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  • Writer's pictureJoel Koechlin

Day 1 – Guwahati (Assam) to Bomdilla (Arunachal)


So dad roped me into this blog thing, and it’s the last thing I want to do after 8 hours of biking. My fingers are like jelly, especially the right hand from using the throttle. This bike is so big for me that I can’t indicate and use the clutch at the same time, I got to stretch out all my fingers and my thumb just about reaches the horn, i can’t push the bike when it’s at a stand still and when I have my feet down I’m on tip toes. So yeah I got to make some important choices sometimes. When taking over, change gear or indicate? Stop and sort of ski on my toes or use the horn like crazy and don’t stop. That sort of thing. Anyway anything beats riding pillion at the back of dad’s bike which is what I’ve done throughout my childhood and if I’m going be the badass chick on a bike I guess you need a badass bike. Hopefully I’ll get better at this and dad won’t fall asleep waiting for me as I putt-putt-putter at 70km per hour on a highway! Hopefully…


This is a day to be taken easy for Kalki: her first long ride on the RE “Himalayan”. Having started leasurely at 9:30, we are heading to Tezpur where we will cross the Brahmaputra. Traffic is dense and heat prevails but we make good speed and reach the Brahmaputra shortly after lunch, spent in a strange dhaba entirely mounted on bamboo poles.


Dhaba on bamboo poles

I am shocked at the low level of the waters: I was expecting a powerful river – one of the largest in the world – fed by the melting glaciers in May, but no, here was again an alarming indication of the seriousness of this increasing shortage of water threatening the Country.

The next highlight of the day is the crossing of the Arunachal border at Bhalukpong: a line of control permit is mandatory and this formality takes us a good hour before we are allowed to enter the State.


Patiently waiting for our permits: chai helps..

Bomdilla, at an altitude of 7300 feet, feels very cold when we arrive, at about 10 pm in the night, maybe by contrast with the heat of the day. But at last we are in the Himalayas and happy to be here!


(to be continued…)


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