Monday, December 17, 2007

Dec 17: Sightseeing!

Got into tourist mode today. Rest for my legs after 741kms, and
especially yesterday's climb. Hired a taxi and visited the tourist
attractions surrounding Cherrapunji - 56km away from Shillong. To be
honest, only the Mawsmai Caves were good. Why? The rest were all
waterfalls without water. I am told that the best time to visit is
just after the monsoon.

Coming back to the Mawsmai Caves. These are natural caves. Only one
of them is large enough for people to walk inside for a substantial
distance – less than 150 meters. This cave is also illuminated using
electricity. The other caves (two of them) are small, but worth a
look. The large cave is a fascinating place. Rock formation here
takes weird shapes, some of which are best described as roots of a
tree, while some others look like sculptures a bit. Very few of the
stones have some glitter. The area around Cherrapunjee is mining area
for limestone, and I'm wondering if this cave is also made of
limestone. Nobody around to say for sure!

Cherrapunjee in itself is a small township. There are several British
era buildings, nothing special but. The area around Cherrapunjee has
a few worthy falls, but as I mentioned, these are best viewed after
the monsoon. Cherrapunjee has abundant rocky mountain cliffs, and
water falls are the natural result.

The only water falls I saw worth the mention was Elephant Falls, near
Shillong itself.

The rest of the day was spent loitering around Shillong, shopping for
Khasi shawls and tasting the food at various hotels. I got curious
enought to try even a masala dosa at one of the shops. Not bad
actually,but they could use a bit of help with the chutney and masala!

Surprisingly, I got a phone call from Garo Hills, with an unknown
person wishing me good luck. He's apparently a cyclist himself. I
have unfortunately forgotten the name! (I received the phone call in
the middle of a busy bazaar) Much appreciated...

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