This day was actually the start of our return journey and for next 4 subsequent days we would keep returning via Jengging, Along, Shilapathar, Dibrugarh and Kolkata.
First stop was again back at Jengging but we knew the road conditions very well and thought of starting early by 6.00 in morning. We had a tough time in Tuting to find diesel as there was not much electricity available in these places during winter (due to low water level in Siang and these places depend mainly on Hydro Electric) diesels were very costly as they used in generators locally and used for local jeeps / cars etc. Somehow from a Bengali shop keeper we managed to get 15 Ltrs of Diesel and that was enough for us to reach up to Jengging. We took our late breakfast / early lunch at Migging as we knew for next 100 km we would have nothing to eat. Siang as usual was following us, this time in left and we took relatively fewer stops as we wanted to explore Gandhi bridge in Moying. We found the locals here still were hunting small animals, birds with their guns (everyone in Arunachal is having gun license), they are really sharp shooters even from a young age. We reached Moying around 3 in afternoon and tried to explore the 2 km downwards towards the river. This was again a no road and we somehow managed to reach the point and had a walk on Gandhi Bridge. Though again a similar kind of suspension foot bridge but certainly it is much better built than other such bridges we encountered. We could this time spot the Yingkiong town very clearly just in opposite side of the Siang. The ferry was running regularly carrying the jeeps and people. There is regular Jeep services between Tuting and Yingkiong, those cross Siang regularly from this point. From Yingkiong there is Shared Sumo service available for both Along and Pasighat. We spent quite sometime in Moying and so when we finally reached Jengging, it was already evening but our caretaker was so kind he arranged for Cha and Pakoda which was really required after such a tiring day. We enjoyed the dinner too and retired for the day. This was our 2nd night in Jengging Circuit house, undoubtedly the best one I stayed if I consider location and warmth I received there.
Siang on the way back:
Driving through the fog and mist:
Siang still accompanying us:
We started our day little late as we had just 130km to go to reach Along. We decided to break again at Along in the Circuit House. We were tracing back the same route but now for consecutive 4th day we were driving along with Siang and we still were finding it so exciting, feeling like taking snaps in every turn and bend of this mighty river. We took a tea break in 65 Miles again before proceeding further. There were lot of pretty faces and cute kids across the whole journey, especially in Siang side but they were too shy to pose for photographs. Whenever I asked for permission it was declined. When finally I got a chance to get a snap, you would see in below snap how the lady turned her back towards Camera. But anyway I got another cute face in the same snap We reached Along and checked into the circuit house around 3.00 in afternoon. We were very happy as the trip was almost over with no major hiccups and we completed whatever we planned to do and most importantly in Arunachal got at least 90% of our trip days absolutely cloudless and sunny. While discussing with Along Caretaker about next days plan, we suddenly realized that we had a tough day ahead as we had to cross ferry at Shilapathar and ferry service might get irregular after 1.00pm. Also each ferry could take just 3 cars, so we might have to wait long there in queue for our turn. The road till Bame was bad we knew and even it was worse till Bashar and some further ahead would make it some 8 hours to reach Shilapathar Ferry ghat. We didn’t want to take any chance as we had a flight booked for next day, so we decided to start as early as 3.00 in morning. This was little surprising as we didn’t think that this might be so early a journey in a winter morning that could be very bad with fogs and mists.
Sun Rise in Jengging – See the mist on Siang behind:
It’s the time to say good bye to Siang:
They are not so camera friendly :
We started the day at 3.00 in the morning sharp but it was really a scary journey in a foggy late night with poor visibility. We all were feeling sleepy too. Anyway we drove till Bame where fortunately got a shop opened, had few cups of tea and kept ourselves a little warmer we started again and morning sun started showing its first rays when we just crossed Bashar. We finally reached Likabali gate and Ashim made the entry in check gate as we were leaving Arunachal finally for this trip. We reached Silapathar around 11.00 am and found we are in queue and could get a ferry of 12.45 only. It cost Rs. 800 per car to cross but now after being in hill for 3 weeks started taking its toll. We started feeling irritable heat of Assam and decided not to wait at river banks for 2 more hours. Little bit of search yielded results as we were offered to take the ferry to cross in just double price @1500 for the car. We negotiated further down to 1200 and then started for Dibrugarh. The half done Bogibil bridge would be on one side and it’s difficult to tell when that would finally be completed. There was no bridge connectivity in Upper Assam after Tezpur to cross over Brahmaputra. We crossed the river in around an hour and then on the other side again a long drive of almost 25km brought us to Dibrugarh. First thing we did was to do a car wash, the owner probably would have been shocked, if he could see his brand new car after a 15 days trip in Central Arunachal. After that we started for Tinsukia, another 50km road journey through nice tea estates. We reached Tinsukia and checked in to Hotel Mayur Jyoti, the same hotel where we stayed in our last trip in 2010. That was our last night of the trip and we had a dinner invitation at Ashim’s place. Enjoyed the evening with his family and had a great dinner but we were very tired as we started our day around 3.00 in the morning on that day. Fortunately we had an afternoon flight from Dibrugarh on next day, though it was preponed by an hour but we would still had enough time in our hand to do packing next morning.
The driving distances for the day:
994 – Along
039 – Bame
050 – Basar
134 – Likabali Check Gate
145 – Shilapathar
150 – Meet NH52A at Akaijan
171 – Shilapathar Ferry Ghat
195 – Dibrugarh
250 – Tinsukia
The Journey Map of the Day : Along to Tinsukia
Mighty Brahmaputra and unfinished Bogibil Bridge:
Crossing Brahmaputra on Ferry:
This needs some driving skill:
Lot of Tea Estates between Dibrugarh and Tinsukia:
Day 22 :
Nothing much to write about the day, Ashim was in time and we packed, had our lunch and left for airport sufficiently ahead of time. Indigo, usually very punctual, took us to Kolkata before the sunset and what a trip it was, my dream of covering whole Arunachal was almost done except few places in Upper Dibang Valley like Anini and North Eastern most Tirap. I would surely be back to these places again as this is one of my most favourite destinations in India just because it is still so unexplored and non-commercial with warm hearted people and awesome natural beauty.
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