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Eco Sport Amazing Motor Rally

Party Nepal is a popular event management company in Nepal, mainly credited with elevating the partying scene in Nepal. But not being the kind of person enthusiastic about parties, I had never been to a Party Nepal event before. So when the folks at Party Nepal Outdoors came up with this fresh idea of a treasure hunt motor rally, there was no way I was going to miss this one. Organised to encourage domestic tourism in general and Pokhara as a destination in particular, the 2013 EcoSport Amazing Motor Rally was a competitive treasure hunt rally that involved driving from Kathmandu to Pokhara. The winners were determined by the points collected from the tasks and treasures accomplished.

 

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Highly excited, my friend Sohyal Karki and me reported at the Ford Service Centre in Swayambu by the specified time of 7am in the morning of 13th July, 2013. After grabbing some breakfast, the event got going around 9 am. We were briefed regarding the event and the activities before we set off on the hunt. There was going to be no strict time limit and we had to mainly focus on getting our tasks completed. So we grabbed our treasure maps, hints and set off. Divisional Operations Manager – Sales (North), Ford India, Mr. Gautam Tandon and Director of GO Ford, Mr. Akash Golchha flagged off the vehicles participating in the EcoSport Amazing Motor Rally.

 

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The first clue involved getting two pictures clicked at the Swayambhunath Stupa and pretty much everybody got this task completed easily. We were given a Rubik’s Cube as well and had to submit it solved at the first check point in Thankot. Solving the cube was a challenging task and this was bound to provide a competitive edge in the game. But we were getting nowhere near. As we headed towards the next task that involved getting another photo clicked in Kalanki, we suddenly encountered a puncture in one of the tyres of our car. To add to our woes and due to our pre-check ignorance, the spare tire too turned out to be low on air pressure. The bad luck didn’t seem to end there as most puncture repair shops were closed on Saturday and we got hold of a taxi to get it repaired at a shop near Ratna Park which we knew stayed open all week. But the good aspect was that there was no time limit imposed on the tasks and we assumed that we had enough time-window to reach the lunch pit stop.

We had already given up hope on solving the Rubik’s cube and set out for the other treasure hunt tasks after the repair was done. But coming across the hidden treasure along the mentioned spots in the map seemed impossible as we actually had no idea what we had to specifically look out for. Without wasting further time, we set out to meet the organizers at the first check-point in Thankot where we had to submit our completed tasks and accumulate points. But surprisingly the checkpoint was already taken off from the location which meant that we not only missed submitting our collected tasks but also had no clue about the treasure hunt spots and tasks till the next check point at the Riverside Resort in Kurintar.

 

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Though we were already feeling a bit down for not being able to go head-to-head in the hunt, we decided to continue hoping that the next tasks could give us some competitive edge. Clueless we sped towards the Riverside Resort and quickly grabbed the much needed lunch. After endless discussions, we finally managed to convince the organizers to grant us the points for our completed tasks which we missed before the first check point. But the damage had been done as we had missed almost half of the other tasks. However, we did feel that a proper orientation of the activities and tasks could have made the whole event much more effective and exciting.

The next set of tasks at the resort included building pyramids from plastic cups, finding a way out of a printed maze and marking valid words in a jumbled up crossword puzzle. We made the best of these and stripped down to our swimming costumes for another round of tasks at the poolside. Beating the heat in the cool swimming pool at the resort was a huge relief and the water focused tasks bought back the fun that you’d expect from such an event. There was a coin search task and the walking water race was enjoyed by all. But since the evening was closing in the treasure hunt tasks were skipped for the next section of the drive and the competition was limited to a final two photo tasks. We had to photograph the popular mushroom like hill near Kotre and the welcome hoarding boards near Pokhara. Most of the participants got the clue and the photographs. We regrouped at the entrance to Pokhara and the rally ended at the fantastic Waterfront Resort in Pokhara with our motorcade of 15 vehicles lead by the Ford EcoSport garnering attention all along the way through the lake city. A gala dinner with the prize ceremony was in order at the venue before we called it a night. Pokhara is the kind of place that easily makes you forget all your qualms and with an amazing resort like the Waterfront to boot you can’t help but just feel relaxed at the end of the day.

Dawa Sherpa and Sahana Vajracharya were the first prize winners. They won Thai Airways Ticket for two to Bangkok. Priyanka Kari and Nilu Doma Sherpa won the second prize and were awarded Zip Flyer Packages for two. Mr and Mrs. Pramod Jaiswal won the third prize and had to settle with Spa Packages and Coffee Coupons from Kaffeine. The winners were handed over the prize by the Director of GO Ford, Mr. Akash Golchha.

 

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In spite of our set of misfortunes in the start of the rally due to personal negligence, the prospect of participating in this first of its kind event was definitely exciting. But few improvements in the execution such as better pre-orientation to participants, planning and co-ordination would have taken the experience to a whole new level. However, we hope that this first one serves as more of a learning point and results in a more polished and planned sequel in the future. We look forward to the next edition and hope it will be truly amazing!

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