Monday, December 17, 2007

Dec 16: Climb to Shillong(part 1)

Guwahati - Shillong is not a long ride on paper. About 100 kms. About
20km away from Guwahati, at a place called Jorabat, the road forks.
One road goes towards Shillong. Guwahati is almost at the border with
Meghalaya, and the fork marks the beginning of the State of Meghalaya
as well.

I reached Jorabat at 8, with 80 more to Shillong. I knew Shillong is
at an altitude of approximately 1500m. Based on my previous western
ghats experience, this led me to believe that the last 20km or so
would be a good climb, while the rest would be relatively flat. I
hadn't understood that Meghalaya had really begun. For the most part
of the next 80kms, I ended up riding uphill. A slow and steady climb
all the way to 1422 meters above sea level. The road wasn't very good,
but it wasn't too bad either. I reached Shillong at about 6 PM, and
had no problems finding acoomodation on P.B.Road (Police Bazaar).

The hills I climbed are called the Khasi hills. Meghalaya consists of
two hill sections - Khasi hills and Garo Hills. A large number of
people inhabiting the Khasi hills are Christian. Inhabitants of Garo
seem to be largely Hindu(or tribal). I heard a lot of loud blaring
western music from many a house, but seriously didn't meet any fluent
english speaking Khasi till I reached Shillong.

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