Monday, March 04, 2013

Slice of North East



Before I left, many asked for my feedback on the North East when I returned.

Now, frankly I can’t claim to know what the North East is like since I visited only parts of Assam and Meghalaya this time. It is not like Ladakh where every journey is breathtakingly beautiful and the drive is picturesque. The drive between locations is as long, 5 to 6 hours to reach remote locations through curvy roads surrounded by hills that are being mined. So, expect very dusty and nausea inducing road travel. The trip is definitely not for the pleasure seeking. There are no fancy market places or sights to see. Most of the hotels out of the cities are just basic and functional.

Having said all that, for adventure seekers, this is the place. Be prepared to be surprised by smiling locals in remote villages which can be reached only on foot over hours of trek, where you call out to one child and the whole family peeps out welcoming you, serving their tasty (and spicy!) home food. Be confounded by dark eerie caves bedecked with stalactites and stalagmites where you will crawl for hours to reach daylight. Be geared to walk steep hills for hours with only screaming cicadas for company to walk across precariously perched living root bridges, praying that you finally reach the other end safe and sound, avoiding to look at the emerald waters gurgling downstream.

It is an adventure everyday. 

Sometimes I was left wondering if it was India at all. There are such few tourists around.

It is a whole new virgin world.

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