We reach Guwahati airport at 10.30 am. And I am waiting for the flight to go back to my Home-Sweet-Home.
And this concludes my “Shortened Long Tour of North East”. Before I end these Notes, I must give you the summary.
Travelling in North East
Both the vehicles, Mahindra Bolero (Driver Ram Babu Das 09954778669) and Force Tempo Traveller (Driver Atowar Ali 09577342144) were in good condition. There was no issue with the drivers at all. Finding a petrol bunk in Arunachal Pradesh is quite difficult. Almost all the roads, wherever I have traveled, are in good condition. The journey was smooth. Generally one can start only after 7 am, and it becomes dark around 5 pm. It is not very safe to travel after this time.
Staying in North East
There are hardly any tourist lodges in Arunachal Pradesh (especially in the Kibithu circuit). But generally you can hope to get some Govt. lodges. In Mehalaya and Assam, the stay was more or less quite satisfactory. However, in small towns, we cannot get any lodges.
Food in North East
Being a South Indian, and rice being my main food, there was not much difficulty in adjusting with the local food. This is the case with all other members also. The typical meals included rice, dal, roti, sabji, salad and pappad. No pickle and no curd. Except in Manas, we didn’t get green vegetables anywhere.
The sabji in vegetarian food mainly consists of potato, green peas and pannier (cheese). However, the same cannot be said about breakfast. It is just bread and jam, and occasionally boiled eggs and/or omelets. And in few places we get oily pooris.
People of the North East
In general I found people of North East are friendly in nature. We didn’t had any problem. The shopkeepers were friendly. One of the biggest surprises to me was they charged only MRP, and not more than that. Really honest people, I would say. Hope they will keep it up.
Electricity in North East
Baring some stray incidents, the power supply was good. But I was told that there will be power cuts during summer. I used my External Battery Pack only at Namdapha.
Weather in North East
Before starting the tour, I took my dresses judging by the altitude (MSL) of the places. But I learnt a lesson. Himalaya is Himalaya. There is no comparison. You can’t judge the weather of any Himalayan region by the altitude (MSL). I suggest always visit Himalaya with adequate winter gear. A place like Miao at an altitude of 800 feet above mean sea level (MSL) is so cold that I can never even dream of that chilly weather in Bangalore which is at an altitude of 3000 feet. It is only at Majuli that we could wear our normal dresses.
Mosquitoes in the North East
Surprisingly there were no mosquitoes except at the Bhool Bhulayya camp at Namdapha. But it is wise take a mosquito repellant cream always.
Water in North East
I was extremely happy to note that mineral water bottle is not available in most parts of Arunachal Pradesh. This means that the ground water is clean and unpolluted. Also it indicates that there are not many tourists. In almost all the places, we drank the water provided by the lodges, that too cold water. And mind you, none of us had any problem with that. This shows how clean the environment is.
Law and Order in North East
I didn’t come across any law and order problem. There could be, but wherever we went, it was calm and quiet. However, it is not advisable to travel after sunset.
Banks and ATMs in the North East
SBI has got branches almost everywhere I went. And SBI ATMs are also available at convenient places. However, most of them are not open for 24 hours, but only during day time. It is advisable to first withdraw only Rs 100/ or so, just to check up whether your transaction is in order. This is because, if you run into any problems, it is difficult to call your bank, as the connectivity is very poor.
Mobile Connectivity and Internet in the North East
BSNL post paid signal was available at almost all the places. But there used to be lot of interruption in its service even in capital cities like Guwahati and Shillong. I hardly got Internet connection to browse the net. I used to send my mail in my smart phone and used to continue with other activities. I could not even see how my diary notes are coming in GhoomIndiaGhoom, with the help of Mukesh (only twice I got a chance).
Recommended Tour Operator in the North East
This is one thing I would like to recommend to you. Greener Pastures run by Mr. Neil (09435202577) and Mr. Vaibhav (09435747471) have given us the best rate and best service.
You can get in touch with by e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
You can also visit their website: www.thegreenerpastures.com and www.greenerpasturesind.wordpress.com.
They are new to this field and hence wanted to make a foothold. So we got an exceptionally lowest price, and also good service. And I don’t find any reason, why you should not get the same. Of course, there were few drawbacks, but then, as they are new to the field, we accepted those in our stride.
First of all, I thank God for giving me health, time, money, mind etc to make this wonderful tour happen. Next, I thank my family back home, without their support, I could not have done this. Both of us are missing each other a lot and I am eager to join them back. I also thank other ten members of the team in my second leg of my journey, namely Prakash Oak, Veena, Praveen, Medini; EG Bhat, Anupama, Santosh; Narayana Desh Kulkarni, Sudha, Bhoomi.
Oh my North East India, I am going back home with lots and lots of sweet memories. And would like to come back to explore other places, sooner than later.