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Old 11th November 2009, 11:33   #106
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Day 7 - Evening

This was our last day at the hills. Around 4pm, we went out to see around the place and to spend some time in the quiet suroundings. We drove towards Geyzing market and parked at a place along the road. There was a concrete block alongside where you can sit down, relax and take in the beauty as the sun goes down.

Here are some pics from that place. It turned out to be a photoshoot for Black Hawk

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As we sat there, we saw the locals go by. Most of them were returning from the market to their homes.

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With the sky changing colours and the surroundings becoming foggy, we left that place and headed back to the resort.

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The night promised to be interesting as we were nearing full moon. After the moon rose, I shifted to the terrace to capture the surrounding beauty. The fog has lifted and the sky was clear.

The mountains and the whole valley was getting awashed in the soft moonlight. Here are some of my best efforts to capture the beauty.

It was heaven on earth.

(Sorry for the grainy pictures)
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The cluster of lights below is Legship and the one at the horizon is Namchi.
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Coming up - Day 8 - the return journey.

Last edited by Saurabh M : 11th November 2009 at 11:35.
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Old 14th November 2009, 01:52   #107
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Originally Posted by Saurabh M View Post
Coming up - Day 8 - the return journey.
When?

Liked the travelogue thoroughly. Pictures are awesome. Favourite being the one from the kitchen.
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Old 14th November 2009, 12:26   #108
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Cant wait for the last set of pics. Saurabh Da, your camera work is truly remarkable, and most of these pics are picture postcard standard.

BTW, how is Black Hawk doing now? Is it back from the workshop?
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Old 16th November 2009, 11:54   #109
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Originally Posted by arindamray View Post
When?

Liked the travelogue thoroughly. Pictures are awesome. Favourite being the one from the kitchen.
Sorry for this extra ordinary delay. Thanks for bearing with me.

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Originally Posted by predatorwheelz View Post
Cant wait for the last set of pics. Saurabh Da, your camera work is truly remarkable, and most of these pics are picture postcard standard.

BTW, how is Black Hawk doing now? Is it back from the workshop?
Yes, BH was in workshop for 2 days. She's back now.
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Old 16th November 2009, 12:26   #110
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Day 8 - The return journey

The tour was finally coming to an end. With a heavy heart, we left Geyzing. Black Hawk got a wash last night, after the mud bath on way to Ravangla.

Left Geyzing at 9:25am after a heavy breakfast. The plan was not to stop for lunch and make do with the dry food we had in store. We did not target to reach Kolkata the same day/night, so we were not in a rush either.

Saying goodbye to Teesta
Kolkata-Siliguri-Mangalbaria-Ravangla-Geyzing-Siliguri-Kolkata-pa020185-large.jpg

Tough life - at Jorethang
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We were keeping a good pace and reached Kalijhora by 12:55pm. Beyond this, the road conditions were pretty bad and there was considerable tourist traffic as well, with loaded Sumos headed towards NJP station. By the time we reached Sevok, it was 1:15pm. Black Hawk was starving and we filled her up at the gas station. The last time we had filled her, was at Siliguri, 6 days back.

From here onwards, it was a fast ride through Mahananda Wildlife Sanctuary and then towards Dalkhola. It was 3:35pm when we reached Dalkhola. Thanks to the 4 lane highway through Islampur and Kishanganj, and also for an over ambitious A-Star, I was doing around 140-150 in that stretch. Unfortunately, that A-Star had to eat my dust.

The condition of NH34 is fabulous and the surface butter smooth. I have never seen NH34 is such good condition.

Our plan was to stop before it got dark. We were toying with the idea to stay at Raiganj or Malda. Malda looked more promising with better hotel options. After a short tea break just before Raiganj, we finally reached Malda at 6:00pm. There is a decent hotel just as you enter Malda. Hotel Purbanchal. This comes on your right, just as you enter Malda town from Dalkhola. They also offered a basement parking for Black Hawk. The rooms are decent and fit for a 1 night stop over. Food was also good.


Day 9 - The home run

We left Malda at 9 in the morning. Being a Sunday, city traffic was pretty light. Soon the open roads were in front of us.

Near Dhulian along NH34 - Translated it stands "Treatment for broken hands and feet - Bhai Bhai Nursing Home"
Kolkata-Siliguri-Mangalbaria-Ravangla-Geyzing-Siliguri-Kolkata-pa020187-large.jpg

We crossed over Farakka by 9:55am and and ran straight into a huge traffic snarl just after Dhulian. Aparently, two trucks have collided head-on, just a while ago and one of them was lying half in the ditch and the other across the road, blocking traffic. Fortunately, the police and rescue vehicles arrived promptly at the site and the time when we got into the traffic queue, the cranes were already busy clearing the way.

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By the time the blockade cleared up, it was 11:05am. From here onwards, it was a superfast drive towards Moregram. While coming, we had taken the Panagarh-Moregram route, but seeing the excellent condition of NH-34, we decided to hang on to it and travel via Baharampur and Krishnanagar. So, we filled up BH again at the Moregram BP station and continued straight. The road around Baharampur has started to deteriorate in patches.

The drive through Bethuadahari was picturesque.

Kolkata-Siliguri-Mangalbaria-Ravangla-Geyzing-Siliguri-Kolkata-pa030190-large.jpg

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We came across a village fair on the way.

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As we approached Kolkata, I was subconsciously driving slower and slower. May be I was humming that famous bengali song "Ei path jodi na sesh hoi..." translated, it would stand, "What if this road never ended...".

Kolkata-Siliguri-Mangalbaria-Ravangla-Geyzing-Siliguri-Kolkata-pa030194-large.jpg

I was gradually getting back into the daily hustle bustle of city life, the late hours at office, the pollution, the traffic...

Just before Krishnagagar, we ran into blinding rain. Black Hawk got a thorough wash and was sparkling as new, with no sign of travelling 700+ kms in the last 2 days.

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At the turnoff towards Mayapur
Kolkata-Siliguri-Mangalbaria-Ravangla-Geyzing-Siliguri-Kolkata-pa030198-large.jpg

By the time we reached Krishnanagar, it was 2:00pm. We did not have lunch yet and the plan was to stop over at Sher-e-Punjab for a late lunch. We reached Barasat at 3:55pm and have a hearty lunch. Finally reached home at 6:00pm.

The home run - along Rajarhat Expressway
Kolkata-Siliguri-Mangalbaria-Ravangla-Geyzing-Siliguri-Kolkata-pa030202-large.jpg

A fantastic road trip came to an end. The scenic beauty that surrounded us for the last 7 days was breathtaking. All through the journey, Black Hawk never missed a beat. I have fallen in love with it, all over again.

The End. Hope you have enjoyed.

Note: Sorry for taking so much time in completing the travelogue and thanks for bearing with me.
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Old 16th November 2009, 12:47   #111
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Good to hear that road from Moregram via Baharampur and Krishnanagar to Kolkatta is better.
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Old 16th November 2009, 14:17   #112
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Lovely travelogue, I enjoyed every bit of it and literally drank in the pictures with my eyes esp. the ones of the peaks at dawn. Thanks for sharing

I do have a query for you though. If we are coming from Siliguri to CCU for a night halt near the airport, which is the better route to take - Straight through at Morhgram or take the turn at Morgram and come in via NH 2?

On the way out we sticking to the GQ to get onto NH2 from NH6 and night-stopping at Siuri.

Cheers,
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Old 16th November 2009, 17:20   #113
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Hey Saurabh da, Are you sure it was NH34? I cant believe my eyes.

Ravvendra, I guess your Qs is answered by the pics itself. You can better go ahead and book some hotel near airport. NH34 takes you directly to Dum Dum Airport. It is also called Jessore Road near Kolkata (from Kol to Krishnanagar I guess??). But pls try to do it in day time.

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Old 16th November 2009, 18:23   #114
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I do have a query for you though. If we are coming from Siliguri to CCU for a night halt near the airport, which is the better route to take - Straight through at Morhgram or take the turn at Morgram and come in via NH 2?
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Hey Saurabh da, Are you sure it was NH34? I cant believe my eyes.

Ravvendra, I guess your Qs is answered by the pics itself. You can better go ahead and book some hotel near airport. NH34 takes you directly to Dum Dum Airport. It is also called Jessore Road near Kolkata (from Kol to Krishnanagar I guess??). But pls try to do it in day time.

Abhi
NH34 is in excellent shape these days. I would suggest that you stay along NH34 and book a hotel near airport, as Abhi suggested. That way, you will stay close to Belgharia Expressway and can take NH2 without any problems, the next morning. This being a dual carriageway, avoid driving at night.

Siliguri - CCU is easily doable in 10-11 hrs, including breaks. An early start from Siliguri will help you to reach CCU before dark.
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Old 18th November 2009, 16:13   #115
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Thanks Abhi & Saurabh.

For our outward journey, we drive from Rambha (Orissa) in the morning so we will pass CCU in the afternoon/evening. We wish to avoid driving in the city at those hours with its attendant evils of traffic etc. + we will be tired after dealing with Orissa's roads. We therefore plan to bypass CCU and get on to NH2 to drive to Siuri where we plan to stay at New Sharada Lodge, which we booked thanks to Abhi.

We have to drop off two members at CCU airport on the way back, so we have booked rooms in O2, a hotel very close to the airport. Thanks to Saurabh's report, we will stick to NH34.

Cheers,
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Old 18th November 2009, 18:36   #116
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Ravvendrra, if you are leaving Rambha in the morning, you will probably reach CCU in the evening. The drive from CCU (crossing over from NH6 to NH2) to Siuri will take another 4hrs approx. This would be a long and tiring drive, so suggest that you plan and prepare accordingly.

When are you travelling?
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Old 18th November 2009, 20:35   #117
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Saurabh M View Post
Ravvendrra, if you are leaving Rambha in the morning, you will probably reach CCU in the evening. The drive from CCU (crossing over from NH6 to NH2) to Siuri will take another 4hrs approx. This would be a long and tiring drive, so suggest that you plan and prepare accordingly.

When are you travelling?
Hi Saurabh, Yes we realise that and hope to leave Rambha by 5.00 a.m. (6.00 am max). Since we are headed much farther, we have treated the bits from Hyderabad to Siliguri as 'transport sections' and will try to cover as much distance as possible in those 3 days. We are 4 drivers in two cars. Non-driver PAX = 2. We are hoping (and praying) that we will be able to do such hard driving over roads that are often bad.

The salient features of our trip are at: AP to AP queries (Hyd-Vtz-Barddhaman-Siuri-Maldah-Siliguri-Tezpur-Tawang-Shillong)

Cheers,
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Old 18th November 2009, 20:54   #118
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Saurabh enjoyed the travelogue with the awesome pictures. Brings back memories of 2005-06 to me, when I was based at Gangtok. For a few days I had also been to Legship and Geyzing and was there for a few days. Legship is below Geyzing at the base of the hilly climb.
Vow what a natural beauty? Sikkim that is and also the North W.B. portions after crossing Sevak.
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Old 18th November 2009, 21:15   #119
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Hi Saurabh, Yes we realise that and hope to leave Rambha by 5.00 a.m. (6.00 am max). Cheers,
Yes Ravvendra, try to start you engine by 5AM. In that case you can do the distances fast and hope to reach Siuri by 7-8PM.

Also ensure you do the drive nonstop and limit yourself to just breakfast and lunch break and fuel break.

Dont enter Kolkata from anywhere. NH6 will merge into NH2 (follow the road for Delhi).

I did Kolkata(home) to Siuri(home) in 2hr 35min in Alto in 2006. It is very near to Sharada lodge. you can expect atleast 3 hours to Siuri once you enter NH2 since you can expect some jam at Panagarh. At Panagarh (Darjeeling More) you will see a right turn for Siuri (70km) take that.

Pls try to make to Siuri in daytime. In night you might miss the right turn to enter the town. its like a V and left is Siuri BP, in the middle of the V there is stone-arrow which writes Siuri right (i think it written both in bengali and english). Watch out for that after Bakreshwar Thermal power plant. from that right turn its another 7-8km to Sharada (very near to bus stand). May be the sharada gguy can guide you in.

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Old 18th November 2009, 21:28   #120
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... NH34 takes you directly to Dum Dum Airport. It is also called Jessore Road near Kolkata (from Kol to Krishnanagar I guess??).
Abhi
Jessore Road = NH35, and NH34 Cal to Barasat.

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