Dimapur (Assam), Kohima (Nagaland), Moreh (Manipur), India Week 151 February 17th - 19th 2014
At Dabaka we had a choice of road.

Fortunately we had information from someone who'd passed this way a couple of months ago (we met in Pokhara).

The dual carriageway on the map doesn't exist.

We headed towards Dimapur.

We are leaving the plain.

Education is heavily advertised in India.

And here is no different.

The building material of choice for this school is bamboo.

Dimapur is just over the border between Assam and Nagaland.

This appealing sign is just on the state border welcoming us to Nagaland.

A leafy suburb in Dimapur.
After which we became a bit lost.

The gps was "a bit out".

Asking directions was an interesting experience.

None of the instant interest and willingness to help.

More an eastern European reluctance to become involved.

But once people understood what we were asking they helped.

A Baptist Church in Dimapur.

Sorry about the raindrops. I haven't got window opening working yet.

There are forestry check points, police check points, and military check points.

Some are manned, some are manned and want us to stop.

This was a miscellaneous check point outside Dimapur as we started the climb into the hills.

A series of prices for transporting various livestock - including rabbits at the bottom.

Rainy and misty.

And cold in the cab without heating.

We climb into the mountains of Nagaland.

Kohima, capital of Nagaland, was a bit miserable for us.

Heavy traffic and rain.

Plus very tired.

But not too tired to notice the dog on the menu.

This state is not vegetarian.

Sorry about the raindrops.

The notice is a reminder that testing the sex of baby before birth is illegal.

We've also noticed signs about the WWII "Battle of Kohima".

Presumably the Japanese managed to get this far west. With the help of their Thai-Burma rail line.

We stopped at the first likely servo south of Kohima.

Woke to a bit of sunshine.

Perhaps its because its in English but we can't help noticing the Christian religious signs.

As well as the churches, schools with Christian names, and roadside signs ....

there's something unsettling about a potentially out of control jeep rounding a corner with "Jesus Saves" across the windscreen.

Perhaps its because we haven't seen this level of religious promotion anywhere else on our travels. 

We thought we saw a couple of snow capped peaks.

The road through the mountains is a bit potholed and a bit slow.

Our average speed is about 25 km/hr.

A few towns along the way. But no real obstacles.
We've seen Baptist, Catholic, Presbyterian, Methodist, Salvation Army, Revivalist, Believers, and a few others we can't remember, represented.

It all helps to make this part of India seem very un-Indian.

And we've also seen these very large woven baskets.

Looking a bit like covers for large jars?


A "waiting shed".

We've seen a few.

None of the confines of a simple bus stop. All sorts of transport.

Not sure what the person in the grave is waiting for though?

The mail must get through.

Looks a bit like an Aussie mail bus would look like a few years ago.

"From big things little things come".

The big stones are hand fed into the mechanical crusher.

A step up from crushing by hand.

We are high on the side of a valley.

Have to look at a topographical map to make sense of what feels like a maze.

We've had to abandon our usual picture of "NS" or "EW" countries and go with the flow.

And after a few days of rain it looks like the sun is needed to dry out the roofs.
The military presence is everywhere.

Serious business. They are wearing flak jackets and protective head gear.

And (to us) big automatic guns.

Silly thought for the day!

We hope there isn't a connection between the Christian presence and the military one.

Somewhere there's a band of hills that runs from here through Myanmar, Northern Thailand and we think into Laos.

Occupied by "hill tribes". In some places oppressed. The Assam Rifles describe themselves as "Friends of the Hill Tribes".

We've descended to the valley floor.

Follow the river to Imphal.

Past yet another of the interminable checkpoints.
More road building materials.

More hand feeding the crusher.

In Imphal,  the capital of Manipur, we took an attractive looking flyover.

The diagonal road below us is where we wanted to be ....

A gentle reminder that people have a harder time than I with a bit of neck and arm pain.

If only my treatment were free ... though I guess I'd settle for "works".

The Khong Jom War Memorial Gate.

More research required.

It stands to one side of the road from Imphal to Moreh.

We think WWII again.

We are due to leave the plain again.

Over the hill to Moreh.

And very nice hills they are too.

With added humour ...

We pulled off the road on a corner for this photo.

I noticed a dog that we'd disturbed first. Then some movement in the bushes.

The army sentry had been a little asleep.

Big smiles all round ...

Myanmar is over there somewhere.
We hope.
"Smile you are in chaubees".

We smiled, but not because ....."

The military checks became a bit more serious on this section towards the border.

A bit of fun at the second one - there were some stalls, the army guy asked if he could look inside and I let the steps down for him. The women stall holders queued up for a look too.

We were well looked after and expedited through the process, including a visit to "my officer".

Really a visa and contents check.

Not so lucky was a German cyclist who seemed to have to open everything.

Can't help notice the scars of clear felling.


Though there's still a lot of original forest and of course new growth.

We are in Moreh. An autonomous region within the state of Manipur. With a border crossing to Myanmar.

Next to our servo camp site is the Moreh Customs' Post.

A bit like Brisbane having its own customs. But I guess we pay "rates".

After a long tiring day we have a day in hand, for rest and rewiring, before joining the convoy and crossing into Myanmar.

Following day was the much promised "rest" day.

Having mentally separated "power" and "control" circuits it seemed that the problem(s) were all in the control circuits.

Tracing wires through the maze of the loom didn't seem to be getting any closer.

So. With a bit of trepidation, find a fused supply and install a by-pass wire.

One for the blower motor, which also brought aircon to life. Another for the windows - its a bit like a radio, there's a permanent supply and a switched supply from the ignition. Its the latter I by-passed.

The only strange happening was that the engine sometimes wouldn't stop when the ignition was turned off. Basically power fed backwards through the circuit. Annoying that it was intermittent. Solved by cutting the old wire near my new loop for the windows.

A pleasant side effect is that the alternator light now turns off as normal. Immediately on starting. No having to raise the revs a bit.

So after 5 hours of careful step by step methodical work I'll declare a small victory and retire for lunch and a siesta.

For the record, otherwise I'll forget - a black wire linked from blue/white at blower fuse to red wire headed to blower switch. And a short black wire link in the plug to back of window switch unit in right hand door, from orange (power) to yellow/black (labeled "starter switch" on circuit board). I cut the yellow/black wire near the switch connector.

We soon learned that there is no diesel at the fuel station. Initially we were told "strike". But later "blockade". Apparently fuel stations in Imphal (last town 100km back) are also closed. In a disconnected incident, more information came our way that the border is closed.

Apparently two Indian businessmen are missing in Myanmar and the Myanmar government are not doing enough to search for them.

A couple more members of the convoy turned up. People we'd met already - you guessed it, in Pokhara. We are now seven. Plus a report that others who met up in Guwahati are stuck in a long queue of trucks.

The servo operator is being very understanding. 

We'll wait until Joern's (organiser) Indian friend turns up or someone from his convoy from Thailand to India crosses the border.

Meanwhile, enjoy the sunshine. And a real rest.

To Kalimeyo, Myanmar Week 151 February 20th - 21st 2014

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