Border town, Samdrup Jongkhar

Samdrup Jongkhar Travel Blog

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Bus struck in the muddy road on a turn.

It was drizzling the whole morning and I had to put on the cover for my backpack, pull out my umbrella and walk to the bus stand. The bus was full and I was glad to have booked the ticket in advance. The locals were carrying all sorts of luggage, from fruits, vegetables, lots of chillies, furniture, utensils, some books, bedding's among other things. Soon we reach the place where the road construction was going on and the rain had actually made the roads worse. The tires of the bus were slipping and the driver was having a hard time controlling. Suddenly the rear tires started spinning without the bus moving forward, instead it started sliding towards the valley. The driver immediately stopped the gas and applied the brakes, but the bus was struck in the mud.

Any attempt to make it move, and it started straying towards the side of the road towards the valley. This was a scary moment and everyone started to get down from the bus into the slush of mud. I too got down and saw that the locals had gathered behind the bus and started pushing them from one side, others instructing the driver to give it some gas while everyone was pushing. Slowly the bus started moving towards the center of the road and finally it was out of mud. Everyone gave a big sigh of relief and boarded the bus. My heart was pumping blood furiously all the time, but the locals carried on as if nothing much had happened.

Soon we got more passengers in the bus, and one of them gives there baby to me to hold. He is a cute little fellow oblivious of everything around him, smiling and looking around.
They got down at the next town and someone else handed me a bag of dry chillies and I got a bout of sneezing, just by getting the strong smell . The guy felt pity on me and took it back and gave it to another passenger who gladly accepted it to carry on his lap. On the way saw two more landslides which were cleared. We stopped for lunch and everyone dashed inside for some rice and Ema Dashi (made of chillies). I got a few boiled eggs and cup noodles and waited outside. It was raining all the time and the climate was really really great. Its green all around with densely forested hills and the roads  with all bends and loops till we cant see the turn ahead.
I started chatting with the bus staff who is a boy of may be 15 yrs old and he starts asking me all the questions about India, Bangalore, a very curious fellow.
He mentions that the bus driver had been working in India for 10 years and can speak many of the Indian languages fluently. At one of the pit stops I started chatting with him and he started telling me all his stories during his stay in India. He starts playing some Indian bollywood songs on his music player and everyone in the bus was enjoying. In between he was playing some local Bhutanse song and the bus staff was trying to explain to me the meanings of those songs.
We started descending the mountains and we can see the town of Samdrup Jhonkar. But since there was more road works going on, some blasting with dynamites, we had to wait for 30 mins before the road was cleared. This was my last day in Bhutan and when I look around, i started feeling a bit nostalgic.
All the days spent in Bhutan, the beautiful places visited, the amazing people interacted with. Soon we reached another check point of my tour, the immigration stamped my permit and back to bus to continued to final stages of my Bhutan trip.

It was around 5pm when we reached the bus stand in Samdrup Jhonkar, the border town with India and I quickly went around to look for a hotel. Found one on the main street named Hotel Shambhala, the owner was from South India. I got myself a cheap room for Rupees 250, which was ok to sleep for a night, but not for a longer time, had small TV and attached bathroom. The restaurant also served South Indian dishes and I gorged on the tasty Dosas (a south Indian delicacy). It was still drizzling and I took a stroll around the town, the streets are clean and lined with trees. There are loads of shops at this small town, all selling goods brought from India. I walk down till the border
gate and you can see the contrast from here itself. The border town on India side feels crowded and dusty. I turned back to spend my last night in Bhutan and retire to me room.

aquaholicme2 says:
It sure was thrilling and when I look back, these are the memories I cherish :-) Thanks for the smiles Martin.
Posted on: Dec 06, 2011
joehobo says:
Thrilling experience....
Posted on: Dec 06, 2011
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Bus struck in the muddy road on a …
Bus struck in the muddy road on a…
Local bus
Local bus
Samdrup Jongkhar
photo by: aquaholicme2