Self-drive Central Arunachal Exploratory Expedition, 2012 [ Kolkata - Alipurduar - Bongaigaon - Ziro - Kurung Kumey [ Koloriang ] - Dapo - Nacho - Along - Mechuka - Yarlung - Yingkiong - Tuting - Gelling - Passighat -Dibrugarh -Guwahati - Siliguri -Kolkata ]///aka/// Safari Dicor 2.2 LX VTT-TMT 4.5-year Grand Ownership Travelogue




The one and only Safari VTT-TMT, it's always ready to roll out and enjoys as much as we do! - at Mechuka, Arunachal Pradesh
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ID:	3195March - April is the time when son's school session ends and a drive was always on and we hovered between the South Sikkim to Binsar Munsiayari side of Uttaranchal, but as always the decision all came down to 4.5-year journey companion Safari VTT-TMT.

With a 80k km of fantastic journeys and always put out on big journeys with minimum of preparation, we reasoned out that with whatever warranty all over after the 4-year big Kashmir and Zanskar journey and but then still going strong, it is always better to push another exploratory expedition out still as everything is stock and still somewhat good like the shocks [pretty dicey they were almost at 80+ km now] and belts and whatever old in that VTT.

As always with office work, at the very last moment Central Arunachal was decided [the other destination considered was Mizoram] Permits and even minimum basic Safari maintanence work was not possible, everything was done en route - permits were done at Tezpur, Assam, just before entering Arunachal and Safari front wheel bush change was done at Daporijo, Arunachal. More about these later.



So, as I start this much delayed travelogue of our April 2012 trip to the Land of Dawnlit Mountains, Arunachal Pradesh, many memories of our past travels with our Safari VTT-TMT come up. And reading one travel article, I though I could very well use this Adventure Matrix

We could rank trips on a two axis chart. One axis would run between expedition and jaunt and the other between adventure and routine. I drew up the chart to see what it would look like.

On the chart, point “A” is something like a walk to the store, and point “B” is something like climbing K2. I find this chart interesting, because you can use it to figure out exactly what your trip is. If it has features of an expedition more than a jaunt, move point “C” towards expedition. If it’s routine, move point “C” downward. If it’s adventurous move the point up. At some point, you can determine what you think your trip is. It could be a routine expedition, an adventurous expedition, a routine jaunt or an adventurous jaunt




n the past 4.5 years, more or less our journeys have been in B and C segment and that included the still vividly remembered journeys of the 1-year ownership fantastic travel to Kinnaur, Spiti and Lahaul and going to some places were few tourists venture to, and then the amazing overnight journey across the absolute desolate NH6 towards one of most remote and part Maoist affected forest of Orissa [Sunabeda] and the unbriddled joy of finding a hidden waterfall with blue waters and a white sandy beach in the middle of the forest, to the tribal lands of Southern Orissa and Chhattisgarh to unknown forest of North Bihar and of course two of the best journeys done till now the drive to Demchok along that high altitude plateau during our Ladakh Oct 2010 trip and then the Zanskar and the unknown Kashmir trip of October 2011. This trip too goes into that axis segment between B and C as we explored some of the best unknown places of Arunachal.

And of course, if you are interested in writing more info to your amygdala [ http://www.travelstory.in/threads/18...t-October-2011 ] - no better place than the remote and lesser known areas of Central Arunachal.


Now when we think of Arunachal, 99% of us is going to say of Tawang and Bomdilla. Of course nothing to take away from the places as we had gone previously during our Western Arunachal trip which also included the lesser known Bum la and Eagle Nest sanctuary. But till there is more to this fantastic state and exactly that is what we were up to as we [Bamba, Asmita and I] rolledout on 17th of March from Kolkata towards Arunachal with only a vague idea of directions and as most of the times no GPS - it is too cumbersome for me!!

Arunachal being a vast state by itself, we had previously for our sake of travel as thoroughly as possible have divided it into 3 areas -


1. Western Arunachal - which we covered last time during our December 2009 journey [ http://www.travelstory.in/threads/10...d-Nameri-Assam ]

2. Central Arunachal -- the regions that we covered during this March-April 2012 journey

3. Eastern Arunachal - this will be covered next as and when possible and will include Roing, Anini, Hayuliang, Kibuthu, Changlang and Namdhapha


Mighty River Siyom, Interior West Siang, Central Arunachal
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As always all preparations were done at the last 2 days due to my work situation and even permits were done en route with a 4 hour stoppage at Tezpur, Assam, before we entered Arunachal.

And of course a bit about Safari, though definitely I know these lines are repetitive from my previous travelogues but then that's the way it is still now!

It was on October 15, 2007 when the Tata Safari 2.2 VTT LX was bought, within a day of its release, and it thus became the first VTT on Team-bhp and the very next day we went for a 2500 km journey of North Bengal and thus started our tryst with the Safari.

This 2.2 has had a flawless performance, confidence in it has grown by leaps and bounds -- The way it safely brought us back each and every time from some of the most hostile lands. And contrary to all the premonitions from the false prophets of doom, the 2.2 VTT has and still continues to keep the cynics at bay!!


The VTT in March 2012 was in its 4.5-year of ownership and with son's school session end holidays - a fantastic trip was what we all eagerly looked forward to -- and as always and again Safari VTT-TMT safely brought all of us[wife, our 7-year-old child, and me ] back to base, as always, going through some of the quite remote and extremes of terrain in one corner of our country.




Safari VTT-TMT - Yingkiong and beyond, Upper Siang, Arunachal
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And of course this or none of the past journeys would have been possible, without them enjoying and looking forward to each and every day of the trip.

The Wanderers - Asmita and Bambi - at end of road at Yarlung, West Siang, Arunachal

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contd...