Friday, December 21, 2007

Dec 20: Garo Hills(part 1)

The Garo people have turned out to be a harder nut to crack than the
Khasi. While the Khasi would have a 50 percent chance of asking me
atleast where I am going, the Garo guy is rather content to just
smile. Usae of hindi is way less in the Garo hills, another misfortune
for me. Somehow I get the feeling that the Khasi folks are somewhat
better-off than the Garo. The Garo seem mostly into agriculture,
somewhat into charcoal making too. Just like all other people in the
hilly areas, they too carry the load in the bamboo baskets the
baskets here are somewhat pyramidal in shape (they were conical in
khasi hills). Grouo of stalls selling oranges, pumpkin, vegetables
show up on the road now and then.

The Garo hills also much lower than Khasi hills - maxing out at 750m
or so (on the road atleast).

On the ride part, it was somehat tiring. The road till
Williamnagar(about 35km or so) was mostly bad and dusty. It was a
miserable experience when the groups of lorries passed by me. My
jacket took most of the dust! Post Williamnagar the road was good the
rest of the way, with hill climbs and descents coming at regular
intervals. The forest around me were thick but no spectacular views. I
didn't find proper food, and was dead tired by the time I finished
climbing the 750m high hill. Tura was still 30km away at 4 - some
night riding assured, I thought. I stopped at the first hotel where I
saw the first signs of acceptable food. Emptied most of what he had to
offer - except pork pakoda!

16km away from Tura, at a place called Rongram, I happened to notice
this board which said, 'Phulbari 60'. I knew phulbari was the place
where I could cross the Brahmaputra. Made some enquiries and confirmed
that there wan't anything of note to see in Tura.

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