Day 3 in India.
I woke early in Guwahati due to:
Before we headed out, it was time for breakfast, so we wandered down to the local fish auctions...
It was the day that we were going to do the “long” 150km drive at 40km/h due to the impossibly winding roads and some really questionable driving from other vehicles.
It was Cherrapunjee day, to head into the mountains and to see what the “Scotland of India” was really like. I had looked at all the websites and images I could get my hands on, I was prepared to be wowed by the scenery, and I have to say, I wasn’t disappointed.
The drive up was fairly fun, despite the slow going traffic, we had Bohemian Rhapsody to listen to, plus a heap of hits from several years ago, this helped keep the spirit jubilant despite the driving rain. The no-seatbelt in the back thing was a bit odd to get used to, but the leather seats made for some old-fashioned corner fun, with miss bev and I sliding around. The clouds were definitely clinging to the side of the mountains; we couldn’t see a thing over what was supposed to be a very beautiful view. Arriving into Cherrapunjee itself, we couldn’t see much for the low clouds and the constant rain.
We found our accommodations – gorgeous little cottages, each completely different, I have a white-themed one and the Bevs have this racy animal-print inspired villa. It’s a little bit cosy with a roaring fire and this outdoor shower. You don’t come to Sa-i-mika Park because it’s perfect – it’s not – but that’s where its charm is. All the comforts of life, but not a television set in sight. Replacing it is the most stunning green rolling hills, a cool breeze and each villa has been made with available materials from the surrounding areas. It’s like that proverbial cabin that you seek out in the woods – a retreat from the busyness of life, and it’s just splendid. Each morning there's low cloud and it looks foggy. Disoriented one morning, I thought I'd been transported to Soviet Russia, the old and makeshift play equipment giving me the full haunted experience.
Ironically, some are made of wood, straw and some of stone. The wooden ones have fireplaces, and the blankets smelt like someone had let the fire go all night while they slept. Thank goodness for sleeping bag liners. Overall though, it had to be one of the most memorable stays in India.
As we were tucking into lunch, the thick, heavy clouds that had stuck to the mountains began to show that they were lifting. A window, literally a window appeared in the clouds, parted and bared blue sky. As the hour progressed, it spread, until eventually we were in full sunlight.
This, as we were told when we found the manager, was the first time in two weeks when the rain had stopped. We organised a driver quickly so we could get out to make use of the sunshine. Our driver arrived faster than we expected and we set off to see the sights of Cherrapunjee wondering when or IF the weather would set in again.
As it turns out, it stayed clear all afternoon. Clouds revealed magnificent waterfalls, sunlight broke through grey clouds and it actually became quite warm. Another thing that we noticed; locals were doing washing. This, ordinarily wouldn’t be anything interesting to us, but since people dress so colourfully around here, the washing is vibrant and perky. Silhouetted against the sunlight or over-exposed, the humble washing became a star for my lens. The townsfolk were consumed by washing – first sunny break in 2 weeks, everything was getting washed!
Tomorrow we hit the famous Living Root bridges. It’s going to be a long day of hiking and exploring the lower reaches of Meghalaya. I can’t wait to show you what I come back with!
Since it’s probably my first chance to show you any photos from India, I’ll let the images do the talking for the rest of the post. There’s been some cracker moments, and these are just the preliminary edits. I know I am going to fill tonnes of memory cards capturing this amazing part of Assam.
Updated: more photos from this amazing part of the world.
^^Looking over the mountain and into Bangladesh. We never actually went down there, but had a good look at the Deltas flooding.
^^ Among the clouds!
^^ Looking down into the area around Nongriat village
^^ As we'd gotten to Cherrapunjee a few days after 2 weeks of rain, everyone was putting their washing out! I couldn't resist photographing peoples laundry, it was fascinating!
^^ Who needs a fire station when you get THIS much rain each year. Apparently its around 11,400mm of rain, which is 11.4m of rain each year! Wowzers.
Sa-i-mika Park,our accommodation for 3 nights.
^^ Dining room of our accommodations.
^^ Bev is a turtle? Using local rain covers.
^^ waterfalls lookout point.
^^ Toll booth on the way up to Cherrapunjee from Guwahati.
^^ The Inn that we had breakfast at. There's no designated breakfast food in these parts in the north, we mostly had Roti and a dipping sauce.
^^ Marvel at the unfinished buildings.
^^ FIsh Markets.
^^ The only photo I got of my hotel room in Guwahati. I must have been tired to only capture this one.