This eastern corner of India is where the Himalayas come to an end. The green mountains diminish into China further to the east. We have come to the end of our journey following these mountains from where the Ganges starts its journey across north India.
As we think back over the 2500 mile trip many great experiences go through our minds.
Dau, the friendly Sikh taxi driver who helped us find gas for our stove in Delhi, getting lost down narrow alleyways and just saying “we are on an adventure ”
The kind message he sent us on the day we left at the very start of our trip.
“Good morning dear boss!
I wish you and mam a very nice and safe tour.
God bless you both.
The proud shop keeper on the first day out of Delhi who insisted on buying us samosas and tea, and asking us to sit in his shop as a large crowd gathered.
The colourful road crews on the route out of the Ganges valley up to Gwaldom. Beautiful elegant women with their children doing hard labour on the roads living in makeshift shift camps. Although a harsh existence, they smiled and we had great stops with them for a few exchanges.
The lovely couple who cooked us noodles and made us tea when we were freezing cold cycling down from Satpuli early in the morning. We were tired and cold and this was very uplifting as we sat at the simple table with benches and pack horses with bells walked by one after another.
The kind people who helped carry the bike down through the narrow lanes of the bazaar leading to the Nepalese border suspension bridge, where we got turned away.
The family who were building their new house after the old one had been destroyed by the earthquake. It was a wonderful experience to be part of their blessing ceremony as they installed the door frames. The special red ribbon they gave us is still attached to the handlebars of the tandem.
Meeting Isi, the young Scottish girl volunteering at a rural school in Nepal. Going back to her school and giving the kids rides on the tandem round the playground.
The wild side of the Himalayas, rough roads clinging to the mountains, fast turbulent rivers rushing along the deep steep valleys. Dramatic rugged scenery all around us.
Getting to Kathmandu, hanging out in the pie shop, ‘the Snowman’ in Freak street and meeting up with Katy and Belle, and celebrating Katie’s 19th birthday.
Crossing rivers on small crowded boats and the picturesque villages perched on slightly higher ground, surround by water or vibrant green rice fields in Bangladesh.
The police at Chilmari, where we accidentally let ourselves into the police station thinking it was a hotel, who then showed us the way to an NGO that had rooms for us to stay, escorted by the police truck along brick tracks.
The guy who showed us the way through the flooded streets of Jaflong and then got water so we could wash our feet after going through the sand and rock slurry that made up the main road.
The family running a chai stall on the roadside in Assam who wouldn’t take payment for the tea and biscuits we had.
The villagers that brought us potatoes and salt and tea when we were tired, setting up camp in Jambo, after a long day cycling on the jungle road to Tuting.
Trekking through the deep thick jungle with Una. Camping in the leech infested jungle and staying at Una’s family house.
The sisters in Tuting who gave us the miniature prayer flags to go on the tandem
All the lovely people we have chatted with, about their lives and what the future holds. The colour of towns villages and markets. The everyday life just going on while we cycle by going through their communities.
Footnote: facts about the trip:
Distance: 2630 miles
No. of punctures: 3
Bike repairs: chain adjustment, disc brake pad removal and reassemble, saddle tension bolt replaced.
No. times fell off: 1 (in sand)
Worst roads: Nepal
Worst driving: Bangladesh
Friendliest people: Arunachal Pradesh, eastern Himalayas
Best food: Lowland India and Uttaranchal( Indian Himalayas)
Least populated: Arunachal Pradesh