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Old 12th April 2022, 12:37   #91
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Default Re: 2 months across the Eastern Indo-Tibet Himalayas | A KTM 390 "Adventure" | 2021 Report

We had finally made it down the mountains!

2 months across the Eastern Indo-Tibet Himalayas | A KTM 390 "Adventure" | 2021 Report-pxl_20210321_090427367.jpg

But our walk back to civilisation was not bereft of adventure!

2 months across the Eastern Indo-Tibet Himalayas | A KTM 390 "Adventure" | 2021 Report-pxl_20210321_090106423.portrait.jpg

These bridges were all rustic, and meant only for people to walk - or even hop - across. Ofcourse, I saw the the odd motorcycle making a go at it too!

2 months across the Eastern Indo-Tibet Himalayas | A KTM 390 "Adventure" | 2021 Report-pxl_20210321_090205346.jpg

The river wasn't in full spate, which calmed our nerves as we clumsily held on to dear life across the bridge.

2 months across the Eastern Indo-Tibet Himalayas | A KTM 390 "Adventure" | 2021 Report-pxl_20210321_090440203.portrait.jpg

Every once in a while, I would look up to the mountains, and bam, we have a money shot.

2 months across the Eastern Indo-Tibet Himalayas | A KTM 390 "Adventure" | 2021 Report-pxl_20210321_090810931.portrait.jpg

We were getting close to town, and our friends were walking ever so slowly, absorbing everything that nature had to offer us.

2 months across the Eastern Indo-Tibet Himalayas | A KTM 390 "Adventure" | 2021 Report-pxl_20210321_091109959.portrait.jpg

We had another bridge to cross!

2 months across the Eastern Indo-Tibet Himalayas | A KTM 390 "Adventure" | 2021 Report-pxl_20210321_091413610.portrait.jpg

This one was swaying in the wind. I made it more fun by standing at the other end and jumping up and down - an impromptu trampoline much to the chagrin of our friends who were already mid way lol!

2 months across the Eastern Indo-Tibet Himalayas | A KTM 390 "Adventure" | 2021 Report-pxl_20210321_091706495.portrait.jpg

As we walked down the bridge, everyone sat down for a little chit chat before the hustle and bustle of society swallowed us whole.

2 months across the Eastern Indo-Tibet Himalayas | A KTM 390 "Adventure" | 2021 Report-pxl_20210321_092159268.jpg

2 months across the Eastern Indo-Tibet Himalayas | A KTM 390 "Adventure" | 2021 Report-pxl_20210321_115414535.portrait.jpg

And if it wasn't obvious already, I like cats. lol!
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Old 13th April 2022, 08:48   #92
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Default Re: 2 months across the Eastern Indo-Tibet Himalayas | A KTM 390 "Adventure" | 2021 Report

I think we earned our sleep that night.

The next morning was fabulous to say the least.

2 months across the Eastern Indo-Tibet Himalayas | A KTM 390 "Adventure" | 2021 Report-pxl_20210322_010106427.portrait.jpg

A horse, a farmstead, and the mountains for company. What would you trade in for this?

2 months across the Eastern Indo-Tibet Himalayas | A KTM 390 "Adventure" | 2021 Report-pxl_20210322_010121661.portrait.jpg

2 months across the Eastern Indo-Tibet Himalayas | A KTM 390 "Adventure" | 2021 Report-pxl_20210322_010216466.portrait.jpg

We were going to go around Mechuka and visit some of the sights the area had to offer. Our first stop was a Gurudwara or Temple dedicated to Guru Nanak. Guru Nanak was one of the Spiritual preceptors of the Sikh faith.

2 months across the Eastern Indo-Tibet Himalayas | A KTM 390 "Adventure" | 2021 Report-pxl_20210322_025951168.jpg

This temple was taken care of by the Army, who had their barracks here. No shots of the barracks, according to their strict burly commandant below.

2 months across the Eastern Indo-Tibet Himalayas | A KTM 390 "Adventure" | 2021 Report-pxl_20210322_032702825.portrait.jpg

This was the next sight we came across. Do you spot a "face" there? That face is remarkably similar to the Hindu Monkey God, Hanuman. I was in utter disbelief, but eyes don't lie for the most part.

2 months across the Eastern Indo-Tibet Himalayas | A KTM 390 "Adventure" | 2021 Report-pxl_20210322_054740457.portrait.jpg

We rode further to another cave temple dedicated to Guru Nanak, as he had spent time meditating there. India has many such far to reach places, frequented by saints of all orders who have meditated and prayed to the divine.

2 months across the Eastern Indo-Tibet Himalayas | A KTM 390 "Adventure" | 2021 Report-pxl_20210322_061637896.portrait.jpg

On our way to the cave, we crossed over a fast flowing mountain stream, which is frequented by locals. Apparently it was a wish fulfilling stream - people throw coins into the river in exchange for a wish fulfilled!

2 months across the Eastern Indo-Tibet Himalayas | A KTM 390 "Adventure" | 2021 Report-pxl_20210322_061404968.mp.jpg

We stopped over a few places to take some photos of ourselves on our steeds - something we tend to forget and overlook when surrounded by such interesting and gorgeous sights.

2 months across the Eastern Indo-Tibet Himalayas | A KTM 390 "Adventure" | 2021 Report-img_5906.jpeg

Our host however was extremely disappointed in us. Why, we will never know. LOL!

2 months across the Eastern Indo-Tibet Himalayas | A KTM 390 "Adventure" | 2021 Report-pxl_20210322_072003210.portrait.jpg
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Old 13th April 2022, 17:38   #93
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Default Re: 2 months across the Eastern Indo-Tibet Himalayas | A KTM 390 "Adventure" | 2021 Report

Some short videos from our climb at Mechuka



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Old 14th April 2022, 14:25   #94
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Default Re: 2 months across the Eastern Indo-Tibet Himalayas | A KTM 390 "Adventure" | 2021 Report

We also happened to visit the Mechuka Monastery. Mechuka is predominantly a Buddhist town, with a tremendous influence of Tibet which is right across the border.

2 months across the Eastern Indo-Tibet Himalayas | A KTM 390 "Adventure" | 2021 Report-pxl_20210322_101820702.jpg

Sadly though, the monastery was closed - the Lama's were off for their weekend excursion to town lol! We did get a great view of Old and new Mechuka from up there though.

2 months across the Eastern Indo-Tibet Himalayas | A KTM 390 "Adventure" | 2021 Report-pxl_20210322_102731389.jpg

The next morning was that of a series of Goodbyes. A longing farewell to the gorgeous mountains and homesteads. And warm hugs with promises to return to the loving family that took care of us the past couple of days.

2 months across the Eastern Indo-Tibet Himalayas | A KTM 390 "Adventure" | 2021 Report-pxl_20210323_005232211.portrait.jpg

But it was time to hit the road again! And soon our sadness evaporated along with the mist we left behind. We had to ride from Mechuka back to Aalo - there was just one road in and out of Mechuka. 150 kms but the better part of the day.

2 months across the Eastern Indo-Tibet Himalayas | A KTM 390 "Adventure" | 2021 Report-pxl_20210323_021759917.jpg

The roads out were steep and crevasseous. Is there even a word like that?

2 months across the Eastern Indo-Tibet Himalayas | A KTM 390 "Adventure" | 2021 Report-pxl_20210323_032756107.jpg

Our climb down the mountains that border tibet gave rise to some spectacular scenery. You always do a double take when you go back on the same route twice.

2 months across the Eastern Indo-Tibet Himalayas | A KTM 390 "Adventure" | 2021 Report-pxl_20210323_033149323.jpg

I think we had to get down to that sliver of a river there. Whoo!

2 months across the Eastern Indo-Tibet Himalayas | A KTM 390 "Adventure" | 2021 Report-pxl_20210323_034723377.jpg

As we were stopped taking pictures, I heard a few yelps behind only to find us surrounded by little local kids who were obviously enamoured by big shiny motorcycles.

2 months across the Eastern Indo-Tibet Himalayas | A KTM 390 "Adventure" | 2021 Report-pxl_20210323_064227459.portrait.jpg

I stood watching the kids watch us. We probably wouldn't run into them again. Would they remember us? Or would they remember for what we possessed? Big shiny things. I was assailed by questions - layer after layer, much like what stood before me.

2 months across the Eastern Indo-Tibet Himalayas | A KTM 390 "Adventure" | 2021 Report-pxl_20210323_064440852.portrait.jpg

But I had to make haste. Because shit just hit the fan.

2 months across the Eastern Indo-Tibet Himalayas | A KTM 390 "Adventure" | 2021 Report-pxl_20210323_071154986.portrait.jpg
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Old 15th April 2022, 12:08   #95
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Default Re: 2 months across the Eastern Indo-Tibet Himalayas | A KTM 390 "Adventure" | 2021 Report

The roads or the non existence of one went quickly from beautiful winding hairpins to full blown apocalyptic nuclear disaster.

2 months across the Eastern Indo-Tibet Himalayas | A KTM 390 "Adventure" | 2021 Report-pxl_20210323_081748478.portrait.jpg

There was a ton of road work happening. And this road work was going on across the province or state. And there was only one reason - China. China had built super highways right upto the Indian border via Tibet, and the lackadaisical attitude of successive Indian governments towards our borders meant that we had cattle trails and the Chinese had roads that could function as runways for their air force.

I am not kidding about this. I have actually traveled to the borders of Tibet with the Indian army - where regular civilians are not allowed for the most part. On one such trip in 2012, I had to trek about 300+ kms to the border and high pass that we share with Tibet. On the Indian side, we had horse trails - our Army was using mules and horses to bring supplies and material right up to the border. I also had the opportunity to cross over to Tibet and spend time on the Chinese side (about 15 days).

I was flabbergasted. As soon as I crossed over to the Tibetan side, all I had to do was walk down to the flat lands for about a kilometre and I was picked up by an air conditioned bus. Then I was whisked away to a hotel which sat right across a Chinese army garrison. Chinese hummers, and all kinds of military equipment and large swathes of soldiers welcomed me. I mean, the experience was utterly ridiculous.

To this effect, the current Indian government has finally woken up from its decades of apathy. This year alone, the infrastructure development in our border state of Arunachal Pradesh has gone up by 7 times. Policy decisions are alright, but what is actually happening on the ground? That is something I found out as well, and I will write about it in a subsequent log.

Since roads were being built, the team needed time to build them. And all movement of traffic is usually at a halt at specific time slots during the day. This information is usually well circulated, and most folks plan their day in a way that they travel on said route outside these construction work times.

2 months across the Eastern Indo-Tibet Himalayas | A KTM 390 "Adventure" | 2021 Report-pxl_20210324_043218601.jpg

We spent the time chatting with fellow motorcyclists who shared the same fate as us.

2 months across the Eastern Indo-Tibet Himalayas | A KTM 390 "Adventure" | 2021 Report-img_5939.jpeg

The roads were opened in due time, and we sped forward.

2 months across the Eastern Indo-Tibet Himalayas | A KTM 390 "Adventure" | 2021 Report-pxl_20210323_082620813.portrait.jpg

We were told to check out this awesome bridge which would fall on our route. Make no mistake, it was absolutely worth it!

2 months across the Eastern Indo-Tibet Himalayas | A KTM 390 "Adventure" | 2021 Report-pxl_20210324_045333400.pano.jpg

So, there are people actually living across the bridge mind you. Whole communities. Its quite expensive to build solid bridges at every juncture to serve every single community in such harsh areas. And usually when the river is in full spate, or the odd ecological disaster every decade means that a few of these expensive bridges are washed away in toto.

2 months across the Eastern Indo-Tibet Himalayas | A KTM 390 "Adventure" | 2021 Report-pxl_20210324_045916793.portrait.jpg

So the bridge you see here is the next best alternative. And mind you, the only alternative that served people living in such remote regions from time immemorial. These bridges are built by hand, using locally available material, and have been designed using ancient knowledge to work with nature and not against it.

2 months across the Eastern Indo-Tibet Himalayas | A KTM 390 "Adventure" | 2021 Report-pxl_20210324_050135397.pano.jpg

Some of the people here have t walk tens of kilometres through wild jungle, come rain or shine, just to buy every day supplies at the nearest road head - if available! And its only when you travel that you get to see how people in other parts of the world live their everyday lives. Would that change the way you think about your own life when you go back? I would think it will. That for me is probably one of the top reasons why I travel.

2 months across the Eastern Indo-Tibet Himalayas | A KTM 390 "Adventure" | 2021 Report-img_5958.jpeg

The sand banks that enveloped the river were picturesque. I would have loved to have camped here for a night for sure. Just me, my mate, a tent, a fire, the stars, the cicadas in the jungle, and a quietly murmuring river to put me to sleep.

2 months across the Eastern Indo-Tibet Himalayas | A KTM 390 "Adventure" | 2021 Report-pxl_20210324_052101181.jpg

It was time for a drink of water now. Our bottles were empty, and a nice wash after all the off-road we had done would do just as well. Hooray! Man asks and Mother Nature disposes!

2 months across the Eastern Indo-Tibet Himalayas | A KTM 390 "Adventure" | 2021 Report-pxl_20210324_041354406.mp.jpg
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Old 16th April 2022, 15:24   #96
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We reached Aalo well into the evening. And we didn't have any time to rest.

Cut back to a fortnight ago, and we were having our bikes washed in Ziro before our ride out to Aalo. Well, this is what we found in our eagle eyed inspection of the Versys 650 after the wash.

2 months across the Eastern Indo-Tibet Himalayas | A KTM 390 "Adventure" | 2021 Report-pxl_20210316_050042961.jpg

The darned suspension was leaking oil. A seal had bust. This came to bite us back quite badly on our way to Mechuka. The entire suspension broke clean away from the bike at the swing arm end. How the guy actually rode his bike over this unforgiving terrain with a suspension jangling about at one end is beyond me.

So we had to rush into Aalo, and get this fixed pronto. Our friend Ete, who we met earlier came to our rescue and brought us to a local mechanic who "specialised" in Royal Enfields, and we proceeded to weld a large sized socket to keep the suspension in place. We prayed that it would hold. And it did for a short while.

2 months across the Eastern Indo-Tibet Himalayas | A KTM 390 "Adventure" | 2021 Report-pxl_20210323_130153995.night.jpg

It was late into the evening by the time we had wrapped up work together. We were ever grateful to the team for having sat with us through our troubles. We hadn't eaten as usual for the most part, and we got a meal and a night cap before we tucked in. The next day was going to be another long, but totally enjoyable ride across the rural hinterlands of this vast state.

2 months across the Eastern Indo-Tibet Himalayas | A KTM 390 "Adventure" | 2021 Report-pxl_20210323_131846667.night.jpg

Aalo - Yinkiong
120 Kms
Whole day of riding.

2 months across the Eastern Indo-Tibet Himalayas | A KTM 390 "Adventure" | 2021 Report-screenshot-20220416-2.42.30-pm.png

Our reason to head to Yinkiong was to use that as a road head to further ride on to Tuting which sits on the border with Tibet.

The morning presented us with clear and bright sunshine under a rich canopy of trees.

2 months across the Eastern Indo-Tibet Himalayas | A KTM 390 "Adventure" | 2021 Report-pxl_20210324_053834245.jpg

The suspension was holding up since we were predominantly riding on tarmac today. The roads took us through freshly carpeted terrace farms, enriched by the river flowing through the lands.

2 months across the Eastern Indo-Tibet Himalayas | A KTM 390 "Adventure" | 2021 Report-pxl_20210324_054619990.portrait.jpg

2 months across the Eastern Indo-Tibet Himalayas | A KTM 390 "Adventure" | 2021 Report-pxl_20210324_061032719.pano.jpg

I turned around and looked back at my little KTM. It had been two years since she came home. I bought the KTM with the intention of riding up to the North Eastern borders of our country in 2019. But Covid dealt a deathly blow to those plans, and here we were without much of a plan, exploring a place where didn't know the language or the lay of the land.

2 months across the Eastern Indo-Tibet Himalayas | A KTM 390 "Adventure" | 2021 Report-pxl_20210324_061118104.jpg

But the day dreaming had to stop. We were still some distance away, and we had no idea what would come first - when the tarmac would end or if my mate's suspension would give up.

2 months across the Eastern Indo-Tibet Himalayas | A KTM 390 "Adventure" | 2021 Report-pxl_20210324_061832413.portrait.jpg

We were finally dropping down to the plains again, and were coursing along with the river. I looked through my lid to spot a little village perched over on the cliffs overlooking the banks of the muddy but clean waterway. All the people, with their children would probably be having a sit down lunch right about now. Freshly grown vegetables, rice from their own farms, and maybe even some pork or chicken from their homestead. A siesta right after, while the kids run off to play in the river as the evening comes.

2 months across the Eastern Indo-Tibet Himalayas | A KTM 390 "Adventure" | 2021 Report-pxl_20210324_062831552.jpg
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Old 17th April 2022, 11:12   #97
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To get to Yinkiong, we had to cross over from the road that goes to Gelling. The way across the river was over a bridge. Yinkiong and Gelling are twin towns separated by the river.

2 months across the Eastern Indo-Tibet Himalayas | A KTM 390 "Adventure" | 2021 Report-pxl_20210324_062311816.pano.jpg

This is a fairly new bridge and replaces the one below. Now getting across that bridge would have been a true adventure! We skipped it for the moment though lol!

2 months across the Eastern Indo-Tibet Himalayas | A KTM 390 "Adventure" | 2021 Report-pxl_20210324_062756470.portrait.jpg

Right after the bridge, I saw scores of young kids walking on the roads. I quickly gathered that they were probably university students. I stopped over and asked a group of them why there were so many kids around - and yep I was right. So where there is a university town there has to be great food right?

2 months across the Eastern Indo-Tibet Himalayas | A KTM 390 "Adventure" | 2021 Report-pxl_20210324_071650883.jpg

Man, I have eaten in many places - from Michelin restaurants to hole in the wall joints at obscure hard to reach places. And let me tell you that this meal ranks right at the top of one of my best meals of all time - ever! What you see so delightfully plated is called a Thukpa.

Thukpa is a Tibetan noodle soup, which originated in the eastern part of Tibet. There are numerous varieties of thukpa in Tibetan tradition. The protein ingredients of the dish are given vegetarian alternative according to availability, such as: beans, chickpeas, gram, kidney beans, tofu, paneer etc. Coriander leaves, spring onion or green garlic are the popular choices of garnish.

Snowy from Tintin made a surprise appearance to be a part of the meal. Ofcourse I shared with the little guy.

2 months across the Eastern Indo-Tibet Himalayas | A KTM 390 "Adventure" | 2021 Report-pxl_20210324_072323068.portrait.jpg

Where there's a dog, their evil nemesis cannot be far away. Sigh, She got fed as well.

2 months across the Eastern Indo-Tibet Himalayas | A KTM 390 "Adventure" | 2021 Report-pxl_20210324_073307887.portrait.jpg

We had in our company a group of locals sitting across in the other table - one of 4 tables that comprised this cozy little restaurant. Now, I had heard some stories about Tuting, and I decided to ask them about it. The thing about me is, I am not shy about putting a hand out there and making friends with people I don't know. And that's what I love about travel. It gets you to move out of your comfort zone and hook up with the locals or other travellers on the road. I find that folks who travel in larger groups rarely do this. But the people who travel solo or maybe in groups of two are usually left to fend for themselves. And its usually in these cases that locals aren't overawed about interacting with a large group and generally open up a bit more as well. I find locals at most places a fair bit shy, and the North East of India is predominantly shy and privacy rich. This is as opposed to the rest of India - which is one gigantic amusement park where everything goes lol!

So now, back to Tuting and our conversation. I had heard stories about the Memba community in Tuting. Tuting comprises of people from three tribes - the Adi, Memba, and Khamba. The Memba community is believed to have traveled all the way by road from Lhasa in Tibet to make Tuting and surrounding villages their home. The Adi community is the predominant indigenous tribe of the area. Now the story we heard and got confirmation goes like this. The people of Tuting practice a weird kind of magic. If someone in their family is sick, they have a practice that they perform to get rid of this. What they do is invite a guest home on the pretext of giving them a lavish meal. They mix a certain kind of poison in this meal. This poison takes effect very slowly, which means it might be days later that you actually realise that something is wrong. The poison is apparently lethal causing death. This "transfers" the sickness from the family member to you.

We were cautioned that when in Tuting, never visit anyones home for food, and always eat at restaurants where you pay for your meal. I ascribe a lot of this to lore, but as we spoke to more people we realised that this was less lore and probably more truth.

We finally finished up our lovingly cooked meal. And who cooked it for us?

2 months across the Eastern Indo-Tibet Himalayas | A KTM 390 "Adventure" | 2021 Report-pxl_20210324_083432615.jpg

The restaurant was run by this family of 3. Mom in the middle flanked by her two daughters. I absolutely fell in love with this family right there, and more so with with both her daughters. Can you blame me for it man?

As we reluctantly left to go down and get back on our bikes, both daughters rushed to us and asked if we could get a picture together. Girl, you get yourself here now!

2 months across the Eastern Indo-Tibet Himalayas | A KTM 390 "Adventure" | 2021 Report-pxl_20210324_084053027.jpg

2 months across the Eastern Indo-Tibet Himalayas | A KTM 390 "Adventure" | 2021 Report-pxl_20210324_084040610.mp.jpg

Further down the road we came up to rolling hills and more terraced farms. I could sense the communities here were fairly happy with their lot. They were probably self sufficient in terms of food, and a healthy lifestyle meant they probably don't need access to medical facilities like most towns people.

2 months across the Eastern Indo-Tibet Himalayas | A KTM 390 "Adventure" | 2021 Report-pxl_20210324_084708011.jpg

Tummies full, and hearts aflutter we were inching closer to Yinkiong now.

2 months across the Eastern Indo-Tibet Himalayas | A KTM 390 "Adventure" | 2021 Report-pxl_20210324_090726836.pano.jpg
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Old 18th April 2022, 11:53   #98
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I was riding a little ahead of my mate, because he needed to be careful with his broken rear suspension. So I went a bit more braap than usual. This meant I could stop where I wanted to, enjoy what was on offer, and wait it out for my mate to catch up.

2 months across the Eastern Indo-Tibet Himalayas | A KTM 390 "Adventure" | 2021 Report-pxl_20210324_091745320.mp.jpg

We were now beginning to make our way up through thick jungles in the mountains. I loved that to get from place to place here, we had to climb up a range of mountains, then climb down, and climb up another series of mountains to get to the next place. Sweet!

2 months across the Eastern Indo-Tibet Himalayas | A KTM 390 "Adventure" | 2021 Report-pxl_20210324_093053313.jpg

2 months across the Eastern Indo-Tibet Himalayas | A KTM 390 "Adventure" | 2021 Report-pxl_20210324_100842061.jpg

I was carrying two sets of glasses. One were my sun glasses for the day, and the other was my transparent glasses (not powered) to ride late evenings or when in rain. I usually like riding with the visor up, love the wind in my face feeling.

We finally reached Yinkiong!

2 months across the Eastern Indo-Tibet Himalayas | A KTM 390 "Adventure" | 2021 Report-pxl_20210324_101557898.portrait.jpg

This would be where we would stay. With a local family in their home. Oh man, I could feel adventure starting all over again in my bones.

2 months across the Eastern Indo-Tibet Himalayas | A KTM 390 "Adventure" | 2021 Report-pxl_20210324_114401923.jpg

Prior to coming to Yinkiong, I was introduced to Suzy, pictured below. She works with the Rural Upliftment Mission, a program by the Government to work with local far flung communities and help them become self sustainable. You truly need a heart of gold to be sitting around in places like these helping people everyday. To this day, I follow her everyday updates and I am truly fascinated by the work they do and the daily lives they lead.

And yeah, she's cute.

2 months across the Eastern Indo-Tibet Himalayas | A KTM 390 "Adventure" | 2021 Report-pxl_20210324_114842475._exported_602_1617346615647.jpg

What you see behind is a large community hall. The village in Yinkiong we were staying in was the largest in this area. This community hall is used by the villagers to talk things out together, cook together, community meals, parties - you get the drill. And how do we live? In silos, we don't even know our immediate neighbours let alone acknowledge them in the elevator. If someone is dead, they are lying dead for weeks in their apartment or home before anyone closeby even figures out what has happened. I think we have taken the whole privacy thing a little too far in terms of physical relationships - but guess what - everyone knows *** we are upto on our instagram or facebook account Lol! The damn irony of this hit me like a ton of concrete when I was at this village. Would the world be a better place if we all spent less time on social media and were actually more social with the people around us?

Anyway did I tell you she's cute? Me - I'm a hairy beast.

2 months across the Eastern Indo-Tibet Himalayas | A KTM 390 "Adventure" | 2021 Report-pxl_20210324_125604785.jpg

It was time for dinner, and we were just in from a long day of riding. We were famished to say the least.

2 months across the Eastern Indo-Tibet Himalayas | A KTM 390 "Adventure" | 2021 Report-pxl_20210324_131941001.night.jpg

These were our hosts, the lady and her husband. They had 3 kids, who were studying in the neighbouring twin town of Gelling. Since the commute is tough in these places, their kids stay over at the school and probably come back only for the weekend. There is no public transport by the Government here and private transport is either erratic or unavailable because nobody gives a shit. One of their kids came home, but decided to sleep over at a friends place since we had "occupied" the whole house.

2 months across the Eastern Indo-Tibet Himalayas | A KTM 390 "Adventure" | 2021 Report-pxl_20210324_151650286.night.jpg

Thats how we slept the night - in the living space. The family would have slept across us, but decided we needed privacy lol! So they took up the "store room" behind and slept there for the night. Unfortunately the guy kept the only electric light switched on the whole night - which was bright AF there and really interfered with my sleep. So I hardly got any sleep at all! And I didn't know where the hell the damn switch was lol! The entire home was almost off grid, and solar was the primary means of light at night.

We spent the evening chatting with the family, understanding their lives, their challenges, and their dreams. They didn't have any big dreams of a huge mansion, cars, or any of that sort. They just wanted their kids to get a good education, be healthy, find the right partners in life, and maybe see their grandkids before they went on. I think thats what matters to every single parent around the world.

2 months across the Eastern Indo-Tibet Himalayas | A KTM 390 "Adventure" | 2021 Report-pxl_20210325_043758963.night.jpg
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Old 20th April 2022, 18:36   #99
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So we came to Yinkiong because it would function as a road head to Tuting, which sits at the border with China. Sadly, fate had other plans for us. It was pouring incessantly ever since we reached Yinkiong. It rained cats and dogs all through the night, and so it was this morning. I spoke with the family and they cautioned us not to proceed to Tuting. The roads ahead will be in a terrible state with landslides and avalanches. I understand that we are here for an adventure, but disregarding well meant local advice is both stupid and suicidal. That along with the fact that my mates bike still had a limping rear suspension, put paid to our plans to visit Tuting. We decided we will ride to Roing to continue further with our plan

Yinkiong to Roing
222 kms
Full day of riding

2 months across the Eastern Indo-Tibet Himalayas | A KTM 390 "Adventure" | 2021 Report-screenshot-20220420-6.16.43-pm.png
The day looked bleak and cold, because our room was warm and cosy. Still, I had to make the trip to the bathroom well outside the main house with an umbrella in my hand because it was pouring.

2 months across the Eastern Indo-Tibet Himalayas | A KTM 390 "Adventure" | 2021 Report-pxl_20210325_044211511.night.jpg

The lady's husband had already left to work in his farm! I really wanted to go along with him and spend the day at his little farm and observe what they did and even help out a little. Sadly, though a 2 month trip, we had to keep on the go. Would I have slowed this trip down further if I were to do it again. For sure. The lady host was around, and she got us our coffee for the morning, and saw us off. She was pretty and kind.

2 months across the Eastern Indo-Tibet Himalayas | A KTM 390 "Adventure" | 2021 Report-img_6017.jpeg

We were told to take a shortcut. Mother of god, it was a shortcut to off-road heaven lol! Nothing but a cattle trail weaving up into the mountain, and it dropped us back onto the highway behind the village. The rain and mist made riding over slush and loose rocks even more challenging. Back home, I would try to find new challenging trails every weekend to keep myself occupied, and here we were being thrown into trails we didn't even ask for lol!

The clouds and misty weather made for some stunning scenery.

2 months across the Eastern Indo-Tibet Himalayas | A KTM 390 "Adventure" | 2021 Report-pxl_20210325_054800584.jpg

We were back on nice open roads in the mountains, and we absolutely loved it.

2 months across the Eastern Indo-Tibet Himalayas | A KTM 390 "Adventure" | 2021 Report-pxl_20210325_054842717.jpg

The Siang river continued to keep us company, but was now roaring because of the overnight rains. I realise that if we had gotten stuck somewhere further up from Yinkiong to Tuting, we would have had ourselves a true adventure. Another day.

2 months across the Eastern Indo-Tibet Himalayas | A KTM 390 "Adventure" | 2021 Report-pxl_20210325_060041377.jpg

2 months across the Eastern Indo-Tibet Himalayas | A KTM 390 "Adventure" | 2021 Report-pxl_20210325_062346398.jpg

2 months across the Eastern Indo-Tibet Himalayas | A KTM 390 "Adventure" | 2021 Report-pxl_20210325_062421558.jpg

At one stop for home made coffee in our flasks, I looked up ahead and spotted the road we were to ride on. Man, it gave me goosebumps.

2 months across the Eastern Indo-Tibet Himalayas | A KTM 390 "Adventure" | 2021 Report-pxl_20210325_065036649.portrait.jpg

Lets GO!

2 months across the Eastern Indo-Tibet Himalayas | A KTM 390 "Adventure" | 2021 Report-img_6060.jpeg
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Old 23rd April 2022, 16:28   #100
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We rode through a stretch of mountains that seemed to have been cut right across to make way for the road we were on.

2 months across the Eastern Indo-Tibet Himalayas | A KTM 390 "Adventure" | 2021 Report-img_6072.jpeg

It felt like a martian landscape. And we felt utterly insignificant.

2 months across the Eastern Indo-Tibet Himalayas | A KTM 390 "Adventure" | 2021 Report-pxl_20210325_070820923.jpg

We spent quite a while taking pictures and enjoying the awesomeness of the terrain we were riding through. Once we climbed down this stretch of mountains - the scenery changed quite abruptly again!

2 months across the Eastern Indo-Tibet Himalayas | A KTM 390 "Adventure" | 2021 Report-pxl_20210325_071626857.jpg

As I was parked feasting my senses on what lay before me, two guys stopped over in their car and asked me for a picture. At first, I thought they wanted a picture of me and the bike - but no! They wanted a picture of themselves on my phone lol! I couldn't help laughing over the serendipity of this - two locals stopping a traveler taking pictures, asking a picture of themselves - which they saw just once - and off they were lol! Loved it. I tell you, shit like this happens only when you're by yourself.

2 months across the Eastern Indo-Tibet Himalayas | A KTM 390 "Adventure" | 2021 Report-pxl_20210325_071732000.mp.jpg

We were now about 120 kms away from our halt for the night - Roing.

2 months across the Eastern Indo-Tibet Himalayas | A KTM 390 "Adventure" | 2021 Report-pxl_20210325_074803905.jpg

I tell you, the roads and the countryside we were riding through was nothing short of a dream.

2 months across the Eastern Indo-Tibet Himalayas | A KTM 390 "Adventure" | 2021 Report-pxl_20210325_080541173.jpg

I could picnic at places like these with my gal every single day of the year.

2 months across the Eastern Indo-Tibet Himalayas | A KTM 390 "Adventure" | 2021 Report-pxl_20210325_080602532.jpg

The KTM was purring along quite nicely. I don't think I had done any maintenance at all since starting the ride, and we were probably already down by about 5,000 kms at the least. Maybe a spot of tightening up the chain, but that would be it. I was running an automatic chain oiler, so none of that finicky lube business. Other than that, the bike was a fill it, shut it, ride it, forget it.

2 months across the Eastern Indo-Tibet Himalayas | A KTM 390 "Adventure" | 2021 Report-pxl_20210325_082529847.portrait.jpg

A little while later, we rode up to this insane rock face. I wonder what could have caused this.

2 months across the Eastern Indo-Tibet Himalayas | A KTM 390 "Adventure" | 2021 Report-pxl_20210325_083122831.jpg

My mate on the other hand found a better vantage point to take some pictures of the surrounding landscape.

2 months across the Eastern Indo-Tibet Himalayas | A KTM 390 "Adventure" | 2021 Report-pxl_20210325_083329340.jpg

Last edited by Red Liner : 23rd April 2022 at 16:30.
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Old 24th April 2022, 15:23   #101
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The place where we were parked was an actual "view point". We came down back to our bikes to spot this amazing old beat down soviet era truck still doing duty as a transport carrier. I think just driving this relic around would be an adventure. She looked like she just got through a nuclear holocaust.

2 months across the Eastern Indo-Tibet Himalayas | A KTM 390 "Adventure" | 2021 Report-pxl_20210325_083818696.jpg

Sure not gonna pass any motor vehicle inspections...

2 months across the Eastern Indo-Tibet Himalayas | A KTM 390 "Adventure" | 2021 Report-pxl_20210325_083834115.jpg

You better be the one bringing power to that steering...

2 months across the Eastern Indo-Tibet Himalayas | A KTM 390 "Adventure" | 2021 Report-pxl_20210325_083911173.mp.jpg

The guys driving the truck were pretty keen on our bikes, so we got the hell outta there before they suggested a barter lol!

We were now pretty close to Roing, and it was around lunch hour - so we decided to take it real easy and enjoy the sights.

2 months across the Eastern Indo-Tibet Himalayas | A KTM 390 "Adventure" | 2021 Report-pxl_20210325_085335754.jpg

I had stopped for a little juice break around here, and this dude had stopped over with his family as well. Our adventure gear and bikes make sure we are well announced, and it didn't take long before we had started chatting. He was a doctor from Assam, and was touring this side of India with his little fam in his SUV. He rides a litre class sports bike back home, and I could see the longing in his eyes to be on two wheels right at that moment, free - just the road to himself. The kind man bought us some juice. Big ups!

2 months across the Eastern Indo-Tibet Himalayas | A KTM 390 "Adventure" | 2021 Report-pxl_20210325_090553596.jpg

Our next "unscheduled" stop was at this village called Silluk. What makes the Silluk village special is that it is the cleanest village in Arunachal Pradesh. Now Arunachal in itself is a very clean state (relative to the rest of India and our neighbours), so being the cleanest in such a competitive neighbourhood is no mean feat.

We actually almost didn't stop. I rode past the entry point to the village, which fell to my right, and I noticed a bunch of village folk sitting around chit chatting and the mandatory cup of chai in their hands. I ride slow to take in the sights, and when the population density increases, I cut my throttle even more. This let me quickly read some posters that were put up that announced that we were passing by the cleanest village in Arunachal! I stopped by the villagers and made a few enquiries while my mate caught up. They were extremely welcoming and encouraged us to go into the village and see things for ourselves.

2 months across the Eastern Indo-Tibet Himalayas | A KTM 390 "Adventure" | 2021 Report-pxl_20210325_093821907.jpg

2 months across the Eastern Indo-Tibet Himalayas | A KTM 390 "Adventure" | 2021 Report-pxl_20210325_100002491.jpg

According to online blurbs "The villages were screened thoroughly by various parameters like households having access to safe toilets, houses having no litter outside their premises, public having no litter, houses having no waste water stagnation around them, existence of proper drainage for disposal of liquid waste, methods if adopted for segregation of biodegradable/non-biodegradable waste, no visible faeces of animals and use of animal waste as manure and village beautification". Wow! Imagine if each of our micro communities took charge of our environment just like this - I think things would be very different!

After the village, we started climbing again. The views of the river and the rich deposits of earth made for a great picture. Come the rains, the entire landscape you see will be one huge river basin. Unbelievable.

2 months across the Eastern Indo-Tibet Himalayas | A KTM 390 "Adventure" | 2021 Report-pxl_20210325_103204387.jpg

A little further on, we stopped again. Actually I stopped because I spotted these two trees straddling the sky by themselves. I kinda lost myself in the beauty and quietude of what was presented. A gift. A gift that cost me nothing. A gift that was given without any expectations. And a gift that kept on giving right to this day.

2 months across the Eastern Indo-Tibet Himalayas | A KTM 390 "Adventure" | 2021 Report-img_6134.jpeg

Roing was right around the corner. We still had a bridge to cross. And a big one at that.

2 months across the Eastern Indo-Tibet Himalayas | A KTM 390 "Adventure" | 2021 Report-pxl_20210325_104441397.jpg
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Old 27th April 2022, 13:44   #102
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It was getting close to sun set now, and we had to make haste to Roing. I had looked up a place to stay there, and we had to check it out before we made a booking.

2 months across the Eastern Indo-Tibet Himalayas | A KTM 390 "Adventure" | 2021 Report-pxl_20210325_111030693.jpg

We made it to Roing in the next hour and made a beeline to the place we had looked up online. They were just a bunch of simple cottages with a small vegetable patch for company. There were a few ladies around the place, and I asked them to open up the cottage for us to have a see in. The room didn't look all that comfortable, and while we were trying to make up our mind, the guy who owned the place showed up. Young guy, he was working elsewhere and was running this place as well. By the look on my face, he had figured out quickly we weren't very keen on staying there. So I asked him if there were any other places we could check out.

The gentleman that he was, he gave us directions to a resort that we would eventually end up staying at. I found it difficult to accept his honesty and straightforwardness to this whole thing. We were not going to stay at his place, he obviously lost business, and to top it off he had to get out of work to come see us leave. Why would he want to help us? And send us over to his competitor? I would have probably asked us to just get lost. I was so stuck in my unprincipled world, that this act of kindness did not seem right to me at all. I call it kindness, because he was obviously getting nothing in exchange for it. And it hit me one more time - why should we only do stuff in exchange for something?

We made our way to this resort, which was on the border of a national park of some sorts. We had to ride quite a bit on gravel tracks in the jungle to get to this resort. What finally greeted us was just out of the world.

2 months across the Eastern Indo-Tibet Himalayas | A KTM 390 "Adventure" | 2021 Report-pxl_20210326_012650965.jpg

We were the only guys checking in for the night I think, and we got a nice little cottage all for ourselves. The cottage was built with mud, and a natural thatched roof. The inside and the bathrooms were all quite modern, so it was a nice blend of the traditional and the new.

2 months across the Eastern Indo-Tibet Himalayas | A KTM 390 "Adventure" | 2021 Report-pxl_20210326_012556352.portrait.jpg

We asked to be served dinner by a little fire by the river banks. Yeah, thats right - the resort was flanked by a jungle on one side, a river on the other and the moon above! While the staff started making dinner prep, because everything was made to order, we unpacked, had a quick wash and bolted to explore what Roing had to offer us.

Roing was a small town and served as a base point to get to places like Anini, which sits on the border with Tibet. With a heavy heart, we had to drop Anini out of this trip as well because of my mate's busted suspension. We headed to the Roing Bazar, explored the night life a bit. Then we stopped over to pick up a few snacks for the night and headed back to the resort for some chill time under the night sky. We slept pretty damn well that night.

2 months across the Eastern Indo-Tibet Himalayas | A KTM 390 "Adventure" | 2021 Report-pxl_20210325_125517292.night.jpg

The next morning we were greeted by our pal from last night. She was already up and frisking around the place. She shared the spoils of dinner with us last night, and like every other critter I had met on this trip, I had gotten fond of the little girl and saying goodbyes was difficult.


2 months across the Eastern Indo-Tibet Himalayas | A KTM 390 "Adventure" | 2021 Report-pxl_20210326_012349729.portrait.jpg

Today we were off riding to the eastern most point of India - a place called Walong. In some ways, this was probably a huge mistake we made. I'll tell you why. My mate's suspension was still a rickety mess and we were forcing the trip on that broken piece of equipment, which was probably not the brightest thing to do. We were also in a part of the country which did not have any airports, things couldn't be flown in, and new parts will take a week to get there by road and multiple transit hops. Inspite of all this, we still decided to risk it and head further east. The rabidity of this decision was going to bite us hard.

2 months across the Eastern Indo-Tibet Himalayas | A KTM 390 "Adventure" | 2021 Report-pxl_20210326_025225945.jpg

The roads were smooth and spectacular. We were having fun.

2 months across the Eastern Indo-Tibet Himalayas | A KTM 390 "Adventure" | 2021 Report-img_6182.jpeg

We were nearing Tezu, an old army town. This town was actually just a gigantic army garrison. Wah, to be greeted by a bison head. Tezu had just one movie theatre, and we had our breakfast right across from there.

2 months across the Eastern Indo-Tibet Himalayas | A KTM 390 "Adventure" | 2021 Report-pxl_20210326_033706738.mp.jpg

I spotted a tiny cafe on my right on the first floor of a building, and I bade my mate stop. It was a while since we had actually even stepped foot into anything that remotely looked like a cafe. So in we went for coffee and cake for breakfast. I think I had lunch and dinner as part of breakfast too lol!

As I sat talking to people in the cafe, I found that Tezu was actually a grand city most people from this part of the country would actually plan and visit. Most folks from the surrounding villages and smaller towns would make their once a year trip to Tezu to have themselves a good time, get a spot of shopping in, watch a movie, explore the bazaar, and head home high. And Tezu was probably the farthest they traveled, forget crossing the state or heading to a bigger city. That was unheard of. It showed me how much I took things for granted, these opportunities I had to travel and see the world, explore different cultures, and meet new people. At the same time, I felt warm inside knowing how little it took to excite these people, they probably had very little needs and even fewer wants.

Me, I just stuffed my face with chocolate cake. Nom nom...

2 months across the Eastern Indo-Tibet Himalayas | A KTM 390 "Adventure" | 2021 Report-pxl_20210326_040607860.portrait.jpg

We started climbing back up into the mountains right after exiting Tezu. Time to rock n roll.

2 months across the Eastern Indo-Tibet Himalayas | A KTM 390 "Adventure" | 2021 Report-pxl_20210326_045656736.jpg
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Old 29th April 2022, 19:47   #103
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Default Re: 2 months across the Eastern Indo-Tibet Himalayas | A KTM 390 "Adventure" | 2021 Report

Roing to Khupa
160 kms
All day

2 months across the Eastern Indo-Tibet Himalayas | A KTM 390 "Adventure" | 2021 Report-screenshot-20220429-7.06.51-pm.png

We were going to ride through one of the most spectacular passes in this part of the country - the Hawa Camp and the Udayak Pass. Now Hawa quite literally means wind and Udayak means the Sun. If you wanted to know what riding heaven looks like, well here is one glimpse.

2 months across the Eastern Indo-Tibet Himalayas | A KTM 390 "Adventure" | 2021 Report-pxl_20210326_051921451.jpg

The roads were narrow, steep, and cut right through the mountains. The sky was blue, the sun was up and so were we!

2 months across the Eastern Indo-Tibet Himalayas | A KTM 390 "Adventure" | 2021 Report-pxl_20210326_052348661.jpg

At the top of Hawa pass we decided to stop for a look around and a breather. We got some nice views from up there, but the sky was too hazy to get any meaningful good photographs. On the way up, I had overtaken a little scooter which obviously had a puncture on the rear. I asked the guy to meet me up further front and I would try and see if we could fix it. Sadly, the puncture was too dire, air was leaking out way faster than what the little compressor could force feed. And standing around there to fix the puncture was looking difficult because I couldn't even identify the nail in that little tyre. So I pushed in as much air as I could and told the guy to make a run downhill and hope the tyre stays put.

2 months across the Eastern Indo-Tibet Himalayas | A KTM 390 "Adventure" | 2021 Report-pxl_20210326_053335325.mp.jpg

We had to get going, and as we did disaster struck! My mates rear suspension came off his bike again. The damn fix we did obviously didn't hold, and being the knuckle head that I am, I didn't flag this down being outright stupidity to continue on. Anyway, what's done was done, and what we needed now was a goddamn spanner the size of my head to fix that suspension back. We managed to wave a trucker down, who waved a few others down to help us get the tools we needed to get the bike fixed. A good samaritan if ever there was one.

2 months across the Eastern Indo-Tibet Himalayas | A KTM 390 "Adventure" | 2021 Report-pxl_20210326_062332777.mp.jpg

Patch work done, and praying it would hold up (obviously it didn't), we pushed further on. Our original plan was to reach Walong, which was actually 260 kms for the day. And we were already running late now. But we had made it down the treacherous hawa pass in one piece. Not without incident. I almost got run over by an army truck here. I was coming down too quickly in one off-road under construction stretch of road. Now the road was so steep, that even in 1st gear the damn bike didn't have the engine deceleration to cut power. So I sent it.

Here I was hurtling down the bloody gravel, and if I had touched the brakes I would have for sure cartwheeled. An army truck came up in my line of immediate vision, who was obviously not cutting any speed climbing up. But when he saw me hurtling down without a doubt, he slammed his brakes. I don't know how, but I managed to get off his path and slide between the truck and the rock wall to safety. I think I just quite narrowly avoided a full frontal collision. I still remember the washed out faces of the guys from in the cabin looking out at me wondering if I had gone full 100% mental.

The sight of a cool blue river calmed my nerves quite a bit after that incident.

2 months across the Eastern Indo-Tibet Himalayas | A KTM 390 "Adventure" | 2021 Report-pxl_20210326_070134776.jpg

2 months across the Eastern Indo-Tibet Himalayas | A KTM 390 "Adventure" | 2021 Report-pxl_20210326_070230724.jpg

2 months across the Eastern Indo-Tibet Himalayas | A KTM 390 "Adventure" | 2021 Report-pxl_20210326_071748382.jpg

2 months across the Eastern Indo-Tibet Himalayas | A KTM 390 "Adventure" | 2021 Report-pxl_20210326_073137026.jpg

2 months across the Eastern Indo-Tibet Himalayas | A KTM 390 "Adventure" | 2021 Report-pxl_20210326_073239221.jpg

Somewhere around here, I hit a serious patch of off-road riding, and had to leave my mate behind. I decided to just go for it and finish the section at one go without stopping. I figured my mate would catch up with me eventually...
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Old 1st May 2022, 17:13   #104
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So as I crossed the off-road section and I waited at the junction of this village called Khupa. I stopped at what looked like an abandoned bus shelter. I saw another local there and got to talking with him while waiting for my mate.


2 months across the Eastern Indo-Tibet Himalayas | A KTM 390 "Adventure" | 2021 Report-pxl_20210326_073258397.jpg

I had been waiting for over two hours now, and it was getting late. There was no way we could make it to Walong, our original destination. We still had a 100k to cover and we were staring at long wait times because of road sections being closed off for construction. I was almost going to head back down the track to look for my compadre, and for sure I see him ambling his way up slowly.

2 months across the Eastern Indo-Tibet Himalayas | A KTM 390 "Adventure" | 2021 Report-pxl_20210326_080322042.portrait.jpg

He rode up to me and looked all dusty. I guessed right - he had taken a fall. His suspension had given up yet again, and he had fallen a couple of times in this section. Dang, the one time I leave him behind and moore's law takes over. Looked like his shoulder was bruised, but he brushed it aside. Lets get going to Walong now! is what he said, but I knew it was more the adrenaline talking than him.

After a brief amount of counselling, and this time my conservative brain took over - we decided to call it a day and headed into Khupa to find a place to stay for the night and recoup.

2 months across the Eastern Indo-Tibet Himalayas | A KTM 390 "Adventure" | 2021 Report-pxl_20210326_114823596.jpg

We headed straight into the village, and to the government guest house - and were promptly thrown out. The next stop was the government owned guesthouse, but handed over for daily running and upkeep to someone else. Obviously the second one was way more run down than the first, but beggars aren't choosers, and we chose the cleanest room out of the lot there. This guest house was run by a family from Nepal or one of the border towns abutting Nepal and India. They seemed happy we checked in, probably don't get too many visitors in these parts. We parked our bikes, unloaded, had a shower and pretended not to think about what just happened.

I have found that the best way to get rid of doomsday thoughts are to go for a walk. A walk brings in a sense of fresh air, new experiences, and a more slow take on life in general. So thats what we did. We stepped out for a walk.

As I walked out, I saw a dude on a Royal Enfield thundering down the road. I couldn't believe my eyes! Someone we could talk to and a motorcyclist! I stood in his way, right in the middle of the street and jumped up and down in excitement - like a 'roo on heat. He stopped, and couple of pleasantries later - we were invited to his place for dinner!

With that score in the bag, our evening looked a bit more cheerful now.

I wanted to catnap this little guy back to my place. What a beautiful little cat!

2 months across the Eastern Indo-Tibet Himalayas | A KTM 390 "Adventure" | 2021 Report-pxl_20210326_104118775.portrait.jpg

He belonged to this guy, from Assam, a neighbouring state, who was now in Khupa running a daily needs store to keep his life going.

2 months across the Eastern Indo-Tibet Himalayas | A KTM 390 "Adventure" | 2021 Report-pxl_20210326_105444928.mp.jpg

What you see him holding in his hand is a delectable Indian after meal dessert and digestible par extraordinaire. Its called a Paan, and you get many different types of it. What I got is a Meetha Paan. Meetha Paan, made of betel leaves filled with a range of sweet jam-like spreads and crunchy titbits like tutti-frutti, cherries, chopped dates, etc., is a delightful treat to munch on, and a very effective mouth freshener. It is enjoyed mostly after dinner, although some people like to have it after lunch too. I must have had like 50 of these from this guy lol!

2 months across the Eastern Indo-Tibet Himalayas | A KTM 390 "Adventure" | 2021 Report-pxl_20210326_105458477.portrait.jpg

As we were walking around, we realised something strange. None of the motorcycles had registration plates! So if there were no registration plates, they probably had no insurance either. But its a crime not to have registered and paid the state tax. But I had also not seen a policeman in a pretty long time during my trip here. So that was it. No cops to catch you, so you just ride around without plates or insurance. Most of these folks probably don't cross the next village in their bikes, so it doesn't really matter. And if you sell, your mate buys it and keeps doing the same thing.

It was night fall now, and we had to head back for our dinner invitation.

2 months across the Eastern Indo-Tibet Himalayas | A KTM 390 "Adventure" | 2021 Report-pxl_20210326_123115213.night.jpg

Our dinner invite began with a full bottle of a beverage. And was then followed up with a brilliant home cooked meal. What a treat. The two new friends we made were Agriculture Scientists and were working with the local farmers on their farms, to increase their yields amongst other projects. One of them was married and was here with his wife and daughter. He told me he had come here soon after his daughter was born. Back in those days - wait this was just a year or two back lol! they didn't have any reliable mobile internet n these parts. So any form of video calling the fam back home was impossible. Apparently his daughter had forgotten to recognise him a year later and he figured this wasn't on anymore, and brought them all down here to paradise.

2 months across the Eastern Indo-Tibet Himalayas | A KTM 390 "Adventure" | 2021 Report-img_6214.jpeg

Their lives were simple and meaningful. Here I am sitting and thinking about the wonderful evening we spent with these two guys we met just a couple of hours back on the street in a non descript little village in the far east of India. A village we hadn't even decided to stay at that afternoon. Karma? Fate? All clouds have silver linings.

We headed back to our pretty spacious room and the lights were out instantly. We had a short ride the next day, but had to be careful with this whole suspension thing. The next morning, we lost no time getting back onto the road.

I had ridden down to the village square to get some hot water to go. As I was waiting for the kind lady at the local store to fill me up, I saw my mate coming down. I waved out to him to ask if he wanted a spot of hot water too. He parked his bike next, got off, filled his bottle. He went back and decided to readjust his luggage. I don't know if the frustration of this whole exercise got a bit too much, but he started rocking his bike a bit much to get his bags aligned. The next thing you know, the whole bike popped off the rear suspension again and careened over.

Just moments prior, a taxi had come and parked right next to his bike. The taxi proceeded to break the fall of his bike, but not without damage. Until now I was just waiting cautiously observing him mess with his luggage. When the bike fell, I leapt to help but it was obviously too little too late. The Versys is adorned with as much plastic as you will find in a landfill, and some of it just broke. The taxi was left with a few scratches, but the driver just shrugged it off and drove away with his passengers. We finally managed to gather our wits and get out as well. That was enough drama for the day.

2 months across the Eastern Indo-Tibet Himalayas | A KTM 390 "Adventure" | 2021 Report-pxl_20210327_010246448.jpg

2 months across the Eastern Indo-Tibet Himalayas | A KTM 390 "Adventure" | 2021 Report-pxl_20210327_010323385.jpg

Last edited by Sheel : 2nd May 2022 at 08:04. Reason: Rule #11.
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Old 7th May 2022, 19:12   #105
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Default Re: 2 months across the Eastern Indo-Tibet Himalayas | A KTM 390 "Adventure" | 2021 Report

We just had a 100 kms for today, and hence a relaxed start and even more relaxed riding was the order of the day.

As I rode up into the mountains again from the village, I came up to this brother and sis duo with their 4 legged sibling for company. Cute and a good way to start my day.

2 months across the Eastern Indo-Tibet Himalayas | A KTM 390 "Adventure" | 2021 Report-pxl_20210327_014211427.portrait.jpg

We were riding by the side of the river all through this day. I spotted this temple kind of thing on a gigantic rock in the middle of the fast flowing glacial river. How that was built out there, and how do people get over - and what was it in the first place - were questions of mine that were never answered.

2 months across the Eastern Indo-Tibet Himalayas | A KTM 390 "Adventure" | 2021 Report-pxl_20210327_022227826.portrait.jpg

2 months across the Eastern Indo-Tibet Himalayas | A KTM 390 "Adventure" | 2021 Report-pxl_20210327_022449303.jpg

2 months across the Eastern Indo-Tibet Himalayas | A KTM 390 "Adventure" | 2021 Report-pxl_20210327_025332539.jpg

2 months across the Eastern Indo-Tibet Himalayas | A KTM 390 "Adventure" | 2021 Report-pxl_20210327_031235705.portrait.jpg

2 months across the Eastern Indo-Tibet Himalayas | A KTM 390 "Adventure" | 2021 Report-pxl_20210327_031315510.mp.jpg

As always like the rest of India, there is a ton of road construction going on all the time. The people who are hired into these projects come from all over the country. This kid for instance was from the extreme south of the country and had probably never seen the Himalayas in his life before this trip. The tropical temperatures he is used to sleep in are around 35-40c and here he was enduring sub zero temperatures at night. Since we both spoke the same language, we had a bit of banter before I moved on. I could see that he was visibly happy to have met and spoken to someone from his part of the country.

2 months across the Eastern Indo-Tibet Himalayas | A KTM 390 "Adventure" | 2021 Report-pxl_20210327_032032764.mp.jpg

Further on and we stopped at a fleet of little dusty hotels by the side of the "highway". We hadn't had breakfast that morning yet, and we figured we would stop for a spot of chai and biscuits at the very least. I got a pack of biscuits, and have the habit of strolling out. I spotted a few little puppers that I shared a few biscuits with. I also noticed another guy having his morning cuppa, and offered him a few biscuits. Initially he waved my offer down, but relented after I shoved the pack into his hands. We got to talking. He was part of the Border Roads Organisation, the BRO - the agency a part of the Indian Army tasked with building roads across all the borders of India. These guys usually come spend about 6-8 months in places like these away from their families, and then get to go home for a couple of weeks. It was tough work. He invited us over for more Chai to the BRO office down the road. Wow!

2 months across the Eastern Indo-Tibet Himalayas | A KTM 390 "Adventure" | 2021 Report-pxl_20210327_040526506.jpg

We got more than Chai. A full suite of hot and cold snacks made their way to our table and we were forced to have a nice sit down breakfast. It certainly pays to be kind to people around you!

The rock faces which were cut to make the roads we were riding on were smoothened by little mountain springs that fell over the side of the road into the river below.

2 months across the Eastern Indo-Tibet Himalayas | A KTM 390 "Adventure" | 2021 Report-pxl_20210327_042428792.portrait.jpg

2 months across the Eastern Indo-Tibet Himalayas | A KTM 390 "Adventure" | 2021 Report-original_4a866248009949cebb0df49859f310fe_pxl_20210327_042632842.portrait.jpg

We had forgotten everything that happened yesterday and were totally enjoying every god given moment we had now. Such is human memory!
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