1. Introducing the smashing new Team FIAT T-Shirt !! To order yours click here : Team FIAT T-Shirt

East By North-East - Added To My Linea's List!

Discussion in 'Travelogues & Experiences' started by J Ravi, May 2, 2012.

  1. J Ravi

    J Ravi Esperto

    Messages:
    2,293
    Bangalore
    Dochula/Punakha, Bhutan

    27 April 2012 [Friday]

    DSC07231.jpg
    DSC07234.jpg

    We left Dochula only to get caught in a big traffic jam due to road-widening works. The road condition was just drivable without any signages. Sometimes, I wondered whether I was driving towards Punakha or elsewhere. At last, we reached Punakha. Our only agenda was to visit the monastery there and return to Thimphu.

    DSC07248.jpg
    DSC07264.jpg
    DSC07265.jpg
    DSC07267.jpg
    DSC07269.jpg
    DSC07271.jpg
    DSC07276.jpg
    DSC07278.jpg
    DSC07288.jpg
    DSC07293.jpg
    DSC07297.jpg
    DSC07298.jpg
    DSC07299.jpg

    We returned to Thimphu in the evening. As usual, we had our dinner at Hotel Gahsel. I settled Hotel Singye's bill by cash in the night as we would be checking out at 7 am, the next day. I made arrangement for opening the main door at 7 am as the usual time was 8 am.

    More to come.
    6 people like this.
  2. J Ravi

    J Ravi Esperto

    Messages:
    2,293
    Bangalore
    There were many open drains and dirty areas in Thimphu, the capital of Bhutan. But, since the population is very less, so they are compared to India.
    My MMI navigator called it a day as soon as I entered Phuentsholing, Bhutan!:)
    1 person likes this.
  3. Great pics Ravi Sir .. After seing this much pics now i feel that I too have visited Bhutan and no need to visit again . :)

    Ajit
    1 person likes this.
  4. ramjn

    ramjn Staff Member Janitor

    Messages:
    5,244
    Chennai
    Linea 1.3
    I am feeling other way Ajit. If these places are beautiful even in photos, how would that be when seen in person? I am tempted to visit all these places. Of course, in my Linea :D.
    1 person likes this.
  5. J Ravi

    J Ravi Esperto

    Messages:
    2,293
    Bangalore
    Chelela Pass, Bhutan

    28 April 2012 [Saturday]

    We checked out of Hotel Singye, breakfasted at Gahsel Hotel and started driving out of Norzin Lam, Thimphu by 8:00 am local time [7:30 am IST] to Chelela Pass. Since I knew the route, I got on the highway easily. The road was good all the way to Chelela. We reached there after more than a couple of hours and spent some time in clicking photographs. The original plan was to stay at Paro for a couple of nights. I wanted to visit National Museum of Bhutan at Paro. But then, as we were saturated with museums starting from submarine museum to Victoria museum to IAF museum to Don Bosco museum, we decided to give a miss to this museum and start our homeward journey from Chelela Pass.:) I did not reserve for our accommodation anywhere during the return journey as I wanted to keep it flexible. My target was OTDC Panthanivas, Puri, Odisha for the night of 29 April 2012. But, if I felt too tired to drive, I thought of staying en route also.

    DSC07341.jpg
    DSC07373[2].jpg
    DSC07374[2].jpg
    DSC07380.jpg
    DSC07381.jpg
    DSC07383.jpg
    DSC07385.jpg
    DSC07389.jpg
    DSC07390.jpg
    DSC07393.jpg
    DSC07395[2].jpg
    DSC07405.jpg
    DSC07407.jpg
    DSC07413.jpg

    More to come.
    4 people like this.
  6. ramjn

    ramjn Staff Member Janitor

    Messages:
    5,244
    Chennai
    Linea 1.3
    Ravi Ji, What was the outer temperature when you got to see the snowy himalayan mountains from Sikkim?
    1 person likes this.
  7. theblack

    theblack Esperto

    Messages:
    2,188
    Bangalore
    This is fabulous sir.. I'm in love with the way you have traveled with the FIAT..
    (Makes me feel like some day we should all tag along for a really really long drive like this one..)

    Say about 10 guys in 4-5 cars
    2 people like this.
  8. J Ravi

    J Ravi Esperto

    Messages:
    2,293
    Bangalore
    Thanks, Ramesh. The ambient temperature at Chelela was 10 deg C. I could not upload this photograph earlier in its original size because of 2 MB restriction in TFI. After downsizing it, I am uploading it now.
    DSC07398.jpg
    Thanks, theblack. FIATs are meant for highways.:)
    1 person likes this.
  9. sungoa2010

    sungoa2010

    Messages:
    2,878
    Goa
    Again the Linea looks stunning with the background of open sky. I never though about that temperature is this much low in April.
    Did you use heater any were(linea)?
    Last edited: May 22, 2012
    1 person likes this.
  10. J Ravi

    J Ravi Esperto

    Messages:
    2,293
    Bangalore
    Thimphu, Bhutan To Puri, India

    Departure: Gahsel Hotel, Norzin Lam, Thimphu, Bhutan at 7:30 am IST on 28 April 2012.

    Arrival: OTDC Panthanivas, Puri, Odisha at 9:15 pm on 29 April 2012.

    Distance covered & route taken: 1508.3 km; Thimphu>Chelela Pass>Phuentsholing>Jaigaon>Hasimara>Binnaguri>Sevok>Siliguri bypass>Dalkhola>Malda>Moregram>Barddhaman>Kolaghat>Cuttack>Bhubaneshwar>Puri

    ThimphuToPuri.jpg

    DSC07491.JPG

    DSC07492.JPG

    DSC07493.JPG

    DSC07494.JPG

    Road condition: Very good roads from Thimphu to Chelela Pass; narrow single lane stretches and work-in-progress sections for about 70 km; very good smooth two lane roads for 100 km upto Phuentsholing; nice road upto Hasimara. Very bad NH 31 C from Hasimara to Madarihat in West Bengal; road widening works were in progress from Dalkhola to Malda; traffic jams were common; good SH 7 from Moregram to Barddhaman except some bad stretches; Barddhaman onwards, excellent 4 lane roads all the way to Puri.


    ____________________________________________________________________​


    While driving from Chelela Pass towards Phuentsholing, at many stretches, fog engulfed us making driving very difficult. At the last check-post just before Phuentsholing, heavy downpour lashed at our Linea! I came out holding an umbrella, went to the check-post, surrendered our entry permits and resumed my driving in that cloudburst. The busy highway was deserted with all the trucks and cars parked by the roadside because of torrential rain! But, I slowly drove and reached Bharat Petroleum outlet at Phuentsholing for refuelling my Linea with the cheapest petrol for the last time in this trip.:) After the rain stopped, my Linea could get her tankful. While coming out of petrol pump, my Linea had to wade through knee-deep water flowing on the roads towards Jaigaon, India! At a couple of places, my Linea caressed the terra firma and entered Jaigaon, which was totally chaotic due to traffic jams because of water-logging, double/triple-parking on the flooded road, collapsed shamiana and what-not.

    DSC07443.jpg

    DSC07450.jpg

    After coming out of the messy Jaigaon, it was a pleasure to drive on one of the best roads of BRO of Indian Army. After pleasure, came the pain. From Hasimara onwards, it was a torture both for me and my Linea to drive on the so-called NH 31 C, which was converted into series of ditches and craters without any semblance of tarmac. We could not click any photographs on this section as we were shell-shocked to the core. Even the trucks and buses used to navigate from one side of the road to the other to avoid these ditches and craters. My poor Linea got bottom-scraped many times on this stretch. It's a shame that NH 31 C, which is the gateway to Bhutan, was kept in that shabby condition.

    DSC07453.jpg

    DSC07455.jpg

    DSC07457.jpg

    I wanted to click some photographs of beautiful Coronation Bridge at Sevoke, but could not as we crossed in the dark. We dined at a roadside restaurant on Siliguri bypass and continued our journey. We were in BP COCO & Ghar Dhaba outlet at Dalkhola before midnight, where my Linea had her tankful of petrol and we were lucky to get some tea. I felt drowsy. So, I slept in my Linea for about an hour. We resumed our journey from 1 am of 29 April 2012. After crossing Dalkhola railway level crossing, my Linea was caught in a big, eternal traffic jam. So, I parked my Linea on the shoulder of the road and slept, only to get awakened later by a passing noisy private bus, which overtook all the parked trucks. I started my Linea and followed that bus, zigzaged in the available space between the trucks, got off the road, entered a vast ground, did off-the-road driving for a few hunded metres and got back to the highway following the bus and its trail of dust. I continued my driving, crossing Malda and beyond.

    We reached BP COCO & Ghar Dhaba outlet at Moregram, in the morning, where we stopped for our morning ablution, breakfast and refuelling of my Linea. I found Telugu ruling roost in the sign boards of BP COCO, Moregram in Bongland!

    DSC07467[2].jpg

    DSC07470.jpg

    DSC07477.jpg

    DSC07481.jpg

    DSC07483.jpg

    DSC07480.jpg

    We lunched and our Linea got refuelled at BP COCO & Ghar Dhaba outlet at Uluberia and continued our journey. Passing through West Bengal-Odisha inter-state check-posts was easy. My Linea got refuelled at BP, Panikoili, Odisha and continued the drive.

    DSC07484.jpg

    DSC07486.jpg

    Driving from Bhubaneshwar to Puri was very tedious on a 2 lane road which was being widened to 4 lanes. Finally, my MMI navigator guided me correctly to OTDC Panthanivas, Puri by 9:15 pm on 29 April 2012. We checked into an AC double room, unloaded, unpacked, ate some Marie biscuits and crashed to the bed!

    Still more to come.
    3 people like this.

Share This Page