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Old 24th March 2010, 12:34   #76
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"Situation". Situations like these are the most dreaded in these remote corners of the country. I would rank them worse than "service light" situations, which atleast allow you to limp!
So what happened next!? Waiting with baited breath!
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Old 24th March 2010, 13:53   #77
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Day #6 contd.. - Tawang to Bum La

So, as said, we have a "situation" at 14,500 feet. The moment turned the ignition, there is a "chwig" kind of sound and then nothing happens. Seemed typical battery problem kind of situation!
Safari VTT-TMT Exotic Tour - Known and Unknown Western Arunachal and Nameri[Assam]-img_5476.jpg


Open up the bonnet, and yes the right side clamp has come out loose - 2.5 years of rough riding and particularly also these few days of bumps have loosened it. So, glad the situation was not that too dramatic or something! Fixed it by placing a folded paper and stone chip tightly down at the base so that it does not move again.
Safari VTT-TMT Exotic Tour - Known and Unknown Western Arunachal and Nameri[Assam]-img_5478.jpg


That done, VTT fired up again and we continued on the trail to Bum La.
Safari VTT-TMT Exotic Tour - Known and Unknown Western Arunachal and Nameri[Assam]-img_5485.jpg
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As we went along, I catch up with 2 Gypsies going along the trail. The gypsies had Army families on the travel along with the officers.
Safari VTT-TMT Exotic Tour - Known and Unknown Western Arunachal and Nameri[Assam]-img_5536.jpg

And the convoy of ours [2 Army gypsies in front and our Safari VTT] came to halt at this place. It looked somewhat bad,with early morning sun yet to melt the packed ice.

Safari VTT-TMT Exotic Tour - Known and Unknown Western Arunachal and Nameri[Assam]-img_5540.jpg


contd...

.

Last edited by adc : 24th March 2010 at 14:05.
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Old 24th March 2010, 15:11   #78
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ADC ... thanks for a wonderful afternoon. 3 Hours of absolute Bliss at my Office Cubicle is a rarity. Please kep posting ..at least keep me bz till Friday!!
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Old 24th March 2010, 15:47   #79
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Day #6 contd... - Tawang to Bum La


Army Truck tyres had created big craters, observing it was obvious if tyres go into that track, it would sit down and touch the differential. Also this was packed ice, slippery - but one thing was good - all this wasnt at an incline.

Safari VTT-TMT Exotic Tour - Known and Unknown Western Arunachal and Nameri[Assam]-img_5540.jpg


Gypsy with its 4wd engaged, and narrow wheel track [more important out here], managed to skirt the big craters on either side
Safari VTT-TMT Exotic Tour - Known and Unknown Western Arunachal and Nameri[Assam]-img_5542.jpg

Everyone paused over here and while talking to the Army Gypsy driver [a Sikh soldier], he presumed I was having a Safari 4wd. Well thats a 2-tonne 2wd, and he said to wait for a couple of hours or so [it was approx 9 am around that time], as this ice will melt somewhat and the hard packed nature will go. And warned me of a even badder stretch out there in front which will not be possible without 4wd, plus there is no camp out there for jawans to help push if stuck - well then let me cross this first.



On towards the crossing

Safari VTT-TMT Exotic Tour - Known and Unknown Western Arunachal and Nameri[Assam]-img_5543.jpg]

Observing track it is obvious to take the side road, but with the wider track of a Safari, it is going to into a couple of holes on the either side. With momentum and whatever and with twice the shock absorbers travelling the full distance with sickening thud noise, crossed it. The Gypsies had stopped after crossing to pick up some persons who disembarked before crossing the track. The Sikh driver smiled a lot, he was equally happy as I was on making over that stretch - said to me - Chalo dekte hain upar kya hota hai!


That episode gone, we were on the move again, up the inclines
Safari VTT-TMT Exotic Tour - Known and Unknown Western Arunachal and Nameri[Assam]-img_5549.jpg


Now the problem with the Gypsies in front was that they were on crawl mode and with a 2wd we were on momentum and torque. Everytime an incline came, being close to them - I had to slow down very much, too much of a wheelspin and clutch burning on trying to move again - so for the next incline it was waiting at base till they have cleared that particular incline and then again rev up, gather momentum and move forward.
Safari VTT-TMT Exotic Tour - Known and Unknown Western Arunachal and Nameri[Assam]-img_5553.jpg


But this also was not desirable. With a standing start at the base of an incline, there's wheelspin at first and stones and rocks are thrown around from the rear wheel and the sound of some of them hitting the underbelly made me worried - if a stone hits at full speed to the fuel tank - as such kept an eye on the tank gauge and three chewing gums in mouth. Of course, in actuality, if that happened, chewing gums wouldnt have helped and the analog fuel metre would have reacted much late to fuel draining out. The chance had to be taken as this was better than having clutch burning at inclines.


As said, waiting at an incline for them to pass before I move, catch with them on this incline around may be 3 km before Bum La. This was the stretch that everyone was talking about, it sure looked bad - bend incline, packed slippery ice and stones - this is worst for a 2wd, the Gypsies with 4 low was slipping from one end to other before they made it out of that stretch.

Safari VTT-TMT Exotic Tour - Known and Unknown Western Arunachal and Nameri[Assam]-img_5554.jpg

Quote:
A small painted patch on the rock surface said Engage 4 x 4 from here" announcing the climb for Bum-la.

The climb is not just a climb but "The Climb". It is as arrogant as engineering can get. What makes it even more difficult is the surface; it's not smooth but instead has lot of loose stones and boulders which are a result of heavy Army vehicles revving up before the climb; it is not possible to gain momentum before the climb.

A small stream runs down beneath the stones on the incline. The snow from the pass melts and makes its way through this artificial slope and into the lakes below.
They crossed and disappeared from sight and I kept walked along that 30-mtr stretch thinking how to go about - whatever I am going to try and see what happens - 3 km from Bumla - can't go back. Wife and kid started feeling very disappointed as I gave the news after doing a recce of the stretch as very less chance of going through it and kid because he will not be able to reach to the top and see snow or even have Maggi!


No pictures of course but dont know how I crossed it, what steering input or what acceleration play - everything happened then and there, and owaao we made it through. Caught up with the Gypsies soon and I could see one biggest smiles from that Sikh gentleman on the Gypsy rear view mirror. He was as happy for us as we were!

Safari VTT-TMT Exotic Tour - Known and Unknown Western Arunachal and Nameri[Assam]-img_5563.jpg

The remaining inclines were steep but dirt, so only high rev at 4 k around and same thing again, wait before the incline to let the Gypsies move out.

Safari VTT-TMT Exotic Tour - Known and Unknown Western Arunachal and Nameri[Assam]-img_5565.jpg

Very near to Bum La, the final turn

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Safari VTT-TMT Exotic Tour - Known and Unknown Western Arunachal and Nameri[Assam]-img_5570.jpg

Finally we have made to Bum La, what a feeling it was, cant describe, still remember the drive. Safari VTT LX 2.2 2wd sharing parking with the Gypsies - what proud moment for the Safari - truly - The Magnificent Tourer.

Safari VTT-TMT Exotic Tour - Known and Unknown Western Arunachal and Nameri[Assam]-img_5574.jpg



As said, we were elated but one person was not. He was quite angry, this is not what he expected after coming up so much

contd...

Last edited by adc : 24th March 2010 at 15:56.
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Old 24th March 2010, 16:05   #80
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adc, how many kms do your tyres last?

The question has nothing to do with your previous two posts
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Old 24th March 2010, 17:52   #81
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Quote:
Originally Posted by adc View Post
...

As said, we were elated but one person was not. He was quite angry, this is not what he expected after coming up so much

contd...
Oh! Please ask the person not to be angry!
When he'd grow up and understand the nuances of his daddy's unimaginable driving skills, non availability of snow/ice/maggi on a pass won't matter none!

Keep on with the story... the speed of posting is nowehere matching the revv at the BIG INCLINE.

Three cheers for the absolute intrepid hands at the wheel.

Last edited by sen2009 : 24th March 2010 at 17:53.
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Old 24th March 2010, 19:15   #82
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Quote:
Originally Posted by venki.bala View Post
wow.... read the travelogue in one stretch... no words simply dumbstruck.....Also you know where to break your travelogues.... just makes me glues for the next update with the " Situation". Thanks ADC, for another great travelogue.
Quote:
Originally Posted by tsk1979 View Post
"Situation". Situations like these are the most dreaded in these remote corners of the country. I would rank them worse than "service light" situations, which atleast allow you to limp!
So what happened next!? Waiting with baited breath!

Well the "situation" wasnt then dramatic at all and so glad it wasnt.

At least for the Safari VTT, battery clamp holders are not there. There is space for that to put two rods, like as you see in a 407 truck. As a result over a period of use the right side clamp gets loosened. The permanent solution would be put clamps - I have a wood piece and the battery is firmly in place till now - but again putting clamps both sides would be the solution.



Quote:
Originally Posted by Dzire2Travel View Post
ADC ... thanks for a wonderful afternoon. 3 Hours of absolute Bliss at my Office Cubicle is a rarity. Please kep posting ..at least keep me bz till Friday!!
Thanks much.



Quote:
Originally Posted by smartcat View Post
adc, how many kms do your tyres last?

The question has nothing to do with your previous two posts
Particularly for this tour, the stock tyres were changed at around 35k. The main reason being the sidewall strength of the A/T tyres. All the tyres had side wall cuts to stone or rocks, as such A/T tyre for sidewall strength. The spare tyre was new but had a big gash on the sidewall due to driving up a divider at high speed, and so basically I had 4 tubed tyres. [ Lucky to be alive (Tata Safari Dicor 2.2 LX VTT-TMT [The Magnificient Tourer] - the first 2.2 on T-Bhp) ]

Another reason for changing tyre, was the previous one was tubed ones. and with a tyre puncture after on the 18th hour of a drive - changing a Safari tyre takes out all the strength or whatever is left - not to mention the most unlikely of places.


Quote:
Originally Posted by sen2009 View Post
Oh! Please ask the person not to be angry!
When he'd grow up and understand the nuances of his daddy's unimaginable driving skills, non availability of snow/ice/maggi on a pass won't matter none!
Just wait and see one pic of his, glum faced and he had his own reasons - no snow, stiff cold wild, and some suji [no Maggi] from the Army men.

Last edited by adc : 24th March 2010 at 19:23.
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Old 24th March 2010, 20:04   #83
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Glad that you were able to manage that treacherous incline adc.
Arun, myself & our driver walked from that incline till the Bumla hut!

BTW, that Suji is the 'prasad' for the temple below!
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Old 24th March 2010, 20:10   #84
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Default Day #6 contd... - Tawang to Bum La

Day #6: At Bum La

As we reached, we were "ushered in" by this soldier, our names and phone nos noted down.

Safari VTT-TMT Exotic Tour - Known and Unknown Western Arunachal and Nameri[Assam]-img_5575.jpg

Crossing the Border meeting Hut at Bum-la, we went first towards the observation point.

Safari VTT-TMT Exotic Tour - Known and Unknown Western Arunachal and Nameri[Assam]-img_5609.jpg
Safari VTT-TMT Exotic Tour - Known and Unknown Western Arunachal and Nameri[Assam]-img_5580.jpg

A stiff cold wind was there and I had managed to misplace the gloves, had taken them off for better grip on the steering while going up.
Safari VTT-TMT Exotic Tour - Known and Unknown Western Arunachal and Nameri[Assam]-img_4577.jpg

Soon wife says we have another "situation" - son is "angry". He wont walk any more and planted himself on a rock. He grievance, Why no snow - what was the use of coming so high - bad place!! A deal was then done, he is ready to move but no walking - will have to carry him!

Safari VTT-TMT Exotic Tour - Known and Unknown Western Arunachal and Nameri[Assam]-img_5583.jpg
Safari VTT-TMT Exotic Tour - Known and Unknown Western Arunachal and Nameri[Assam]-img_5585.jpg


And we moved forward to the observation post, it does take out breath more carrying him on the shoulders.

Safari VTT-TMT Exotic Tour - Known and Unknown Western Arunachal and Nameri[Assam]-img_5587.jpg

Good omen and local traditions are respected by placing a stone and son at least enjoyed this before becoming "angry" again

Safari VTT-TMT Exotic Tour - Known and Unknown Western Arunachal and Nameri[Assam]-img_5590.jpg

Done that, we reached over at the observation post, a great soldier-gentleman welcome us out there.

Safari VTT-TMT Exotic Tour - Known and Unknown Western Arunachal and Nameri[Assam]-img_5592.jpg

As one sees from the observation post, it is all China from now on from beyond that small field with 2 flag posts. The vast expanse and looking out at China will always remain the most important highlights of all of our travel.

Safari VTT-TMT Exotic Tour - Known and Unknown Western Arunachal and Nameri[Assam]-img_5594.jpg



contd.... Will upload tmmrrw one short you-tube video about the presentation that fine Sikh soldier gave, explaining the positions of the Chinese, the present status, and how the demarcation of the Indo-China border has been done there - very informative!

Last edited by adc : 24th March 2010 at 20:21.
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Old 24th March 2010, 20:38   #85
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pulsar56 View Post
Glad that you were able to manage that treacherous incline adc.
Arun, myself & our driver walked from that incline till the Bumla hut!

BTW, that Suji is the 'prasad' for the temple below!
Thanks Nazim, that was one great effort from both you plus there was that very important responsibility - Bumla post was counting on you all to deliver the package [read chickens].

Anyway if we would have got stuck, we were prepared to walk too - after coming so near Bum La no way going back without seeing the post and China - but also knew that carrying the child, would have been taken big effort. Glad we made through it.

Yes thats the prasad, but for his context it was just "suji, no maggi!"

For some info about Heap of Stones at LAC

Quote:
"Heap of Stones" — the symbol of peace and tranquillity. It began with commanders from both armies together placing a couple of stones on the LAC when they first met several years ago.

It has now grown into a 20-feet mound, indicating the regularity of the interaction and a reduction of the bitterness that ruled for a couple of decades after the 1962 war.

Last edited by adc : 24th March 2010 at 20:56.
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Old 24th March 2010, 21:13   #86
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Quote:
Originally Posted by adc View Post
Day #6: At Bum La


Soon wife says we have another "situation" - son is "angry". He wont walk any more and planted himself on a rock. He grievance, Why no snow - what was the use of coming so high - bad place!! A deal was then done, he is ready to move but no walking - will have to carry him!
Thank you for sharing this view of such a remote corner of India through your eyes. It is also humbling to see how our soldiers guard the country in the face of adverse conditions. Felt it continuously in Ladakh.

BTW the expression on the young adventurer in training's face is priceless.
For some unknown reason it resonates with the phrase 'Bum La'
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Old 24th March 2010, 22:22   #87
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adc

Thanks a lot for such an amazing travelogue. Hats off to your effort.

Because of some personal project, I have been a bit inactive on the forum - only browsing occasionally and even not updating my ownership thread for sometime.
But once I saw your thread today , have been continuously hooked up for the last 45 minutes; going through this amazing journey of the north east.
Thanks once again.

-svaid
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Old 25th March 2010, 06:10   #88
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Very nice. AP is one place, which keeps very low profile.
Why is not promoted? Is it because of its strategic location?
How well connected is it today apart from the road off-course.

Last edited by ampere : 25th March 2010 at 06:12.
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Old 25th March 2010, 09:20   #89
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Quote:
Originally Posted by genesis View Post
....

BTW the expression on the young adventurer in training's face is priceless.
For some unknown reason it resonates with the phrase 'Bum La'
Got thinking about this one. Do you mean "Bum La" as in... "Ja bhai, ek Bomb Leke aa?"
Or, as a generic expression with violent sound.. like - "Halla Bol?"


The chota ADC, I guess is of not more than 5/6 years of age. For that age, he shows some excellent attitude and temparament at all times, especially considering the way Bara ADC likes to rough it up.
A little bit of getting in off mood is just more than due.

:-) Congratulations and Best wishes for the Adventurer Family.
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Old 25th March 2010, 15:38   #90
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Quote:
Originally Posted by genesis View Post
Thank you for sharing this view of such a remote corner of India through your eyes. It is also humbling to see how our soldiers guard the country in the face of adverse conditions. Felt it continuously in Ladakh.

BTW the expression on the young adventurer in training's face is priceless.
For some unknown reason it resonates with the phrase 'Bum La'


Quote:
Originally Posted by sen2009 View Post
Got thinking about this one. Do you mean "Bum La" as in... "Ja bhai, ek Bomb Leke aa?"
Or, as a generic expression with violent sound.. like - "Halla Bol?"


The chota ADC, I guess is of not more than 5/6 years of age. For that age, he shows some excellent attitude and temparament at all times, especially considering the way Bara ADC likes to rough it up.
A little bit of getting in off mood is just more than due.

:-) Congratulations and Best wishes for the Adventurer Family.

He was cross for as long as we were in Bum La but then again become fully active and okay. Of course the reason was no snow but the mood was aggravated by very stiff cold cutting wind and the height too. Of course walking here takes effort. Knew we had to carry him from the parking to the observation post, but he got that through his point. He is 5 years old now.




Quote:
Originally Posted by svaid View Post
adc

Thanks a lot for such an amazing travelogue. Hats off to your effort.


-svaid
Thanks to you too.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ampere View Post
Very nice. AP is one place, which keeps very low profile.
Why is not promoted? Is it because of its strategic location?
How well connected is it today apart from the road off-course.
Massive programs are going on at AP, this Bumla road will be all metal. The roads at the China side are metalled wide and smooth. Big hydroelectric power projects are going on there. Do read this article [definitely a must read] on why you should definitely go to Arunachal before the "modernity" catches up.

BBC News - Remote Indian state set for development

Last edited by adc : 25th March 2010 at 15:46.
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