

    @GeorgeFJ as @Ale Vallecchi already mentioned, you are always welcomed as long as you are willing to learn and get better every drive.

    Thank you @Patrick van der Loo for sweeping the convoy and making sure that no one is left behind.

    @Georges Kazan i will be posting some videos of the drive here i am not sure yours is part of them. 

    anyone who have some pictures you could post them in the drive galley 

    looking forward to see you all soon in the Sand 🍻

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  4. 5 hours ago, munkybizness said:

    It'd been just a week over six months since I'd done an Intermediate drive. Travel has kept me away from the sand for the past many months but I wanted to get back out there, at the peak of it all. After the past two weeks of sickness and revelry, the opportunity finally came in the form of an Intermediate "Plus" with @GauravSoni. The fact that I even made the cut to be on this drive is pure luck since Gaurav had set very stringent conditions for those who would join him on this foray. To say I was nervous more than excited, would be an understatement.

    I also did myself no favours arriving very late at the meeting point the night before, just in time to say my hellos, see my lightweight chair collapse in the sand under my weight, the last embers of firewood turning grey and a furry little golden rodent giving Gaurav & @Looper ample entertainment. In some ways, I'm happy that I didn't have more time to immerse myself in Al Qua'a before my drive. The unexpected remained unknown and the way the campsite was setup, the dunes seemed distant and uncharted. It helped calm my nerves. Unlike the Liwa Crescent Crossing from February this year where we camped smack in the middle between large walls of dunes, Al Qua'a fools you into thinking that its dunes are less noteworthy. Its reputation and legacy here within @Carnity and beyond will tell you otherwise. I would never underestimate this terrain, especially not when in the company of some of the finest drivers in this club and a drive carrying a "plus" grading on the highest level. This was going to be a challenge.

    It is perhaps because of this reason, that even after putting down my gym mat and sleeping bag in the back of my car, with the faint red-light of my lamp illuminating the inside of the cabin that I couldn't immediately fall asleep at 2am. For thirty minutes, I just revelled in the silence, listening to my breaths finding equilibrium with the stillness of my surroundings. Soon after I fell asleep. I arose at 5am and realising that it was still dark out, and I was already at the start point, I pulled the schoolboy trick to add another hour to the mental tank. I would need it later.

    At 5.57am, my excited nervousness overcame any fatigue and I woke up to dress for the day. As the horizon turned violet from indigo, to pink, and back to violet, and back to pink again, the magic of the moment washed away the fear of what was to come. I can only imagine what was going through the minds of @ASAD., @Looper and @GauravSoni. Elsewhere, in the distance I could see the dusty yellow Wrangler of @Anoop Nair and the beastly looking Y61 of @Mario Cornejo arriving at the road exit. The moment was upon us. I lit up my stove, and just as the sun's golden hue began to change the horizon, my gooseneck kettle began to hiss. The boiling water and the caffeine it blended into were the perfect metaphor for what was going on within my heart - my mind was racing, the heartbeat quickening and the excitement reaching a fever pitch. With the caffeine washed down, some semolina stuffed in, the recovery gear ratcheted down and the radio brought to life, we headed out to join up the convoy.

    As the newest member in this terrain I was put up front and I'm thankful for it, definitely more thankful than @Anoop Nair who had to follow me. My rusty joints and slowly rebooting memory would give him a lot to anticipate. Many of his refusals came as a direct result of my being unable to keep the momentum up the warmup session. The warm up session was also the first to claim @Zixuan Huang - Charlie in a stuck on a steep slip face but amply recovered by the gents in the back. Over the radio, we heard crackles of air seeping out and this deflation would further deflate us too, but fortunately it was just a momentary issue and quickly resolved.

    With this minor moment behind us, we set out again, to find some of the most glorious bowls and ridges to cross over. As my confidence began to rise, I also began to experiment with my gearing. Some times I got it right, some times I got it very wrong. But I'm glad that I'm more wiser for it now. Al Qua'a required that I pull every trick, every little nugget of knowledge in my experience and every experiment I ever wanted to conduct out into the open and in direct view. There was no time to prepare - it was now and do. I however, had excellent advice from all quarters. And just as I was beginning to feel a little confident, up on top of a ridge, I slipped off to the right on a little step and I heard the loud sound of air escaping from my front right tyre. I had just gotten a pop-out. Thirty minutes of repairs later, my wheel was back on. The time it had cost the convoy was a lot more. I could see how both Gaurav's plans were falling apart as I contributed in helping them unravel.

    When you've had a pop-out, you tend to worry a little immediately after. You get a little more cautious. You brake a little sooner. It takes a while to lose that nagging voice to act more carefully. In a particularly tricky climb, no matter how many times I tried I could just not make it up. It reminded me of this moment many months ago from a drive with Hisham in Area 53 where no matter how hard I tried, I just could not make it over. My heart began to sink and I began to beat myself up. In moments like these, having the experience of over seventy drives, one part of you is critical for letting yourself down while the other is critical for letting down the wider convoy. Here were six other drivers who'd also driven long distances to be here and I was letting them down. It is exactly when these thoughts were making a house in my head that @GauravSoni showed up next to me. He took me up to the starting line and coached me exactly through the line and gearing required. His calm and collected advice would help me cross over, where I continued to take the incorrect line once again but his impatience (even if he was feeling it) never shown through. For this, thank you Gaurav. And thank you all. It is the sole reason why I feel so comfortable to be among people like yourselves.

    With these slowdowns behind us, we set off once again to the sabkha on the opposite end of where we'd started. And it is always in these final runs when you see a convoy find new pace. We were running through technical sections that were almost five times taller than the twisties of Lisailli. Such is the scale of Al Qua'a. With the afternoon sun beating down on us, we began to make our way to the exit, and this is when we realized that the excitement of the terrain had led to Gaurav not turning on his extra fan and Charlie began to hear a flapping sound from his crank. While Gaurav's issue was quickly resolved with water and time, Charlie's turned out to be a lot more serious. At the base of the bowl, we had to climb pretty high up to exit out. With a moment of hope, we set out, and the four cars in the front were racing ahead when we realized that car #5 wasn't following. At this point we stopped, and Anoop, Looper and I stopped up ahead while Gaurav raced back to diagnose the problem. I'm not sure what happened next. As we waited in silence and stared out at the vast sabkha with lime deposits and camel convoys, the radio crackled to life with a "woohoo" and we saw a tandem tug of @ASAD., @Mario Cornejo and @Zixuan Huang - Charlie emerging down the long slope of the dunes into the sabkha. It was a sight to behold. As attested by @Mario Cornejo above, it was also executed to perfection. Remember when I said that I was in the company of the finest drivers in this club. Here was proof again.

    I can write a lot more but I will stop here. Some of it needs to remain in my mind. But I want to thank Gaurav for being such an amazing lead. From my first "real" drive with him on Ale's full day exploit in Al Ain to now, he's maturing like a dram of the finest elixirs. His love for the outdoors coupled with his care for his convoy was on full display yesterday. Alongside, a man of numbers and deep experimentation @Looper is this steadfast rock. He is always there, always predictably good, and always the yellow beacon you need when you lose sight. Behind me, @Anoop Nair continues to boggle the mind with what he does in a stock "manual" Wrangler with 245 tyres. If ever you wanted to throw a number at eking out performance from just the barebones, you have it right here.

    Further afield, I saw @ASAD.in a new light on this drive. Usually, so bundled with Waqas and Vaibhav, his line, power management and control all had the moment to shine by themselves. He is such a fine driver, an even better human being and a class act. For all the troubles that @Zixuan Huang - Charlie had to bear with his engine, his adventures and mine are quite intertwined. With him in place, I shut off my rear view entirely knowing fully well that his capability in navigating any terrain will bode him over. And of course, I can't leave out @Mario Cornejo who tells the best jokes on Argentinians, has the quietest demeanour but the loudest display of driving and a car that looks like it was designed for the apocalypse.

    Thank you all for helping me immerse myself back into the desert, so that I too can close this year out knowing I finally did Al Qua'a. If I don't see you soon, I wish you all the warmest greetings of the season and lots of outdoors in the year to come.

    [  🐵  ]

    @munkybizness unfortunately i had to skip this drive, but reading what you have written feels like i have been part of it... keep it up buddy 

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  5. @GauravSoni driving with you is always exciting , that including the paved roads as well 😁. i would say the drive was an absolute adventure , the smooth flow and rhythm between all the drivers was amazing mixed with the huge long dunes and the big drops  with high speed was refreshing experience.

    @Brette it was a pleasure driving with you man.  i am glad that your Grand Cherokee  finally decided to forgave you after you had that last talk with her 😂.

    @DP1011 , Deepak wrangler if i cant beat your jeep buddy, at least i can make some lauder noise 🤣. it always fun driving with you buddy ( i cant wait to see the videos and pictures you have captured ) , and best regards to you copilot as well

    @Brett Eicher man i think you are an amazing driver  you have an impressive control over your car and seems always ready with your tools and equipment's , (I hope you finished emptying your spare fuel tank by now 😅)


    looking forward to drive with you all again soon 


    cheers 🍻

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  6. Amazing event , the weather was wonderful , we had so much fun and laughter with family and friends.

    Thanks @Carnity and @Gauravfor making this event  possible.. 

    Thanks @Kailasfor the fun drive ,and  @DP1011 , Deepak wrangler, @Looper, @Srikumar, @GauravSoni, @Mehmet Volga for the laughters and jokes.

    Cant wait for the next gathering.

    @GauravSoni we need to do the pajero bowl challenge 😂

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