Long winding road to serenity, The game of cloud and sunlight

Point Zero

Well-Known Member
The trip was planned in the first week of April 2014 along with a friend of mine but unfortunately he was unable to accompany us and confirmed it at the end of March. It was already more than three months that I owned my Bolero and within these 3 months, I have not been able to go for any big trip apart from some weekend trips. I was very agile to make a long trip with my brand new Bolero.

I was repenting thinking that the trip would not be a success. Fortunately when I presented my plan to my family members they agreed willingly to accompany me. I was thoughtful for two reasons, firstly this was my first car trip to hill area and secondly my family members have never been out for such a long car trip. I have been thinking a lot to arrange the entire necessary thing which may be required during the trip. Like – Jerry Can (20L) for diesel, 20 ltrs. Water Can, towing rope , plastic bags, some dry food, twin barrel tyre inflator, tubeless tyre repairing kit, fire extinguisher, Large Umbrella, Some paper bags, torch light, Car AC Adapter with 220v Ac and USB Support, Medicines, etc. The most important things which I leant from last North Sikkm trip that whenever you are going to any hill area always keep 2 pair of Gum Boots with you, as rain and land slide is very unpredictable and common phenomena.

For sudden change in the planning, it took me more time to re-plan the trip again. Meanwhile Lok-Sabha elections came into the picture and there were unrest in the area. So we were suggested to postpone the trip by one and half month. And finally the day came and that was 24th May 2014.


Day 1: 24th May 2014

The Bolero was fully loaded with all utility and clothes of 5 people (Dad, Mom, Sister, Wife & Me) and it was extreme hot in Kolkata. I made a plan that if I want to reach Siliguri at morning then I need to start at 3-3:30 PM. I always avoid staying in Siliguri as it is waste of time and money. And From last few experience I learnt that night drive is faster and peaceful than drive in day crowd. There are alternatives road to reach Siliguri but only NH-34 is safe for night drive. So we started the trip from Kolkata at 3:30 PM.


Fully loaded bolero just before starting of journey.

Till Baharampur everyone was very active and counting the remaining kilometers to go. It was obvious for them as they were traveling such a long trip first time. But after dinner at Baharampur everyone fell asleep. Near around 2:30 we reached Dalkhola and I decided to complete refreshment as I had a plan not to stop at Siliguri and move ahead to Rishikhola. After refreshment we restarted at 4:00 AM towards Siliguri


While moving towards Siliguri from Dalkhola


While moving towards Siliguri from Dalkhola


Before Bagdogra at very early morning


Before Bagdogra at very early morning

To be continued .....
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Point Zero

Well-Known Member
Day 2: 25th May 2014.

As we reached Siliguri by 7:00 AM we decided to take the road through Gorubathan instead of kalingpong.


Roads through Gorubathan forest

The objective was simply to have a glimpse of the tea estate on either side of the road. And capture some of marvelous moments.
The morning sunlight made the place appear greener and the fresh air and chirping sounds of the birds filled the heart with pleasure.


My Bolero posing at tea garden

In the back of my mind I decided to take a break somewhere near Lava. The round turn road towards Lava is my favorite and wanted to try them with my Bolero. While crossing Lava I felt as if I was driving through clouds. And when I looked in my rear view mirror I saw the clouds trailing behind. Soon we realize that we are moving at a higher altitude as we started felling cold. Due to the change in air pressure our ears started deafening


The roads towards Lava. Picture was taken during bike trip 2012.

Just a few kilometers ahead of Rishikhola we stopped to ask people the way to Rishikhola. We met a driver who shared some important tips to reach Rishikhola and asked us to contact any local driver in case of difficult encountered as the roads have deteriorated in some places due to heavy rain. As I drove we discovered that though the road condition is very risky but I didn’t require any assistance. We reached the point where we needed to park our car and had to walk near about one kilometer to cross a river and a small forest to reached Eco-tourism home-stay.


The bamboo bridge to cross the river


The tiny forest to reach the Eco-tourism home-stay

As it was about 21 hours journey form Kolkata I was very tired and took a power nap right after lunch. In the evening we sat beside the river we our feet dangling in the river.


Rishi River in the Evening


Cottages beside the river

Rishikhola is a small plateau area at the bank of river Rishi. In the local language of the people Khola means River. As it is not located at very high altitude it was not very cold at this place. In darkness the light of enormous number of houses located on the surrounding hills gave it a look of stars decorated on the hills. The calm place was enchanted by the sound of river water drifting on the stone. The river bank is an ideal place to have a gala time with family and friends over a bonfire.


bonfire on the river bank


Mr. Pradhan at his work after a whole long day of traveling for arranging all necessary things for home-stay

To be continued ...........
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