We met for breakfast at 5.45am which consisted of omelette's that were probably cooked the previous day, they were rubbery and cold! But, on the plus side it was nearly a lie-in! Today we were travelling south towards Eaglenest a vast untouched area of forest rising to around 9,000ft with a variety of habitats and different altitude levels to explore.
We started off at the local river in Dirang where we found a couple of Brown Dipper and Crested Kingfisher, we followed the river for a while when the van in front stopped suddenly and the bionic Swede had done it again, this time Wallcreeper. Next we visited a flood plain alongside the river where we found Long-billed Plover, not the wader some of the group were after (whisper IBISBILL!!!)
|An interesting bridge over the river.|
We then headed south after approximately an hour we rounded a corner to be faced with two Army tow trucks parked across the road blocking access in both directions. Apparently a petrol tanker had gone off the road and down the ravine killing the driver. For some reason they were trying to haul the vehicle out of the ravine. On closer inspection the truck was moving at about a foot a minute and with at least 150 metres to go it was going to take time. Plus if they eventually succeeded there was a vertical 10 metre wall to get over. It was clear to us it wasn’t going to happen, there just wasn’t any space available for the manoeuvre.
In addition the cables were either side of a tree which was about 50 metres down, so god only knows how they would have got past that! Anyway after about 10 minutes one of the cables snapped, what a noise it made, it was lucky no one was killed, ten minutes later another one went and the truck disappeared back down into the ravine. At this point the Army decided it wasn’t going to work and moved the trucks sideways on, clearing one lane. It was a relief to get moving, if the petrol tanker had gone up it would have caused carnage!
|The army attempting to remove a Petrol Tanker from a rather deep ravine.|
We were soon at the entrance to Eaglenest sanctuary up a dirt track which provided the only access. As we drove up it was just one vast area of forest, in the middle of which we could make out a couple of buildings and a few blue dots – that was our accommodation!