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J.Ravi

Petrol Powered + Diesel Driven
Don Bosco Museum

23 April 2012 [Monday]

There was a sky-walk on the roof-top from which we could see a breathtaking bird's eye-view of Shillong.

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Here are some photographs taken during the two short films on the North-East.

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Much more on the anvil.
 

J.Ravi

Petrol Powered + Diesel Driven
We too enjoyed our visit to the Don Bosco Museum, last June.
Yours is a vivid coverage of Shillong/Cherrapunjee, when they were at their best during monsoon with excellent photographs. When we visited, Cherrapunjee and the waterfalls were dry. Thanks a lot, anupmathur.
Excellent coverage wish i can also drive my car to North-East one day :grin:
North-East has many tourist-friendly destinations. Even I wish to drive in my Linea to Tawang, Arunachal Pradesh in the future. Let me see when it would become a reality. Thanks, ToughGuy, for the compliments.
 
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J.Ravi

Petrol Powered + Diesel Driven
Don Bosco Museum

23 April 2012 [Monday]

Here is the final set of photographs clicked at Don Bosco Museum.

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In the evening, we walked down to nearby Police Bazar, the busy market of Shillong and did some shopping. We had our dinner at Delhi Misthan Bhandar, went back to our room and called it a day.

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Much more are awaited.
 

J.Ravi

Petrol Powered + Diesel Driven
Shillong To Phuentsholing, Bhutan

24 April 2012 [Tuesday]

Departure: Hotel Lake View Inn, Shillong on 24 April 2012 @ 8:30 am

Arrival: Centennial Hotel 2008, Phuentsholing, Bhutan on 24 April 2012 @ 9:30 pm

Distance covered and route: 521.5 km; Shillong>Guwahati bypass>Goalpara bypass>Tufanganj>Cooch Behar>Hasimara>Jaigaon>Phuentsholing

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Road condition: Heavy truck traffic from Shillong to Guwahati, traffic jams upto Guwahati bypass, driver's delight from Guwahati bypass to Goalpara bypass, good roads upto Boxirhat and bad roads in Tufanganj, Cooch Behar and Hasimara in West Bengal, excellent 2-lane road from Hasimara to Phuentsholing, Bhutan, maintained by BRO.

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After another excellent filling breakfast, I settled the hotel's bill by cash and left the parking lot of the hotel by 8:30 am. My Linea waded through many traffic pile-ups, had tankful of petrol and continued the journey through umpteen number of trucks. We stopped by Umiam Lake for a few photographs and continued our journey.

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After Guwahati bypass, there were a group of boys trying to stop my Linea for a forcible donation for the third time. I did not budge and pressed the accelerator. The next stop was at NRL outlet on Goalpara bypass for refuelling, and later, for our late-lunch.

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Before entering West Bengal, my Linea was stopped for a toll of :r:20. When I asked for receipt, I was asked to proceed. I experienced the same during my upward journey too. After entering West Bengal at Tufanganj, a police inspector stopped me. He came to my side, recognised me and said, 'Oh, you completed your trip'. Then I remembered that the same policeman had stopped and enquired about my origin and destination while passing through that check-post. He then asked, 'Where to, home?'. When I told him, 'Phuentsholing, Bhutan', he was taken aback!:grin:

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After wading through bad roads containing ditches, craters, potholes, and what-not near Tufanganj, Cooch Behar and Hasimara, we entered Bhutan. My Linea was stopped by a Bhutanese policeman and enquired about my destination. When I told him, Phuentsholing, he signalled me to procced. We safely reached Centennial Hotel 2008 at Phuentsholing, Bhutan by 9:30 pm. I parked my Linea at the hotel's secured parking lot, checked in, unloaded and unpacked. Then, we went for a walk in and around the deserted main thorough fare of Phuentsholing. We returned to our room and had a good night's sleep.

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More to come.





 
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J.Ravi

Petrol Powered + Diesel Driven
Phuentsholing, Bhutan

25 April 2012 [Wednesday]

We got ready, breakfasted at the in-house restaurant of Hotel Centennial 2008 and walked to the nearby immigration office for obtaining entry permits for us. We carried the original and photocopies of our passports and photographs. I filled in the application forms for self and my wife, enclosed the original and photocopies of the passports, photographs and submitted to the staff at the counter. After scrutiny, he returned the original passports back to me. Our photographs were again scanned on their webcam. We were asked to wait and collect the entry permits. We got them after one hour totally free of cost.:)

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Now, armed with our entry permits, our next task was to get route permit for my Linea. We returned to our hotel, paid our bill by cash, checked out of the hotel and drove to the office of Road Safety & Transport Authority [RSTA], Phuentsholing, which was located at 2 km from Hotel Centennial 2008.

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We parked our Linea in the spacious parking lot and entered RSTA. I met the concerned officer and asked for the application form for route permit for my Linea. He told me to write a simple requisition and give it. I returned to his office, obtained a sheet of paper, wrote out a request, enclosed the photocopies of my Linea's documents/entry permits and gave it to him. He initialed it and asked me to meet his accountant. I went to his accountant. The accountant asked for the car's brand and model. I told him, 'FIAT Linea'. The accountant asked me to spell it. I clearly told him, 'F-I-A-T...L-I-N-E-A'. The accountant got confused. 'F-A-I-T?', he asked. I lost my patience. I wrote out the spelling and showed to him. Then, he wanted to know the cubic capacity of my Linea's engine. I told him. Then, he said, :r: 187, which I paid. He gave me a receipt and directed me to another counter. I went to that counter, gave my letter, enclosures and the receipt. She prepared the route permit, gave it me and asked me to meet the concerned officer, obtain his signature and return it to her. I went back to the concerned officer, he signed the papers immediately, I returned to the counter and gave it to her. Then, she wanted a photocopy of that signed route permit. I took it, went to the ground floor, got a photocopy of it and gave it to her. She retained the photocopy and returned the original route permit to me. The entire process was over within half-hour. Can we hope to get these things done in our RTO or passport office so easily within one hour? Bhutan does not believe in bureaucratic red-tapism and is free from corruption.


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We drove to Bharat Petroleum outlet, got my Linea's tank filled with petrol to the brim and started our journey for Thimphu by 12:30 pm.

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More to come.
 

John Mathai

john-the wanderer
Great going, Ravi sir. :)

Is passport mandatory for entry into Bhutan? Or any other document such as Voter's Id, Driving Licence, PAN card etc. would suffice?
 
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