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Old 9th June 2022, 15:54   #121
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Default Re: 2 months across the Eastern Indo-Tibet Himalayas | A KTM 390 "Adventure" | 2021 Report

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Originally Posted by Red Liner View Post
Bang on and it was on the left from the square. Parking on the street. And you walk into some kind of lower level for the rooms as far as I remember lol.

I was at the square and screamed at a guy in front of me for a homestay. He was the owner
Yes, he is the one. Owner does not take care of the hotel anymore. He has hired a young chap as a Manager who also has a shop in the market.
We were 4 singles with bare minimum expectations
BTW, the place where you had lunch is an awesome eating joint and they are coming up with 4 rooms. Another riding friend from Namsai has also leased out a land piece on the opposite end of the town and setting up a hotel (will still take 2 years to finish as he has not started yet).
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Old 12th June 2022, 10:32   #122
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The next morning was spent doing some chores. Washing clothes became a huge occasion. We hardly spent more than a night at any one place, and even if we spent two, the days were packed with activities - planned and unplanned.

2 months across the Eastern Indo-Tibet Himalayas | A KTM 390 "Adventure" | 2021 Report-pxl_20210401_060257125.jpg

Today was also early Xmas day for my mate. He got fresh tyres as well as his "new but old" stock rear suspension shipped from across the country. After multiple hoops and jumps (the kit took a flight to the closest city, then a hand over to a bus coming to our district, which was then handed over to a taxi cab which finally made it to our town!), we got everything together.

2 months across the Eastern Indo-Tibet Himalayas | A KTM 390 "Adventure" | 2021 Report-pxl_20210401_065256164.jpg

We replaced the rear suspension ourselves at the hotel, and quickly headed over to the one tyre replacement shop in town to get the tyre fixed.

2 months across the Eastern Indo-Tibet Himalayas | A KTM 390 "Adventure" | 2021 Report-pxl_20210401_091744734.jpg

Mid way through the tyre replacement ordeal, we forgot the order of the rear axle components that go back into the rear wheel, and proceeded to mess things up for a good while much to the angst of the technicians at the tyre centre. Finally after a call back to the Kawasaki tech home, we managed to get things right. Not before the bike fell over on my mate and pinned him under!

2 months across the Eastern Indo-Tibet Himalayas | A KTM 390 "Adventure" | 2021 Report-pxl_20210401_093632134.mp.jpg

We finally said ur good byes after having spent a good few hours at this place. The technicians gifted us a few sets of puncture repair strips. Good lads.

2 months across the Eastern Indo-Tibet Himalayas | A KTM 390 "Adventure" | 2021 Report-pxl_20210401_111646491.jpg

The day was coming to a close, and we had to head back for our final night at Namsai. We spent the evening walking the streets of Namsai town.

2 months across the Eastern Indo-Tibet Himalayas | A KTM 390 "Adventure" | 2021 Report-pxl_20210401_111517025.portrait.jpg

2 months across the Eastern Indo-Tibet Himalayas | A KTM 390 "Adventure" | 2021 Report-pxl_20210401_131829183.jpg

The next morning we were off back into Assam. We had originally planned to cross Kaziranga and go straight towards Guwahati, the capital of Assam. But I stopped midway and changed plans on the fly - as I always do.

2 months across the Eastern Indo-Tibet Himalayas | A KTM 390 "Adventure" | 2021 Report-screenshot-20220611-10.50.17-am.png

I particularly remember this photograph because this was our first chai stop for the morning. But more importantly, I had a longish conversation with the little family of mother and daughter who were running the shop.

2 months across the Eastern Indo-Tibet Himalayas | A KTM 390 "Adventure" | 2021 Report-pxl_20210402_023458192.mp.jpg

This area falls along the might Brahmaputra. The Brahmaputra is a huge river that flows straight in from the high glaciers of Tibet and barrels down into the Sunderbans of East India. During the monsoons, the river destroys its ridiculous embankments and proceeds to flood everything around it - including the highway, farm, and the shop you see above. The family lives right behind this shop, and the rains are not usually kind to their thatched lego style hut. Everything comes off, people have to flee, and the return to rebuild almost every year. People lead such tough lives all the time, so what did I actually do to deserve the soft, uncomplicated, chamois life that I was leading now? What decided that the girl I was talking to was born in those circumstances as opposed to the circumstances I was born in?

We also began riding past vast tea estates from where the very chai we were drinking was coming from.

2 months across the Eastern Indo-Tibet Himalayas | A KTM 390 "Adventure" | 2021 Report-pxl_20210402_032109975.portrait.jpg

Last edited by Turbanator : 15th June 2022 at 18:43. Reason: editing a sentence, not required.
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Old 12th June 2022, 17:18   #123
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Default Re: 2 months across the Eastern Indo-Tibet Himalayas | A KTM 390 "Adventure" | 2021 Report

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Originally Posted by Red Liner View Post
People lead such tough lives all the time, so what did I actually do to deserve the soft, uncomplicated, chamois life that I was leading now? What decided that the girl I was talking to was born in those circumstances as opposed to the circumstances I was born in?
Pure luck, random chance, that's all, nothing more. People like us, we just won the genetic lottery to be born in to families and circumstances that could provide the good health, education and opportunities that we got to be able to live the comfortable lives we are leading now.

The tragedy would be to start thinking that we had anything to do with it, that we "deserve it" and become the kind of people who are dismissive about others less fortunate than we are. Or worse, to ignore the causes of inequality and poverty and start justifying those as somehow "their own fault". And to become scornful and oppose the social efforts to address those. It happens all too often, sadly.

Interesting though, I had a similar moment during my Arunachal ride. We were riding along for kilometers, an hour or so without even seeing another vehicle or building on the road. Suddenly we heard sirens and a convoy passed us from the opposite direction. SUV with the arrogant red beacon, a couple of police escorts and an ambulance. The sight of the ambulance really rankled because for so many kilometers we hadn't even seen a primary health center, forget hospitals. The locals would have to travel for hours to reach anything resembling health services. Pregnant women would probably need to risk home births with a midwife. But this political clown- in such a region, he gets his own ambulance on the slight chance that his highness might have an accident. Ridiculous. Criminal by any moral standard. That triggered similar thoughts to the ones you have posted about.

I'm not going to virtue signal- it's not like I came back and started wholesale acts of charity. Or stopped spending money on useless things.

But yeah, when you travel by bike, you get to see more of our country, really what it's like, than when you travel by car where you are insulated from what is around you. And you realize these things even more so when you use public transport in such areas. (Also did a trip using buses across some of the other North-Eastern states for a couple of months in 2016.)

A friend once said, we're so focused on wanting to catch up with the 5-10% who have more than us, that we forget the 90%+ who have so much less than we do. And that just makes us feel more and more that we don't have enough when the reality is exactly the opposite.


(Sorry to have rambled on so much. But both of us having similar thoughts triggered by similar experiences while on bike trips in the same region, a decade apart is crazy. I had to post and tell you.)

Last edited by am1m : 12th June 2022 at 17:21.
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Old 15th June 2022, 14:11   #124
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After some more photo-shopping - in the real world - at the verdant tea estates that welcomed us into Assam, we pushed on.

2 months across the Eastern Indo-Tibet Himalayas | A KTM 390 "Adventure" | 2021 Report-pxl_20210402_032306550.jpg

These tea workers are interesting. They pluck the leaves and put it in a sack behind their back. They are usually paid by how much leaves they collect in a day - the sacks they bring back to the factory is weighed in. Nothing mechanised with the plucking - things are still done by hand and I think its a good way to go. Leaves are carefully inspected before being plucked.

Being a tea worker is a rather prestigious job in these parts of the world. A qualified tea worker gets an ID card, which allows him or her to work on tea estates. This card can be passed on to the next generation - like a family heirloom, and their children get access to becoming a tea worker simply because of birth. This ensures that employment on tea estates is strictly amongst the locals - folks from other parts of the country cannot necessarily overrun local employment opportunities.

As we pushed on, it was time for lunch and we treated ourselves to a full traditional Assamese meal - by our touristy standards at least!

2 months across the Eastern Indo-Tibet Himalayas | A KTM 390 "Adventure" | 2021 Report-pxl_20210402_061210110.jpg

Thats rice steamed in a leaf - the flavours of the leaf percolate into the steamed rice and the lunch was divine!

It was already noon and beyond...and the heat was unbearable. Coming back from the cooler climes from Arunachal, we were not enjoying the drastic change in temperatures. Remember, we were still in April - the ride had begun in March. We were on the roads during the hottest part of the year in India. We stopped at this gas station to have a little chit chat with the locals, broke the heat with a few jokes, and gulped down enormous gallons of water.

2 months across the Eastern Indo-Tibet Himalayas | A KTM 390 "Adventure" | 2021 Report-pxl_20210402_083010112.mp.jpg

Somewhere after this, we were heading into the Kaziranga National Park of Assam. Kaziranga National Park is a protected area in the northeast Indian state of Assam. Spread across the floodplains of the Brahmaputra River, its forests, wetlands and grasslands are home to tigers, elephants and the world’s largest population of Indian one-horned rhinoceroses. Ganges River dolphins swim in the park’s waters. It’s visited by many rare migratory birds, and gray pelicans roost near Kaziranga village.

2 months across the Eastern Indo-Tibet Himalayas | A KTM 390 "Adventure" | 2021 Report-pxl_20210402_094710425.jpg

I had visited and stayed at the Kaziranga park in the past. But my mate hadn't. So I stopped him and asked him if he would like to. He was wavering a bit, and I told him it didn't matter if I had visited already - what was important was - had he visited it and would he like to? With some encouragement on my part, he said he would like to stay put for a day or two and so our new plan was done! Kaziranga it was!

2 months across the Eastern Indo-Tibet Himalayas | A KTM 390 "Adventure" | 2021 Report-img_6384.jpeg

2 months across the Eastern Indo-Tibet Himalayas | A KTM 390 "Adventure" | 2021 Report-a602769d31024fd6bc4cc8af1069e7b2.jpeg

Now we had to find a place to stay for the next few nights. I spotted this very nice cafe by the road, and we decided to get in there to cool off and find a spot for the night.

2 months across the Eastern Indo-Tibet Himalayas | A KTM 390 "Adventure" | 2021 Report-pxl_20210402_104825311.jpg

After a few enquiries on the phone, we managed to hook into a fabulous place right inside the jungle for the next few nights. We definitely did NOT want to stay by the road! So back we were on little jungle trails!

2 months across the Eastern Indo-Tibet Himalayas | A KTM 390 "Adventure" | 2021 Report-pxl_20210402_110044918.jpg

Our jungle "resort" did not disappoint!

2 months across the Eastern Indo-Tibet Himalayas | A KTM 390 "Adventure" | 2021 Report-pxl_20210402_121200902.jpg

We had booked ourselves into one of the quaint mud style cottages with fabulous showers. This was going to be a treat! After a quick but lazy shower, a wash of clothes, we found out that the local community groups team up to throw a cultural evening for visitors and tourists. The last time I was in Kaziranga was purely a wildlife expedition visit, and I didn't have very much insight into local culture apart from visiting a village with no road access, binging on locally made rice wine and falling sick thereafter lol!

So later that night, we rode out to the "cultural" evening. Not before encountering some very cute traffic who had absolute right of way!

2 months across the Eastern Indo-Tibet Himalayas | A KTM 390 "Adventure" | 2021 Report-pxl_20210402_121732158.portrait.jpg
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Old 16th June 2022, 12:09   #125
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Originally Posted by Red Liner View Post
After a few enquiries on the phone, we managed to hook into a fabulous place right inside the jungle for the next few nights. We definitely did NOT want to stay by the road! So back we were on little jungle trails!


Our jungle "resort" did not disappoint!


We had booked ourselves into one of the quaint mud style cottages with fabulous showers.
What a coincidence, we stayed at the same place during our return journey to Guwahati
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Old 22nd June 2022, 14:39   #126
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Later that evening, we headed to the spot where the local community in coordination with the tourism department showcased a curated cultural event. I am going shut up now and let the pictures do everything.

2 months across the Eastern Indo-Tibet Himalayas | A KTM 390 "Adventure" | 2021 Report-pxl_20210402_125040019.night.jpg

2 months across the Eastern Indo-Tibet Himalayas | A KTM 390 "Adventure" | 2021 Report-pxl_20210402_125103052.night.jpg

2 months across the Eastern Indo-Tibet Himalayas | A KTM 390 "Adventure" | 2021 Report-pxl_20210402_130544017.jpg

2 months across the Eastern Indo-Tibet Himalayas | A KTM 390 "Adventure" | 2021 Report-pxl_20210402_131601836.mp.jpg

2 months across the Eastern Indo-Tibet Himalayas | A KTM 390 "Adventure" | 2021 Report-pxl_20210402_131609552.mp.jpg

2 months across the Eastern Indo-Tibet Himalayas | A KTM 390 "Adventure" | 2021 Report-pxl_20210402_131858492.portrait.jpg

2 months across the Eastern Indo-Tibet Himalayas | A KTM 390 "Adventure" | 2021 Report-pxl_20210402_131911655.portrait.jpg

2 months across the Eastern Indo-Tibet Himalayas | A KTM 390 "Adventure" | 2021 Report-pxl_20210402_131915894.portrait.jpg

2 months across the Eastern Indo-Tibet Himalayas | A KTM 390 "Adventure" | 2021 Report-pxl_20210402_131945633.portrait.jpg

2 months across the Eastern Indo-Tibet Himalayas | A KTM 390 "Adventure" | 2021 Report-pxl_20210402_132013377.portrait.jpg
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Old 22nd June 2022, 14:50   #127
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Next set of pictures from the performance follows.

2 months across the Eastern Indo-Tibet Himalayas | A KTM 390 "Adventure" | 2021 Report-pxl_20210402_132018488.portrait.jpg

2 months across the Eastern Indo-Tibet Himalayas | A KTM 390 "Adventure" | 2021 Report-pxl_20210402_132028862.portrait.jpg

2 months across the Eastern Indo-Tibet Himalayas | A KTM 390 "Adventure" | 2021 Report-pxl_20210402_133709322.mp.jpg

2 months across the Eastern Indo-Tibet Himalayas | A KTM 390 "Adventure" | 2021 Report-pxl_20210402_134442661.portrait.jpg

2 months across the Eastern Indo-Tibet Himalayas | A KTM 390 "Adventure" | 2021 Report-pxl_20210402_134445265.portrait.jpg

2 months across the Eastern Indo-Tibet Himalayas | A KTM 390 "Adventure" | 2021 Report-pxl_20210402_134447292.portrait.jpg

2 months across the Eastern Indo-Tibet Himalayas | A KTM 390 "Adventure" | 2021 Report-pxl_20210402_134449806.portrait.jpg

2 months across the Eastern Indo-Tibet Himalayas | A KTM 390 "Adventure" | 2021 Report-pxl_20210402_134558312.mp.jpg

2 months across the Eastern Indo-Tibet Himalayas | A KTM 390 "Adventure" | 2021 Report-pxl_20210402_134616660.mp.jpg

2 months across the Eastern Indo-Tibet Himalayas | A KTM 390 "Adventure" | 2021 Report-pxl_20210402_134735926.portrait.jpg
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Old 22nd June 2022, 14:55   #128
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2 months across the Eastern Indo-Tibet Himalayas | A KTM 390 "Adventure" | 2021 Report-pxl_20210402_135741516.mp.jpg

2 months across the Eastern Indo-Tibet Himalayas | A KTM 390 "Adventure" | 2021 Report-pxl_20210402_135754009.mp.jpg

2 months across the Eastern Indo-Tibet Himalayas | A KTM 390 "Adventure" | 2021 Report-pxl_20210402_140443822.mp.jpg

2 months across the Eastern Indo-Tibet Himalayas | A KTM 390 "Adventure" | 2021 Report-pxl_20210402_141306255.mp.jpg

2 months across the Eastern Indo-Tibet Himalayas | A KTM 390 "Adventure" | 2021 Report-pxl_20210402_141318104.mp.jpg

2 months across the Eastern Indo-Tibet Himalayas | A KTM 390 "Adventure" | 2021 Report-pxl_20210402_141320411.mp.jpg

2 months across the Eastern Indo-Tibet Himalayas | A KTM 390 "Adventure" | 2021 Report-pxl_20210402_143104643.portrait.jpg

2 months across the Eastern Indo-Tibet Himalayas | A KTM 390 "Adventure" | 2021 Report-pxl_20210402_143243509.mp.jpg

We had a great time talking to all the performers and hearing their stories and backgrounds after the whole performance was over. It was a fantastic time well spent!
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Old 22nd June 2022, 15:02   #129
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The next morning was a late one and quite rightfully so. My mate headed off to the Kaziranga National Park for a safari, and since I had already done all the animal sightings, decided to go explore other sights.

My first and only halt for the day would be the mighty Khaiphalongso waterfalls.

2 months across the Eastern Indo-Tibet Himalayas | A KTM 390 "Adventure" | 2021 Report-pxl_20210403_035504325.jpg

I had to park the bike after a bit, to walk the rest of the way. I met a couple of "local" boys who were happy to have this solo traveler along with them. We chatted quite a bit while we ambled up to the waterfalls through thick jungles - i felt a bit like Indiana Jones really.

2 months across the Eastern Indo-Tibet Himalayas | A KTM 390 "Adventure" | 2021 Report-pxl_20210403_041911202.jpg

And then suddenly, there she was!

2 months across the Eastern Indo-Tibet Himalayas | A KTM 390 "Adventure" | 2021 Report-pxl_20210403_042346918.portrait.jpg

2 months across the Eastern Indo-Tibet Himalayas | A KTM 390 "Adventure" | 2021 Report-pxl_20210403_042502596.jpg

The location was idyllic, the waterfall was dreamy, and the sun was pitch perfect! Just right to get into the water and soak it all in.

2 months across the Eastern Indo-Tibet Himalayas | A KTM 390 "Adventure" | 2021 Report-pxl_20210403_044430563.jpg

We spent more than a few hours just messing around in the water and letting the falls just drain away all the stress and pain from the body. As always, I carried nothing to eat or drink, but the boys were smarter than me, and we shared what little they had.

2 months across the Eastern Indo-Tibet Himalayas | A KTM 390 "Adventure" | 2021 Report-pxl_20210403_050233392.jpg

Sadly as you can see, lots of trash abound. I encouraged the boys to collect "our" trash at the very least and take it back into town for recycling. Its important that tourists and travellers such as us do not sound very preachy about such things at the places we visit. The locals certainly don't need our sermons. Change takes time, and every hand helps.

We left the waterfalls soon after, and found a little garden shack cafe (and i mean cafe in the loosest possible way) at the next village. I treated the boys and myself to some well deserved eggs and what not. Everyone was happy - the shack cafe owner and his wife for the business, because no regular tourist would ever stop at a place like this - their loss though. The hot plated food was fantastic, and the conversations with the local family was even better. The boys were thrilled to get a surprise treat, and I - well I was just happy seeing everyone around me happy.

2 months across the Eastern Indo-Tibet Himalayas | A KTM 390 "Adventure" | 2021 Report-pxl_20210403_053247852.jpg

I passed another section of tea estates before heading back to the room to enjoy the evening back at the resort. This was our last night in the beautiful place and I wanted to enjoy every moment of it.

2 months across the Eastern Indo-Tibet Himalayas | A KTM 390 "Adventure" | 2021 Report-pxl_20210403_062204244.jpg

The next morning we were off on our travels again. We were heading into Assam proper now. Enroute, I saw the Amalgamated Tea Company's tea shop. This company operates India's very first fully organic tea estate - the Hathikuli tea estate. What made memories sweeter was my ex-girl's very sweet dad (and a dad to me too) was the General Manager of this very tea estate for the longest time. He is well known and respected around here even now.

2 months across the Eastern Indo-Tibet Himalayas | A KTM 390 "Adventure" | 2021 Report-pxl_20210403_073936438.jpg

2 months across the Eastern Indo-Tibet Himalayas | A KTM 390 "Adventure" | 2021 Report-pxl_20210403_074753149.jpg

And guess what, its Fathers Day today.
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