Day 33 : 23rd October 2019
Forgot to write about some interesting people I had met at the Moreh Immigration office. 5 youngsters from Norway are on a world trip by bicycle (10 gears at the rear and 3 gears for the front) and they are on their 81st day. They did their 1st leg from Norway to Turkey and then flew into New Delhi and going to Singapore. From there, they plan to Cover Australia, US and then back to Europe. Amazing stamina and will power required for such an adventure. One day, I would be doing such a journey on a bike for sure. Got up at 5 am (not getting sleep beyond this and believe still living in Myanmar time zone) and completed all the morning activities.
It was really cold in the evening and much colder in the morning. Took cold water shower and Had breakfast and surprised to see “Idli & Sambar”. Didn’t care about the taste and pushed a few into the stomach… Going to Ayyappa (Matunga food Joint) straight on reaching Mumbai and home would be after that only.
This weather continued till 11 am and believe the winter has arrived for this side of the country. We need to reach Guwahati by 24th and Naren/Rohit would be taking a flight (on 25th)to Banglore from there. Manish has already gone to Guwahati (Taking his flight to hyderabad on 24th) and the car guys have started the return journey to Banglore. There are 2 routes from Imphal to Guwahati and one of them is rated as “Worst or toughest Ghat road in India”. Imphal to Dimapur to Guwahati is around 480 kms and 60 kms between Kohima and Dimapur is very difficult to ride.
Completely off-roading and the slippery surface and mud cover can be up to the knee level. This route is shorter than the other and the Manish/car team went by this. Given our physical condition (exhausted), we decided to take the Imphal to Silchar to Guwahati (we used this during our onward journey) route and it is longer by 150 km. Easier roads than the Dimapur route and going to take more or less the same time (2 days) to reach Guwahati. Riding in winter is the best and the cold weather made the initial riding enjoyable. Naren took a different turn and it was not the route we had taken during our onward journey. He said, “Google map is showing a different route and let’s try it”.
It was great road for the initial part and then we started seeing complete off-roading with muddy and rough (only stones) Roads. Then I recollected “Naren had told before our onward journey about a road he had taken and apparently this is the same one”. 40 km of torture (I was having a headache and it aggravated it) and we continued to maneuver every obstacle which came after every few meters. My black bike turned into muddy brown and my entire riding gear was full of mud… I started hating myself for that look and don’t know where am I going to clean those (no rest day from now). Looks like I would be entering Mumbai in great condition and people would be going away from me instead of coming closer. This torture got completed at Nungba (where we stayed at some tin shed for 100 rupees during our onward journey) and felt relieved finally.
Irrespective of this route or road condition, Manipur is a beautiful state to visit and it has everything (high and dense mountains, lakes, excellent weather, good food, and great people) a tourist would ask for. The only thing which goes southward is the “anti-social elements or terrorists or parallel (illegal) government structure”. You can see army men or police walking everywhere with an automatic gun. Spoke to one of them and got some insights. You won’t be able to identify a normal human being from a terrorist and he/she might be standing next to you as a common man/woman.
Traveling post-sunset seems to be dangerous and there is a possibility of getting looted. We had to cover around 140 km from Nungba to Silchar and we pushed ourselves through a beautiful ghat section. Given the security concern, this fear got added to the night riding and we wanted to avoid both. The roads were good for decent speed (except few km) and we managed to cross Manipur and entered Assam before sunset (it becomes dark at 5 pm). Reached the hotel at 6 pm and plan to finish dinner and sleep early tonight. Got another long ghat day tomorrow and plan to start day 34 at 5 am. One more week of riding to be done.