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Chapter 14: A ride above the clouds

Route: Bumthang – Thrumsing La – Mongar – Trashigang

Peace! That’s the first thing that strikes your mind once you have an overnight halt in Bumthang. The stay was so rejuvenating, that the boys wished we had more time to spend here. But as planned, it was time to bid a good farewell to the city, and make way towards the most untouched part of Bhutan, the eastern side. The ride began early morning, and we bid farewell to the hotel staff and manager of Hotel Samyae. as the journey continued, the scenery just kept getting better, and the population more scarce, and thus the land had started revealing the untouched, uncompromised, un parallel beauty she had to offer. Heights enough to mesmerize any human on this planet

As it turned out, we were not the only group riding cross country Bhutan. The bullet group was also on the same tracks, only passing by, waving at us the past few days. The thumpers passed us, as we had stopped on the way to Thrumsing-La at a small food stall to eat some delicious authentic momos.

As the journey continued towards the eastern Bhutan, the altitudes started to rise and subsequently the temperatures started to drop. To our astonishment, we were greeted but single digit temperatures in broad daylight of 12 noon, humungous sized clouds covering the valleys.  We all stopped at once to admire the view at sight. Customary photos began and ironically we all clicked photos in same pose at the same spot for a very long time. And as you can see, today these photos are our Facebook profile pictures.

As we saddled up and decided to continue the journey ahead after spending a good hour at the same spot, the bulleteers team came and stopped at the same place and exactly, for the same reason. So as we started the ride, their customary break and photography began. I guess the view here was just too good to be ignored for travelers.

The roads had been excellent so far in today’s ride and one must admit that BRO surely has done wonderful work of building roads in Bhutan. As the journey continued, we had started the ascend to Thrumsing La and the road conditions started to get bad approximately 15 kms before Thrumsing La and these bad stretch continues till we reached Namaling and then further, it just got worse.

The Icing on the cake

Somehow riding above the clouds does feel awesome, different yet addictive. When you see a thick, white blanket of clouds besides the road, feeling that chilled wind flowing through your jacket, not a single dust particle entering your vision, is just something else. And for the past days we had been experiencing this simplicity, it’s just wonderful, mesmerizing. The view is simply breath taking. An event which carved the memories in our hearts. And as our ascend completed, we stopped at Thrumsing La for admiring the view. It was cold and the pass was covered completely in thick cloud as we started clicking photos

And then. As luck would have it, the group of bulleteers stopped by again, and at once, the conversations were struck. It seemed like the same destination with two different groups. A group from European countries. Different nations same motive, just explore and ride. We came across the same Russian rider amongst them, who changed the definition of bullet in everyone’s perspective. His lean angles would probably put a sport/adventure bike to shame.  The interaction with them turned out to be one amazing endeavor. One of the riders who had been observing us turned out to be the editor of “Motorrad” magazine, Germany’s biggest automotive magazine. He promised a small section in their magazine in the coming years schedule and confirmed that he would be following us, what luck!! There were then, the customary group photographs, with the new friends which we had made.

Thus the descend started from Thrumsing-La. After we got down the Thrumsing La, both groups halted at same place for lunch and it was a nice relishing lunch in a roadside hotel with a beautiful view of the valley in the backdrop. The lunch was some deliciously spicy chicken and local rice. After a nice lunch session, we moved on and the ride was excellent and views were magical. As we approached Mongar, the roads got better and better and the sight was more like a race track. Butter smooth tarmac with lot of insane, knee down types hair pin bends and twisties. They almose made us forget the beautiful views for some time until we saw a lot of flashlights and horn honked by the fellow riders advising everyone to stop. Sometimes, the roads are so beautiful that it is hard to control yourself from stopping even though the views are stunning.  After a fuel up stop, the journey continued to Trashigang ahead through the mountains.

By the time we made it to our destination, Trashigang it was dark and it was time to search for accommodation. This time we had to search on our own rather than seeking help from Glinfy’s friend as he did not have any contacts in Eastern Bhutan. It took us some time to figure out where to stay as the hotels we initially checked were incredibly dirty and felt more like a compromise. Some more looking around in Trashigang Street helped us locate a decent hotel where we decided to halt. The dinner was not that great and it felt more like we ate for the sake of eating and dozed off to sleep. Nevertheless, another day another beautiful ride and we were rather sad by nightfall since tomorrow would our last day in Bhutan.

73 Responses

  1. Avinash Ambekar says:

    Lovely intro. Let the rest roll out soon. How stupid I was to miss this epic ride 🙁

  2. Sachin Nair says:

    We wish you were there Avinash to care of photography 🙂

  3. Mihir Naik says:

    Hey Sachin. Awesome 🙂 I am having goose bumps. 🙂 Is it possible to join you in your next ride? 😀

  4. Uday says:

    Yes, the road before Chittorgarh is horrible with lot of dust in the air. When we rode, we could ride following a bus which had tail lights. It took a better of 2.5 hours to cover this behind this. And added to it, my colleague had a misfortune of hitting a rock and having a fall. But the roads till then are heavenly, sparse traffic and well marked roads.

    • lost_rider says:

      Uday – Yes, I agree the roads till Chittorgarh are awesome but the last 40 kms bad roads we were completely unaware of and that caught us by surprise

  5. Bhakti Engineer says:

    Beautifully written guys..

  6. That’s Hell of an DAY! *Touchwood* for the fellow rider’s company you had! 😀

  7. Rajdeep Roy says:

    Epic experience and narration guys! Keep up the good work. Waiting for the next chapter. Ride Safe!

  8. amit says:

    Amazing i use to get goose bumps only during lisnin to music and nw after reading this is like damn .. What twists and turns hehe

    • lost_rider says:

      There’s more twists and turns amit. The trip has just began and wait for further updates to here the complete story!

  9. Ashwin says:

    Bihar part is epic! xD
    The description is just too awesome but thinking of what you guys went through makes me feel horrible.

  10. Sushil Ayarottil says:

    Amazing writeup!!! And more importantly an awesome experience!!! Waiting for the rest of it.. Waiting for Bhutan!!!!

  11. Ashish Gupta says:

    Awesome experience for you Sachin and your folks for a lifetime.

  12. Rishabh says:

    Never got a chance to ride through Bihar, but I’m sure ur experiences gonna help 🙂

  13. drpratik says:

    part5 was one of the most entertaining read i’ve read in years…cheers you guys !

  14. Shishir says:

    This was an amazing read. For a guy who’s passionate about riding this epic write-up only serves as a kick. I now dream of taking this path, not that I am excited to ride on it but just to see what our roads really like. To experience the flavours. Like you said, when the destination calls, all these stand trivial. More so when you have accomplished what you set out to achieve

  15. Swadhin says:

    Brilliant. You guys are new age Xuanzang 🙂 . One suggestion please take a polarizing filter next time.

  16. Bhakti Engineer says:

    Epic Write up for Day 10

  17. Awesome… DAY 10

    btw did u take KAWASAKI MECHANIC ( in green tees) on the ride 😛

  18. vipinjoseph says:

    “Tool Kit” What a fate you got man….Sherman ur bitching or writing…Well played man

  19. Shubham says:

    So when is the next part coming? Excited to read it further! 😀

  20. Alinel says:

    Dual sport motorcycles (which seems like a distant dream in India) is the answer to terrible roads

  21. Sanatan says:

    Hey still waiting for the last part….please update the last day in bhutan…and the ride back if possible 😉

  22. Niman Vazirani says:

    Brilliant write up man! Helmets off to you guys! 2 of us are doing a ride to Bhutan next year around the same time as you guys! What would you guys suggest? ride through and through or is it better to train the bikes to Calcutta and then ride on and spend more time in Bhutan? I think we would be spending a max of 20 days on the road!

  23. Kumar Bagchi says:

    Great write-up dude.Read every page.
    Planning to do a Bhutan trip from Kolkata on this October.
    As i am a student the financial thing comes first.So can u please tell me a approx budget to cover the whole ride?

  24. Manish Rawat says:

    the shop national auto accessories shown in background could have helped as he is a regular client of ours and i know he is a resourceful and helpful person

  25. Suprith says:

    Awesome.. (y)

  26. Tautik says:

    Great inspiration indeed. Plan to do the ride 3rd week of April. A quick question – How does ‘Permit from Customs department’ work? Is it pretty straight-forward? Keep inspiring!

    • lost_rider says:

      Hello Tautik,

      There are 2 permits needed – Individual permit and vehicle permit. The process about the same has been mentioned in the first page of this blog.

  27. Ashok Kamath says:

    Hi Sachin, this is Ashok from Goa. Me n 2 friends on 2 bikes ( yes 2 bikes not 3) will be riding thru Bhutan from this coming Sunday. I will be following exactly the same itinerary as yours ( in fact I copied your itinerary and made it ours). Is it possible for you to provide me with details such as Hotel names / contact name / numbers at places where you halted and also any other specific information ( contact persons/ timings of Djongs / petrol pumps / eateries ( what’s Bhutan specific and where) that might be useful to us.

    Could you please email me the information at my email address kamath.ashok@gmail.com.

    Thanks for your amazing travelogue which is now my one most important and relevant single point reference to riding thru Bhutan.

    God Bless.

  28. Issan says:

    Hey Bro , that was really some good piece . I am in office right now , and the time is 6:30pm , bro i started reading your blog since morning (11:30am) and literally i kept on reading with no work done 🙂 . I just didnt want to wait ,as in what could happen next. All the chapters felt like a movie . The photographic session was totally flawless . I too am a biker and love to travel far lands , and yes i am a crazy photographer too . Just loved your blog , simply mesmerising . You guys are a perfect combo to make a tour worth while. Had never read something so in-depth , i felt like i too was travelling with u guys . Simply awesome !! Ride safe !!

  29. sudhakar says:


    What is Permits from Customs?? How to obtain??? is this separate from RTO permission???

  30. Wow 7500KM . I wish i will be there with you guys.
    Awesome dude.
    thanks for the plan and guide

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