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Old 17th September 2017, 16:48   #16
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*********************************
Day 16 - 16 Dec 2016
Actual destination : Dawki, Meghalaya
Distance covered : Appx 270 Kms

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We started from Churaibari as early as 6.30 am. There was lot of mist on the road. The visibility level went down to few metres. We slowly limped towards Karimghanj. Karimghanj is one of the important city in the North east which has connectivity to Bangladesh. Lot of import and export activities goes on and i do not understand why the road conditions are so bad.

Again, we saw rise in temperature in this area as most of it was flat lands unlike cold weather we experienced in Mizoram.

We stopped just after Karimghanj for breakfast.

So today’s plan was to reach Dawki in Meghalaya. Post breakfast we started towards Dawki. We encountered some sort of strike near Badarpur area. Somehow, they allowed us to go past and found that because of the strike roads were empty. High temperature was killing us. We slowly made progress. Roads till we reached Meghalaya was horrible. We were covered with loads of dust.

As we entered Meghalaya, there was drastic change in the road conditions. In entire north east, Meghalaya has the best roads. But you might end up twisting your neck through those twisties .

We reached Rymbal around 5 pm. There is left towards Dawki from there. We refuelled here and checked the route to Dawki. Most of the locals suggested against it as it was getting dark. Since we did not had our lunch, we stopped at small shop to have tea. I made couple of calls to my friend in Jowai enquiring about the route. He suggested not to take Rymbal – Dawki route but head to Jowai and meet him. He will guide us from there.
We went by his suggestion and reached his office. He runs a maruti workshop at Jowai.

He guided personally towards Dawki road. Definitely it was the best decision. Jowai roads were very narrow and had high density traffic. We thanked him for this gesture.

Roads to Dawki from Jowai is brilliant, butter smooth road. Few kilometres ahead, we stopped to have some tea. It was almost 7 pm. We also wanted to have some snacks too. Mahesh and Dada were trying to find some shop and get something.
During this search, I saw Mahesh talking to some girl and then saw him going with her. He vanished in the dark after few steps. I couldn’t understand nor I could not ask him also as I was still sitting on my bike, looking after both Mahesh and Dada's bikes.

5 mins past after Mahesh vanished, I do not see him anywhere. 10 mins later too there was no sign of Mahesh. This worried me a lot. Dada was busy hunting for tea. Got down from the bike and informed Dada about Mahesh’s disappearance. As we were thinking to turn around and look for him, saw him walk back with the girl. It was almost 20-25 mins since he disappeared.
I was about start shouting on him for disappearing without informing, he started waving a cover in his hand.
Apparently while trying to get something for food. He spoke to a girl in a small shop and she guided him to a nearby home based bakery. Since that home bakery was little off track from road, the girl volunteered to guide him. He had got 2 whole pound of freshly baked cake. Cake was still hot and I guess one of the best cakes I had till today. Thanked him and the girl for the wonderful cake. But did shouted at him for not informing us before going. It was scary the way he disappeared.

At Dawki, we had planned to stay in an island formed in between Dawki river. Avinash and Nischal who visited earlier to this place had given the contact number. We called him and he guided us to reach near the bridge at Dawki. We reached and he made arrangements to keep our bikes and bags. We carried minimum bags with us. It’s a 10 min ride in the boat to the island. We were dropped at the island and introduced to the caretaker of the place. We ordered some roti’s and curry for dinner. Finished dinner and settled inside the tent for the night.
Pretty much we crossed 3 states today, first the place we stayed in Tripura, then Assam and finally Meghalaya.

Crystal clear rivers in Meghalaya
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Jowai Friend who helped us cross Jowai
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Jowai Friend
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Night camp on the banks of river Dawki
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Last edited by Rehaan : 19th September 2017 at 17:34.
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Old 17th September 2017, 16:56   #17
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*********************************
Day 17 - 17 Dec 2016
Actual destination : Cheerapunji/Sohra, Meghalaya
Distance covered : Appx 115 Kms

*********************************

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We had a very sound sleep on the island as there was zero noise pollution. Dawki is one of the transparent river in north east. During proper sunlight, you get to see to the bottom of the river going down few metres. During this time, there was only water on Indian side. The river flows into Bangladesh from Indian side and what an irony was that there was no water on that side.
I had a stroll around the river banks and taking some pictures of crystal clear water of Dawki. By that time, Dada and Mahesh also woke up. We had tea and again strolled around waiting for the breakfast. We had asked for Maggi and Omlet for breakfast.
Post breakfast, our Dawki contact had sent his boys to pick us up. Before we moved out of the island, he took us for a boat ride to the India and Bangladesh border on the river Dawki. Also gave a glimpse of the crystal clear water of Dawki.

Post our boat ride, we returned back to the island, picked all of bags and headed back to the main land. Picked up the bikes and bid adieu to the Dawki contact. We headed straight to the India and Bangladesh border also called as “Zero Point”. There was lot of truck traffic here. This is one of most important entry point between the 2 countries. Lot’s of coal gets exported to Bangladesh, so lot of trucks move inside the zero point to deliver the coal.
We parked our bikes on the Indian side and asked the commander in charge to check if we can go till the zero point. He readily agreed to our request. We went till the zero point, took customary photos and returned back. Here again, we got struck in between the trucks. It was our mistake, we should have left our bikes far away and walked across. It was hardly few metres of walk.

It was almost 12 pm by the time we left Dawki. We headed towards the famous single root bridge. It is about 30-40 mins ride from Dawki. Soon after reaching the Single root bridge, we took turns to visit it since we had all the bags on our bikes.

After Single root bridge, we headed towards the Asia’s cleanest Village "Mawlynnong". Again taking turns we took a stroll around the village bylanes. Enjoyed the cleanliness maintained the village.

From here, Dada was heading back to Kolkatta via Shillong and Guwahati. We rode together till Laitlyngkot. From here Dada would take the road leading to Shillong and we will go towards Sohra or Cheerapunji. As it was almost 7.30 pm, we had dinner in a small hotel at Laitlyngkot.

Saying good bye to Dada, Mahesh and myself proceeded towards Sohra. Reached Sohra around 9.30 pm. Enquired couple of hotels and then ended up staying at Nalgre Hotel. Got a spacious 3 bedroom for ourselves. Shifted all the bags and had one of the best food of the trip here.

We were almost at the end of the wonderful journey in North east. What a turn of events it was all through. Started with 5 people and ending with 2. We have couple more days left to finish. But it was one of the most memorable and satisfying trip of my life.

Pics from Dawki
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Zero point - India and Bangladesh
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Single Root Bridge Pics
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Cleanest Village Pics
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Last edited by Rehaan : 19th September 2017 at 17:34.
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Old 17th September 2017, 17:03   #18
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*********************************
Day 18 - 18 Dec 2016
Actual destination : Cheerapunji/Sohra, Meghalaya
Distance covered : Appx 40 Kms

*********************************

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Got up early and ordered breakfast to be given by 8 am. Plan for today was to go for Double decker root bridge trek. By 8.45 am, we finished our breakfast, took only one bike and headed to Double decker root bridge trek. The start of the trek is few kilometres from Nalgre, say it was about 20-25 mins ride.
There was no crowd at the starting point of the trek. We started to descend slowly towards the double decker root bridge. After few hundreds of steps, we started removing the layers of cloth we had on us. So the steep steps made us sweat in that cold weather. It will take around 1 hour to 1.30 mins for the descent to the bridge. Enroute you need to cross 2 bridges built using wires. Even though it has steps till the bridge, it takes a lot of toll on the body.

Finally, we reached and what a marvel it is. We spent clicking quite a number of pictures. Then the water flowing beneath the bridge had small fishes. As soon as you put your feet inside the water, the fish used to rush at you and do fish spa on your feet. Our feet badly required such spa facility. We spent almost an hour sitting there and enjoying the serenity.

Remembered we have to climb those steps back. Few steps during the return, we stopped at a shop for tea. From here, we did not stop anywhere except for small breaks in between to recollect our breath and energy.

Post return from the trek, we headed towards Mawsami Limestone caves. As we entered the parking lot, met a father/son duo from Maharashtra. They had rented the bike from Guwahati and covering places around Guwahati, Tawang and Cheerapunji. We had exchange of our experiences with them. As we said goodbye, we saw 3 KA registered bikes getting into the parking lot.
Got introduced ourselves to them. They were from Mysore and covering Tawang and Meghalaya.

Mawsami Limestone caves are very nice for people who haven’t seen limestone caves. For me, it was little boring since I had seen lot of them at Luray Caverns, Virginia. We finished the entire caves in less than 30 mins.

The KA bikers were around 5 of them and they had reached the caves directly from Shillong. They hadn’t booked their accommodation yet. It was almost 5 pm and we suggested them the hotel where we were staying.
We got them to the hotel where we stayed, helped them in speaking to the manager and negotiating the same price as we got. They were able to get 2 rooms for themselves. Then we decided that we will get freshen up and sit for some chit chatting before going for dinner. During our chit chat, we got to know that one of their bike fell down and had battery problems in JGharh area. And they eventually got caught in the wrong weather of JGharh too. So they had to abandon their one bike at JGharh and reached Tawang. After 2 days, they came back, took the bike.

Our chit chat went on till late night and then we remembered that we have to pack our bags too as we were vacating the room the next morning. We wished them all the best for their remaining trip and retired for the day.

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Last edited by Rehaan : 19th September 2017 at 17:34.
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Old 17th September 2017, 17:17   #19
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*********************************
Day 19 - 19 Dec 2016
Actual destination : Guwahati, Assam
Distance covered : Appx 160 Kms

*********************************

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We are almost done with our trip. We covered pretty much all the places we planned. Today was a very relaxing ride back to Guwahati and try pack the bikes back to logistics.
Before we head out of Sohra, we still had one place to visit in Sohra and that was Nohkalikai Falls. We packed our bags, finished our breakfast and headed to the falls.
Nokalikai Falls is named after the girl who fell at that point and has a very sad history behind it. But the waterfall looks beautiful. Even though we visited in the off-season, it was breathtaking view.

After returning from the falls, we packed our bags on to the bike and started our journey back to Guwahati. Since we were only 2 of us, we could pace our journey faster. Soon we went past Shillong and stopped at Umiam Lake. Took some customary photos at Umiam lake.

I guess it was around 12 pm and we targeted to reach Guwahati VRL logistics atleast by 2.30 pm. Roads from Shillong to Guwahati is laned and smoothly tarred. With couple of breaks in between, we reached VRL logistics around 3 pm.

Went through all the paperwork for the return journey of the bikes in the cage. Apparently, they had sent back the cage in which my bike had come. So we decided to put Mahesh’s bike in a bigger cage and use Mahesh’s bike cage for my bike. After few hours work on it, both the bikes were packed inside the cage. This almost marks the end of the trip except that we need to reach Bangalore now.

Took a taxi back to the house where we stayed and started on day 1. Dada had already informed his friend that we will be staying for the night. Reaching back home, freshened up and headed out for dinner.

So now it is pretty much just sit back and rewind the memories we got from the wonderful, unimaginable adventures we did for last 19 days.

View of Sohra/Cheerapunji area
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View of Noh Ka Likai Falls
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View of Noh Ka Likai Falls
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About Noh Ka Likai Falls
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With Mysore Rider Team
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Mahesh and myself at Noh Ka Likai Falls
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View of Umiam Lake, Shillong
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View of Umiam Lake, Shillong
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Bikes at the VRL Logistics
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Bike packed and ready to be transported
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Caged and ready to fly back home
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*********************************
Day 20 - 20 Dec 2016
Actual destination : Bangalore, Karnataka

*********************************

Our flight back to Bangalore was in the evening, so we decided to head to the famous temple of Guwahati “Kamakhya temple”. We kept our bags ready, had breakfast at a nearby restaurant and then took a taxi to the temple. There was huge rush at the temple, so we opted for the special darshan. Still it took us almost 2 hours to finish the darshan.

Since we had couple more hours, we decided to head to MG road and then to Fancy bazaar for some shopping. Post shopping, we returned back to the house, picked our bags and headed straight to the airport.

During the check in, we came to know that the flight back has been delayed. Post our security check, we sat down to revive each moment of our trip. As we were speaking, heard some people speaking kannada next to us. It was none other then our 4x4 expert driver Siddarath Chennagiri Santosh and his team. They were returning from Dambuk Valley after competing in JK Tyre Orange 4x4 Fury. They were also travelling in the same flight back home. So we ended up spending time exchanging our experiences.

Finally boarding was announced and we reached Bangalore around 12.30 am. Mahesh dropped me at my place and continued in the same taxi. So finally back home after 20 days of mind blogging, adventurous, life time experience and unbelievable trip.

With this, finally there are handful of states to be covered in India. Those are Gujarat, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Chattisgarh and Uttarakand. But the best part is all the tough states has been completed. Hopefully will have the strength, energy, money and time to finish them soon.

View of Kamakhya temple
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View of Kamakhya temple
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Last edited by Rehaan : 19th September 2017 at 17:33.
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Old 19th September 2017, 17:45   #20
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Thread moved out from the Assembly Line.

Thanks for sharing this MEGA-travelogue with us rk_sans!
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Old 19th September 2017, 18:34   #21
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Lovely thread! Hats off to you for attempting such a long trip on a two wheeler. I recently did my first solo motorcycle north east trip myself, but it was only six days long and I covered only Assam and Meghalaya. It was enough to leave me desperately wanting more! Such a beautiful and untamed area! I am definitely planning a longer trip this time, looking at your pics only solidified my resolve
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Old 20th September 2017, 10:03   #22
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Santosh,
Fantastic write up, Must say thanks for involving me in this ride. Do not think it would have been possible without your and Dada's apt planning. Me was just doing my part of being a sport all along the ride. Will post my share one of these weekends.
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Old 20th September 2017, 10:47   #23
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After reading this amazing triplog, I must say that this has got to be one of the must-do rides for any travel enthusiast on two wheels.

I can only imagine how much planning and determination it took to ride through those treacherous yet beautiful locations.

I am sure this log will help many others who plan to visit these places. Rated a fully deserved 5 stars.

Very heartening to see complete strangers come to your much needed help, right from fixing a flat tire to tanking up the bikes to ensuring a safe place to rest and much more.

I suggest you make a not-so-short movie with all the videos and photos you have. I have no doubts it will find a slot on a travel channel.

Finally, this is what most of us only dream of and you guys took the dream head on and lived it. Hats off to you guys. This is what passion on two wheels is about.

Thanks a ton for sharing. Loved every bit of the log and the pics are so mesmerizing.
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Old 20th September 2017, 11:30   #24
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How much it costed for transporting the bikes in VRL from Bangalore to Guwahati? We are planning for a road trip from Chandigarh to Leh... It will be very helpful to plan our budget for the bikes...
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Old 20th September 2017, 13:07   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shreyascashyap View Post
Lovely thread! Hats off to you for attempting such a long trip on a two wheeler.
Shreyas
Thanks a lot.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ku69rd View Post
Santosh,
Fantastic write up, Must say thanks for involving me in this ride. Do not think it would have been possible without your and Dada's apt planning. Me was just doing my part of being a sport all along the ride. Will post my share one of these weekends.
Right team matters a lot sir. You know that better than me. You know how each member was very important in this trip. And without you in the trip, it would have been impossible to complete it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by n_aditya View Post
After reading this amazing triplog, I must say that this has got to be one of the must-do rides for any travel enthusiast on two wheels.

I am sure this log will help many others who plan to visit these places. Rated a fully deserved 5 stars.
Thanks a lot Adi. It is must for any travel enthusiast.

Quote:
Originally Posted by accentgiri View Post
How much it costed for transporting the bikes in VRL from Bangalore to Guwahati? We are planning for a road trip from Chandigarh to Leh... It will be very helpful to plan our budget for the bikes...
We paid little more since we had only 2 bikes to transport and it was around 12k per bike.
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Old 20th September 2017, 13:22   #26
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A fantastic travelogue indeed. And salute to your resolve and stamina for doing the whole of that arduous route on regular bikes. I could have never done it.
Quote:
Originally Posted by rk_sans View Post
Remember I had mentioned about spooky stretch between Tezpur to Bhalukpong in my day 1 log. Apparently this stretch sees lot of activities by Maoists. So locals also do avoid travelling during dark in this stretch. So it was the reason, one of the local biker suggested us to stay back at Tezpur during our onward journey. But today, we were returning in broad daylight. What we saw during this return was unbelieveable. Entire stretch was like a battle field with lot of Army presence on the road. We could see soldiers’ camaflouged and hiding behind the bushes/trees, etc. We saw couple of mobile jammers and anti-mine trucks too. It was quite scary situation out there. Looked like they were ready for a full blown out war. I was leading the team in this stretch and l was calling out nonstop on intercom to all of them like, see to your left there is mining truck then next see to your right, behind the bushes, there are bunch of army guys, etc.
I'd just like to offer a slight clarification to the above though. That road to Bhalukpong passes through the Nameri National Park as you must have seen the forests on both sides of the road. And as with forest roads, it does feel spooky especially during winter when its deserted and fog engulfs everything. But then, don't worry, that's no battle zone. The army is there throughout on regular patrols and they are stationed intermittently keeping vigil. Rest assured, no commando action or surgical strike is going on there.

Regarding those MPVs (Mine protected vehicles) and APCs (Armoured personnel carriers) being stationed there, they are there for simply dropping the soldiers to their designated areas for foot patrol. Nothing much should be read into that. No IED or mine blast have happened in a long long time.

That road or any road for that matter in NE that the tourist like us would take, requires as much precaution as we'd take under similar conditions in any other road in India. Case in point being this particular road only. Similar precaution is enough which we'd take while crossing a deserted road through a national park anywhere in the country. Btw, I've myself had a flat front tyre on my bike many years back in winter in that same stretch at night at about 9-00 PM and I agree it's indeed spooky to hear all the unseen creatures and the wind rustling. How I managed the situation is a long story which I'll share sometime later.

The biggest risk is from wild elephants coming onto the road rather than any Maoist ambushing an unsuspecting tourist. Here, in NE Maoists are as rare as the Dodo. So, don't worry and enjoy the spooky feeling.

Also, that road is surrounded by tea gardens and so at night you may encounter a drunk tea garden labourer straggling back home who may not like your light shining on him and threaten you with a unsteady bravado.
Other than that, don't worry it's not that bad. I thought of sharing this information so that others planning a trip can take an informed decision.

Last edited by wanderer4x4 : 20th September 2017 at 13:33.
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Old 20th September 2017, 13:32   #27
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Default Re: Exploring the magnificent 7 States of North-East India on motorcycles

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Originally Posted by wanderer4x4 View Post
A fantastic travelogue indeed. And salute to your resolve and stamina for doing the whole of that arduous route on regular bikes. I could have never done it.

Also, that road is surrounded by tea gardens and so at night you may also encounter a drunk tea garden labourer straggling back home who may not like your light shining on him and threaten you with a unsteady bravado.
Thanks a lot, Wanderer4x4.

I totally agree with your view point on NE. Probably my way of writing or use of words might have sounded negatively. But to clarify, our experience in NE specially with people was one of the best.
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Old 20th September 2017, 13:53   #28
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Default Re: Exploring the magnificent 7 States of North-East India on motorcycles

Lovely travelogue RK_Sans. And BTW, thanks for visiting my place during your trip ie Sivasagar and glad that you guys liked the place. My native home is just few houses before you reach Kareng Ghar. Glad to see my own place through your lens.

And as Wanderer4x4 mentioned in his post, there is as much trouble in NE these days as it is in any other place. In fact people would go out of their way to help a tourist in a out of state vehicles (and if what I've heard is true, even extremists would help). Yes, there are many people who would tell you stories like you guys have heard and were misled i.e. about Nameri (near Bhalukpong) or Nambor (forest before reaching Dimapur). But most of these people are the ones who probable have never ventured out or just love to scare people out. I've heard my share of such stories and trust me, most of the time, they are just stories only.

Last edited by kaushik_s : 20th September 2017 at 13:56.
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Old 20th September 2017, 14:02   #29
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Default Re: Exploring the magnificent 7 States of North-East India on motorcycles

Well Well it seems we have a lot of right information available on the NE now. As rightly put barring a few destinations that are actually off the planned grid for tourists there are absolutely no issues for the traveler in the entire NE. Yes, in fact the words sounded slightly off note and hence you are finding the North East bhpians trying to blow away the proverbial mist. Had you stopped with the soldiers, mostly SSB ones, they would have probably killed with you with their tales of unending boredom on those patrol/sentry duties. Most of the pickets are for area domination only nothing more. The real goons there are the wild elephant herds.
But on the whole an absolutely cracker of a tlog and am glad you guys went to the double root bridge as well. The river at Dawki is Umgot.
The lake mentioned by you before Madhuri Lake is the PT Tso.

Last edited by wanderernomad : 20th September 2017 at 14:08.
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Old 20th September 2017, 15:20   #30
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Default Re: Exploring the magnificent 7 States of North-East India on motorcycles

Simply marvelous ride and an awesome log, Santosh! As you mentioned, it is a dream for every traveler to do such a trip someday!

And hats off to you for penning it down, too! I could literally live through your words and was wondering how I'd tackle each of those situations if I were to be there!

True to your calm self, you have planned and prepared for every challenge, executed the whole ride and even expressed it in such a calm demeanor!

Hats off to you all and surely to all the bikes too!

Knowing you all, I know all of you are accomplished riders. But out of curiosity, did you or anyone in the team panic at any point or situation?

Last edited by Added_flavor : 20th September 2017 at 15:21.
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