Travelling in the North-East in the summer of 2006
Guwahati >> Eaglenest >> Tawang >> Nameri >> Kaziranga >> Shillong >> Cherrapunjee
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We left Eaglenest after a week in it’s beautiful wilderness. We hired a Tata Sumo which picked us up around 6am.
I knew the distance to Tawang, but in the Himalayas, knowing the distance doesn’t mean you can tell how long it takes to get there. We drove and drove and drove and Tawang still remained far off. But unlike many other journeys I have made, and unlike my usual resentment to journeys, I loved this one.
We stopped at Bomdila first to shop for some clothes for the higher region. Our next stop was a leisure stroll at the beautiful town of Dirang. We continued to move upwards from here and stopped somewhere on the way for lunch. An hour of drive after lunch, I realized that I had left my jacket at the restaurant during lunch. And it turned out, the lady of the restaurant had kept it aside for me and gave it to me when we were on our way back!
The Sela Pass at 13,700 feet
The ascent continued from here and kept climbing higher and higher for a long distance. There was little habitation after Dirang except for a few patches of military establishments. Later in the afternoon, we were at Sela pass at a good height of 13,700 feet. Sela pass has beautiful views all around it. Vast and steep Himalayan valleys on both sides of the pass are great to look at. The pass was also the point where we first encountered snow.
The lake at Sela Pass
We had a surprise waiting for us at the other side of the pass – a small lake with some snow around it. A few Ruddy Shelducks(a kind of duck) were floating in the lake. I was told later by someone in Tawang that they saw a huge pile of them on the lake the previous day. I wished to stop by and walk down to the lake, but it was getting late and we had to keep moving.