Return to the Seven Sisters (North East India)

Here I am on an new, exciting trip with a new, neat little computer so why am I feeling so trepidatious about blogging my experiences? I don’t really regard myself as enough of a “writer” to be suffering from “writer’s block”so it’s more likely to be nothing more than a case of the “backlog blues” and I’d better just shrug off all those excuses and get on with it.

It’s certainly not the travelling itself that is growing stale with me these days. Far from it, I have lists of lists of desirable destinations tucked away at the back of my mind; some solitary and some to be undertaken in the company various long-suffering friends and family but, apart from adding more coloured dots to the map on the back of my bathroom door, how important will these records be in the years to come? Best I just get on with it.

After yesterday’s pre-dawn departure from the outermost reaches of Kent and some nightmarish traffic delays in salubrious Sidcup (somewhere in South East London, I think) Grahame and I just made it to Heathrow in time for a three flight sequence to North East India. The total journey took a little over 24 hours and, since most airports seem to be almost identical these days, was probably no more horrible than usual. I drifted in and out of consciousness at times but remembered to consume plenty of liquid, not too much food and absolutely no alcohol.

The low point was being moved out of a security queue to make room for a coachload of airline staff and then finding myself passportless, shoeless and luggageless while desperately stumbling around seeking instructions as to just what to do next. Somehow we did manage to make all the connections and, after I’d split up with Grahame at Kalcutta to branch out alone for the first leg of the trip, the highpoint of the journey was definitely the moment when I spotted my brightly coloured suitcase standing on the tarmac at my final destination. Agartala: capital of the tiny state of Tripura and a very long way off of the regular tourist trail.

Two solicitous young lads from Jungle Travels were waiting to greet me and promptly contacted Grahame’s guide in Guwahati to confirm that he had also reached his destination safely. While I visit some to the remoter, tribal spots close to the Bangladesh and Myanmar borders, he will be returning to some of the quieter villages along the Brahmaputra and trying out a couple of home stays. We will meet up again in eastern Assam in eight days time to head off into Arunachal Pradesh: Land of the Dawn-lit Mountains.

After a shower and a brief rest I managed a couple of hours of sightseeing before returning to my modest but comfortable hotel (this trip is going to be expensive enough without splurging on star ratings). Then it only remained to contemplate first the menu (I’m hungry but my tummy is completely confused) and then the computer screen (the wifi is good for once but my brain has turned to mush).

Let’s hope that I can keep up with this trip, it promises to be pretty amazing.

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