Day 2 - Mar 15th (Contd..)
Promise you the day will soon end after the post
While going down these roads I was pretty sure that probably the Xylo was one of the widest cars passing the route as at some places it was quite narrow. Even as I was thinking so I saw a Tata truck down below in the river bed and moving upwards towards us, but dissappeared in one of the bends.
I wondered whether we have taken the correct route or not as we should have taken the route of the truck. BUT behold on one such turn I found the truck standing headlong in front of me.
The truck stopped. The Xylo stopped. Facing each other. With not an inch of space either way. Both me and the truck driver looking at each other. The truck driver got down. Aalok got down. Both were negotiating as to who who should move back. We were on a weaker wicket. We were going downhill and more importantly the request came from the other side that we had a smaller car.
Now I got down and told the other driver that it was almost 700 mtrs to the main road and it will be impossible to back the Xylo on those steep inclines through the sharp bends. But he insisted that thr was a gap in between where both of us could pass. I went to check and indeed thr was a semblence of width, 300 mtrs back.
Reversed the Xylo on those roads and took the side of the mountains for the truck to pass. The rear wheel advantage which the Xylo had while climbing was now negated as it was moving back on those inclines. The wheels did spin a little too much but eased on the accelarator and immediately the Xylo found its grip.
The truck driver got down tho thank me for letting him pass. I noticed that like smaller vehicles Tata has set up 24 hr road assistance for these heavy trucks where in they need to call in the toll free no. The sticker was pasted on its front screen as opposed to the rear one of small vehicles.
I asked the driver if any other vehicle was down below and if so I would rather wait in this causeway and let it pass. He replied only a bolero was down which had ferried some tourists, but was not coming up immediately as it was getting washed on the river bed.
We went further down and sighted the bolero
The bolero had brought in 6 young adventure lovers from Kolkata and was going back after dropping them. They were staying in Chumbe Bhutia's cottage where we were also going. On the way the Bolero was taking a wash.
Even as the Xylo came near the driver waved at me to slow down and made way for me.
The Bolero moves to pass the Xylo over the river.
The one the Xylo crossed is actually a small river which was merging with a slightly bigger Reshi river. Their is a Y formed on which the Xylo is now moving. During monsoons these rivers assume a fierce face and any car moving here is likely to get washed away.
And here is where the Xylo will rest for the night. On the river bed, within the state of Sikkim.
And now I need to cross this Bamboo bridge over the Reshi River to re enter Bengal where our cottages are. Bid good bye to the Xylo but promised to come back in the night to crank it up. I was on a weak battery and though temp was not very low, the chillness of the wind was bothering me for the next day.
The cottage on the other side, the bengal side is visible from the Sikkim side
We quickly moved in to Chumbi Bhutia's retreat / Cottage to be greeted with some very good tea....
...even as the Xylo stood alone on the river bed.. in the middle of 2 rivers.. in a different state.
It was not a full moon night that we spent here. But the moon was out and some rays reflected on the river. No Electricity and we were sitting in a machan sort of a thing in the night. Chumbi came in the night and arranged our food. Sat down telling his stories.
Dinner was chicken and vegetables and it was great. Post dinner at 11 in the night went up to start the Xylo with a torch. It was an adventure.
Came back and had a sound sleep in the cosy cottage.
This concludes my day 2.