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Thread: While Bhutan was playing hard-to-get and Sikkim bro-zoned us, I fell in love with Darjeeling..

  1. #1
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    Default While Bhutan was playing hard-to-get and Sikkim bro-zoned us, I fell in love with Darjeeling..

    And so here we go again, after a long time of planning and saving, Mossy and I riding are out to Bhutan. We were very excited, Riding out of the State and into another Country. It will be my first long ride on the Mojo and it made it all the more exciting for me. Mossy had got his T’bird prepped for the ride too. We were scheduled to leave on a Thursday but we could leave only until Monday. Permits.. Holidays .. Permits showered us to Gangtok and then, documents took us to Darjeeling. Yes, it was all jinxed. A full planned ride to Bhutan ended in us riding to Sikkim and Darjeeling. Ahh, but it was fun and memorable. Oh and yes, it rained! :-/

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    __________________________________________________ __________________________________________________ _____________________
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    While Bhutan was playing hard-to-get and Sikkim bro-zoned us, I fell in love with Darjeeling.. The Jinxed Ride.

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    Thumbs up Re: While Bhutan was playing hard-to-get and Sikkim bro-zoned us, I fell in love with Darjeeling..

    Topic Approved.

    Nice pics! Thanks for sharing, share more.

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    Default Re: While Bhutan was playing hard-to-get and Sikkim bro-zoned us, I fell in love with Darjeeling..

    Quote Originally Posted by Samarth 619 View Post
    Topic Approved.

    Nice pics! Thanks for sharing, share more.
    Thank you so much for the approval. More to come
    __________________________________________________ __________________________________________________ _____________________
    Just.. Go la ka go
    Ride On!

    Posts:
    Mizoram Monsoon Sweep Ride
    Hey Ho Nagaland
    While Bhutan was playing hard-to-get and Sikkim bro-zoned us, I fell in love with Darjeeling.. The Jinxed Ride.

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    Default Re: While Bhutan was playing hard-to-get and Sikkim bro-zoned us, I fell in love with Darjeeling..

    Nice pictures. Waiting for more.
    Where was the 5th picture taken? Amazing road to ride it seems!

  5. #5
    Addicted Phil_Ivor's Avatar
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    Default Re: While Bhutan was playing hard-to-get and Sikkim bro-zoned us, I fell in love with Darjeeling..

    Day 1: Shillong to Phuentsholing (450kms)

    Yeeehaaaaaaaaaaa!! The day finally came and we were to ride to Bhutan!! On the night before, we had packed all our things, tied them to the bikes and we hit the sack at 2AM. Mossy stayed over and we were to leave together from home. So excited we were for the ride that we couldn’t even sleep properly. After tying the saddlebags to the bikes in advance at night, so that we save time in the morning, we also thought that maybe we should sleep with our riding gears on so that we could just get up and ride the bikes. Hehe.. We got up at 4AM and we left by 4:30AM after breakfast. We wanted to reach Phuentsholing by afternoon so that, if possible, we’ll get all the documents sorted out and we can leave for Thimphu by the following day.


    It was such a good feeling you know; leaving home when it was still dark.. The air was thin, the breeze was gentle and comforting, the exhausts note in rhythym with the song being hummed (dilon ka shooter hai mera scooter ), the headlights and LEDs lighting up the road ahead.. the wide open roa….d.. huh?! Whaat?! Traffic Jam!! 5 kms from home, at dawn and we were stuck in a traffic jam. So much for the freedom on two wheels! Heheh.. we had to ride from the shoulder of the road to get ahead of traffic, and by that we don’t mean well-leveled-3 ft- wide-well-marked-shoulders. It was like an offroad trail with dips and bumps, quite a start for the day.


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    Jorabat. Meghalaya - Assam Border

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    We rode on and stopped at Nalbari for breakfast.

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    I was really enjoying the bike, the road and was cruising at 100-110kmph. The bike felt so stable and the engine was so relaxed at these speeds. And the best part, no vibrations. This was something new for me, coming from riding the Impulse for quite a number of years. Ahh the low cruising speed of the Impulse would cause fatigue to set in very early especially on the plains; for everything else, it’s a hoot to ride. I was having a good time munching miles on the Mojo. Smooth, powerful and a lovely exhaust note to accompany the ride. And then… It rained!

    It rained heavily and we stopped by the road side to get our wet gear on. I don’t know why but every time Mossy and I ride, it would always rain. Even in February!!! That’s why whenever we ride, irrespective of which time of the year, we always carry our rain gears. We had rain gears but forgot to get covers for the saddlebags.

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    So we stopped at a small market near the road to get some tarpaulin to cover the S'bags. We parked in the verandah of a couple of shops which were still closed. Mossy went ahead to buy the tarpaulins and by that time, the shop owner wanted to open the shop. We tried moving the bikes but it was still raining very heavily. We requested her to give us a while and we’ll be moving but she wasn’t so pleased and started grumbling away. We carried on covering our S’bags, and eventually a huge crowd had gathered around us. I told Mossy, “I think we are about to get mobbed now, just be ready!”

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    Made new friends too

    But thankfully, they were just interested in our bikes and where we were heading to. Phewww!! We bid our farewells and proceeded ahead. I was wondering how long the rain would last when it actually started to stop. Yessss!!

    We stopped at Bongaigaon for lunch and after this, I got bored of the long straight highways. Well paved, four laned road will take you out of Assam while heading towards West Bengal. Upon reaching Gossaigaon, the road started deteriorating and repairing work was being carried out. This made us more active as we had to ride on the wrong side of the road for some kilometers.

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    Bongaigaon

    Once we cross into West Bengal, the roads become dual carriageways. Ahh now this was a refreshing change after all the long boring straight highways. The road was in a good condition but there were a lot of trucks. You will have to keep an eye on the road turning right to Jaigaon otherwise you might miss it. We were relying on Google Maps the whole way.

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    Entering West Bengal near Alipur Duar

    We reached Jaigaon by evening and went straight to the Bhutan Gate. We were so happy! Our long time dream was finally coming true!! We were busy taking selfies just outside the gate when a very Bhutan Gate Guard started conversing with us.


    He asked us, ”Bhaiya, kaha jaiga?!”

    BHUTAN!!!!!!! We replied

    “Haa Bhutan, lekin Bhutan mein kaha?” he asked again.

    “Thimphu, Paro aur Gelephu!!” we replied ecstatically.

    And then…. He let the beat drop ..

    “Kal se to teen din chute hai. Aap log permit nahi milenga!”

    Lah goi!! We were dumfounded. Speechless. We wanted to unhear what we had just been told. It felt like a bad dream. It’s like when you’ve been charging your phone for the whole night only to realize in the morning that you forgot to turn the switch on. The words of the guard hit us harder than Cupid’s arrows. And while we were standing there not knowing what to do, in true Bollywood style, it started to rain. We decided that we will go into Phuentsholing and see what we can do about it on the next day. We got on our bikes, entered Phuentsholing and started to look for a place to stay. We found a nice place, by nice i mean clean and at a reasonable price :P , and the owner said he will try to help us out on knowing about our plight.

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    Outskirts of Jaigaon

    We got to our room, freshened up a bit and headed out to take a walk in the streets of Phuentsholing. Phuentsholing is a small town neighbouring Jaigaon, India, and it’s where you get all you permits sorted out. The stark contrast on the other side of the wall is just amazing. More on that later. We had good dinner in the room and called it a night.

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    ----consecutive posts auto-merged-----

    Quote Originally Posted by krishna77 View Post
    Nice pictures. Waiting for more.
    Where was the 5th picture taken? Amazing road to ride it seems!
    Thank @krishna77 ! That's the Dooar's Highway, West Bengal! It's a lovely road to ride on. Smooth winding road through tea plantations, reserved forests and at certain stretches, along side trains.
    __________________________________________________ __________________________________________________ _____________________
    Just.. Go la ka go
    Ride On!

    Posts:
    Mizoram Monsoon Sweep Ride
    Hey Ho Nagaland
    While Bhutan was playing hard-to-get and Sikkim bro-zoned us, I fell in love with Darjeeling.. The Jinxed Ride.

  6. #6
    Rusted krishna77's Avatar
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    Default Re: While Bhutan was playing hard-to-get and Sikkim bro-zoned us, I fell in love with Darjeeling..

    Great clicks once again!

  7. #7
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    Default Re: While Bhutan was playing hard-to-get and Sikkim bro-zoned us, I fell in love with Darjeeling..

    Hey Phil How are you doing man?!!!

    Seeing your name on the forum I thought about the Impulse. Genuinely surprised & very happy to see that you have changed your motorcycle. When did you buy this beautiful machine?

    Ritabroto
    IF YOU ARE NOT WILLING TO RISK IT ALL, THEN YOU DON'T WANT IT BAD ENOUGH

  8. #8
    Addicted Phil_Ivor's Avatar
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    Default Re: While Bhutan was playing hard-to-get and Sikkim bro-zoned us, I fell in love with Darjeeling..

    First of all, I would like to apologise for the delay in updating this post. I had been so caught up with the election duties that i didn't even have time to log in to the forum. Anyway, here is how Day 2 went:

    Day 2: Phuentsholing.


    The owner of the hotel had told us that he will try to help us get the permits if we could wait for one more day. We felt it was quite a waste of a day to just sit there and not ride about but we had to, if we wanted to get any further into Bhutan. Hence, we decided to wait. We asked the owner to suggest some places which we can visit around Phuentsholing. We didn't want to just sit and basked around, that enthusiasm to ride was just egging us to go out and ride. So we headed out. All geared up, we left to explore Phuentsholing on our bikes at 8AM. We were back by 9AM Phuentsholing is a very small city. In one hour we had covered every nook and corner that we could ride to. Hehe.. So, we went back to the hotel for the day. Mossy had borrowed a DSLR Camera and made use of the day to learn about some photography tips and tricks. I, slept.

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    The checkpoint . Without permits, you cannot go beyond this point.

    ----consecutive posts auto-merged-----

    Quote Originally Posted by krishna77 View Post
    Great clicks once again!
    Thank you @krishna77

    ----consecutive posts auto-merged-----

    Quote Originally Posted by Ritabroto View Post
    Hey Phil How are you doing man?!!!

    Seeing your name on the forum I thought about the Impulse. Genuinely surprised & very happy to see that you have changed your motorcycle. When did you buy this beautiful machine?

    Ritabroto

    Hey Dude @Ritabroto ! Thank you so much. Yes, i bought the Mojo in December 2016. It's a beautiful touring machine and it lives up to it's name too. The Impulse is still there. It will always be there. The Impulse is a bike that you pass on to your children. hehehehe
    Ritabroto and PrinceCruise like this.
    __________________________________________________ __________________________________________________ _____________________
    Just.. Go la ka go
    Ride On!

    Posts:
    Mizoram Monsoon Sweep Ride
    Hey Ho Nagaland
    While Bhutan was playing hard-to-get and Sikkim bro-zoned us, I fell in love with Darjeeling.. The Jinxed Ride.

  9. #9
    Addicted Phil_Ivor's Avatar
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    Default Re: While Bhutan was playing hard-to-get and Sikkim bro-zoned us, I fell in love with Darjeeling..

    Day 3: Phuentsholing to ......

    So, it was a beautiful morning in Phuentsholing. We saddled up and rode towards the Immigration Office. We met a bunch of guys who were agents and helped us to get the permits. While in the Office, some of the officials were interested in exchanging Bhutan Ngultrum with our Rupees. Mossy and I exchanged about 5000 rupees each there, thinking it will be easier for us once we ride more into Bhutan. FYI, Indian Rupees is accepted all over Bhutan. The officials were pretty, hence the exchange :P We got the permits in about less than an hour. After the permits for ourselves, we needed to get the permits for the bikes. The agents told us that we can go to our rooms and that they will get everything done for us.

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    outside the Hotel

    We got a call from them at 11AM saying that the Transportation Office is closed and that we won't be able to get out permits. That was another blow to our enthusiasm for the ride. We headed out to the Transportation Office to try our luck again but no matter what we tried, we were unsuccessful. Tried making a few calls to the officials but they all declined since it was not a working day. For three hours we stood there, trying every possible and more of the impossible ways to get the permits for our bikes. But no, it just wouldn't happen. With two weeks of leave, 10,000 ngultrum in hand and 2 over enthusiastic guys in riding gears, we didn't want to return home so soon.. defeated.

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    outside the Transportation Office


    We found a place to have lunch, and sat down to talk. And we both uttered the same thing, 'Let's hit Sikkim!'. It was 2:30 at that time and Gangtok was 222 kms away. We calculated that we'd take about 4-5 hours of riding time. We used some of the ngultrums to fill fuel - Hey! Fuel is much cheaper in Bhutan. It was around 50/- per litre.

    We were still disappointed and frustrated while riding out from the Transportation Office towards the Bhutan gate. You know, when you have planned for such a long time and then circumstances like this, just shove you away. It's a not a nice feeling. There was a long queue of traffic heading out towards the Bhutan Gate. Bhutan is a very disciplined place and vehicles/bikes are not allowed to over take if there's a traffic jam. We were even more frustrated because we were so used to riding in the Indian traffic where every one is trying to occupy any open space. Riding/driving in India is like playing Tetris, if there's a space, you aim for it. Riding i n Bhutan was so calm and disciplined it actually gave me the chills! So yes, we were stuck in this traffic jam, and we were nearing the Police Point and i got impatient. I thought i'll play dumb if they stop me and i'd say, 'Oh Sorry, I didn't know.'. But man! The way that Traffic Cop marched towards me, i was already saying Sorrrrrrrrrrrrrrrry from 50 metres away! :P He said in the most softest and sarcastic tone,'Ye Bhutan hai, aisa chalane chaiye to India me jao, yahan nahi' and he said .. 'Piche jao!!' Gosh man!!! The Mojo already weighs around 190 kgs with all the crash guards, add to that the luggage and a 85+kgs rider. Phewwwwwwwwww! Pushing it back in that slight incline was a bigggggg workout! hahahhaha. Thankfully traffic flowed and i got to merge with the traffic. ..Whew!!

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    Bhutan Gate.. People waiting to cheer us on.
    Naaaaaaaa.. there was an Indo-Bhutan Marathon that morning

    The moment we crossed the Bhutan Gate, i was like yeeeeeeeeeeeeehhhhaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Cows crossing the roads, Rickshaws zig zagging, people talking on the phone while crossing the road, cars coming from a one way street!! Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!!!!! What joy!!!!!!!!! i never felt sooooooooooooooooo happy being an Indian then!!! I had tears of joy in my eyes!!!!!!!!!!! fighting for that space!! honking like crazy!! All that drama on the road!! WE live for that!! Wooooooooooohooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo o!!! i was shouting inside my helmet,'Mere Bharat Mahaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaan!!

    We stopped in Jaigaon for a while to buy water and exchange the currencies. The weather suddenly became gloomy and we headed out. So, Gangtok for the night then! We ride.

    We took the right from Telipari to get on the Dooars Highway. This was one of the most beautiful stretches of tarmac i had ever ridden on. Dual carriageway with trees lining on both side, some times you will riding through Tea Gardens, Reserved Forests and at times you will be riding along trains. And the road was perrrfect. What a feeling it was. We stopped here for quite some time. Taking pics and informing home about the change in plan. I can't wait to get back on this road.

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    That expression though..

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    It got dark and we were riding on a freshly paved road. We had our LEDs on but still, it could not help counter the lines of Beamers.. sorry High-Beamers, coming from the opposite way. I had a closed encounter with a four legged friend who was so stunned to see my beautiful bike that it decided to just stand there at the middle of the road to give me a startling surprise. We stopped at New Jalpaiguri for a tea break and then we were on the road again.

    The closer we got to Gangtok, the colder it became. But it was a nice ride following the windy roads inching up to Gangtok. I had been to Gangtok before, by bus. And i told myself then, that i would come back on my own, one fine day. And it was on this one fine night that it actually came true.

    We reached Gangtok at 11 at night and our biker friend, Losip, had helped to book a room for us. Losip also runs this Hard Knock Bar and Cafe. It is a really nice place situated at the end of the MG Marg. A must visit for sure.

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    Mossy and Losip at the Hard Knock Bar and Cafe

    We were quite tired after the night ride and also excited about the new destinations. We discussed on where to go around Sikkim and fell asleep while doing so.

    Goodnight

    Last edited by Phil_Ivor; 04-16-2018 at 06:02 PM.
    __________________________________________________ __________________________________________________ _____________________
    Just.. Go la ka go
    Ride On!

    Posts:
    Mizoram Monsoon Sweep Ride
    Hey Ho Nagaland
    While Bhutan was playing hard-to-get and Sikkim bro-zoned us, I fell in love with Darjeeling.. The Jinxed Ride.

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