From the best hitchhiking experience in Northeast India to a thrilling Dzukou Valley trek where we found ourselves lost in the wild, discover the valuable lessons we learned and the mistakes we made.

9 June – Hitchhiking – Guwahati to Dimapur

Abeer and I were at a mosque at night in Guwahati, Assam, and in the morning, we decided to hitchhike to Dimapur, Nagaland.

We took multiple cars and one e-rickshaw. All the people were so welcoming and kind, but the e-rickshaw driver deserves a special mention. 

He saw our lift card and stopped, telling us he was going to Khanapara, Guwahati. We hopped on, and as we talked, he was so happy. After reaching Khanapara, he gave us money to reach our next destination.

I told him repeatedly that we didn’t need the money, but he insisted, saying it would make things easier for us. His kindness made me emotional. He wasn’t wealthy, but he had the richest heart.

Then, we got a ride from some college students in a car, followed by a car ride to Dimapur with two guys from Karnataka.

At the end of the day, we decided to stay at the Gurudwara in Dimapur. The room was great, with electricity, three beds, a fan, and washroom facilities.

We had our dinner (langar) at 8:30 PM. There was daal, chawal, roti, and lassi. I don’t drink lassi, so I only had roti, sabji, and daal chawal. It was great and tasty.

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10 June – Hitchhiking – Dimapur to Kohima

We had our breakfast around 10 AM and did some seva (service) in the langar, moving utensils from one floor to another.

We left the Gurudwara and informed them that we might visit again after our Dzukou Valley trek.

Then, we went to the police station to get our Inner Line Permit (ILP).

They told us to visit the DC office, but an officer informed us that we couldn’t get the ILP that day or the next as everyone was busy with the election.

We had applied for the ILP two days ago, but it was still showing as “under process.”

We visited a computer shop to see if they could help arrange ILPs for us. The lady called someone but said it wasn’t possible. 

However, she assured us we could travel and that nothing would happen if we explained our situation.

We then started hitchhiking to Kohima. 

After waiting for a long time, an auto driver gave us a lift, followed by another auto. 

Finally, we got a truck ride to Lalmati. It was my first time hitchhiking on a truck, and I enjoyed the stunning view of the hills while relaxing in the cool breeze. The driver was from Assam and he was a great guy.

From Lalmati, two guys from Dimapur gave us a lift in their car to Kohima. We decided to stay the night at Kohima Mosque.

While hitchhiking, we both received notifications that our ILPs were approved, we paid the required fee (Rupees 100 for me and Rupees 50 for Abeer) and received our ILPs online.

11 June – Hitchhiking – Kohima to Zakhama

After waiting for a long time in Kohima, we got a lift to Zakhama village from Savi Uncle, who works as a guide in Dzukou Valley.

Lost in the wild - Inu Etc

The Worst Trekking Experience Ever – Lost In the Wild.

We reached Zakhama and began trekking around 12 PM. After trekking for about six hours, we almost reached the peak but lost our route.

We screamed for help and got some responses, but no one came.

We decided to return to the mid-rest house, but it was already dark.

We pitched our tent in the middle of the jungle, on the edge of a cliff. It wasn’t safe, but we had no energy left. We had no food, no water, and no other options.

We were just hoping for rain to get some water.

We placed two pots outside the tent for rainwater and hoped for the best.

With no network, we couldn’t call for help. It was the worst trekking experience to date.

I just hoped to wake up healthy the next morning and considered stopping the journey and returning home.

From Hitchhiking Bliss to a Survival Night in Dzukou Valley Lost in the Wild and Lessons Learned Inu Etc Travel Photos20240612 073620 scaled

12 June – Struggling to Survive: Our Search for Help

I couldn’t sleep at night.

In the morning, we tried to find a route but failed.

We had no energy, food, or water.

After realizing we couldn’t find a route, we tried contacting local guides from a place where there was little network availability, but no one was awake.

We called Dawn Homestay for a local guide. The owner was responsive and tried her best, but everyone was asleep. 

We also called Savi Uncle, who also tried to help.

We then called all our friends and family. They provided us with numbers and contacted the police. 

Finally, we connected with a rescue team who told us to stay at the location. They promised to arrive within an hour or two.

Here’s the update I posted on my Instagram story:

“We’re in the middle of the jungle without water and food since 3 PM yesterday.

We started the Dzukou Valley trek from a new route without a guide, which was our first mistake. Our second mistake was not carrying enough water and food.

We’ve contacted a rescue team, and they should arrive within two hours. Let’s hope for the best.

We’re waiting in the middle of the jungle with limited network availability. We can’t move because we don’t know the route, we have no energy, and we might lose energy and network connection if we try to move.

We’re just waiting for the local guide.

Thanks for all the support.

Thanks a lot @baldeepdhurkot @andrenoarii @thisissanidol, Dawn Homestay, Savi Uncle, and all my friends and well-wishers.

See you soon ❤️”

Finally, three local guides came, gave us food and water, carried our rucksacks, and dropped us at Dawn Homestay, Zakhama.

Dzukou Valley - Inu Etc

The Mistakes Made and Lessons Learned: Reflections from Our Trek

We made many mistakes:

  • We started the trek late.
  • We carried heavy rucksacks.
  • We went on the trek without a guide.
  • We didn’t carry enough water.

We learned many lessons.

We’ll never trek without a guide again, start trekking in the morning, pack our backpacks light, and always carry enough water and dry fruits.

We realized the importance of water. Spending 18 hours without water was incredibly difficult. We survived by eating sugar, dry Electral powder, and three palm fruits.

Thanks for reading this article. 💚

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If you have any questions or if you wanna work with me, feel free to contact me. I’m always available to help young hustlers like you @InuEtc on Instagram.

Keep hustling!

Keep traveling.