Sunday, April 19, 2009

Day 40 - April 17 - SagarMahal to Damchara/Khanmun

April17 at EveryTrail

Map created by EveryTrail:GPS Geotagging

All the self advice about how one has to start early in North East to make use of day light, went for a toss when i woke up. It was raining happily and was caught with surprise. For some reason i decided to wait it out! Now i wonder y so? Any way it was like Seven Thirty when i made the move. See that there is no network in the fone. Now whats wrong with that. Have a slew of problems with fone connectivity. Should have got Aircel instead of Airtel.

Since the roads are wet and my rear tire is now slicks. That gets me going slow the whole day. Take more time to reach Agartala by like Nine fifteen. Still no network in fone. It seems i have used up my credit limit! Dint know there is such a thing and have to watch out for it! Dealing with customer care and making the payment takes a good Forty Five minutes. Valuable time loss. called up MR SK Das and thought of making it good time to Kumarghat like the previous day. But again not to be and it seems i brought the seasons first rains to this area. The beautiful twisties which i was happily carving the previous day has this layer of fine silt from the sides of the road washed on! Not very convenient with bald rear tire. Plus the mud sections had become slush sections. Taking almost three hours reach Man and have lunch at the same place i had yesterday. Cant avoid the stares have to have food right!. Its like Three pm when i get to Panisagar and take a right to Damchara. All the while feeling like Rain God brining rain to places i go! Cos i continuously seem to the riding in light rain and the road just getting wet.

Now this was some pothetic road with road widening process going one with lot of slush session. Reach Damchara by 4.15 and when i asked directions for Aizwal, got lot of responses thats its not possible today. The road is in bad shape and like 180 KMs and it would be very slow going with rain and slush all the way. Then asked for Hemu Sen whom Mr Das had reffered. Went to the border between the states which is a bridge across the river. Was stopped by cops and was asked to check the luggage. This was like a pretty small town and soon a sizable crowd gathered around. The environment around was very intriguing. With a small town or people gathered around, the weather is dull and rainy and i have no where to go. That got me nervous and told the cops about Mr Das's referral. They just checked one pannier and Hemu sen was around and sat at his shop and quite a few people discussing about my options. Normally would feel very insecure over here, but with people around know Mr Das, i was comfortable.

Also its today's round of interview, with quite a few questions, like do i get a price for doing this? am i from govt? bike how much? mileage? how long have i been traveling? what is the purpose? any one with me? do i ride all night or stay at hotel? dont i get tired? why did i take like a month to come here? what do i do at bangalore? etc etc etc. Patiently and politely answered allt he Q n A. By now SSI of the Mizoram came, and asked me to accompany him to the Police station at across bridge and he would help with my stay. Dint really wanna stay in the lockup :D. Advised me not to go in this route and instead back track and go via Silchar in the main road. Saying though it was longer would take less time, as this route is supposed to be very slushy and jeeps getting stuck.

Getting mixed responses, with Mizoram residents saying that the road is bikable. They suggest me to stay at the tourist lodge for the day. Wow it was like oasis in the middle of the desert. Very need and clean and modern lodge, just that power was out. Checked and all this was so overwhelming that i had to take a nap. Had to go the tripura border some couple of kms from lodge for dinner. When i get there, the town looks dead with hardly any people around. But there were the cops who helped me to the hotel nearby and was told to hurry as they would close the boreder for the night. So i got the food packed rode back.

Now really in a fix. Tempted to take the interior route passing through villages and could get to see rural Mizoram. Or play safe and take the main road. Choices choices choices! And yes no Airtel network here!

Ducks on the village roads.. So if i have an omelete, they may even be of the eggs of ducks!!

Ujjainty Palace at Agartala which is now state assembly building..

Busy Agartala Streets...

Yesterday's Mud road is today's Slush road thanks to the rain...

Thats my lunch! cos in hotels aournd here you dont ask what do you have. u just say give me food cos there is only one Item!

Approaching the Mizo mountains...

Some icing on the cake!!

Trees felled for road widening...

Crossing the border to Mizoram, the people and culture is entirely different. You feel like u entered a different country!

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