Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Dec 19: Crossed over to Garo Hills

Rode a 107km to reach Rong Jeng. I am now out of Khasi Hills and in
Garo territory.

My chain broke thrice yesterday. Twice I reduced the chain length-it
is in excess to accomodate the deraileur. I had to use the locally
available tools (rocks) to hammer the chain to shape! Bala had raised
a good point - I still don't know what the reason for the chain
breakage is, but my hunch is that it is something to do with lateral
forces on the chain. Anticipate problems tomorrow also, but much
better prepared now than earlier!

On the riding side, it was fun most parts of the day. The road was
patchy in most places, but that wasn't enough to trouble me. A lot of
riding today was downhill - I have actually descended from 1700m to
300m! As a result the pine trees are far behind, and bamboo and other
trees are the new scenary.

Throughout my whole ride yesterday, there wasn't a single cloud over
my head. That's what Meghalaya seems to mean - you are so high that
consider your home is among the clouds!

My situation w.r.t understanding Khasi traditions, etc has remained
largely unchanged. I ate unpolished locally grown red rice. Red since
it was unpolished. Most people here seem to eat rice all three times.
This actually points to the economic backwardness of the area. Most
Khasi I met today were very friendly. In Umdang village i got a
special tea! Again, some khasi can speak fluent english, while others
blabber. A few were ruffianly - demanding me to stop and speak with
them. Of course, I was in no mood to oblige!

Dividing Khasi and Garo hills is one single bridge with a stream
flowing underneath. I'm told that the khasi and garo traditions are
different. let's see how much I can catch...

For the night I am staying in the church ! The sleeping bag is coming
useful since I have to sleep on the floor!

Some replies to comments:
@neeraj: hope I had known you earlier
@gautham:930km till now.
@kp:agreed about highway part. I'd even go so far to say 'highways are
a great cultural leveller'!

Sent from Gmail for mobile |

No comments: