“Sikkim in rains”, is the most difficult terrain to conquer in entire Himalayas. I am saying it based on my experience.
This is a story of one such thrilling night which I will never forget. It was the Holi celebration of 2018 and we planned for Sikkim well in advance. The dates were somewhere at the end of September, considering the fact that rainy season gets over by mid September.
On our Royal Enfield Classic 500, we had traveled the entire North of Sikkim including the most difficult terrain to Gurudongmar Lake. One of the most highest situated lakes in the world -> Gurudongmar Lake at 17800 Ft above sea level.
To our utter surprise it was raining cats and dogs in Sikkim. We had to travel in rain for hours long. The sun sets too early and that too suddenly. The trip was going as per our plans before a series of incidences started piling on us.
The First Blow
On our way back from Gurudongmar we were travelling from Mangan to Bardang, Sikkim. It was the most dangerous route due to multiple landslides and with marshy terrain.
We were riding on three bikes. I was leading the trail, Sameer was my pillion. The second bike was ridden by Rahul (My school friend) who was second in the trail with Pradeep as pillion. Prithvi was riding the third bike with Anjani as pillion. We were in the hair-pin loops just before the Rang Rang Bridge.
To a blink from Rahul’s bike I stopped. Rahul said he couldn’t find Prithvi following him. We waited for a few minutes, in case Prithvi has left behind due to some road blockages.
My phone rang, it was Anjani. He said their bike got skid on a sharp turn and they received minor scratches. But the bike’s front wheel got a severe bend and the bike isn’t moving at all. My watch read 2pm. We tried our best to fix the bend with all the tools we had or we could gather. Finally we gave up on the bike and started trying for a utility vehicle which can transfer the bike to Gangtok.
It was very difficult to get a vehicle in such terrains, but after untiring efforts we managed to fix a vehicle for the job. By then it was 5pm in the evening. Prithvi and Anjani rode the utility vehicle along with the damaged bike.
The Second one- Even Severe
Hefty Rain– We started at around 5pm from the point where the incidence occurred. And it started to rain heftily. It got dark in a few minutes. The thunders were so loud, as none of us ever experienced in our lives. The scene was horribly dangerous. The vision shrunk to mere five metres.
Thunder Blasts– We were following the trail taking the mountain side as reference. It was heavy flow of rain water on the way.
Suddenly there was a thunder blast just few metres ahead of us. It was on an electric pole. It was so bright that we couldn’t see the anything for a few seconds. Just a fraction of second after that we heard the most ear piercing blast of our lives.
This was the nature at its deadliest.
It was getting too dangerous due to the fact that we four were left in solitaire with no civilisation around.
The Roller Coaster
As the rain was getting torrential and we had no choice to move with little to no visibility my bike rear chain sprocket started giving symptoms of getting worn out. The chain was slipping on it time and again.
All of a sudden there came a steep ascent and I could not figure it out due to low visibility. I quickly shifted to first gear, and the bike started crawling up. At the midst of this abrupt incline the rear chain slipped again. Me and Sameer (who was on my back seat), rolled backwards along with the bike for about 4-5m. God has really been kind to us as we didn’t receive any injuries. Rahul and Pradeep came for rescue immediately and we any how pushed the bike up the cliff.
PS: All this was happening amidst heavy rains and thunderstorms
The Final Blow
Having recovered from that roller coaster ride we started our journey forward. It was around 7 pm and we were few kilometres to Tashi View Point. The rain water level on road was rising continuously as a lot of water was coming from uphill. It was marshy as well owing to the mud that was coming with the rain water.
My bike again stopped pulling. This time the last few sprocket teeth were gone. The bike became dead still. This was the worst that could happen to anyone having done hell lot of adventure since morning. It was complete dark by then and the only light sources available were our bike headlamps and the fiercest, booming and terribly violent thunderstorms.
What you do if you find your self in midst of such situation? Reply in comment below.
None of us in our deadliest dream have ever imagined this kind of situation. We had left with no other option than to stand quietly, deluged in rain with our feet submerged in marshy trenches made by the cascading rain. Hearing to the ear piercing sound of the screaming clouds along with buzzing of beetles each one of us was praying for a safe escape from this situation.
We parked our bikes close to the wall side and stood huddling each other and laughing on the pity situation we were in. This was the time I said, “This is what you call an Adventure guys”.
Pradeep as always, had a plan. He suggested to take shade of the wall side, “It will save us from rain guys” said Pradeep. But as there was heavy mud near the wall side and there can be a landslide anytime, other three were not in agreement with him. But Pradeep’s Ekla Chalo Re(Walk Alone) attitude drove him to the wall side. Now Pradeep was standing in shade of a small bush protruding from the muddy mountain and we three were still huddling in the rain and bitching about Pradeep.
All of a sudden, a scream from Pradeep broke the silence, It was a blood sucking leach that fell on Pradeep. While Pradeep was shrieking like anything, we three had the best laugh of our lives.
So what happened next ? Did the ordeal continued or The Hope , as they say it , finally emerged somehow.
This and much more in The Tale of a Horrible Night (Motorcycle Diaries – Chapter 2 ) . Stay Tuned !!
Author & Picture Credits :
Hey all ! How did you find the experience penned above ? Waiting for your feedback in comments section !!
Your’s Truly : Deepak Sharma Aka Lonely Musafir from lonelymusafir.com/
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