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Old 12th October 2015, 14:34   #16
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Default Re: Zuluk from the back seat

Awesome travelogue and awesome pictures . I am mesmerized by the beauty of this place. Definitely on my list now!
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Old 12th October 2015, 14:38   #17
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Thank you guys for the appreciation. Feels good.

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Originally Posted by SouraC View Post
If I have not misunderstood, for your onward journey you have taken SH7 from Burdwan till Moregram. As for people in Kolkata it’s a big challenge to reach Siliguri via road, Can you share bit more details of the current road condition.
In short, roads are bad at its best and nonexistent at its worst. What all our lower backs and spines are telling us is to take the Bihar roads. If it is not election, and you are not travelling at night, it is best to go through Bihar.

It is sad to put it like this, but if you cross Bengal border in any direction with your eyes closed, you'll know about it as the road conditions will improve. Sad state of affairs we are in.

However, the trucks at standstill might have been due to the truck strike during that time. We came to know about that once we came back home.

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Originally Posted by grevvity View Post
Your Tusker looks comfortable in his home turf.
Not my Tusker, it's Blackpearl's. How I wish it was mine...

Last edited by cr4nkshaft : 12th October 2015 at 14:41.
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Old 12th October 2015, 16:01   #18
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You are indeed a very eloquent writer cr4nkshaft. The pictures with all happy faces show how you guys enjoyed it (even in harsh terrain). the pup looks very cute - cuddled up near a shoe. Reminds me of HMV photo. Maybe good for a NatGeo prize

can you post a google route map with important cities? the one you posted was more on the physical side. Also, how would one go via Bihar to this place (Maybe the google political map would help me understand this) :d
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Old 12th October 2015, 16:46   #19
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Originally Posted by cr4nkshaft View Post
As Prasenjit and Sumitro approached the police officers for permits, they were briskly rejected on the grounds that the vehicles were privately owned, and private vehicles will not be given ILPs. They said we have to get local taxis if we wanted to move further along he silk route.
This sounds quite a dampener. Even drives to Leh are being allowed by the locals if one provides evidence that the vehicle owner owns the vehicle and it is on a personal , white plate registration. (copies of Registration certificate matched with licence etc)
Any idea why the gents over here are so adamant?
Me and my wife are the de-facto travellers cum drivers on all our road trips. This would pose a problem if we intend to travel to Zuluk. Any ideas?
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Old 12th October 2015, 16:53   #20
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Originally Posted by arjab View Post
This sounds quite a dampener. Even drives to Leh are being allowed by the locals if one provides evidence that the vehicle owner owns the vehicle and it is on a personal , white plate registration. (copies of Registration certificate matched with licence etc)
Any idea why the gents over here are so adamant?
Me and my wife are the de-facto travellers cum drivers on all our road trips. This would pose a problem if we intend to travel to Zuluk. Any ideas?
There is no problem if the people travelling in a vehicle are family members of the driver. In our case, in the Bolero three people were friends and not family members. Hence they just gave permit for my wife and me. The rest had to take a local taxi. This is to prevent people from other states taking tourists there. The taxi association will create a lot of problem if they allow tourist vehicles from other places as the livelihood of the taxi drivers in Rongli depends on these tours from Rongli to Zuluk and beyond.
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Old 12th October 2015, 17:55   #21
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Originally Posted by FuelInjector View Post
can you post a google route map with important cities? the one you posted was more on the physical side. Also, how would one go via Bihar to this place (Maybe the google political map would help me understand this) :d
Actually our GPS tracker ran out of juice on our way back, hence we could not track the whole route. I loaded the GPX files in Google Earth as suggested by blackpearl to get the onward route, did not get any political option there. I would have preferred that if that was there.
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Old 12th October 2015, 18:13   #22
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Thank you for the very enjoyable narration with the lovely snaps. Zuluk was on my radar for my next escapade planned for January. However, some details shared by you and Blackpearl are starting to create doubts in my mind.

Firstly the road conditions of NH34, which would hopefully fare better by January.

Then the ILP issues at Rongli where the point that one cannot take friends along might play spoilsport as I am planning to do the trip with a couple of friends and would not want them to travel in different (rented) vehicles. How much did you pay for the Alto you hired ? Paying for the car and not actually using it can be an option here?

Thirdly, the inability of the Ecosport to chug up to the homestay and Blackpearl's comment that he found the 4wd handy en-route raises further concerns. I was planning to do it in my humble Figo. Did the Ecosport face problems elsewhere on the route? Are more accessible accommodations available?

Can this circuit be done in reverse(not in a Figo off-course)? Starting from Gangtok towards Tsomgo and then onward towards Kupup, etc.?
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Old 12th October 2015, 19:12   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FuelInjector View Post
can you post a google route map with important cities? the one you posted was more on the physical side. Also, how would one go via Bihar to this place (Maybe the google political map would help me understand this) :d
Are you looking for something like this? You can zoom on the map if you need.

Zuluk from the back seat-zuluk_track.jpg

Quote:
Originally Posted by mi2n View Post
Thank you for the very enjoyable narration with the lovely snaps. Zuluk was on my radar for my next escapade planned for January. However, some details shared by you and Blackpearl are starting to create doubts in my mind.

Then the ILP issues at Rongli where the point that one cannot take friends along might play spoilsport as I am planning to do the trip with a couple of friends and would not want them to travel in different (rented) vehicles. How much did you pay for the Alto you hired ? Paying for the car and not actually using it can be an option here?

Thirdly, the inability of the Ecosport to chug up to the homestay and Blackpearl's comment that he found the 4wd handy en-route raises further concerns. I was planning to do it in my humble Figo. Did the Ecosport face problems elsewhere on the route? Are more accessible accommodations available?

Can this circuit be done in reverse(not in a Figo off-course)? Starting from Gangtok towards Tsomgo and then onward towards Kupup, etc.?
There is no need to worry mi2n apart from the NH34 condition and the ILP issue. Taking one or two friends can still be fine as last time Himadri, Avrendu and I went in the same vehicle and permit was not an issue. But 5 people in one vehicle might call for trouble. Also SDPO is usually more lenient than the Inspector at the the Rongli police station. So try to get the permit from SDPO instead of the police station. In our case the SDPO had gone to Gangtok, hence we had to go to the police station.

Also, the Ecosport did not have issues anywhere else on the route except while going up to the homestay. There are multiple homestays in Zuluk but the views might not be this rewarding from those homestays. You can park your car in front of the shop where the ES was parked and the place is absolutely safe. The host will be more than happy to take you up to the homestay in a Bolero.
So don't worry, if you have plans to go, please do visit Zuluk.

Last edited by BlackPearl : 12th October 2015 at 19:26.
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Old 12th October 2015, 19:17   #24
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Default Re: Zuluk from the back seat

Excellent travelogue and along with equally good snaps. Your write up is helping me a lot in planning my coming tour to Bhutan during the pujas.
So I'm avoiding the NH34 totally and taking the Bihar/Jharkhand Route in both the up and down journey.
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Old 13th October 2015, 00:52   #25
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Nice pictures and travelogue. Great to see so many travelogues coming up. Will be useful for fellow members.
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Old 13th October 2015, 09:46   #26
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Originally Posted by BlackPearl View Post
Are you looking for something like this? You can zoom on the map if you need.
Thats exactly what i was looking for. Thank you.

Quote:
Originally Posted by cr4nkshaft
Actually our GPS tracker ran out of juice on our way back
There is a targus powerbank available. Costs ~1000 rupees. but charges cell phones and GPS devices quickly and holds charge very well. maybe worth the investment during long drives
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Old 13th October 2015, 10:42   #27
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Originally Posted by FuelInjector View Post
There is a targus powerbank available. Costs ~1000 rupees. but charges cell phones and GPS devices quickly and holds charge very well. maybe worth the investment during long drives
We had power banks galore, Mi and two ambranes. 😁 however, the gps device is a bit old (it's a gps tracker, not a map my India or TomTom type device) and runs on 2 aa batteries, hence the loss of power.
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Old 13th October 2015, 11:50   #28
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Originally Posted by FuelInjector View Post
There is a targus powerbank available. Costs ~1000 rupees. but charges cell phones and GPS devices quickly and holds charge very well. maybe worth the investment during long drives
Quote:
Originally Posted by cr4nkshaft View Post
We had power banks galore, Mi and two ambranes. 😁 however, the gps device is a bit old (it's a gps tracker, not a map my India or TomTom type device) and runs on 2 aa batteries, hence the loss of power.
It is a handheld GPS (Garmin eTrex30). Handheld GPS run on pencil batteries for ease of use during trekking and camping etc. Also, it can use any map for navigation as well. It is a different thing that I use it only for logging the tracks. You can get more details here https://buy.garmin.com/en-US/US/prod87774.html
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Old 13th October 2015, 12:30   #29
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Default Re: Zuluk from the back seat

cr4nkshaft. You have such good writing skills. "Kya hai yahan, kuch bhi nahi" by great Sir Chettri literally had me falling off my chair. I was about to join the gang but since I had already planned another trip a weekend before, I could not join. Having Blackpearl as your charioteer would have been fun. He is one of the great drivers we have here, very experienced on the North eastern hills. The pictures are lovely & a folder named Zuluk is already made on my desktop with the planned itinerary.

Rated 5 Stars.

Quote:
Originally Posted by cr4nkshaft View Post
We had power banks galore, Mi and two ambranes. 😁 however, the gps device is a bit old (it's a gps tracker, not a map my India or TomTom type device) and runs on 2 aa batteries, hence the loss of power.
Shortage of AA Batteries. You know whom you should have contacted.
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Old 13th October 2015, 12:37   #30
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Originally Posted by PapaBravo View Post
Shortage of AA Batteries. You know whom you should have contacted.
Now that you have brought up the battery issue let me give an official statement: The Garmin eTrex 30 is a state-of-the-art device which is very much capable doing what it was made for. I distance myself from the statement made in a previous post, which stated that the device is 'old'.

Now that I have released an official statement, I hope blackpearl does not drop me from the next plan
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