Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Inside Arunachal Hill: Biking on the edge of river Siang

On July 18, 2013, Brian Orland and I rode off to Pasighat from Jonai, 35 km away from this small town. The day was drizzling since morning which delayed our planned timing by four hours. The previous night we had plan in mind to reach Amarpur of Sadiya and tried tracking the place on Google Maps. However, the rain gods didn't favour us in the following day.

Siang river
Biking on drizzling highway
After sipping coffee in a restaurant named 9 to 9 at Jonai town, we moved out slowly on a red pulsar bike at 10 am. We halted at Oyan to take tea.
Pebble pathway
All the way to Pasighat, we were seeing people busy in their farm work planting paddies in the field.

The highway was in developing condition, we had a challenging drive to our destination. At first we had our lunch near the forest check gate in this oldest town of Arunachal Pradesh.
Brian called up a guy named Omik Permey and sought his assistance to visit the villages along the Siang river inside the hills. Omik and his cousin came out.

Edging dangerously along the Siang

How far is China?
We crossed a check gate and drove along the newly constructed black topped concrete road. Locals warned us of possible landslides due to incessant rains along the under construction road.

We saw many tiny waterfalls along the way that were merging into mighty Siang.

We travelled along the muddy road while having a classy view of Siang river and the thinly clouded green hills.

We stopped over at a rocky hills stretch of the under constructed road. It was a dangerous rock hill slope with constant chances of slide. After staying fifteen minutes or so, we saw pebbles rolling down the slope.

As soon as I heard the sound, I looked up to the slope. We all were fear struck seeing the pebbles that indicated of possible land slide.We were standing on the edge of river Siang. We immediately left the place.

At Bodak village and the land slide

We rode our bike up to Bodak village, a Padam clan rural setting of Adi tribe not far from the road and the river. We walked up to the house of head man, locally known as Gam. Brian and we all had a chit-chat with the head man on issues of development, economy, livelihood, and possible consequences of dam developing near their village. The head man's wife offered us tea and biscuits.
Clouded mountain

It was nearing 3 pm. We left Bodak. We were driving back to the down town. On our way back, we found the road being block by a huge pile of mud. We were told that just fifteen minutes ago the landslide had happened and the mud-removing vehicle will take 30 minutes or so to clear the road.

We waited for more than an hour. The mud was removed. We drove down to pass the Raneghat bridge and bade good bye to Omik and his cousin from the town.

This one day monsoon drive was really a worth remembering experience in my life.

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