Discussion in 'Travelogues from East and North-East India' started by Gunin, Mar 13, 2017.
Last day: (Tawang to Guwahati)
Woke up early to light drizzle and rain. The plan was to drive to Tenga and halt overnight there. However, we ended up driving right up to Guwahati but more on that later. I was eagerly looking forward to the drive- for me the rains even though it blocks the views it lends a certain mystery and beauty to the landscape.
As it was still early morning (6 am), the petrol pump at Tawang was closed. We decided to fill up petrol at the pump in Jang.
Soon we were at the beautiful Sela Pass. The weather cleared for a moment and we took the opportunity for a quick photo break.
Some pictures enroute:
As we had left very early, we didn’t get any breakfast and we were really hungry by this time. We found a nice cluster of hotels at 6th Mile just before entering Bomdila. The lady owner invited us to the kitchen area and we had lovely, homely rice, dal and pork in front of the crackling fire. It felt heavenly. As I have mentioned earlier as well, the hotels/ dhabas in Arunachal Pradesh generally serve very good food.
We were moving at a very leisurely place as the destination was not very far. As we were crossing Bomdila, some cops waved us down and enquired if we were carrying anything to which I replied only our own luggage. Maybe they were on the look out for smuggled wild life.
We reached Tenga just as the sun was setting and checked in at the same familiar hotel, Dyngkho. We had just freshened up when I got news that the following day is a bandh called by the tea tribes of Assam. That meant that we would be stranded for a full day in Arunachal day if we stayed overnight at Tenga. After some discussion with my wife, we felt it would be better if we drive directly to Guwahati instead.
We checked out of the hotel and mentally prepared for the long drive to Guwahati. And it turned out to be a bit of an adventure.
It was totally dark by the time we started from Tenga. My wife tried to get some sleep as the already long drive had tired her out.
Soon we were in the beautiful twisty roads connecting Tenga and Bhalukpong. Night driving in the hills is generally very enjoyable as you don’t have to look for oncoming vehicles at blind corners. However, if there is one factor that can complicate matters- it is fog. And what we had on our journey was extremely dense fog with no end in sight. The visibility was reduced to just a few meters and to complicate things further, the fog lamps of the alto went kaput. By this time, my wife was fully awake and was at the edge of her seat saying prayers to God haha- it is funny in retrospection but I was worried out of my mind too at that time. We kept inching on and praying that some bigger vehicle with better fog lights would overtake us and we would follow him. However, the route was desolate as usual and there was no other car for a long time.
The fog was unrelenting and at one point I felt like giving up. However, because the road was in relatively good condition with reflectors we were able to crawl along. Our hearts skipped a beat every time we couldn’t see the next reflector for some time. After what seemed like an eternity, we saw an oncoming vehicle, an innova- he was moving towards Bombila. He informed that there was dense fog up ahead. After a while, we reached a group of small shops where some cars had stopped- they were waiting for the fog to clear. We waited for some time but seeing that the fog was not letting up, we decided to move on as it was already getting late.
We kept crawling along the foggy road with nothing in view except the very front part in our car when we heard a distant honk. We pulled over to the side as safely we could and waited. Soon, a dumper truck from heaven appeared and overtook us. That was our cue- we tailed this truck through the fog and since it was driven at a quick speed we made very good progress. A Sumo who was also waiting for tailed us and soon the three of us- dumper, alto and sumo were climbing up and down the twisty mountains as if there was no fog at all.
By the time the dumper pulled over for his station for the night the worst part of the fog was over. After two loud honks from us-saying thank you to the dumper and one honk from him saying welcome- we soon reached the border town of Bhalukpong. Because of the bandh call, there were a lot of vehicles plying in Assam even at the late hour. It seemed everyone was scurrying to reach their destinations before the bandh timings. The glare from on-coming vehicles were tiring out my already tired eyes and brain. I was desperate to reach the four lane highway starting from Nagaon so I could drive in peace.
We reached Amoni at around 12 pm and decided to have a light (relatively speaking ) dinner of chicken, rice and rotis. Tried to sleep but was unable to, therefore decided to move on. As soon as we reached the 4 lane highway, I relaxed a little. After 2 hours, we safely reached home. Thus ended our marathon drive of 20 hours from Tawang to Guwahati.
Thanks for reading!
December will be cold! but it will be an adventure. All the best!
You can definitely get a taxi from Tezpur to Tawang. Tawang to Tezpur in a day is doable though tiring. We did Tawang to Guwahati directly in the return leg but that was more out of compulsion.
Woah! I had this fog situation post Sela Pass by 5:30 PM. Post Jaswantgarh Memorial for about 5 KM I got stranded at High altitude. My wife and I got panic and started praying . Had to make a U turn and turn back to safety at Jaswantgarh Army shop. Even the return journey of 5 Kms was in pitch dark and no other vehicle was moving any side. Unfortunate that my daughter picked up AMS due to this unnecessary halt at high altitude. One army man said wait until rains stop and this will reduce fog in about half an hour to one hour. And true that it happened. So after waiting in the army shop for about 45 minutes then started descending
I can totally correlate your situation in Fog. It is damn bad condition which any commuter should not go through esp in Night as visibility is Zero.
Yes the fog situation can get really scary. Especially near the place you mention- there are no road markers also- which were really helpful in my case.
It will be all snowed-out in December. What vehicle will you be driving?
Mid-September will be great. Very colorful and charming with occasional rains.
A great phillip to those who are still hesitant to explore the North East by a small car.
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