Riding home from Serchhip

The rest of the ride to Serchhip was uneventful. The road NH 54 had been recently redone making the ride real smooth. At Serchhip I stayed at Pu James’, a friend from misual.com. We had not met in person before and there was a lot to catch up. After dinner I was suppose to sleep in their department guest house but I left sleepy and lazy and chose to crash in their sofa instead.

About Pu James- Pu James is a foodie like a lot of Mizo men but what sets him apart is his interest in cooking and acquiring a variety of exotic Mizo food and dishes. Most Mizo men aren’t interested beyond sachek. He has a stash of exotic Mizo food such as mautuai, baibing and khawi no all year round. He said that he would not open his exotic reserves unless he has a VIP visitor. I felt very honored to be one.

The next morning he helped me chart the next course of travel. He suggested I proceed towards North Vanlaiphai and may be towards Champhai. He wanted to come along but had to leave that afternoon to Aizawl for a meeting.

But trouble struck. Even before I reached the main road, I had a flat tyre. I did not carry tools and spares as the bike was close to brand new. I quickly changed plan and decided to return home. With the help of Pu James’ driver, I found a tyre repair shop in Serchhip but they didn’t have the right size tools to remove the wheel. And also they were not very eager as they mainly catered to cars and trucks. So we just topped up the pressure and I had it repaired at Chhingchhip instead. I also borrowed Pu James’ pump in case I need to top up the pressure on the way.

Instead of coming back on Seling route, I wanted to try the new Khumtung to Muallungthu road. The road was fresh and gravel till Tuirial bridge. For some distances before Tuirial bridge, there were arrays of thlam, jhum hut. I was invited to tea into one of them and I delightfully obliged. I learned the were farmers from Tlungvel and they mainly grow brinjal which they sell in bulk to the vegetable market in Aizawl. They would camp in the farm Monday to Saturday. They work early morning, rest at noon when the sun is hottest and continue in the evening.

At Tuirial bridge, I rode down to the river bank to freshen up. This cost me some worry and energy. As I was about to start, the rear wheel fell into soft earth which collapsed. I had to pull the extremely heavy Classic 350 out all by myself. What feat!

The road from Tuirial to Muallungthu was in a decent shape of tarmac. I passed by farms and stone quarries. A very pleasant ride and sight.

When I reached home, the bullet has clocked 1024 km.

To Chalfilh

chalfilh-road-curve

After the airfield, I made a quick stop at Tuirial bridge. The bridge appeared several years ago in what used to be very popular (May still be, but who likes to hang printed calendar on the wall any more?) Mizoram Calendar issued by the State Dept. Of Information & Public Relations. It also appeared in a handful of Mizo music videos ( and films), one was that of a Mizo band called Tornado. The river bed by the bridge used to be a popular picnic spot, not sure now.

Just before Seling the road forked into two. I took the left into Tipaimukh road. Tipaimukh road was just something in school text. I was going to ride it then. From there on, it was all new to me.

20140519_113646_National Highway 54

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Tuirial Airfield, Mizoram

Tuirial Airfield

The motorcycle is 6 months old with just 502 KM on the odometer and there are plenty of roads to ride. In the next three days, it will clock another 500. It was going to be my first long ride on a bullet. The plan- Start from Durtlang, quick detour to Tuirial Airfield, proceed to Seling, turn left at Seling into Tipaimukh road, checkout Chalfilh if possible and turn right to Suangpuilawn at East Phaileng.

Summer of 2014, I was in between jobs and got a month break at home. We were mulling several plans, none materialized. So I borrowed my wife’s brother’s bullet for solo road trip.

As planned my first halt was at the airfield which was decommissioned since the opening of bigger Lengpui Airport in 1998. Since then it has been mainly used for racing and other outdoor recreation. It was the first aerodrome in Mizoram. With short runway, only small planes could land. There used to be a Vayudoot Dornier 228 flight between Tuirial and Kolkata. The tarmac had aged and the ride not smooth. Behind BSF trucks, I saw the old air traffic control tower.