Road Trip to North East from Chennai – Part II (Dec’ 2016)

Day 5: Today our plan was to reach Tawang and also visit Dirang / Sela Pass enroute. Before we started from Bomdilla, paid a visit to the Monastery at 7 am, and spent a valuable 45 mins and started our journey. The route from there onwards were more scenic and we had photography stops quite often. We had breakfast at the Awoo Resort at Dirang (a recommended place to stay for the best views and natural location of the resort). We also visited a WAR MEMORIAL of the Jawans and had tasty hot veg momos made by the ARMY canteen staff.

We went through the SELA PASS (13703 ft above the sea level), and OMG, what a lake…what a view…with cool breeze pushing us, we enjoyed walking down and climbing up the lake and spotted fresh snow…which was tempting to play… and we did! Spotted a beautiful waterfall named as Nuranang or JANG falls, spotted next to tough and a mighty river stream… but again it required us to climb a long way down, as we had limited time to reach Tawang, we skipped with just the view of the fall, which was about 34 kms from SELA PASS.

We spotted domestic YAK all along…in different shades…as big as it could be… spotted sheep, goats and cows, which had very small legs… cute to watch and not to miss mentioning, it was always a wow moment for us to spot the snow peaks, big or small, full or partial… Scenic beauty.

Finally we reached Tawang by 4.30 PM and met Mr. Tenzing, who was our host at Tawang and he promptly helped us unload our luggage and quickly helped us to get in to our rooms.

As it was already dark, we didn’t venture out that day except that I gave a much needed wash for my bicycle and also do a couple of rounds around the hotel. One thing which I noticed while driving in Arunachal was, every driver in Arunachal on our way was kind enough to leave way for us, even if they were on a uphill climb, which made driving much better on the narrow roads. This happened throughout our journey in Arunachal and a big salute to all of them. This included the cab drivers, army trucks or any goods carrier.

Day 6: We had plan to visit Bhumla & Sangetsar Lake today and we left as early as 7 AM. The roads were really bad and it was a backbreaking trip throughout. But the landscape unfolded in front of our eyes made the journey exciting and memorable. We stopped on the famous P T TSO lake and we were the first group to enter the lake that day. We spent good amount of time in the lake and would have loved to spend the whole day just watching the landscape. However, we had to cut short after taking some good amount of photographs and then proceeded our journey.

From there on, we had another problem, as Viji developed uneasiness and probably hit by AMS. When we reached the Y junction, she got headache, vomiting sensation & giddiness though she wanted to proceed to Bum La. Finally we reached Bum La and the army came to our rescue and gave hot water, tea & sweet to make her feel better. One army officer brought pulse machine to see if she was in any danger mark and finally said she was fine to proceed. Another officer came all the way to accompany her up to the border point, which had a board saying THANK YOU, crossing which is CHINA. She could walk a few meters just before the mark but returned as again her health bothered too much. So, the officer took her back and made her rest.

Hari & I went up to the border and had a little chat with the soldiers and took a few photographs and returned. With this condition we didn’t want to proceed to the Sangetsar lake, though it was on a much comfortable altitude, but didn’t want to take any chance. Hence returned back to the hotel and rested for the day. I wanted to do my car wash before we proceeded for the next leg of our journey, but for some reasons, the shops were closed and I couldn’t find a single garage open. So, I had wash the car myself on that cold evening. We then ordered snacks & dinner at the hotel, which was very tasty and retired for the day.

Day 7: What a start for the day at the Tawang Monastery, so huge yet so clean. We were lucky to witness the morning prayers for Buddha. Also, we met our fellow HVKian Tejesh Gowda and his friend, who were on a similar trip. We took a few suggestions from them. Had breakfast at Jung, and tried to visit hot water spring at Dirang, where one had to climb down for about 750mts and upon reaching, saw it was too crowded already and hence returned back. We actually could have made it to the beautiful Sangti Valley (20km detour left turn from Dirang), had we skipped the time taken to climb up and down to the hot water spring but there is always a next time, so no regrets. We proceeded to Bhalukpong as we didn’t take this route due the wrong turn during our onward journey.

We also had a lovely evening at the Tenga Haat, military canteen, where we had our late lunch, worth a delay, as we had really tasty food there, which also had some shopping outlets, but unfortunate we had to reserve cash for our onward journey. So, came without purchasing anything. It was tough to find the location of our planned stay at hotel SOLU, which we didn’t know it was renamed as Hotel Mandal Chang, run by brother-in-law to the owner of Gayki Khang Zhang at Tawang. It was a pleasant evening to meet so lovely people at our stay and they offered us a very tasty dinner.

Road Trip to North East from Chennai – Part II

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