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Old 13th January 2011, 21:11   #1
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Thumbs up Escape to Nathula

me: Hello Hello!!!
other: blah blah blah....Try to come asap..
me: what !! (silence........)how !
other: I don't know, go figure it out! anyhow but dont miss a chance to drive to Nathula ok!
me: ohk :(????? I''ll see what I can do.

Wife: looking at me curiously and asks "so when do we go to Goa?"
me: Yaya, dont worry very soon, let me get the vehicle prepared

me: Wicked thoughts turns to reality. I murmur to myself, so finally it is snow.
Wife: What did you say ?
me:nothing, i said sand...

Looking back, What would I remember?

Name:  Remember.JPG
Views: 4480
Size:  390.2 KB

I get some really good feedback from the route query thread and standing thanks to HVK.

As a pre-trip vehicle setup, I have almost everything ready to go (tool box, ropes etc) except a 30k service and a single tyre change.
One wacky and cool thing i came to know from Kingshukt and HV was google maps. Awesome recommendation guys.. thanks

PS: I dont have any great pics to share except the drive to bhutan and nathula, as it was real dusty & foggy and the drive didnt permit taking pics per se. This is going to be a short narration of a 6700kms
I have three days to reach the destination Binagudi and four days to make it back only. So kindly please bear with me as i am going to take time to write this one.


Last edited by Rahulk76 : 13th January 2011 at 21:14.
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Old 13th January 2011, 21:32   #2
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Default Re: Escape to Nathula

@ Rahulk76 - Thats one place on my list too.

Looking forward to this one !!
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Old 13th January 2011, 23:21   #3
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Default Re: Escape to Nathula

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rahulk76 View Post
PS: I dont have any great pics to share except the drive to bhutan and nathula, as it was real dusty & foggy and the drive didnt permit taking pics per se. This is going to be a short narration of a 6700kms

I have three days to reach the destination Binagudi and four days to make it back only. So kindly please bear with me as i am going to take time to write this one.
Looking forward to your narration eagerly.
By the way, did you mean Binnaguri - the cantonment town close to the foothills of Bhutan in Jalpaiguri district?
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Old 14th January 2011, 06:08   #4
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Default Re: Escape to Nathula

Chasing the snow in December, the best thing to do every Indian winter!

I guess you meant Google Latitude.
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Old 14th January 2011, 06:43   #5
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Default Re: Escape to Nathula

Another travelogue i can't wait to read...
I guess now that the dust has settled, can we get your first post?
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Old 14th January 2011, 12:01   #6
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Default Re: Escape to Nathula

Finally the travelogue has started. I dont see any snow in this picture though. Did you find any? Good that you did not buy any GPS system and made it through Latitude.
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Old 14th January 2011, 12:55   #7
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Default Re: Escape to Nathula

@Rahulk76 > Welcome back. Got to know of your escapade when I visited HVK and you were somewhere up in the hills.
Well Google latitude is simply amazing. Was using it during my entire South escapade and it works and helps. A simply superb travel tool.

Cheers,
Jay
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Old 14th January 2011, 16:36   #8
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Talking Index

The following 9 chapters would cover:

To Binagudi
  1. D1: Pune-Nagpur-Bhilai (Dec19)
  2. D2: Bhilai-Sambalpur-Calcutta(Dec20)
  3. D3: Calcutta-Malda-Silliguri-Binagudi(Dec20-21)
Titbits
  • To Bhutan
  • Offroading stunt at Jaldapara riverbed
  • To Nathula
  • Binagudi-Silliguri-Binagudi (4times)
To Pune
  1. D1: Binagudi-Silliguri-Malda-Siuri-Raniganj-Dhanbad-Bokaro(Dec30)
  2. D2: Bokaro-Purulia-Jamshedpur(Dec31)
  3. D3: Jamshedpur-Baharagora-Keonjhar-Sambalpur-Bhillai(Jan1)
  4. D4: Bhillai-Nagpur-Pune(Jan2)
Stay tuned
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Old 16th January 2011, 00:26   #9
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Default Re: Escape to Nathula

Hi Rahul,

Already hooked on to this TL. Waiting for some pics.
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Old 16th January 2011, 21:54   #10
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Default Prologue

It happened in the blink of an eye. One instant everything was fine, considering the fact she was thinking that we were going to Goa; the next instant it was a disaster in the making, and she went from reasonably relaxed to simply terrified.

Kya!!!!!! she exclaimed loudly numbing my ears; my heart had started pounding now. What was supposed to be a walk in the park, as thought last night was now threatening to be anything but.(no-go)

*****Censored*****
Bonus: We go to some places of your real interest as well

We’ve got to go and we will do this together. Allright...!, I said. Ok!..fine by me, when do we go? a calm voice responded. I did felt assured. 18th ir 19th Dec, early morning starts and early night halts.

This was T-5 days.
Happy go lucky, I got my vehicle serviced in the meantime with a 8k bill(including the expensive brakepads replacement.I am glad I did)

T-3 days.

I get one of the nasty bill of 6xxx, cause of a slash in the side of the tyre, nothing major, but having talked to Kingshukt and HV, it was in the best interest of the whole trip to get it replaced. So it was done. Also got a spare tube(just in case).

After en-number of calls and posts in route query the route plan is freezed. I am nervous at one hand and confident at other. Little do I anticipate that the what good roads are and what a good NH6 means. (Its more like a vehicle pounder, Well something similar to LBM paajis pounders/earthshakers) guesswhat all of 600-800kms of the trip. All this coupled by Naxalism/Maoist issues and other stories. But hey common, we are back in 1 piece writing this travelogue for you na..

T-1 day.
Its friday, and I am thinking whether i should start on saturday or sunday. Nooo, i have a party to attend tonite so be it Sunday. I plead to her and she gives in, for sure she is annoyed and kids.. hey what about the kids, Have you packed their woollens etc ? YES!..comes a stern reply and I head off to the party. In the middle of party I suddenly remember, I havent packed :o and where the heck i have kept the spare fuses and the RAMBANN.


Again T-1 day.
Everyone is searching frantically..Do you remember, where is the spare key..etc!! No not that one that is of house! What about the fuses and the RAMBANN? they were supposed to be here. Shucks..
"Listen, i have called an auto, I am going shopping some eatables for the journey, see you in couple of hours" she bids goodbye to me. Nooo, hey common not now. I plead hoping that she would help, but then again she peeps back from the main door and say "Just Remember where you kept em" and shes gone.

Arrghhh common I've got to be kidding myself. How in the world am I suppose to travel like this. Its all my mistake...annoyingly i look at myself in the mirror.

seconds became minutes and minutes hour. She had left around 11 and hadnt returned yet

As the hour neared one p.m., I began to calm down. All was arranged. I had found what I was looking for. neatly tucked away in one of the drawers was the key to escape to Nathula.

Sometime later, the doorbell rings.

"So, you did manage to find it eh afterall !" she happily exclaims and I am like what !!!!" Common, get the packing done, unlike last time we load and set the luggage in the evening and yes, I need to go once again for some pending work and get the diesel filled.

Oh sure, thanks for reminding; something rather extraordinary i was thinking.. Am i getting old ? nah ..The kids was giggling and shyly covering their mouths. Sigh

6PM
Ok I am done with keeping the cash, diesel etc. What next! I say to her.
Ya, ours - your luggage needs to be loaded. giggling away she goes on handing over the baggage.

7PM
Allright, i am done with my packing and settling the luggage in the back of the Safari. Its tidier than last time. We agree to it.

8PM
Lets start at 3am tommorow, ok! Fine by me, she echoes back..
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Old 16th January 2011, 22:21   #11
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Default Re: Escape to Nathula

Wow , waiting for the clock to Tick 3 AM.

Regards
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Old 16th January 2011, 22:47   #12
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Default Re: Escape to Nathula

Rahul, this is one heck of a long trip man. The beginning is certainly exciting. Where are you these days? Will sent you a pm tomorrow.
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Old 16th January 2011, 23:16   #13
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Cool Chapter1

Chapter1
D1: Pune-Nagpur-Bhilai (Dec19)

Escape to Nathula-day-1-drive.jpg
Phew, we leave by 5AM from home.
The kids and wife are in the back neatly tucked away in the warmth of the small mink quilt.
They are half awake and wondering when they can see the light of the day or as my elder kid one says snow !

Around 6AM, there is a traffic jam. No....;I dont need this one at the start of my day. Some how after 30 mins or so of chaos, the vehicle starts moving but they take the RHS service lane. Later I find that three lives had gone to heaven I hope, after they banged their bikes sideways onto a PMPL bus.

Shaken and stirred at the visuals, we carry on. Programatically, I reduce the avg speed to 60kmph until dawn.

The roads are virtually empty, and we cross aurangabad by 7am or so..Amazing is the word. The rest of the gang is still sleeping in the back. We halt by Jalna for bread and breakfast and then continue paying toll of consistent approx 25/- and reach Nagpur late in the afternoon. Oh yes, we had packed lunch, so we stopped by a tree shade for it.

The road is Fantastic and highly recommended to everyone, though lonely at times. But fun nevertheless.

So far I have been extremely happy after talking to HV on the progress and the roads..Muaah, I love MH roads.


We are on the Nagpur ringroad, progressing towards the day's 1 destination Raipur, when suddenly the NH6 is 2 lane. I am progressing very slowly due to the sheer volume of the traffic and dusk has settled. My eyes are getting irritated and look tired.

Soon after exiting Nagpur, we stop for a tea break. Soon thereafter, talking to HV, its imperative for us either to stay back at Nagpur or atleast continue until Durg at the minimum. After taking instructions as to how to tackle Border traffic near and around MH/CG border, I follow the RHS side of the road for couple of KM;s to peacefully cross into CG.
Its around 8 PM now and I am trying to figure out the out of shape NH6. It has reduced the speed 1 and become a vehicle pounder.

The safari is soaking up the undulations and minor major potholes aplomb. I would have rather gone slow, but then dusk approacing and the stretch of this road doesnt permit me to do so. I start tailing a CG innova ( i guess with a family)

Hello HV.? Ya, Rahul tell me, your lattidude is still showing you near Deori...!. No no, i have passed Rajnandgaon and approaching Durg. Any advises as its getting late ?
Some instructions later, we land on the Durg Bypass and thats where the whole circus begins.

Oye there is the hotel phew..! i exclaim cheerfully to my wife. Thats the hotel HV talked about or was it not ?
Few mins later, I am searching for someanother place, coz for the night they are asking 3k :(

This is what i call goofup of miscalculating the instructions and landing and some unknown place inside Durg Sector 8 . I am feeling goofy and 10 times thinking of calling someone for help. But wait..

I google up from the phone, list of hotels and come across Hotel Kusum(www.hotelkusum). Reasonable rate and closeby I say to her.
Ya, lets go. Kids are also tired and need a bed to sleep.

I am somewhere near seactor 8 beside a railway crossing and a flyover and talking to this guy of the Hotel.

9PM
Hello, I need a room for family as we are travelling!
ok ok sure.. blah blah blah
but hello, kaha aana hai ?
Aap kaha hai ?
I am near the flyover, near railways phatak..
Ok dont worry, I am coming to the end of the flyover, please come there Ok. The landmark is Powerhouse.
Ok theek hai, be right there

9:30PM
Hello, i am near the end of flyover, where are you ?
I am also there saar, on the cycle
But i cant see any cycle, there is a petrol pump on the RHS ?
Heh ? Saar, petrol pump ka address kya bata raha hai ?
Durg ?
Oh!
What ??
I forgot to tell you that we are in Bhillai, and the land mark in Powerhouse, bang on the NH6. He meekly replies
Bug(g)er, i murmur to myself

Somehow we manage to find one fine sikh gentlemen having a stroll on the road and ask for directions to NH6, Powerhouse.

10:15PM
We are inside the hotel room, relaxing having nice cup of tea(s). I think i had 4-5 of em.

Finally, the kids after having a light dinner packoff for a restful sleep.
We decide to leave by 5AM and request tea.
(Since we are leaving early, I decide to settle the entire bill, then and thereitself)

Excited, I fall asleep only to find myself awake around 3AM. gruffy and weary eyed.I nudge her to get ready and then fall asleep.
Hey....wakeup its 6AM.. WAKE UP...........

Quote:
Somefacts about the places we passed can be found by clicking on the links

Last edited by Rahulk76 : 16th January 2011 at 23:22.
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Old 16th January 2011, 23:33   #14
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Default Re: Escape to Nathula

You forgot to mention the bad experience in searching for hotels inside Bhandara town! I am surprised a district GHQ town doe snot have good hotels!

These border check posts can be quite a painful experience - OR, CG, WB, JH, KL, etc. Lucky that you go through, was it very bad at the MH-CG border?

How much of the road is now 4-laned between Nagur & Durg?

That was one hell of a long drive, from Pune to Durg!! How many kms was it?

That night in Durg, I was seeing you all over the place trying to find the hotel! Good find, this Hotel Kusum - free wi-fi too and car parking, wasn't it?
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Old 16th January 2011, 23:43   #15
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Default Re: Escape to Nathula

Replies inline with your message HV

Quote:
Originally Posted by hvkumar View Post
You forgot to mention the bad experience in searching for hotels inside Bhandara town! I am surprised a district GHQ town doe snot have good hotels!

Quote:
Well yes, I do remember, it was a bitter pill, i rather not write about. Its quiet surprising as its to you as to me
These border check posts can be quite a painful experience - OR, CG, WB, JH, KL, etc. Lucky that you go through, was it very bad at the MH-CG border?
Quote:
Well I was lucky.. It was very bad at MH-CG. Both sides locked down by trucks..only one way cars could pass, is the word i have to describe it
How much of the road is now 4-laned between Nagur & Durg?
Quote:
Two laned, vehicle shaker, then some stretch is good i think few 30-40 kms before durg bypass, but nothing to write home about. Its still is 2 laned
That was one hell of a long drive, from Pune to Durg!! How many kms was it?
Quote:
For sure shorter than 1000kms. I would have touched raipur easily, had i listened some months ago to her, by jogging. A healthy mind and a body..you know
That night in Durg, I was seeing you all over the place trying to find the hotel! Good find, this Hotel Kusum - free wi-fi too and car parking, wasn't it?
Quote:
Yes, i am sure like a honeybee @durg. The hotel is a gem for sure

Last edited by Rahulk76 : 16th January 2011 at 23:51. Reason: correction
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