TienShan ExplorerVisit one of the World’s iconic space centres, explore the ancient city of Turkistan, wander in mighty Charyn Canyon and be stunned by the majesty of the Kyrgystan’s Tien Shan.
We ate our last curry at the Dhing Dhaba wayside travellers’ Restaurant along the way to Dibrugarh. The sign declared ‘Its your life make it Large’ and although the dishes were delicious we were indeed thinking of waist lines and bathroom scales. There had been too many fine meals, too many regional dishes to taste and quite a lot of tea boiled in condensed milk to drink at tea shops during our journey from Yangon to Dibrugarh. Now we had just a few kilometres of traffic to dodge and we would arrive at the end of the trip. Road journeys in India are an experience in themselves regardless of the reason for coming and the endless fascinating things to see. Good drivers are are critical component of that experience and we had two of the best. Men skilled at dodging anything that lurched into our path and capable of taking the Mao Road in their stride.
At Tizit the village where foreigners must register and presumably be de-registered before and after tackling ‘that’ road the wayside was lined with elaborate Christmas decorations. Christmas trees, Santa’s and a rotund snowman sheltering under an umbrella. It was sweet but also weird. If there was a Christmas decoration competition we voted Tizit the winner. Now we are cast up in the flashest hotel in Dibrugarh. Its our farewell dinner and the wine waiters are circling. In a land where wine is served by the glass, they must think us a strange crew to be drinking it by the bottle. Mind you its a much better deal than the one we got from the smiling Mr Bhramaputra. Tomorrow on the way to the airport we have a tea plantation to visit and then its Airportland for as long as it takes to get back to friends and family. We have seen a lot and shared much along the way. Our local hosts and drivers have made the experience all that much more rewarding and for that we thank them. The Mandalay – Kohima Trail was an idea that provided new insights and took us to interesting places. I think that we’ll do it again in 2016, perhaps a little differently, so let us know if you want to put your name on the trip list.