I have crossed some interesting bridges on my treks in the Himalayas and here is a selection of a few of them.
I have written more about my memorable encounter with this bridge in the Garhwal Himalay near Khatling Glacier. We crossed over from Kedarnath over a high pass and down into the Khatling valley. We were making our way down the valley in the middle of the monsoon when we came across this bridge. I really really didn’t want to cross this bridge but as the river was in spate we didn’t really have a choice. To make matters worse we were forced to cross this bridge three times. It was really flimsy so make ourselves a bit lighter we emptied half the gear from our packs, made a crossing, unpacked, crossed back over to retrieve the rest of the gear. I hope I never meet this bridge ever again!
A suspension bridge over the Lohit river in Arunachal Pradesh in the Eastern Himalayas. The Lohit, a tributary of the mighty Brahamaputra river, runs along the Tibetan and Burmese boarder in the north eastern part of India. This bridge was a lot more sturdy than it looks. It did sway a lot and you had to hang on to the rusty cables when you crossed as the planks were very slimy. Great spot to film the next Indiana Jones movie.
We did a trek up the Lasser Yangti river valley in the Kumaon Himalayas very early in spring. The track infrastructure had not been repaired for the season as yet. One side of this bridge had been pushed up by the winter snow which would have filled the gully. Not a good place to slip.
Another view of the suspension bridge over the Lohit River in Arunachal Pradesh, India. This is one of the sturdier bridges we came across on this trip and it was a lot more solid than it looks.
This bamboo ‘bridge’ across the SarDi River in Arunachal Pradesh provided us with some exciting moments on our trek. As you can see it consisted of not much more than a few bamboo poles and bits of twine. The bridge is built by local hunters who access the valley. The local tribal people are experts in the jungle so this wouldn’t phase them in the slightest. The Indian army did attempt to build something a bit more solid here but the monsoon floods soon took care of that. The twisted wreck of their bridge lay smashed among the boulders.
Another view of the crazy bridge over the Khatling river in Garhwal. Scott was the first across when we stood on the side and watched with bated breath. There wasn’t much we could do if he fell in.
Another view of the bamboo bridge across the Sar Di river in Arunachal Pradesh. As I approached the bridge across the log on the left, I noticed a leopard turd precariously balanced on the edge. I smiled to myself knowing that I wasn’t the only one who nearly crapped themselves before crossing!
This bridge was a few day’s walk away from the roadhead and I hate to imagine how much effort would have been involved in carrying all the materials needed to build this bridge. It was a beautifully designed bridge suspended over a narrow and very deep valley. We dropped some rocks over the edge and could count a few seconds before the rocks hit the water. The sound of the rocks hitting the water flushed a Pine Martin out from its hiding spot and we caught a glimpse of it as it dashed for cover.
Another hunters bridge in the Sar Di valley in the eastern Himalayas of Arunachal Pradesh, India. The tribal people were experts in the jungle and they could whip up all kinds of things with their machetes. Early one morning as I drank my cup of tea I watched as a tribal skinned a bamboo and wove a basket out of it in a few minutes. He wove some straps for it, threw the basket over his shoulders and disappeared into the jungle. Another day in the office.
Another great example of infrastructure in the north east of India. The army must have built this bridge a while ago. This was the last piece of civilisation we came across in this valley. There was barely a track on the far side. Once you crossed over, you were in the jungle.