LOST IN BHUTAN: 6 BIKERS, 20 DAYS, 7500 KMS OF INSANITY!
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.