After sightseeing Tawang, next day was for Bum-La, here La means Pass.
Only local Sumo is allowed for Bum-La. Bum-La is Indo-China Border. Hence, our driver picked us from Hotel and took us to the hotel, where those guys were staying. Arrangement for the permit & local Sumo was already made.
We had breakfast of Maggi and tea at the Hotel and left for Bum-la by 7:00 am. The road to Bum-la is all bumpy, twisty roads, hairpin bends, and beautiful sceneries.
We reached Bum-La by 10.00 am. Spent almost an hour, initial 10 minutes trying to acclimatize, walking slowly and later finding the Pass crowded. We waited for some time, for crowd to disperse, clicked the surrounding, as the Pass cleared, we took our turns to take photographs.
Guys did their hostel-shout routine, admired the surroundings. I sat for some time, trying to breathe in and out. The Pass is located at 14,615 ft. Since, I did not prepare for the trip physically, I took some time. Watching the people from various cities, trying to get “that aisa and waisa” photo.
Unknowingly, we spent more time here, hence, wasting the precious time which would have been needed for Taksang Monastery (which eventually we had to skip). We left for Shungetsar Lake also called as Madhuri lake (because of song shoot done on Madhuri –Movie :Koyla), which was on other road at the Y Junction.
The road to this lake was worse than Bum-La itself. There was not a single patch of plain road. Finally, when we arrived at the spot, I was not ecstatic about the place.
Maybe, I had bigger expectation, since, I had already seen such lakes. There was an army canteen, crowded with tourist. Honestly, I did not felt the worth of visiting this lake after the terrible journey. There are numerous lakes on the way, which are way more beautiful. (I wondered how the entire shooting crew reached this place during that time).
We reached Tawang at 3:00 pm. I did hope, we could have done the Taktsang Monastery. But the drivers here are adamant and use excuses like road block or any damn thing to evade it. First, Ani Gompa and now, Taktsang. I enquired for a shared sumo from Tawang to Bhalukpong or Tezpur or Itanagar, since our next destination was Ziro. I was informed that there is some work going on the highway from Bhalukpong to Bomdila, hence, all the sumos are routed through Kalaktang and Orang. Hence, sumos were available only for Tezpur (1050/ head) to reach by 5:00 PM and for Itanagar (2000/head) and would have taken more than 13 hours. We booked for Tezpur and went back to hotel, got a heater for the room. On the first day in Tawang, we had washed some clothes, which were to be repeated for next few days, unfortunately even after 2 nights, they were still dripping wet. Due to heater, we got the clothes dried and packed up bags to leave Tawang, next day.
Sumo started by 5:30 AM. It went back through same route till Bomdila and then took the turn to Rupa via Kalaktang and Orang reached Tezpur by 7:00 PM, late in night. And to our dismay and shock, the whole town was in darkness. We were informed that the thunderstorm on the previous night had taken off the electricity grid.
We first went to one hotel, and for 600, he was giving us room with no electricity and in Tezpur, the temperature was around 30 degrees, needed a fan, at least. He guided us to Hotel Centre Point, which was an upscale hotel with electricity. We were toying with the idea of taking a night bus to Itanagar, but the locals were not helping with the proper information.
Also, the 14 hrs journey from Tawang and further night journey to Itanagar and thereafter forward to Ziro would have been very very hectic. We decided to book the room and stay in luxury for a night and relax. The owner guided us to another hotel chain called Hotel Bikram (2200/night). Generously, the manager dropped us in hotel car. Well, the breakfast was complimentary. We lazed a bit, thus missing the early bus to Itanagar…and the plan derailed further.