Friday, April 24, 2009

Day 43 - April 20 - Aizawl to Aizawl!

April20 at EveryTrail

Map created by EveryTrail:GPS Geotagging

Got up thinking would reach Imphal today. was welcomed with a thunder storm outside pretty misty and all. Got going by 7.30 after the rain abeted, thinking its going to be just 200 kms for the day. Take a few pix of for a panorama of the city on the mountains. Riding in the city with fresh rains on the steap roads with the rear wheel slipping a bit. Actually kinda used to Michelin grip and this is not as good. Will have to make do with it. Make my way slowly make my way out of the city and ride some 35 kms kms toward Seiling and take a deviation to the left towards Darlan and stop for breakfast. Hardly washed plate, flat poories made god know when, and some kinda donut and thats what they had nothing else. Well gotta have something. Just then a guy on a scoot asks where i was going, on saying Imphal he laughed and shared it with the hotel hosts. Who also laughed thinking i was joking. But they dont know hindi enough to explain me. All he had to say was its very very far and no idea of distance. Also said that Darlawn was like 100 kms while the eicher map said its 45! What is all that about??

The road gets narrow but pretty good. Nice early morning ride and i take time stopping for pix and all. Pass by a few villages. Even see the Flintstones! They have this cart with steering and breaks which they actually drive when going down hill. Keep seeing ZMA's even in small villages. And as i go north. I see people with camouflaged military dress but were dressed shabbily, some just pants, some wearing the shirt and some with guns. And i thought may be there are UGs. UG as in UnderGrounds, thats what the militants are called around NE. Thay certainly din look like the army guys. The road gets twistier and lot of riding up and down the mountains. Typical. My 11 i see that my progress is pretty slow and i have not even reached darlawn which is at the halfway to manipur border. My be the guy was right and yes he was right. But saw encouraging board saying Tipaimukh village in Manipur is 135 kms. Rode a bit fast and pass few villages. The last village in Mizoram New Verkere also. Asked if i was on the way to Churachandpur. Was given affirmative but they looked shocked when i told i wannna go to Imphal today. They like what ever go! From here the road gets even narrower. Well fine and i move ahead. The road gets even narrow and there is lot of growth on either side of the road. Hmmm...i press ahead and i see grass growing in the center of the road, and as i go ahead it gets weirder and weirder. At one point it got really scary. with no soul around and i could see mountains and mountains, this small narry road and plants kinda pouring onto the road and all sorts of forest noice. Was wondering if i was on the correct road. but rmbr missing out any road and went ahead a bit only to increase the creepiness of the place. Plus compounded with the fear of UGs it was feeling like getting out of there. No person are vehicle in sight. A lil ahead i see a hut with three people and asked for CCPur and they said its the right way and it will take me two days cos CCPur is like 250 kms after crossing into Manipur border.! Its already 12.45 and i was hoping to get into Imphal by 5 PM! WOW i had already travelled 150 kms. Wasnt ready for the shocker. Pestered the guys with lot of questions. Only one guy could speak a lil hindi and struggled to explain me that its a real long long way to CCPur. If so i may not have fuel even to reach CCPur and dont remember seeing any fuel bunk all the way from Aizawl. A part of me starting saying get back to Aizawl still as i can. The good roads also ended and it was like still 10 kms for Thipaimukh.

Thought would atleast go till the village and think about options. And what do we have here, puddles of water getting deep on the path with no more black top but mud. And ofcourse it had rained and the path looks slippery. Now getting tensed. Fighting the mind to get back and on the other side not to give up. I push ahead bit and find another hut with people and they hardly new hindi. Now i was in a fix as to what to do, one of the guys suggested that i ride a bit ahead crossing a long puddle of slushy water to the next hut and he may speak hindi. I sign to them that if i go my bike will fall. This one of the lads gave me a tutorial as to how to, by, riding on the cycle in the center and royally slipping too. But my heavy bike is not as easy to control. Now i stop in my tracks and muscles freeze thinking what to do. Dont want to go back all the way to Aizawl but by common opinion CCPur looks impossible today. Really did not want to give up on yet another interior route. Here sumos are faster then the bike obviously on bad roads and and they take 2 days it seems. I just stood thinking to the extent that the hut people where laughing at my expense. To add to all this it started to rain. Gottto do something now. Just turned back. Its like two guys fighting in my head, if i listen to one guy the other guy takes over and pushes to do the other way round. Road back like a KM and got really frustrated about ditching the route. Dunno what got into me just turned back and wanted to ride till the last possible point. Passed the hut and even rode past the long slush puddle. More mud and more slippery puddles. But Adrenalin got me going with out thinking. At one point when i took a left turn, could see quite some path going steadily down hill. It was all slush path with valleys of sumo tracks. All wet and slippery. Then it was the safety guy that took over and i just turned back disappointed. Funnily i remembered the words of the Oracle "You have already made the choice, you just have to understand it!" Well i picked the conventional alternative unlike Neo. Just did not want to do all the clutch burner uphill incase i have to return back. Kinda thought i can as well carry on come what may and try to borrow petrol and stay in some village in Manipur. But i am not that adventurus and turned back acompanied by rain. Cant believe i am going back the second time and that to a long way back. It was really tough feeling.

Get to Verkere village and. asked an elder about the road and he said like it was 250 kms to CCPur after crossing to the manipur border. And that my bike wont go as it had rained a lot couple of days back and the water is flowing over the bridge! No vehicle has come from manipur today else many would have come by now. Man every day in delay is messing my schedule now. Missed out the NH44A because it rained just one day before i got there! Guess what that house was selling petrol at a premium and he even offered me to stay there for the night and see if the river is crossable tomm. That does it. I its bettor to get back to Aizawl and make it to Imphal the next day via shilchar. Bought a couple of liters of petrol and turned back. Was real upset about the return. NE is really getting tough on me. Just then heavens opened up with a windy thunder storm. I kept going and as i rode past the rain, the scenery was beautiful just like morning. The Whole 150 km ride was a pleasure in the morning and now i am just ripping through back blaring the horn at every blind corner. Was already 3 when i started back and though the road is awesome, even with full ripping and shoe scraping round the narrow corners, 35kmph avg is all i can maintain riding continuously. Which i do and not even a pee break till i reach Aizawl. see the city lights on the mountains and fog covering the central part. Thought of one night and this is going to be third night in Aizawl. loosing lot of days in this. Just as i enter the city realize it was not fog but a rain cloud, pouring heavily in the city. Kinda first rains of the season and i come just a few days late for a dry weather. It got to real shitty rains as i enter the city and water flowing down on the narrow roads. No luck at the Tourist lodge again. With no choice go back to hotel millennium who luckily had room empty. Back to square one. Tired of eating the crappy food at the hotel down stairs went out to a multiquisine restaurant. It turns out that the owner is from Imphal and has travelled NH150 3 times in sumo.

So if any one wants to travel NH150 from Aizawl to Imphal this is what they have to do:
People have to stay in one of the villages mostly Khudunse for the night and leave early next morning like 5am. So once they cross over to manipur border the road widens up but its a mudtrack for like 4 hours! and then from Thanlon roads are good and may reach Churachandpur by 4pm and takes an hour and half or less to Imphal from there!

Wow now i get all the info!! Now this lightens me up a bit as in i have not wasted any time in starting in the morning and couldnt have made it to Imphal the same day any way. Leave the further decision for tomm to morning and doze of.

Wake up to the rain...




City on the mountains...




The pretty road towards Darlawn...


Who needs land when you can build houses in air!


This is the cart with steering and people actually drive it on down hills.


Meet the Flintstones


Real nice ride...


Sleepy villages..


The cycle was completely custome made mainly of wood. These kids are very camera shy. They keep staring at you and the moment you pull out the cam, they run away!!


After the last village in Mizoram the road got a lil narrower... thats fine..


A lil more narrower... still ok...


Then a lil dirty...


This is NH15o!



It can be 10s of KMs like this!!


Cant ride KMs and Kms in that!! Had gone much ahead of this but was so disappointed that din feel like taking pix...

4 comments:

Arun said...

sounds very interesting!
Seems like you start thinking only after sitting on the bike. You got to talk more with multiple people before getting in a new road..better do homework the previous day itself..that not only saves your time & energy..but gives you an outline to enjoy the proceedings!
Nice update man..keep going!

Srinidhi said...

woha man...sounds like some thriller movie story...but seriously man, you should have taken that road...

Satish said...

seems like the most difficult and dangerous day of the whole trip till now.. You saw people with half uniformed and guns, may be UGs(ohh you are safe.. could have taken some pic...Lol).. And then stuck up in a bad road with a blend of bad weather and had to return back again and mean while you ran out of fuel.. But the good news was you got the approach to imphal at last.. Must be with a strong luck..

suryanarayan padhi said...

Amazing Man! I got valuable info about travelling in NE, as I am planning to visit NE states this May.