Thursday, April 2, 2009

Day 23 - PheuntSholing to Gedu!

March 31 at EveryTrail

Map created by EveryTrail:GPS Geotagging

Got up early got every thing packed and had breakfast and bang at the RSTA office by 9AM. But its not going to be easy. Takes like 1.5 hours to get the permit! This was the process:

Go to the second floor License office
Sent down to get blank sheet and write application for permit. No form here.
Go to the second floor License office
Was told to get is attested with the RTO officer in charge
Takes 45 mins to get the audience as he was busy!
Again go the License officer,
Told to got the Accounts section to pay 50 bux - The person not there after 5 mins comes sipping a hot cup of coffee
Then i take the receipt to License officer who signs it
Now i was told to meet the receptionist to prepare the permit
She tell its not her work
Go back to License officer, who accompanies and reprimands the lady to prepare it.
She prepares it being really disturbed. Now it has to be signed
was told to get the sing from the RTO officer! Man not the busy him again running out of time for office closure
Luckily the lady comes and tell me to meet the RLO officer instead.
He says its not his job and only when the RTO office is on leave
Tell him that he is very busy and RLO officer signs the Permit
Take it to the Receptionist lady
Sent down to get the photocopy of the same
Go back to Receptionist in second floor
Who now hands me the permit!

Phew! finally i am street legal in Bhutan! After 3-4 inquires i was told that Roads till Thimphu are new and excellent! This gets me a bit lazy just 172 kms na.

Start from hotel at 11.15 and ride slowly welcomed by awesome new road climb. Stopping for pix and even take a break after just 25 kms. WOW felt good to be on my own on the road after nearly two weeks. Then voila it turns to offroads for KMs and KMs. These roads excellent?!! No letting by at all. My speeds reduce to 20-30. Still not feeling bad i intend to do lot of hill riding and have to do this any way. Going is very slow and all i can hope for is to get myself to Thimphu.

The road just climbs and climbs it gets chilly in no time. Cross a couple of check posts get the entry done and at the second post i was given a shocker. There is land slide ahead of Gedu and road blocked! Man O man more delay. This is really getting slow and frustrating. Ride till Gedu and was stopped by the cop behind a long line of vehicles. The land slide has taken a couple of trucks along with it seems. I have been on the move like 4 hours just covered 50 kms and stuck here at Gedu at 3 pm. More bad news the road wont open today and next day is also doubtful. The most disgusting news is that the land slide happened at 1.30 PM. *(&^#^%#^&# If only those immigration office had given my permit in reasonable time could have started early the day and crossed the doomed path. I spend like an hour the falling temperature thinking what to do. The bureaucracy costing me more trouble. Get lot of advices to get back to Pheuntsholing in the alternate bettor road which opens at 5.30 pm! Man they have a bettor road closed for traffic in day time! Its getting ridicules. While my time thinking what to do. May at least today stay at Gedu and think of options the next day. Not so easy and no hotels in Gedu! I was suggested Nono hotel which found after some searching and its a big no no actually. Very very very basic and dilapidated. I would rather spend time on the road then there.

Then i was told about a hotel in main town and again lug myself across the parked vehicles and was told not rooms! Then was told to try the THPL guest house. Wow the building looks gorgeous. Went there and what luck its packed full cos of a official meeting. No amount of persuasion helps. No help. Now was getting desperate. Din wanna ride back to Pheuntsholing after all this. With no option just when i was gearing up for that i see this quick dark heavy cloud moving in from over the hill! boy that was scary. Not to forget the freezing cold. Did not want to get stuck in that kinda rain. Asked a passing by India about acco and he who worked at the guest house had no idea. I even said i would stay with him.! He kinda agreed but he had no extra bed and i will have to make do with what i have. Was told to wait! Now wondering what am i getting myself into! Just then i see a gentle man walking by. Go to him introduce myself and about me journey and inquire about acco. With a faint hope he might invite me over ;) But instead he said there is hotel with rooms and can follow him to the market. Which i did and sure enough there was a place to say. So wat if did not have attached bathroom. Still it was neat and clean and had a restaurant as well. I settled in. Got myself a place to escape from cold. All thanks to the Shimi the Lecturer whom i met.

Of course there is not TV. It is a small settlement but people are still kinda vella. With nothing much to day. thought of watching a movie. The power socket does not work ^#%&*#$# Now what am i supposed to do? Have my dinner walk around the cold and get some snacks and once in the room, now the electrical socket miraculously works. Hurry. I then watch a movie under my cozy blanket and doze with an uncertain tomorrow.

I go up the altitude today...

My collection of Bhutanese currency....

The nice hotel in the center of the city where i stayed...

Its Bar and Restaurant...

The future owner of the hotel..

Bidding bye to city of Pheuntsholing...

First permit check post...

Himalayan roads same every where....

Road block due to land slide!!

The THPA guest house where i did not get acco...

Man those clouds just came over the hills in a jiffy!!

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