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Old 12th February 2024, 22:26   #16
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Re: South West to the North East | A Senior Couple’s drive of 11500 km in a Honda WR-V

Amazing travelogue and hats off to you Sir. Although I have started road trips late in my life (I am 40 now), I would like to continue doing it at the rate of 1 major road trip each year. This way, I should have covered most part of India in next 7-8 years.
This certainly is a source of inspiration and I am going to show this to my family to convince them for the next road trip to the northern part. Kudos to you.
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Old 12th February 2024, 22:31   #17
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Re: South West to the North East | A Senior Couple’s drive of 11500 km in a Honda WR-V

So far the best travelogue of 2024. Not only for the crisp writing, more for the grit, confidence and feeling imbibed by two young hearts. Loved reading it and awaiting further details.
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Old 12th February 2024, 23:17   #18
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Re: South West to the North East | A Senior Couple’s drive of 11500 km in a Honda WR-V

I yet to read your full post but just seeing the topic, your intro and the photos - you are a true inspiration!! Bow to you sir!
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Old 13th February 2024, 12:54   #19
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Hats off to you sir. Age is just a number for you.
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Old 13th February 2024, 16:05   #20
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Re: South West to the North East | A Senior Couple’s drive of 11500 km in a Honda WR-V

A quick reply in General.

I posted only the first part, not knowing what will be the reactions to my style of writing.

I am elated at your responses and support expressed in your posts. That will give me more confidence in posting the remaining days travelogue. Totally it was a 52 days on the road drive.

A BIG BIG Thanks to all. My apologies but, I will answer specific queries later.

Yes, there are part(s) to follow, especially on the riskier, but beautiful and mystic southern hills of the remaining 5 sister states.
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Old 13th February 2024, 16:58   #21
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Re: South West to the North East | A Senior Couple’s drive of 11500 km in a Honda WR-V

Awesome venture and well notated travelogue!

Truly an inspiration to many youngsters to follow the dreams of their heart with confidence.

Last year I did Spiti valley trip which itself I thought was late in my life.
Seeing your photos and travelogue, I am greatly motivated to do more adventure trips.

Thanks for sharing.!
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Old 13th February 2024, 19:00   #22
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Re: South West to the North East | A Senior Couple’s drive of 11500 km in a Honda WR-V

Amazing sir. Congratulations on your first travelogue and I hope to see many more from you. You are an inspiration.
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Old 15th February 2024, 00:31   #23
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Re: South West to the North East | A Senior Couple’s drive of 11500 km in a Honda WR-V

WoW, that is amazing !!!
Keep travelling & thank you for sharing.

Warm regards,
Siddhartha
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Old 15th February 2024, 10:24   #24
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Re: South West to the North East | A Senior Couple’s drive of 11500 km in a Honda WR-V

Lovely travelogue Tom sir! Kudos to your unwavering spirit to travel and you have proven that age is just a number. I too traveled to the same places albeit solo! We get a lot Lovely experiences on the road and even a small gesture is beautiful at times on the road . More power to you and more inspiration for people like me!
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Old 15th February 2024, 19:07   #25
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Re: South West to the North East | A Senior Couple’s drive of 11500 km in a Honda WR-V

Quote:
Originally Posted by tomchacks View Post
A quick reply in General.

I posted only the first part, not knowing what will be the reactions to my style of writing.

I am elated at your responses and support expressed in your posts. That will give me more confidence in posting the remaining days travelogue. Totally it was a 52 days on the road drive.

A BIG BIG Thanks to all. My apologies but, I will answer specific queries later.

Yes, there are part(s) to follow, especially on the riskier, but beautiful and mystic southern hills of the remaining 5 sister states.
namskaram Tom sir. 52 days road trip! Amazing! Your travelogue is a big inspiration for everybody to take up road trips. You have proven that age is no barrier for cross country trips as long as enthusiasm & energy levels are high.
Eager to read subsequent episodes of your travelogue
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Old 20th February 2024, 22:12   #26
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Re: South West to the North East | A Senior Couple’s drive of 11500 km in a Honda WR-V

Posting the rest of the Travelogue in TWO parts.
I had made a mistake in the Day numbers by omitting day2. This has been corrected.

Part 2

Day 18 April 27 Upper Assam
We parted with my sister and BIL and we went eastwards, Our first stop was at Shivsagar, visiting the remains of the Ahom dynasty. Had an ethnic Assamese veg thali (Tupula bhat) at the restaurant, Juihal of Assam Tourism and proceeded to Dibrugarh for night halt at the Town House Inn. The roads were bad to very bad as widening work was going on with no proper diversions in place. This was the first stretch in Assam with bad roads, but any how construction for 4 laning, as anywhere in India, meant the existing roads were left uncared for. 220 kms for the day.

Day 19 April 28 East Arunachal
Ziro, Aalo and Mechuka are the places mostly visited other than the Tawang area. We had decided against visiting these to minimize hilly travel and on feedback of road conditions. So in the morning commenced our journey to Roing. First halt was at Bogibeel, the longest combined road and rail bridge in India. Nobody checked our papers this time on re entry to AP. We were now travelling to the upper Brahmaputra regions of Pasighat, Dambuk, Bomjir and then to Roing. We had breaks to enjoy the river side and the scenery. It was a pleasant scenic drive with good two lane roads,with not much traffic and good weather. 249 kms for the day.

Day 20 Apr 29 Around Roing
Roing is the eastern most town in India. The eastern Himalayas lie to the north and east till China border. Nothing much to see in Roing. We just drove and walked around. Weather was pleasant with the nights being chilly. With not many hotels listed, we had settled with the Yatri Niwas which was earlier government run, but now leased out. Basic but had parking and a good restaurant. Google had previously directed us to the residence of the Dy Collector as location of Yatri Niwas. The guard let us in thinking we were some relatives. The Dy Collector was a lady probably a young IAS pass out and she was not pleased on our intrusion to her private residence. Though we said sorry, she was not willing to smile or help us with the correct location. Obviously not a native, as the behavior of all Arunachal people had been polite and welcoming unlike her rudeness. To sum up, eastern AP has not much to offer by way of tourist attractions, unless you wanted to visit Tezu, Brahmakund and Namdapha NP. We, had after deliberations decided to skip these to shorten the trip. But it is a pleasant region to be in especially maybe when the orange season starts.

Day 21 Apr 30 - To the Hilly North East
So far we had driven around 5000 kms and now on we were entering the Hill states which were tagged as “problematic and different”. Whenever we met other tourists on the way, and tell them about our plans, the words, Nagaland and beyond would draw sighs of –“Oh not there; just the two of you, it is dangerous; be careful”. Even residents of Assam were sceptical about travel to Nagaland and even to Tripura. Driving all the way from Kerala, itself was adventure for them and beyond was probably perceived as madness! The fact was none of them had travelled there. The tourist circuits are mostly limited to Assam, West and Central AP and Meghalaya, with Guwahati, Tawang, Kaziranga, Shillong being the travel axis. Only explorer travellers can perhaps think beyond that. The tag of the earlier presence of rebels and the “unknown factor” would be the main reason for this misplaced apprehension.

We believe it is for the traveler to throw light on the real scenario and promote visits to such remote places to familiarize with the culture and traditions. People are generally same everywhere and behave friendly as long as you respect them as they are and their culture. The people in the plains are no different from those in the hills.
Having decided on our route plan we proceeded early morning at 0520, from Roing on to Sonari. Leaving AP, we were soon crossing the Brahmaputra over the Bhupan Hazarika Setu. One interesting observation we came across was, there were no tolls collected in Arunachal despite the roads being so good. After Sadia, Talap we were on to the tea estates in Doom Duma and had a breakfast stop at Digboi. The fear instilled about Nagaland had made Regie remove whatever little gold she had on her and I also limited my purse to have minimum cash and cards. Reaching Sonari in Assam by 1030, we turned off to Mon Village in Nagaland. We had taken ILP for Nagaland and when we entered from Assam, nobody stopped us. In fact the Policeman sat in his booth and waved us to go ahead. It could be either my white hair or mistaking the KL registration for NL (in fact from a distance it can easily be mistaken either way) that made him do that.

We had a month back contacted a local guide Longsha in Mon village for accommodation and help in going around as it was known that the Konyak tribe generally don’t like people from mainland to visit them. My main confidence to visit this remote place was hinged on this guide who did such jobs for foreigners mostly. Konyak is the tribe famous/notorious at one time for being the Head hunters of the Angh (King). The village is right on the border with Myanmar. More about that later. The distance to Mon village from Sonari is around 50 kms; but the roads were so bad or non-existent that it took us almost 3 hours to reach. The climb from Mon to Longwa is about 30 kms, narrow but was in better condition. Being a Sunday there was nobody to be seen on the roads in these parts and shops were all closed as everybody had gone to their churches. We had known of this and had carried food with us.

We reached Longsha’s homestay in Longwa by 3 pm without any trouble or hold up. Longsha had arranged his brother Nokao to take care and guide us. Nokao stayed here with his parents. They have built a concrete building opposite to their traditional house with basic facilities for tourists. We were the only ones staying there. An American lady was staying in a room of the house. Her friend was in another village. We came to understand that more foreigners came to visit this part of Nagaland, than main land Indians.
The supper which was of rice, dal(watery type) and boiled vegetables, (all locally sourced) was with the family in their main room around the kitchen. Black tea is kept brewing the whole day. The father had a stroke some time back and needed help to move round. Nokao’s sister had come down to help the mother, besides two younger cousins. Only Nokao could speak English or Hindi. The family was very happy to host us and we had a long conversation with them. The Konyaks are all Christians now as the rest of Nagaland. They were happy in some ways with being an Indian and unhappy in some other ways. Pros- roads, electricity have come, as has the internet and mobile coverage. Children were going to school. The Cons- takes time for development to reach and feeling of being neglected and ignored. Their main request was to treat them and respect them and their culture as they are and this is the translation of what Nokao’s father told- “We may be eating dog meat, worms, insects etc; but that’s how we have lived, with what we have and we are happy as such. But don’t look down on us because of that.” With these words ringing in our ears, we retired for the day. Before that Nokao entertained us by playing the guitar and singing English songs. Drive for the day 274 kms

Day 22 May 1 - In the land of the Head Hunters
The breakfast at our host’s house was again rice, dal and vegetables. We supplemented it with the bread we had. Soon after, we set off with Nokao to explore the village, The first place was up a hill to a view point at the Indo Myanmar border. There was a border pillar and nothing more. Any body could cross over and we did too. There are no fences, police or BSF patrols. The reason is that the Angh (king/Chief) of the Konyak tribe had dominion over 110 villages spread over India and Myanmar. The Konyaks have dual citizenship and could cross over either way any time. Ofcourse, there is a small army camp and a police outpost, but they generally did not interfere in the Angh’s rule or law enforcement. Nokao told us that the living conditions of the people in Myanmar side were inferior to the Indian side.
We then proceeded to the main village area to meet the only two surviving Head Hunters. The practice of cutting off the head of the enemy and bringing to the Angh was discontinued in the 1960s. The Head hunter will wear a chain around his neck with small wooden heads and the number of heads will indicate how many heads he had cut off! These two people were in their eighties and lived by dressing up and posing for photos.

Next visit was to meet the Angh at his palace. It was nothing more than a big round hut with bigger rooms and artefacts and gifts displayed, and no doors. This was half in India and half in Myanmar. He had two wives one Indian and one (you guessed it) Burmese. A small built unassuming person, speaking the local dialect, though understanding some English and Hindi. We presented him with a packet of dry dates (the only thing we had with us for a gift).

Close to the Angh’s palace was a house where the gun maker lived. He was building a long-barrelled gun in wood with his hands when we visited him. He makes pistols and rifles as per order and was willing to sell us one. Hunting of animals in the forests is still allowed in Nagaland and many people own guns. Nakao mentioned that hunting was now a days for livelihood and a peaceful atmosphere prevails in the area.

We had an early lunch by 1130, almost same as dinner and breakfast, and bid farewell to the Konyak family. The drive from Mon village to Sonari in Assam was again a worrying one for us and definitely a painful one for the WRV. But no damage done. Next destination was Kohima; there were internal roads from Mon village to Kohima via Mokokchung, but as advised by our contacts, these were too bad and risky and will take more than 12 hours. We hit the Assam roads for our planned longer drive via Golaghat and Dimapur. As we passed through Simaluguri, we saw a board for Kareng Ghar, another Ahom dynasty heritage site. Had a quick visit there. It is worthy to mention that the Archaeological Society of India is making efforts and helping the ignorant to remit the entry fees through e payments.
This was the only day so far where we hadn’t booked any accommodation in advance and finally chose to stay in Nazira at Hotel Brahmaputra, which turned out to be a good one. Drive for the day -121 kms

Day 23 May 2- To Kohima
I had come to know that one of my college friends (and fellow college cricket team mate) and wife were in Numaligarh visiting their son. So, we took a detour from Golaghat and had two hours break to visit them and exchange notes on their visits to Kohima and Tawang. There after we proceeded to Dimapur and to Kohima. Dimapur is a busy commercial town in Nagaland close to the Assam border. The presence of an airport and railway station makes it a vital cog in the transport connectivity to Nagaland and Manipur. The roads were good all the way. The 4 lane stretch between Dimapur and Kohima is almost complete and for a change we observed that the diversions made for the construction in progress areas, were fully tarred and comfortable to ride. The road keeps climbing up with curves but comfortable to drive.

Kohima is a hill town with narrow roads, where parking on the road side is impossible and one way traffic is the norm. The traffic though heavy when we reached by 5 pm, was disciplined and the police were active in controlling. Google had taken us close to our homestay but couldn’t identify the turn, which was at a steep acute angle and descending from the main road. So, we had missed the turn once and were circling again. One traffic cop took the trouble to come down from his post after holding up the traffic to guide us to our homestay. The access road had space for only one vehicle and steep too. We had booked a homestay through Airbnb, called the Oak room. It was a good clean place owned by a Doctor and his brother, located in the city centre. The room was spacious and there was a terrace floor with good views, used as the upper dining space. We took a walk around the city exploring some busy market places. All sorts of creatures were on sale in the road side shops, like worms, frogs etc. Street food shops were in plenty selling local, Chinese and north Indian items.

We met the Doctor in the night and told him our plans including our apprehensions to visit the Dzukou valley. Some bloggers reported it as easy while others said it is difficult. There are limited basic stay facilities there, if you do the full trek. We wanted to go up, see the valley and come back the same day. He said you can do it as its not too difficult. Then he told us that next morning, a young French couple staying in the homestay were going there and he had arranged a taxi up to the nearest main road and thereafter a Sumo for the offroad climb to the trek point. So, we decided to share the transport arrangement. Travelled 282 kms in the day.

Day 24- May 3- Dzukou valley Adventure trek
An Alto came at 6 am to pick us and we reached the Viswema village about 25 kms away from Kohima on the Imphal road. A Sumo was waiting for us as arranged and the driver Azoo who talks good English, took us up another 9 kms over bad roads with big stones, to the Dzukou trek point. The French couple told us that they also plan to come back if the staying arrangement is not good enough. It was agreed that Azoo after his shuttle trips, will come back at 4 pm to take us back to the Village. The four of us finished the breakfast packed for us by the homestay, before starting the trek.
Dzukou valley is at an altitude of around 2500 ms and the trek up the hill to the valley entrance is a tough one categorized as “moderately difficult”. We had earlier been on forest and hill treks of 5 kms and more and we were confident we could do it. We started by around 8.30 am and told the French couple to proceed as we will be slow in climbing. It was understood normal people take around 1 hr 30 min to climb up. The walk up to the rest house is over ridges over plain land takes about 3 to 4 hours. The flowering season we were told had not started yet and will take another month or so. The trek is through the forest, over stone steps partly and over loose boulders climbing up all the way. We took rests in between. It was energy sapping but we were managing all right and then as we were about 80% up the way, it started to rain. We had jackets on and were carrying rain coats too, but that was not the problem. The boulders had become slippery and that was proving tricky and dangerous. Regie was finding it tough to get her steps right and I too though not much better. We some how managed to traverse the climb we reached the top by around 11.15 am.

By then it was raining heavily at the top and with the wind blowing hard, it was chillingly cold. There was no shelter around except an abandoned shack with no roof. After another 30 minutes the rain subsided and we could see the views around as the mist cleared. The beauty of the valley was not to be seen as in published photos because the sun had disappeared. So, our pictures do not justify the true beauty of the valley. It was 1200pm now and we dropped the idea of walking further over the plains to the base camp, as it would strand us there with no preparations for an overnight stay. But we knew for sure it would be very tough to descend the hill over the wet stones.

Then an idea came up why not call up Azoo, and seek his help if he were willing. Immediately called him and luckily he had come up to drop tourists at the trek point. To our relief he immediately said “I will come up to help you down. Give me 30 min”. Relieved, we started to walk along the ridge for some time and after about 45 min, our savior of the day, Azoo appeared with a long knife around his waist. He took us further along the ridge and then back to the descending point. He cut some tree branches and gave us both 2 long sticks to walk with. The descend down indeed was dangerous as we were not getting foothold properly and slipping. But Azoo was around to help us and being well built, he was able to lift Regie over tricky boulders and then help me down. It was a cake walk for him and he said he had at some instances climbed up and down 3 times in a day. By 3 pm we were back near Azoo’s Sumo. I cannot say how we would have made it down without Azoo’s help. His attitude was clear, it is our duty to help guests who have taken the trouble of travelling so far, to see our place. We waited till 4 pm for the French couple, but getting no reply we travelled back to the village. Half way down he called to say they are now at the drop off point. Azoo called up and arranged another vehicle to pick them. Azoo arranged a taxi to drop the four of us back to the outstation taxi stand in Kohima. Before leaving I gave Rs 2500 to Azoo, in addition to the agreed drop charges. But he refused to take it. I told him you missed a trip or two by coming up to help us, so at least take that lost amount. Finally, he agreed to accept Rs 1000. No words to describe the helping attitude of a strange person in a remote land. He could have demanded any amount and I would have agreed. We will hold the Naga people in high esteem just because of this person.

While waiting for the return taxi to Kohima, we saw several tourist buses coming from Manipur side to Kohima. We did not think too much about it, until the next day.

Day 25, May 4 - Kohima sights
We spent the day visiting the World War 2 cemetery and the Naga heritage village Kisama. The tomb of an Unknown soldier titled as “Known unto God” made me take a photo in remembrance of the many who lost their lives in strange places and unrecognized. The cemetery is maintained beautifully, with gardens and flowers all around. A lot of Indians had lost their lives fighting for the British against the Japanese. Kisama village is famous for hosting the annual Hornbill Festival. We used the public transport consisting of city mini bus and shared taxi service, for the trips.

By evening when we got back, I got a message from the Home stay owner of Imphal asking me not to come there tomorrow and cancel the Airbnb booking straightaway. He informed that curfew has been imposed in Imphal after break out of violence the previous day. We were scheduled to leave for Imphal the next day and our host also confirmed it is not advisable to go there. He also remarked that it is an internal issue of Manipur between the tribes and the Nagas will not intervene.

Now the turn of events in Imphal explained the exodus of tourist buses the previous evening. We had planned for 3 days in Imphal as there were several places we wanted to visit. But now we had to think of alternate places and routes.

Day 26 May 5- Violence in Imphal and the Alternatives.
We thanked God that we had not scheduled our travel earlier. What would have happened if we got stuck in Imphal with our car? We had decided to take the flight from Agartala to Aizawl as the roads from Silchar were too bad to be risked. No bookings had been done for dates after Imphal; things were now open for review. We had identified dates with low airfares to Aizawl and working on that decided to proceed to Haflong, a hill station in Assam and one night near Unakoti in Tripura before reaching Agartala. Shibu, my son’s classmate in Agartala informed everything was normal in Tripura. During our study and planning we had observed that Tripura was the least chronicled in travelogues and some news about rebels holding up road travellers were floating around. But this was applicable only along the Aizawl to Tripura roads near Bangladesh border, which we had already eliminated from our route plan.

By 8 am we had booked a hotel in Haflong for 2 nights and drove via Dimapur, Diphu, Lumding (NH 27) and reached Haflong by 3.30pm travelling 266 kms along good roads in both states.

Day 27- May 6 In Haflong
Haflong proved to be a disappointment, as there was no cool weather befitting a hill station nor anything to see particularly. It is a small town with no big hotels. A lake is being renovated. We visited a local museum and a goodlooking government guest house built in the British era. Booked the Agartala Aizawl flight. Only one ticket was available at the low fare. The Imphal evacuation had led to increase in fares suddenly.

Day 28 May 7 - Worst road in Assam
To visit the Unakoti rock site, the nearest accommodation was at the Tripura Tourism guest house in Kailashahar. Online booking was done for 2 nights. We didn’t have much literature info about Tripura roads; but decided to take them based on Google maps. The route planned was Silchar, Badarpur, Karimganj, then on NH 8 till Patharkandi, turn right to NH 208 A into Tripura and continue till Kailashahar. After 20 kms of leaving the Haflong hotel by 7 am, the ghat section started and the NH 27 roads became horrible. Widening works were going on all the way till Silchar; and what a terrible and dangerous way it was being done! No deviation signs, narrow stretches and you cannot make out if there is a road ahead at the climbs. About the condition of roads, the less said the better. Slushy due to rains, big potholes, boulders and along narrow ridges with just space for a vehicle. The WRV with its ground clearance of 188 mm and with only 2 passengers managed the ride without a hitch. Only thing was that I had to use all my experience to negotiate this bad stretch of around 60 kms carefully taking about 4 hours. Then on, the roads were okay and good in the NH 8 portion. The 208A stretch was not too bad though widening was going on, but due to low traffic through villages, we could move on at a decent pace to reach Kailashahar by 2.45pm. Distance covered for the day 244 kms. This town is very close to Bangladesh border.
The Tripura TDC guest house was not well maintained but since we had booked an AC room it was ok. Food was bad and the staff indifferent.

Day 29 May 8 - Unakoti Rock Sculptures
Unakoti rocks is not known to many and we also came to know about it after we did our research on Tripura. Located 10 kms from Kailashahar, it is an ancient site, believed to be 8th- 9th century, where big rocks have been cut to make sculptures mainly of Lord Shiva, Ganesha and Durga. Unakoti means one less than a crore and there are that many sculptures here. It is now an ASI heritage place and application has been put up to make it into the UNESCO heritage list. It was an interesting to see flat faces sculptured on such big rock faces unlike the small human figures seen in other heritage sites in India. Being so big and flat, the perfection was missing.

As we had an early morning visit to Unakoti, we were able to leave Kailashahar by 9.30am- on our way to Agartala. After reaching Kumarghat, the route was entirely along NH 8. Unlike some posts mentioning bad and dangerous roads, we found the roads to be fairly good and did not encounter any problems. It was not an easy drive though, along the winding 2 laned roads. One has to climb up and down 3 hills on the way crossing forest areas and villages spread apart. There would have been dacoits operating in these lonely stretches especially at night, which had led to the bad reputation. I was told that these days the roads have become safe even at night. The traffic was thin, mostly trucks. We reached Agartala by 2.45pm after driving around 158 kms. For lunch we had a break at a small family run shack near Ambassa which served good local Thali.
Agartala being the capital is Tripura’s biggest city. Unlike the other eastern states, Tripura is mostly plain and climate in summers is really hot. Agartala is well spread out and again close to Bangladesh border. We had booked accommodation at Institution of Engineers guest house in the city centre. But going there we found that there was no parking facility and not even on the road due to some construction activity nearby. So, after consulting Shibu, our son’s class mate, we booked at Hotel Himalaya, a little away. They provided parking and a high security one as the DSPs car and a minister’s private car were always parked there.

Day 30 May 9 -Agartala
In the morning looking for a place to eat breakfast we spent some time walking around a heritage park. Here we met a group of youngsters who were thrilled to see a Kerala registration car and meeting the grey-haired couple, they wanted selfies with us. Such encouraging actions always urge you on further. The main tourist place is Ujjayanta palace and when we visited there it was closed due to death of a VIP in Agartala. Had a look from outside and then drove around the University campus and then went to the border check post. They have a change of guard function at 4 pm, when public will be allowed to walk to Bangladesh and back. Since it was a long wait and very hot, we skipped it. We completed the ILP for Mizoram, which was obtained soon online. In the evening went to Shibu’s house for a typical Tripura dinner with his family and parents.

Day 31 May 10 - Flight to Aizawl
After checking out from the hotel we parked the car in the airport parking where they locked the wheels and gave us the receipt. Maharaja Bir Bikram international airport is a modern one located about 10 kms from the city. The Aizawl flight by Indigo is an ATR aircraft –flight of one hour duration. The Aizawl airport is a small one among the hills and far away from the city. ILP was checked on arrival and there was an option to take it there also. We took a taxi to our booked home stay, about a kilometre from the city centre. But being a hill town at 1200 ms elevation,walking to the centre Zarkawt involved steep inclines. Like Kohima, Aizawl being the capital of Mizoram too has all the big branded show rooms and shopping centres in the city. The women are mostly dressed in western style clothes and only some older women wear their traditional dress. Again, the streets are narrow but traffic is disciplined. Alto cars are very popular and are the main taxis. We took a taxi to visit the State Museum and then walked back to the homestay. We met the owner, a retired Civil Engineer in the evening. He had travelled all over India including to Kochi having worked with Airport Authority. Regarding the Manipur issue which invariably came up in our discussions, he was of the opinion it has a lot to do with the drug smuggling being done by the Myanmar Arakan tribe who have the backing of the Chinese government.

Day 32 May 11 - Around Aizawl
The home stay people had arranged a taxi for visiting nearby tourist spots. The first trip was to Reik where the Mizo heritage village is situated. It gives an idea of how the tribes lived not long ago. Next was a view point at a hilltop. The whole state is made up of hills, not very tall but varying from 1000 to 3000 ms. Ther were a lot of small water falls on the way. Then we visited Solomons temple, a big modern church built by an individual. Came back to homestay by 3 pm. The city is full of buildings and houses built on terrace fields. Food options here are much more sophisticated and did not see any worms etc being sold. Even the interior villages we saw were more developed than in Naga territory.

Day 33, May 12- Agartala, Melaghar
By 8 am the pre-arranged car came to drop us at the Aizawl airport. When we reached the airport though it was past counter opening time, staff had not arrived and passengers were made to wait outside for half an hour. When check in was over, staff for security check were not available. Any how the flight took off without much delay. Reaching Agartala by 1130, we got our car wheels unlocked and proceeded to visit Ujjayanta palace and museum. It is an all-white building and the museum gives a peek into the lives of the Kings that ruled Tripura. After lunch we drove 48 km to Melaghar and checked in at Hotel Polo Grounds which is close to the Neer Mahal. This is an old palace surrounded by water. We took a shuttle boat at 4pm that drops you at the Neer Mahal. Returned back after enjoying the sunset there.

Day 34, May 13- Udaipur and Karimganj
The last place in our list in Tripura was Udaipur, an old city of the Manikya dynasty, on the way back connected by good roads. The main attraction here is the Tripura Sundari temple. Another attraction we visited was the 3 Gunavati temples built with bricks in a dome shape and adjacent to each other. We had not seen such an architecture for temples anywhere else. These are 17th century structures being maintained well by ASI.
Udaipur is on NH 8 and we had to now move onto Meghalaya. This required a night halt and we had booked for the same at Karimganj in Assam. Taking the Agartala by pass the drive was a repeat along NH 8 all the way till Karimganj which is a commercial trade centre close to Bangladesh border. The roads were all good, but time consuming because of hilly terrain and bends in between. We reached our hotel by 5 pm after a drive of 315 kms.

Day 35 May 14- Meghalaya - Dawki
The plan for the day was to go via Badarpur and the up north to Jowai by NH 6, then south to Dawki and again up north to Chirrapunjee(Sohra) by NH 206. The drive was mostly uphill and downhill along winding roads generally in good condition till Dawki except for few bad stretches. On the way we stopped to see the Krang suri falls, which proved to be a disappointment with little water flowing through. At Dawki after parking the car we went to the river bed to see the crystal clear water. There was a big crowd here, being a Sunday. Some pebble stones were seen laid in a line. We were about to walk over them to get to a more secluded area, when somebody called out, if you cross the stones, you will have to show passport to come back. Yes, the pebbles marked the Indo Bangladesh International border here. Sure enough there was a police man on either side. We did not take a boat ride as there was a queue and we were short of time.

The roads beyond Dawki were very bad and so we dropped any idea we had of visiting Mawllynnong, the cleanest village. As we travelled further up towards Mawjingih valley the views became very beautiful on either side. But a cyclone in Bangladesh was causing strong winds with drizzle blowing across the road, forcing us to stop for a while. The views were amazing as it was nearing dusk time. We reached the junction joining Shillong Sohra road. Moving south, the Dyampep valley view point called for a stop and a coffee break. By the time we reached our homestay it was 1830 and getting cold too. This homestay, in the village Laitryngew, was owned by a young girl, MSW holder and also working remotely for a Bangalore based firm. She directed us to an eating place nearby and we walked there and enjoyed some hot noodles. Drove 282 kms.

Day 36, May 15 - Sohra, Living root Bridge and water falls
The plan was to see a Living root bridge and some waterfalls in the area. The Double decker bridge was the famous one. But that involved climbing up and down 3000 steps, which we did not want. We were happy enough to settle for a single root bridge but then the known one was half the way down to the double decker one. We searched in google for all single deckers and found one not too far away and with minimal walk. This was the Umkar single root bridge, which needed just 15 minutes to walk from the parking area. It took us some time to locate the place as it was not well known, but it was worth the trouble as we could walk easily to this fully grown single decker bridge. Interestingly the woman who managed the parking lot had come to study hotel management in Wayanad some years back.

As the water falls in the area were mostly without much water, we restricted our visit to the Weisawdong falls. This needed some climbing down in 2 stages. We descended to stage 1 from where one could see the falls and did not go down to the base of the falls. There was enough water to cascade down in 3 steps and it looked beautiful. We then made our way to Shillong reaching the booked home stay by 1730. Distance covered 121 km.
We had booked the Heritage Nook Homestay in Shillong which belonged to Ashley Lyngdoh and his sister Rachel. He led bike tour groups in the North East besides being the founder of Green Route,a society promoting rural tourism promoting tribal agriculture. Ashley being my son’s colleague’s relative had helped me in giving inputs about road conditions.

Day 37, May 16 - Shillong City
The home stay was on a hill top and we had to walk down to the city centre. The day was spent exploring the city by foot. We covered the Capt: Williamson Sangma Museum, All Saints cathedral, Police Bazar and Lady Hydari Park, all on foot. After dinner we spent some time with the Lyngdohs exchanging travel experiences. All these days we had not experienced heavy rains, but this night it rained heavily. When it starts raining it is time to start getting out of the North East, and our plans in this regard were on schedule. After discussions with Ashley, we decided that we route our return via the Garo hills, a less visited part of Meghalaya. Wherever we had gone so far, was in the Khasi hill region. Based on his advice we booked a room at a homestay of his associate in Tura.

Day 38, May 17- To Guwahati
Most tourists to the North East start their trip from Guwahati, being the capital city of Assam and the biggest in the region. But we had so far avoided Guwahati, for two reasons; we were circling around Assam from west to east in the Upper Assam area and east to west in the lower area. Then we didn’t find much places of interest in Guwahati. Now was the time to touch Guwahati. So, we set off in the morning from Shillong stopping on the way to enjoy the views of Umiam lake. The 90 km distance is indeed through good roads as reported by all travelers.

Our homestay named Three Little Birds near GS road in Dispur was quite a surprise at the rates offered. It had a very clean big bed room with attached bath room, a dining/lounge area and kitchen in one floor along with washing machine, fridge and microwave oven. Only drawback was, there was nothing of interest close by except big shops across the road. As shopping was never a preferred activity (except for souvenirs or unique items) we did not have much to do except walk around for dinner. The Kamakhya temple is among the most visited spots in Guwahati and we decided to skip that.

Day 39, May 18 - Western Assam and Meghalaya
After breakfast we crossed Guwahati city and proceeded westwards along NH 17. The route took us initially close to the river Brahmaputra and then onwards away but parallel till Paikan, where we turned south to Tura. Soon we were in the Garo region of Meghalaya, which is often mentioned as less developed and ignored. This appeared to be true though roads were good and scenic. The hills are smaller and weather hotter than the Khasi hills. Valleys were less and forests were not so green. Tura is the district HQ and reached our home stay by 2.30pm, driving around 220 kms. It started raining in the evening and we had to remain indoors. Tura is not a big town but the only one in the region. Our home stay was 4 kms away from the city in a village.

Day 40, May 19- Garo hills and rural tourism
The owner of the homestay had met us the previous night and suggested some place we should visit. As these are interior places outside Tura and being not marked in google maps, he suggested that he can send one of his drivers to drive our car to visit these spots. This seemed a good idea and we had agreed. After breakfast the driver took us to the West Garo hills area and the first halt was at a small river where fish farming was being done. Next was a visit to the Sonja wildlife rescue centre for the Western Hoolock Gibbons. Gibbons are a different species of apes found in India only in Kaziranga and the Garo forests and are endangered animals. This centre rescues injured apes from the forests and after rehabilitation sends them back to the forest. We saw gibbons from the forest coming to see their friends or partners kept in the cages of the sanctuary.

Then we were taken to a valley view in Noka-chik, which was being developed as a tourist village with local style huts. On the way to Nokrek National Park we had lunch at a small dhaba like place and met a local man who had come to study in Kerala and now was a government employee. The park entrance and area around has been opened for tourists. The NP which has the Clouded Leopard as its main attraction,but has no safari or trekking facilities yet. We reached back to the home stay by evening. Though the roads were bad and slushy, the driver was careful to drive the car understanding it was our lifeline to go back home.

Day 41, May 20 - Good Bye to the North East
By today we were to exit Assam and the North East after entering on April 18th which meant we were in the North East for 32 days.
In our routing back to West Bengal we added Jaldapara National Park as we were travelling near to that. The route chosen was Paikan, cross Brahmaputra at Goalpara, Bongaigaon, Alipurdar and onto Jaladapara. Being weekend, we did not get accommodation near the sanctuary. We reached the hotel by 3.30pm driving 330kms. The roads were generally good. We managed to book tickets for the morning safari at the counter in the evening. The place is close to Bhutan and the hotel person told us that if you have a Voter ID, you can enter Bhutan from here in the car.

Day 42, May 21- Jaldapara safari
The morning Jeep Safari at Jaldapara proved to be a waste of time. The safari routes were short and all that we could spot was a rhino from a distance. The guide and driver were not interested in spotting birds and were interested in the coffee at the VIP Guest House stop. The forest also was not appealing.
We took it easy to travel the 113 km to Jalpaiguri where we had booked to stay at the WBTDC Teesta Sundori. Again, we got to stay in a comfortable room with AC working fine.

------to be continued in PART 3
Attached Thumbnails
South West to the North East | A Senior Couple’s drive of 11500 km in a Honda WR-V-bihu-celebration.jpg  

South West to the North East | A Senior Couple’s drive of 11500 km in a Honda WR-V-attraction-kaziranga.jpg  

South West to the North East | A Senior Couple’s drive of 11500 km in a Honda WR-V-dambuk.jpg  

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South West to the North East | A Senior Couple’s drive of 11500 km in a Honda WR-V-img_4597.jpg  

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South West to the North East | A Senior Couple’s drive of 11500 km in a Honda WR-V-img_20230503_113537.jpg  

South West to the North East | A Senior Couple’s drive of 11500 km in a Honda WR-V-img_20230505_080458.jpg  

South West to the North East | A Senior Couple’s drive of 11500 km in a Honda WR-V-img_4699.jpg  

South West to the North East | A Senior Couple’s drive of 11500 km in a Honda WR-V-img_20230508_072650.jpg  

South West to the North East | A Senior Couple’s drive of 11500 km in a Honda WR-V-img_20230512_125617a.jpg  

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South West to the North East | A Senior Couple’s drive of 11500 km in a Honda WR-V-aizawl-city.jpg  

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South West to the North East | A Senior Couple’s drive of 11500 km in a Honda WR-V-img_5107.jpg  

South West to the North East | A Senior Couple’s drive of 11500 km in a Honda WR-V-3o2a1357.jpg  

South West to the North East | A Senior Couple’s drive of 11500 km in a Honda WR-V-img_20230515_101556.jpg  

South West to the North East | A Senior Couple’s drive of 11500 km in a Honda WR-V-3o2a1390.jpg  

South West to the North East | A Senior Couple’s drive of 11500 km in a Honda WR-V-img_20230519_120320.jpg  

South West to the North East | A Senior Couple’s drive of 11500 km in a Honda WR-V-img_20230519_131208.jpg  

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Old 20th February 2024, 22:18   #27
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Re: South West to the North East | A Senior Couple’s drive of 11500 km in a Honda WR-V

------PART 3 (Last)

Day 43, May 22 - Return Route
After 41 days drive and completing visit of all the NE states (except Manipur of course), the normal thought will be to take the shortest route back home. But in our travels our thinking is – having come this far why not another route to see more places?

This is what we planned- return via Jharkhand (a state we have not been to) and may be look for other best options as we move ahead.
The drive to Ranchi being too long, we decided to halt at Deoghar for the night. This was a 400 km drive via Kishanganj, Purnia, Bhagalpur, and Hansdiha. It was all smooth driving up to Kishanganj. A little ahead on the highway, all traffic was being stopped by the WB Police due to a road rokho by some groups. After waiting for 30 minutes with big vehicles lined up in our front and back, some body told us to cross over to the other lane and take some village roads to by pass the problem area. We asked a policeman also and he said we could do that. We jumped over the median and joined the cars going along narrow village roads. It was not bad until cars started coming from the other side. After a long endurance of stopping and squeezing through we managed to reach back on the highway. We lost about 2 hours in the exercise. We reached Deoghar by 6 pm. An interesting experience was after entering Jharkhand we stopped for tea at a small village shop. The shop owner his father and son were all there. The elderly father seemed to be well read person as was his school going grandson. They were able to place where Kerala is and eager to know why we were travelling so long a distance. We told them- to see new places and meet different people. The grand father was amused and told the grand son: “Thum be achi tharaf pado tho aisa karsaktha.”(Please pardon my Hindi wording- he might have spoken in correct grammar)
The JTDC guest house in Deoghar was a bad choice. Though safe parking was available, the rooms were ill kept and dirty, the worst so far.

Day 44, May 23 - Jharkhand
There were many alternatives for reaching Ranchi. Google itself was showing 3, we chose to follow the Google recommended route via Giridih, Jaina rather than via Dhanbad. Leaving at 6.30 am, we reached by 3pm covering a distance of 240 kms. As far as I can remember, the roads were ok. The stay in Ranchi was at JTDC’s Birsa Vihar. This was a good property in the city centre and decently maintained. Evening was spent walking around and trying out some local sweets and food.

Day 45, May 24 - Ranchi
Ranchi was quite hot in the day and we were wondering where to go. The places mentioned in travel brochures were mostly at some distance away and we did not want to venture out much seeing the traffic jams all over. For going and coming back from a nearby lake, we had to spend 2 hours mainly as we were in the city centre. So, we spent the afternoon in the comfort of the air conditioning to plan and book for the remaining destinations. After Meghalaya, we have been booking on the go. Thoughts of going via Raipur and a visit to the TadobaAndhari Tiger reserve were soon eliminated as safari slots even in buffer zones were not available for a week. Revenge tourism was in full flow perhaps as the case was similar with other national parks in MP too.

Next destinations that came to our mind were Pachmarhi and Satpura which we had not visited in our 2013 trip in Central India. Bookings were manageable, but travel involved was about 1000 kms and we were not able to identify a proper midway halt. After a lot of search and hotel verifications we booked to take a break at Shahdol (MP) where a wayside decent hotel was available. At Pachmarhi, though MPTDC places were full, room was available in Satpura. Another hotel was booked in Pachmarhi.

Day 46, May 25 - Across the width of Central India
Early starts were again required and we left by 6.15 am travelling on NH 43 across Jharkhand till Ghamla, then entering Chhattisgarh, took the SH shown by Google to Ambikapur. Then again it was NH 43 all the way till Shahdol in MP. The roads were good in Jharkhand, but not so in the SH areas of Chhattisgarh and were good in the NH till our destination. Our night halt was at Hotel Aman Palace, a good one close to the highway. We reached by 5.30 pm after a drive of 498 kms.

Day 47, May 26 - Pachmarhi
We left the hotel by 6.15am and shortly after that saw an ancient temple with carvings on the road side. We had a quick visit to this ASI maintained site which turned out to be the 11th century built Virateshwar temple at Sohagpur. The drive along NH 43/45 took us past Shahpura, Jabalpur, Udaipura, Piparia and Pachmarhi. Reached by 5.30 pm, distance travelled 505 kms. The roads were good, with a large part through forests. Stay at Hotel Meghdoot.

Day 48, May 27 - Madhai-Satpura
In the morning, we explored the scenic points of Pachmarhi, which are inside the cantonment area. MPTDC has 3 or 4 resorts here. Being summer it was not cold at all, but pleasant. Visited the Pandav Caves as soon as it got opened at 8 AM. We had breakfast at Indian Coffee House nearby. Walked around an old British built church and checked out by 11.50 am. Next destination was Bison Retreat of MPTDC at Madhai, 100 kms away. This is a nice place on the river banks and adjacent to the Satpura Tiger reserve ticket counter. We had booked 27th afternoon and 28th morning safaris, but had got only one seat for the AN one. We went and tried for one more at the counter but could not get. So I alone went on the safari. There were no significant sightings.

Day 49, May 28 - Maharashtra
For the Jeep safari, one has to walk first to the boat boarding point, cross the river and get into the jeeps parked there. The forest has lots of greenery and has a hilly terrain. We were not lucky to have any sightings despite 3 hours in the forest in the morning.
After a late breakfast we set forth on our return journey southwards. The planned halt was at Amaravathi in Maharashtra, as against the usual Nagpur route. I cannot recollect the exact route we took, but was mostly google led, and not bad roads, but mostly winding. Reached the Treebo Hotel in Amaravati by 7 pm, driving around 300 kms.

Day 50 May 29 - Nanded and Hyderabad.
Leaving by 7.30 am, our plan was to reach Hyderabad after a brief stop at Nanded. Google took us through some good roads and bad ones due to road widening works. As I had a bad bout of vomiting, the full morning driving was done by Regie. I remember crossing a big clover type fly over, probably on the Samrudhi Mahamarg expressway. We reached Nanded by noon. The roads on either side of the city were quite bad. Visited the famous Hazur Sahib Gurudwara and spent some time there including having a langar. Proceeded to Sangareddy on the outskirts of Hyderabad through good roads all the way, crossed ORR and checked into the hotel in Shamshabad by 10 pm, travelling 530 kms.

Day 51, May 30 - Back to Bangalore
Leaving by 9.30 am, the travel was along NH 44. Following our habit of visiting heritage sites, we took a short detour to visit the Lepakshi Veerabhadra temple near the AP- Karnataka border. Checked for the hanging pillar and witnessed ladies drawing dupattas under and across the bottom of the pillar. Reached sons apartment in Amrutahalli by 10 pm. Distance travelled 553 kms.

Day 52, June 12- Back Home in Kochi (End of Trip)
We spent 12 days with Amit and Neha cooling our heels. On 12 June, we drove back home to Kochi bringing the curtains down on an epic trip.

Epilogue
We should be thankful to the Almighty for keeping us safe and healthy during the entire trip. Our car Honda WRV served us so wonderfully without any breakdown. The first puncture was a few days after reaching Bangalore. Our thanks are due to our North East contacts, Ashley Lyngdoh and Shibu for their spot-on information and guidance in planning the routes, especially in the unknown areas in Nagaland and Tripura. Fellow Bhpians- Dhanush Menon and Gunin deserve thanks for the initial encouragement, and the route expert HVK from whom I purchased his Route map, which I used as a backup to Google. Of course, all the travelogues in Team Bhp related to our area of travel formed the basis for the research. Last but not least, this travelogue would not materialized without the notes prepared by my wife and her continued support in editing.

We found the North East states much developed than we had expected. There was no scarcity for drinking water or fuel. Food was simple and cheap and if you can adjust, it posed no problems. Vegetarian options were available too. Accommodation was mostly in home stays. People were friendly and language was not an issue. Being summer we were able to travel as planned. But if it rains, roads can get blocked due to land slides and your plans can go haywire. As daylight is available from 430, it gets dark by 5pm; travel has to be based on that. Road development works were going on in most areas and connectivity would soon improve to interior areas. In short, if you can plan well, a trip can be done without problems.

The Completed Trip sheet is attached as an Excel File.
Attached Thumbnails
South West to the North East | A Senior Couple’s drive of 11500 km in a Honda WR-V-img_5548.jpg  

Attached Files
File Type: xlsx As completed data TeamBhp.xlsx (15.1 KB, 10 views)
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Old 22nd February 2024, 15:39   #28
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Re: South West to the North East | A Senior Couple’s drive of 11500 km in a Honda WR-V

Quote:
Originally Posted by Secretariat View Post
Wonderful. Amazing - let me look up the dictionary for a few more superlatives !

Looking forward to Phase 2A. You went to Roing ? Wow. Mon ? Double wow ! A paragraph each isn't going to satisfy our appetite. Regie ma'am - please bully the good man to wax eloquently.
Thanks. All the 52 days have now been covered.

Quote:
Originally Posted by nandakumarms View Post
Nice post. : thumbs up
Being in the same age group and me too enjoying the long drives, this is still more interesting.
I have a query. Your travel write-up covers till April, but your planning (word file) stretches till May end (almost). Am I missing something?
Thanks. I have now added the remaining days in Part 2nad 3.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dieseltuned View Post
WOW ! I am 39 and my family now does not allow drives more than 400 kms :P (I have done one 1000 km drive and that was the final nail in my long drive coffin )

I am going to show this to my family and may be boost my chances to get an approval.

Did you cover the phase 2 in your plan? I am interested to see updates on Imphal and Kohima and Agartala. My wife was born in Shillong and did all her education in Imphal and has special attachment to that place. She has been eager to visit Imphal and we were planning a trip last year just before the protests erupted. One of our dear college friends is settled in Agartala and has been pestering us to visit as well. Also, could you please elaborate the problem with Nagaland and why people were suggesting against visit ?

Regards
Diesel
Thanks. I hope the Part 2 and 3 will cover answers to your questions.

Nagaland has around 1000 tribes and many were militant earlier. That perception of militancy is perhaps one reason for people's fears. Things have changed drastically over the years. But still many tourists visit and look at them as if they were from another planet. Visitors going there to see how different the Nagas were rather than enjoying the beautiful hills and learning about their culture and traditions, probably created a resentment in their mind about the tourists. Then again all negatives get publicity. As I mentioned, mutual respect gets you friendly behavior.

Quote:
Originally Posted by amitnair View Post
namskaram Tom sir. 52 days road trip! Amazing! Your travelogue is a big inspiration for everybody to take up road trips. You have proven that age is no barrier for cross country trips as long as enthusiasm & energy levels are high.
Eager to read subsequent episodes of your travelogue
Thanks, and hope you will like the Parts 2 and 3 too.
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Old 22nd February 2024, 16:15   #29
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Re: South West to the North East | A Senior Couple’s drive of 11500 km in a Honda WR-V

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Originally Posted by eyedocgb View Post
Sir,you have proved that age is just a "number"
Quote:
Originally Posted by revsperminute View Post
Congratulations on your successful trip, Sir! Your thread brightened up my Monday morning. I'll be sure to share the link with my dad soon; getting to do a road trip like yours with him will be a dream come true.

Happy motoring!
Quote:
Originally Posted by Carzman View Post
Wow what an amazing travelogue. Its really an inspiring post. Keep travelling and keep writing more about your wonderful trips.
Quote:
Originally Posted by germin View Post
What an absolutely amazing trip and such a well written travelogue sir! Sharing this link with my father who will love reading this.
Quote:
Originally Posted by vamsi.vadrevu View Post
You, Sir, are giving us retirement goals, life goals, travel goals and couple goals all at the same time!

It's very inspiring to see such travelogues! I'd hope to be doing such trips in future! Thank you for posting such inspiring story!
Quote:
Originally Posted by parsh View Post
Astounding

Kudos to you for making such a memorable journey self-driving and enjoying together with your life partner.

Looking forward to more...
Quote:
Originally Posted by W.S.T.R. View Post
Sir, This is what i call a really inspiring Travelogue for all the enthusiasts out there.

Hoping that i can also keep up with time and experience "driving & travelling" for as long as i can.

Keep safe and keep it up.
Quote:
Originally Posted by jas_mirage View Post
I would just like to say, Hats off to you sir! And to complete the feeling I would like to request a deviation in the rules and reiterate in our local language, "Ningal poli aan!"
Quote:
Originally Posted by GhostGrid View Post
Firstly, Congratulations Sir, to you and your wife for completing such a “long” trip. .......

You have inspired me in a lot of ways. Thank you.
Quote:
Originally Posted by car_aficianado View Post
This is just astounding. Hats off - to you and your significant other for supporting each other and actually making this happen. Very inspirational.
Quote:
Originally Posted by TORQUEINDUCTION View Post
Amazing travelogue and hats off to you Sir. Although I have started road trips late in my life (I am 40 now), I would like to continue doing it at the rate of 1 major road trip each year. This way, I should have covered most part of India in next 7-8 years.
This certainly is a source of inspiration and I am going to show this to my family to convince them for the next road trip to the northern part. Kudos to you.
Quote:
Originally Posted by VWAllstar View Post
So far the best travelogue of 2024. Not only for the crisp writing, more for the grit, confidence and feeling imbibed by two young hearts. Loved reading it and awaiting further details.
Quote:
Originally Posted by ByKaizen View Post
I yet to read your full post but just seeing the topic, your intro and the photos - you are a true inspiration!! Bow to you sir!
Quote:
Originally Posted by SteadySteer View Post
Hats off to you sir. Age is just a number for you.
Quote:
Originally Posted by RiderS View Post
Awesome venture and well notated travelogue!
Truly an inspiration to many youngsters to follow the dreams of their heart with confidence.
....I am greatly motivated to do more adventure trips.

Thanks for sharing.!
Quote:
Originally Posted by ravi_cnr View Post
Amazing sir. Congratulations on your first travelogue and I hope to see many more from you. You are an inspiration.
Quote:
Originally Posted by siddarthab View Post
WoW, that is amazing !!!
Keep travelling & thank you for sharing.

Warm regards,
Siddhartha
Quote:
Originally Posted by jithin23 View Post
Lovely travelogue Tom sir! Kudos to your unwavering spirit to travel and you have proven that age is just a number. I too traveled to the same places albeit solo! We get a lot Lovely experiences on the road and even a small gesture is beautiful at times on the road . More power to you and more inspiration for people like me!
Quote:
Originally Posted by amitnair View Post
namskaram Tom sir. 52 days road trip! Amazing! Your travelogue is a big inspiration for everybody to take up road trips. You have proven that age is no barrier for cross country trips as long as enthusiasm & energy levels are high.
Eager to read subsequent episodes of your travelogue

I should thank all of you for your kind words of admiration. I feel I should have posted about my travels earlier.

We met many many youngsters on the way and during our stays. The common reaction was --great, wonderful. Then, like many of you mentioned, " I should tell this to my parents and make them also travel". Yes, if they are healthy. Travel is a great relaxer, whether in groups or on your own.

One comment I liked from another youngster was- " Sir, seeing you I can dream how I will be 30 years from now" - a very positive outlook.

As a senior, I would advise all young travel enthusiasts out there to keep travelling, and also to take your children along. They will learn a lot, not only about geography, but how the rest of the country or world live. That will make them thankful for what they enjoy and what many others cannot. They will gain empathy. They will also understand the different cultures in a country like ours; develop their ability to understand to cohabitate with all types of people and gain more wisdom, in a way, which no schooling can do.
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Old 22nd February 2024, 16:42   #30
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Re: South West to the North East | A Senior Couple’s drive of 11500 km in a Honda WR-V

Quote:
Originally Posted by pd1108 View Post
Sir, hats off to your willpower and stamina. My family will never let me take these chances, although I am behind you by a few years. Congratulations to your family as well to have such a confidence in you. Maybe you could add a post talking about the precautions you took because of your age. That would help people like me (and maybe use it as a way to convince my family)
If I list down what comes to my mind, it will be too long.

May be, I can start a new thread for the benefit of fellow seniors on what I consider are the precautions or check list, for a long self drive by seniors. Then others with similar or better experiences can add on or comment.
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