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Old 19th April 2010, 01:32   #151
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Default Day #9: Dirang - Sangti Valley - Eagle Nest [Lama Camp]

Eagle Nest Wildlife Sanctuary [Lama Camp]


Having late lunch at Tenga and then calling up and getting confirmation from Mr Indi Glo [President, Bugun Welfare Society] meant we were already late entering the forest, with dusk rapidly setting in.


Another lonely dirt road, just enough width for a Safari, rapidly ascending and soon we past the last of settlements around Tenga Ledge. As one goes and with the forests almost encircling over, doubts do begin to creep as to where one is going. But then as Mr Indi Glo said "Dont stop until you reach the camp, "The Lama Camp"


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And then suddenly after a turn we see the Lama Camp, 4-5 huts is the accommodation right in the middle of the forest, serviced and looked after with great care by these guys. It was dusk by the time we reached.
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Actual photo without light adjustment

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Lama Camp and the support staff

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Night was pitch dark and tried to walk some distance and had to return back. Some good simple warm food served and eaten, a long day thus comes to end and we soon go off to sleep - however not before son may have got some inspiration to draw some thing out
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It started to drizzle a little in the night and I just hoped the dirt track does not become a mud track, a full day tomorrow was planned out to explore the forest track - crossing Elephant pass to Bompu Camp.

contd...

Last edited by adc : 19th April 2010 at 01:43.
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Old 19th April 2010, 03:37   #152
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Lucky you brave guy for going and bringing fellow team-bhpians such mesmerizing picture of INCREDIBLE INDIA! All the while we though that the beauty existed in swiss alps only.
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Old 19th April 2010, 10:11   #153
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Awesome place and awesome tourers - the magnificient and the intrepids.
Any idea if they will be open during the monsoons?
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Old 19th April 2010, 10:46   #154
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Careful with that clutch. It gives away often without warning. A friend with a safari done 45K lost clutch on the Jaipur highway while cruising in 5th gear. The pedal became totally free. There was no slippage etc., it just suddenly went "boom".
Upon inspection, the plates were pretty worn out.
As for your case, did they open up the clutch and check the plates? Was it done in a clean environment? Even slightest impurity in the clutch fluid can totally ruin the clutch quickly.
I suggest you atleast do the 5th gear test.
At 50kmph in 5th gear on a plain road, leave accelerator completely, and see if she putters along in idle without stuttering.
If she goes, clutch is fine, if she does not, time for a change.
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Old 19th April 2010, 12:43   #155
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Sorry for OT -

Could you please elaborate a little on this clutch test?

Normally 5th Gear is engaged at 85 kmph. So, how do I do it?
Sped up till 85, shift in 5th and then slowly break it down to 50 . And then leave all pedals and check for the vehicle dynamics?
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Old 19th April 2010, 15:46   #156
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Default Day #9: Dirang - Sangti Valley - Eagle Nest [Lama Camp]

Eagle Nest [Lama Camp] towards Elephant Pass, attempting Bompu Camp


Quote:
Eaglenest Wildlife Sanctuary is a protected area of India in the Himalayan foothills of West Kameng District, Arunachal Pradesh. It conjoins Sessa Orchid Sanctuary to the northeast and Pakhui Tiger Reserve across the Kameng river to the east. Altitude ranges extremely from 500 metres (1,640 ft) to 3,250 metres (10,663 ft). It is a part of the Kameng Elephant Reserve.

Eaglenest is notable as a prime birding site due to the extraordinary variety, numbers and accessibility of bird species there.

Eaglenest apparently derives its name from Red Eagle Division of the Indian army which was posted in the area in the 1950's.

Eaglenest is the site where Bugun Liocichla was first discovered in 1995 and again observed and described in 2006 by Ramana Athreyaa.Birds of India: Eaglenest Wildlife Sanctuary, India


It was drizzling all through the night and the weather changed to worse and with the coldness and damp, we were only restricted inside the tents, which made us more frustrated. Also we were told that it would be impossible to go to Bompu Camp as the road will be all slushy and full of snow up around Elephant Pass. If stuck, there's no one to help and also people from the Bompu Camp are coming down due to inclement weather.
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As said, we wanted to really go out or even walk - we did not want to spend the last day of year [2009] like this; when I heard and saw a Gypsy slowly coming up to the camp late morning time around.
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Tenga Ledge is an important Army Camp and from there one Army officer was coming up to the Camp to have a tour of Eagle Nest. Soon we have a brief conversation - it was decided that I follow him till where possible and we set off - Finally at least some activity and surely some wheel spin.
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PS: Reminded me of the Bum La trip where also we followed the 2 Army gypsies

Slowly as we progressed we come up to the snow line. It was snowing all through, not heavy but light flakes and it snowed all through night.
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And soon the trail became slippery and slushy. The Gypsy was slipping due to spinning [light weight and HT tyres] and we were sliding due to 2wd.

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Just before Elephant pass, the 4wd Gypsy was slipping and we were sliding much more and in that narrow track it was prudent to turn back. But then how to turn and where to turn? Slid back in back to the one and only place around here, possible to turn the Safari.

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The Gypsy also turned back soon, it was impossible and more still dangerous to continue further - with a heavy heart we too had to go back to the Lama Camp

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contd...

Last edited by adc : 19th April 2010 at 15:55.
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Old 19th April 2010, 16:15   #157
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adc, did you roll up the windows and switch ON the heater in these conditions? I did this on my Himachal Pradesh trip, and I didn't find the heater very comfortable - feels very stuffy with hot air infront your nose & eyes.

We preferred switching on the heater and rolling down the windows half-way.
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Old 19th April 2010, 16:56   #158
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Anandg View Post
All the while we thought that the beauty existed in swiss alps only.
India is truly incredible, few countries have such variation in geography to people to places!

Quote:
Originally Posted by sen2009 View Post
Any idea if they will be open during the monsoons?
You should be able to go some distance with a 4wd but higher reaches, it is narrow with a steep drop on one side and a mountain side on the other - beware of slimy mud track even with a 4wd. All said and done, we know what you are going to do this monsoon!!


Quote:
Originally Posted by tsk1979 View Post
Careful with that clutch. It gives away often without warning.

If she goes, clutch is fine, if she does not, time for a change.
Thanks much Tanveer, particularly for detailing out the 5th gear test. Will test it out. I and TASS had a look at the clutch on that engine episode, and it looked average. After that it took a huge beating in this Arunachal trip and the Buxa Forest trip.

Lets see what the test shows up



Quote:
Originally Posted by sen2009 View Post
Sorry for OT -

Could you please elaborate a little on this clutch test?
Normally 5th Gear is engaged at 85 kmph. So, how do I do it?
Sped up till 85, shift in 5th and then slowly break it down to 50 . And then leave all pedals and check for the vehicle dynamics?
Quote:

STEP 1: Find a stretch of open road, or a long street with no traffic.
STEP 2: Bring your car up to about 20-25 miles per hour

STEP 3:Shift into 5th gear, or whatever the highest gear is that your car has. Yes, it's too soon to shift into high gear, but that's the point of the test--to stress the clutch.

STEP 4: Press the gas firmly, as if you were accelerating onto a freeway.
STEP 5: Observe! If the engine starts to rev free, as if it were in neutral, and/or your tachometer needle spins toward redline very quickly, your clutch is slipping.
STEP 6: Observe! But if the car slowly accelerates, even if it staggers, bucks and strains, then the clutch is okay!
Quote:
Originally Posted by smartcat View Post
adc, did you roll up the windows and switch ON the heater in these conditions?
Dont remember anywhere putting on the heater in this trip. With windows up and warm clothes on, it was quite okay here and also for during the HP or N Sikkim tour. In fact even at 1 point, the heater is quite powerful - would surely be useful if temperatures goes down still further.

Also the windows were not rolled up as the camera would then fog up quickly, once taken from outside to inside as pictures are taken on the go. As for those snaps showing misty inside, most probably the windows were up at starting and it fogging up inside without the heater even and then I rolled down the driver side window.

Last edited by adc : 19th April 2010 at 17:07.
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Old 19th April 2010, 17:02   #159
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4WD has advantage over 2WD in snow, but only to some extent. For example at a hairpin bend you may lose traction on one wheel, and get stuck, with a 4x4, you will negotiate that bend.
However, braking, handling, sliding, slipping, its the same. Real tools for negotiation snow are the chains, but I am wary of fitting chains as ill designed chains can foul with brake lines etc., and even damage stuff.
Good call on your part not to push further and turn back. Sometimes its better to turn back than risk it all. On numerous trails I have taken the decision to turn back inspite of 4x4, because when you are alone out there, with no other support vehicle, its always wise not to take unnecessary risks.

Regarding foggy windows, I put AC on, heater slightly above half mark, and direction of vents to the windshield + feet
Cabin remains cozy with no hot blast on face, and wet snowy shoes also dry some.

Last edited by tsk1979 : 19th April 2010 at 17:03.
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Old 19th April 2010, 17:14   #160
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For some reason, I don't like either hot or cold air on my feet - and yes, I don't wear shoes.
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Old 19th April 2010, 18:51   #161
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What I love about you, Anirban (and Tanveer), is your enthusiasm in hopping out of the car in the tightest of situations & meanest of weather (mud, slush, snow... - you name it! - except pouring rain of course ), and getting action pics of your respective Safaris for us to enjoy. Sure, a number of us have been to tough places, but not many get back those brilliant action-pics like you guys do!

Makes for a lot more of the I am also there feel. Thanks a ton for your efforts.
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Old 19th April 2010, 18:56   #162
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Quote:
Originally Posted by smartcat View Post
For some reason, I don't like either hot or cold air on my feet - and yes, I don't wear shoes.
Trust me, you should wear shoes in snow, unless you want amputation
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Old 19th April 2010, 20:11   #163
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Default Day #10: Eagle Nest - Bhalukpong - Nameri [Assam]

Day #10: Eagle Nest - Bhalukpong - Nameri [Assam]


Eagle Nest WLS Map, the road to Assam via Doimara village though seen, is blocked now with landslides and in fact will not be cleared. So the only way to enter and exit the forest is through Tenga

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Some more snaps of the return journey to Lama Camp
.
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Though we had planned of staying 2 days out here, 1 day at Lama and 1 day at Bompu plus walking to see spot birds with the birdwatcher staff, but with weather going to worse, and again with the help of one of the staff out there, Nameri Eco Camp tent was booked. Never thought would get a place at Nameri on New Year's Eve [31st Dec, 2009]
Safari VTT-TMT Exotic Tour - Known and Unknown Western Arunachal and Nameri[Assam]-img_6449.jpg

Quote:
Eaglenest is the site where Bugun Liocichla was first discovered in 1995 and again observed and described in 2006 by Ramana Athreyaa. Birds of India: Eaglenest Wildlife Sanctuary, India


Coincidentally Mr Ramana Athreyaa came exactly the same that we stayed overnight along with one of his apprentice, researching birds - it was great to meet him and his student out there. They both also came down from Lama Camp as the weather was really turning out worse.

Safari VTT-TMT Exotic Tour - Known and Unknown Western Arunachal and Nameri[Assam]-img_6448.jpg


Exiting Eagle Nest, on towards Bhalukpong to Nameri [Assam]

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contd...

Last edited by adc : 19th April 2010 at 20:13.
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Old 20th April 2010, 13:47   #164
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tsk1979 View Post
On numerous trails I have taken the decision to turn back inspite of 4x4, because when you are alone out there, with no other support vehicle, its always wise not to take unnecessary risks.
Thats a decision we make everytime in a tour but turning back is such a heart breaking thing, particularly with a 2wd. My son had enough on this Eagle Nest turn back, he asked me why we had to go back from the snow and I say it is 2wd and will not go. He asks then why I did not simply buy a 4wd? Now how do you answer that!!


Quote:
Originally Posted by SS-Traveller View Post
action-pics
Being the driver-photographer, action pics are the driver's perspective pictures.

Some really "showy action pics" have been missed as there's noone to photograph out there from outside [like let say in a OTR or in a group travel] so most of them are "aftermath pictures".

I would have loved so much, if someone was outside to photograph what this Safari went through to have this kind of photo at an Orissa Forest. This is after the action is over, an aftermath snap.

Safari VTT-TMT Exotic Tour - Known and Unknown Western Arunachal and Nameri[Assam]-picture-148a.jpg

Another query that I got that day is very similar to what was I had in my first travelogue, whether I am looking straight into the camera and also driving, a very undesirable thing to do.

Quote:
May I suggest that, next time you decide to shoot a video, please let it be done by your co-passenger. Just that it is better to be safe than sorry!
Quote:
I shot majority of them myself as I wanted the driver's perspective. The camera is suspended via the neck strap and whenever I see any situation whereby I got to have two hands on the wheel, I just leave the camera. And also I am not looking into the camera viewfinder, i.e., I am looking straight as normally a driver does.
Quote:
ADC, Good that you took it in the right sense.

My concerns was exactly what you had addressed, division of your concentration between the road and the camera screen, which did not happen. Wonderful.
Anyway, the main problem now is the desktop computer is not starting and all the future post photographs are dumped in there. Let me see what happened and thus this filling post.


PS: TSK's action photos are the most brilliant and above all by a big margin. And just hold on, he has got a UWA lens now and thats lethal - landscape photography will be redefined!

Last edited by adc : 20th April 2010 at 13:53.
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Old 20th April 2010, 14:38   #165
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Quote:
Originally Posted by adc View Post

Anyway, the main problem now is the desktop computer is not starting and all the future post photographs are dumped in there. Let me see what happened and thus this filling post.
Now, that's a new one!
Please let go of the excuses and get to work. We all know the pain of writing, image resizing and all the work that goes into it.
But, a much bigger pain is to be left hung in the midst of a gripping story, a story that few of us will ever have a chance to rewrite.


Quote:
Originally Posted by adc View Post

PS: TSK's action photos are the most brilliant and above all by a big margin. And just hold on, he has got a UWA lens now and thats lethal - landscape photography will be redefined!
Can't agree more. Ultra Wide, Polarizer, Infra red.. the list is just endless and so are the possibilities.
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