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Old 29th May 2009, 13:09   #91
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Excerpts from a report in Today's Kuensel

29 May, 2009 - The Thimphu-Phuentsholing highway, lifeline of the capital, is still blocked at Tanalum and Takti, according to latest reports. Although most of the highways are cleared, Lhuentse and Dagana are totally cut off from the rest of the country because of a massive landslide in Ratpashong on the Mongar-Lhuentse and the Dagachu bridge, which was washed away on Monday.
276 passengers, including Indian tourists, and 26 vehicles are still stranded in Tshimasham.
Officials said that the Trongsa-Zhemgang highway could take a few months to repair, due to two kilometres of road, one concrete bridge and approaches to another bridge being washed away.
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Old 29th May 2009, 15:47   #92
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Thanks HVK and Sudipto for the detailed information. I'll come back to this thread as soon as my trip is finalized.
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Old 31st May 2009, 15:01   #93
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Wow... that was a great trip you had, Sudipto-da as well as HVK! My hats off to both of you for your foray into Bhutan. That had been pretty much uncharted territory for us drivers, and a big thank you goes out from me to both of you for posting your experiences, trip logs and photographs. Some day soon, I'm headed that way...

@Sudipto-da: And where are the rest of those pics?

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Old 2nd June 2009, 10:54   #94
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Whats up dada? No updates for the last 2 days? Keeping busy?

I am eagerly waiting for the Dooars pics and narration.
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Old 2nd June 2009, 13:03   #95
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Ooooops. Sorry. I thought the travelogue was over !! I had posted some 15 images of Dooars jungles. But now I think I will post some more tonight "on public demand."
Thanks Sourav and SS.
I must admit the Bhutan disaster news left me a bit too sad to make new posts. But I think I have overcome it by now. After all, the total number of lives lost is negligible. But the damage to their infrastructure is enormous.
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Old 2nd June 2009, 13:31   #96
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sudipto-S-Team View Post
Ooooops. Sorry. I thought the travelogue was over !! I had posted some 15 images of Dooars jungles. But now I think I will post some more tonight "on public demand."
Yes please. I cant ever get enough of Dooars.
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Old 2nd June 2009, 21:29   #97
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Here I am back again on "popular demand. I honestly thought the travelogue was over !!!

A delicate hand touching the even more delicate Touch Me Nots
Wet Bhutan and Green Dooars-5touchmenots.jpg

Jainti is a small river in Buxa Tiger Reserve. It is also the name of the forest range around that river. Jainti river is easily one of the most picturesque areas in Dooars. The forest is dense and almost impregnable. If there is an elephant twenty feet away, chances are you cannot see it. It is that dense.
In Jainti we hired a forest guide who took us up the hill trail to go to a place called Pokhari. Paved with loose boulders, this is easily one of the most difficult mountain trails I have ever driven on. Only I know how I went, turned the car and then came down. It was only 3/4 km but seemed like an eternity.
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Pokhari is nothing but a seemingly dirty pond up in the hills. It is also a watering hole for the animals - mostly elephants, deers and leopards. Hindus and Buddhists both worship the water and huge "magur" fish and turtles live happily there.

The call of crickets in this forest is simply deafening, even during the day.
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Old 2nd June 2009, 21:43   #98
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Awesome report Sudipto Da, it will be of great help when we plan to go Bhutan next time. I have been there some 16 years back when I was 12 years old and the city of Thimpu is still clearly etched in my mind. That was the first place where I saw Toyota Corolla and Corona cabs and a whole lot of other foreign cars. Waiting for more pics.
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Old 2nd June 2009, 21:53   #99
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Here are some more pictures of the Pokhari area. They are self explanatory and as such don't need any caption. We had to walk for about 15 minutes because the so called "road" disappeared from a certain spot where the car was parked. The guide said this was the result of a small landslide a few years ago and no one bothered to repair it any more.
But I am glad that we had to walk and my daughter had a small initiation in trekking.
Attached Thumbnails
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Old 2nd June 2009, 22:10   #100
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A few more photograph of the Pokhari area.

A panoramic view of the Buxa Tiger Reserve.

Wet Bhutan and Green Dooars-pokharic.jpg

One of the innumerable salt licks of Jainti forest range. But we were pretty unlucky everywhere.

Wet Bhutan and Green Dooars-pokharia.jpg


Time for us to go back for lunch in a riverside small hotel

Wet Bhutan and Green Dooars-pokharib.jpg
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Old 2nd June 2009, 22:19   #101
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and pray why were you so averse to sharing these wonderful pictures with us earlier?
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Old 3rd June 2009, 00:48   #102
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Fantastic thread. Bhutan is a must go/must see.
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Old 3rd June 2009, 00:54   #103
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Red Liner View Post
Fantastic thread. Bhutan is a must go/must see.
But remember, Bhutan is a driving enthusiast's holiday, especially Central and East Bhutan. Facilities are limited, destinations are not very "touristy" and you enjoy the landscapes and the overall ambience the most rather than any "sightseeing" spots. And recommended for only those with good anti-nausea defences, you are constantly in altitudes of 2000 m + (going up to nearly 4000 m as you move towards Trashigang). Even now, many cannot stomach the fact that we "simply" drove through Bhutan, not having late breakfasts and leisurely afternoon naps! But then that is the best way to see Bhutan.
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Old 3rd June 2009, 06:35   #104
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hvkumar View Post
...we "simply" drove through Bhutan, not having late breakfasts and leisurely afternoon naps!
Some people sit at the steering wheel when they are going to work, or when at work. But then, for some of us, the holiday begins at the driver's seat! You first, HVK - my kudos to you for your ability to enjoy the 3 pedals, the wheel and the stick.
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Old 3rd June 2009, 08:19   #105
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Jainti, when we saw it in May, was just a dry river bed with a very small ankle deep stream flowing through it. My daughter spent a lot of time collecting pebbles from the river bed.
I am sure the river is full now after the cyclone of 24th.
There is a dilapidated bridge there that was built in 1915. Because they used to do dolomite mining on the other side of the river.
Looking at the still intact marble tablet of the bridge you realise exactly how adventurous and industrious these Englishmen used to be to create such a bridge in that God forsaken country almost a hundred years ago.
In Jainti I felt "far from civilisation" after a very long time, because there is no mobile connectivity anywhere inside the range.
But we also saw some trucks ferrying stones from the river bed.
There is a forest department lodge and a couple of small private hotels in Jainti village. Accommodation is not a problem there.
Some day I would love to spend a full moon night here.

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