STRETCHING THE RUPEE AND GOING THE DISTANCE

 

Backpacking the N/East : 3 month / 4 States and a limited budget

 

 

PROLOGUE


“I wonder how it must be traversing the N/East sector on my own”. This thought came to my vagabonding mind even as I was referring to the various write ups about travel in the N/East recommending going through a tour operator. Even more challenging was the fact that most of the travel guides had a very limited write-up on this sector.

 

I began planning for the trip in February, a good month ahead of my actual travel. The unwritten backpacking dictum was to be adhered to : No package tours, no reserved transport, no advance reservations as much as possible and a mid budget travel.

Apart from the one month Basic Mountaineering Course at HMI (6th Apr-3rd May 2010), which I was scheduled to undergo in Darjeeling (which is another amazing experience by itself!!), I decided to travel for another two months and cover Arunachal Pradesh, Meghalaya and Sikkim. I was joined by another friend from Mumbai and two friends from Mizoram after my mountaineering course.

The entire three months travel cost me about 55000/- all inclusive (Avg. of Rs.610 /- per day).

 

 

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The only thing I did confirm was our ticket from New Jalpaiguri(W/Bengal) to Dibrugarh (Assam), the entry point of north Arunachal Pradesh. For the rest of the journey we took it as it came, hitched rides in trucks and pick- up vans (I even slept it out in the bus driver’s cabin for one of the journeys), stayed in cheap to mid budget hotels, was invited to homes of complete strangers for a cuppa chai and long conversations, tried a variety of local food (even some of the creepy crawly kind!), drank the local tipple and through it all I made a bag load of friends, saw some breath taking sights and collected a treasure of unforgettable memories..

 

 

 

 

This is a brief itinerary of our travels :

 

04th May – 06th May : Darjeeling.

 

7th – 8th May – Sumo to NJP and train to Dibrugarh.

 

9th-10th May – At Tinsukia., Assam. Arranging for passes to enter Arunachal Pradesh.

 

11th-24th May – ARUNACHAL PRADESH. Places covered : Tengapani monastery, Chokham, Parsuramkund, Itanagar, Ziro, Hong, Bomdilla, Dirang and Tawang

25th May– Helicopter ride to Guwahati and shared taxi to Shillong (Meghalaya)

26th May- 06th June– MEGHALAYA. Places covered : Shillong, Cheerapunji and Mawlynnong

6th – 7th  Jun – Shared sumo to Shillong and Bus to Siliguri.

8th – 25th Jun – SIKKIM. Places covered : Gangtok, Rumtek, Namchi, Pelling.

26th : Return back to Mumbai.

 

MY SEQUENCE OF TRAVEL WAS AS FOLLOWS : DARJEELING – HMI BASIC MOUNTAINEERING COURSE – DARJEELING – ARUNACHAL PRADESH – MEGHALAYA – SIKKIM

 

ALSO CHECK OUT FOLLOWING POSTS AS A CONTINUATION OF MY ENTIRE N.EAST TRAVEL EXPERIENCE  –

 

1) DARJEELING

2) ARUNACHAL PRADESH

3) MEGHALAYA

4) SIKKIM

5) HMI, BASIC COURSE

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