My unplanned SOLO on Fascino----- #Day 3- Day 8 or Is it Day 9 :)

Tripoto

Day 3

Good Morning !

Waking up with a day light, no heat, lake view out of a comfy Tent... just wow!

I had to start early as next stop was to Living root bridge which is in the cleanest village. I rode from Shnongpdeng to Mawlynnong (42 kms.). It was a smooth 1.5 hrs. drive. On the way, I got a chance to see the stunning day light view of Dwaki. The living root bridge in Mawlynnong has entry ticket of 10 rupees. If something needs to be preserved, it comes with a price. Yes there are a lot of living root bridges which are beautiful and are used for crossing water bodies. When its about food, I am always in for it, be it cooked or raw. This place has amazing Oranges and Apples, I mean Pine- apples.

Day 3
Photo of Mawlynnong - Cleanest Village, Mawlynnong, Meghalaya, India by Deepthi Margam
Photo of Living Root Bridge, Mawlynnong, Surok Mawlynnong, Mawlynnong, Meghalaya, India by Deepthi Margam
Photo of Living Root Bridge, Mawlynnong, Surok Mawlynnong, Mawlynnong, Meghalaya, India by Deepthi Margam

My next stop was Cherrapunji (81 kms) and breakfast was healthy and delicious Pine-apple. The roadways are well connected from Shillong to Cherrapunji. This made ride joyful. When I was in Dwaki, I was told by a fellow traveler to visit Wei Saw-dong as I planned to stay a day or two based on my next place of visit. The climate allows us to visit Wei Saw-dong only until 3 pm. By the time I arrived my Home stay it was 1:30 pm. I just dropped my luggage and sped off to visit this place. It was 40 mins ride from my home stay. Once we reach this location, one needs to trek for 25 to 30 mins to see this beautiful waterfall. I was able to reach by 2:45 pm. I started my trek to Wei Saw-dong falls. The trail was man made bridges of bamboo. I was surprised and impressed by the way nature was put at best use and well preserved.

Photo of Wei Sawdong, Cherrapunjee, Meghalaya, India by Deepthi Margam
Photo of Wei Sawdong, Cherrapunjee, Meghalaya, India by Deepthi Margam

To not to miss this place, I had to delay my lunch. I started my ride in search for Khasi delicacies. To support tourism, Meghalaya came up with cuisines which are mostly preferred by fellow tourists. I was looking for local and finally after 20 mins ride from waterfall I found one stall which said local food dhaba. Without any second thought, I went to check out the place. The menu was something which I couldn’t understand as it was all Nagaland cuisine. However, I got help from the host and ordered Naga delicacies. Without any doubt, I have to say that, the cuisine was yummy.

Photo of Wei Sawdong, Cherrapunjee, Meghalaya, India by Deepthi Margam
Photo of Wei Sawdong, Cherrapunjee, Meghalaya, India by Deepthi Margam
Photo of Wei Sawdong, Cherrapunjee, Meghalaya, India by Deepthi Margam
Photo of Wei Sawdong, Cherrapunjee, Meghalaya, India by Deepthi Margam
Photo of Wei Sawdong, Cherrapunjee, Meghalaya, India by Deepthi Margam

After sumptuous meal, I headed back to my home stay. There, I met a fellow traveler who was travelling since Jun 2018. I was perplexed with all mixed thoughts- Is it really possible? How one manages to do? Only read in blogs about such travel stories and met someone for first time. Traveler shared his share of stories on how he got the idea and how he arrived to this plan. When I heard the stories, It was a shockingly pleasant experience. As he also had the same plan for the next two days like mine, we both traveled together for the next three days.

Day 4

Day 4

The next day we started off to Aarwa caves. It's good for those who are interested in excavation. We headed to Orange Root for breakfast – one of the famous vegetarian restaurant which serves amazing breakfast like dosa, idli and serves thali for lunch. As my fellow traveler loves dosa, we arrived here before we head to our next destination- Tyrna village.

Photo of Arwah Cave, Cherrapunjee, Meghalaya, India by Deepthi Margam
Photo of Arwah Cave, Cherrapunjee, Meghalaya, India by Deepthi Margam

Tyrna village is the starting point of trek to the great Double Decker bridge in Nongriat Village. It’s a 30 min ride from Orange Roots. We have parking availability if one would like to stay for the night at Nongriat. Unless you are marathon runner, it’s a bit strenuous to reach Rainbow Falls and also start back to Cherrapunji on the same day. The trek path to Nongriat village is 3500 down hill stairs. Once you reach this village, one can opt for stay in Nongriat village. If you are one of those who would like to enjoy the stay in bamboo house, I suggest you to book your stay on arrival to Nongriat and later head to double Decker bridge. As, it a small village uphill, the home stays are limited. Once the stay got confirmed, we heard mixed view on path to Rainbow Falls. We decided to follow the crowd to reach Rainbow Falls. The path to this falls is slightly hidden at one point. As I am a trekker, I started looking around for tracks. I noticed that there is a man made bridge, which leads to a track which is in turn  hidden by a huge trunk. Once we climb that trunk, path was wholly clear. This is also the path to go to natural swimming pools. Yes, they are for real and one would feel like ecstasy at these pools. As the daylight was closing, we headed straight to rainbow falls. Yes, the rainbow was for real and I eagerly waited for good 30 mins to see that rainbow on falls. I was fascinated by the beauty. I never seen such a beautiful color of waterfalls until then. The waters were quite chilly. However, I decided to take the dip and it was deep blue moment.

After a good soak in falls, we headed back to the home stay. The supper was simple dal, rice, sabji and omlet (if one needs it). We decided to get a better view of Double Decker bridge on the next day when the crowd would be minimal.

Photo of Rainbow Falls, Cherrapunji-Mawsynram Reserve Forest, Meghalaya, India by Deepthi Margam
Photo of Rainbow Falls, Cherrapunji-Mawsynram Reserve Forest, Meghalaya, India by Deepthi Margam
Photo of Rainbow Falls, Cherrapunji-Mawsynram Reserve Forest, Meghalaya, India by Deepthi Margam
Photo of Rainbow Falls, Cherrapunji-Mawsynram Reserve Forest, Meghalaya, India by Deepthi Margam
Photo of Rainbow Falls, Cherrapunji-Mawsynram Reserve Forest, Meghalaya, India by Deepthi Margam
Photo of Rainbow Falls, Cherrapunji-Mawsynram Reserve Forest, Meghalaya, India by Deepthi Margam
Photo of Rainbow Falls, Cherrapunji-Mawsynram Reserve Forest, Meghalaya, India by Deepthi Margam
Photo of Rainbow Falls, Cherrapunji-Mawsynram Reserve Forest, Meghalaya, India by Deepthi Margam

Day 5

One the next day, we got freshen up, headed to bridge early morning. In this way the bridge was only for us. We had time and place for ourselves. By just sitting there on a rock, filled with greenery and the natural bridge comes at a price of time. Timing is everything. We wouldn’t have a got chance of place for ourselves if we were visiting it during the day.

Day 5
Photo of Double Decker Living Root Bridge, Cherrapunjee, Meghalaya, India by Deepthi Margam
Photo of Double Decker Living Root Bridge, Cherrapunjee, Meghalaya, India by Deepthi Margam
Photo of Double Decker Living Root Bridge, Cherrapunjee, Meghalaya, India by Deepthi Margam

We had our morning tea and snacks before we started back to Tyrna village. The trek path to Tyrna village is 3500 climbing stairs. By looking around this beautiful Nongriat, I just realized, it takes a lot of time, effort and love to maintain a place pristine like this.

Photo of Nongriat, Meghalaya, India by Deepthi Margam

Once we reached Tyrna, we headed to our next destination Nohkalikai Falls View point which was a 35 minute ride. The weather was misty. My fellow traveler got to know that we can go to the opening of this water falls. This was five minute ride from viewpoint. They have an entrance fee of 50 rupees to enter this place. It’s a good 90 minute trek to reach this place. The path was something unexpected. There were points where we need to climb rocks, man made bridges, cross the path through a hole. The path was quite adventurous and it tests your mettle. At the end when we reach the starting point of this waterfall, its enthralling. I have to tell you this, the path which was used to reach is the only path which is available to return. So, mind you about what you are getting into.

Photo of Nohkalikai Falls Top View Point, Cherrapunjee, Meghalaya, India by Deepthi Margam
Photo of Nohkalikai Falls Top View Point, Cherrapunjee, Meghalaya, India by Deepthi Margam
Photo of Nohkalikai Falls View point, Nohkalikai Road, Cherrapunjee, Meghalaya, India by Deepthi Margam
Photo of Nohkalikai Falls View point, Nohkalikai Road, Cherrapunjee, Meghalaya, India by Deepthi Margam
Photo of Nohkalikai Falls View point, Nohkalikai Road, Cherrapunjee, Meghalaya, India by Deepthi Margam
Photo of Nohkalikai Falls View point, Nohkalikai Road, Cherrapunjee, Meghalaya, India by Deepthi Margam
Photo of Nohkalikai Falls View point, Nohkalikai Road, Cherrapunjee, Meghalaya, India by Deepthi Margam
Photo of Nohkalikai Falls View point, Nohkalikai Road, Cherrapunjee, Meghalaya, India by Deepthi Margam
Photo of Nohkalikai Falls View point, Nohkalikai Road, Cherrapunjee, Meghalaya, India by Deepthi Margam

Our next destination was Orange Roots. As the breakfast was limited, we were hungry as warriors. The prices were decent and taste was delicious. We spend rest of the day in Cherrapunji and dined at a close by restaurant from home stay.

Day 6

Day 6

On the next day, I started back to Shillong and fellow traveler had plans to visit Dwaki. It’s a 100 minute ride. I picked up a new route which led me to fruit market. Believe me, one should not miss the home grown fruits of Shillong. I had my brunch at Police Bazaar. It’s a good place for picking Souvenirs and shopping. I lazed around police bazaar and Bhutanese bazaar. I stayed at Ila Traveler’s Hub in Laitumkrah. The cottage was budget friendly and had a very hospitable couple. I happen to hear about Dylan’s café. I spent my evening over the café and felt like home away from home. This café carries the Love Locks tradition. This was started in Paris and Dylan’s café brought this tradition to Shillong. One can bring their own lock or purchase from the café. They would collect the keys and send them to Paris to be immersed in the river Seine. Love cherishes wherever we go. I got a chance to have home cooked food because of this lovely couple. I have decided to go back to Guwahati to spend a night with my friends

Photo of Dylan's Café, Dhankheti, Malki, Shillong, Meghalaya, India by Deepthi Margam
Photo of Dylan's Café, Dhankheti, Malki, Shillong, Meghalaya, India by Deepthi Margam
Photo of Dylan's Café, Dhankheti, Malki, Shillong, Meghalaya, India by Deepthi Margam
Day 7

Day 7

After finishing my breakfast I decided to start to Guwahati. While I was planning on my return, I happened to hear Laitlum from my host. I was curious and checked on the same. He was surprised to hear that I haven’t visited this place. It was the same time another traveler came to the cottage. Host informed me to visit it without fail and also insisted to start right away as I planned to leave to Guwahati. After giving a thought, I had decided to visit this place. The other solo traveler was looking for a ride and I was looking for a rider???? We started off to the Grand Canyon. This is a 55 minutes ride from Home stay. The time was worth investing. Its all in pictures and in the head of how one’s imagining the view.

Photo of Laitlum Grand Canyon, Meghalaya, India by Deepthi Margam
Photo of Laitlum Grand Canyon, Meghalaya, India by Deepthi Margam
Photo of Laitlum Grand Canyon, Meghalaya, India by Deepthi Margam
Photo of Laitlum Grand Canyon, Meghalaya, India by Deepthi Margam
Photo of Laitlum Grand Canyon, Meghalaya, India by Deepthi Margam
Photo of Laitlum Grand Canyon, Meghalaya, India by Deepthi Margam

By the time I returned to Shillong, it was noon and I thought of checking with my friends on my return as it was already 2:30 pm. They suggested to start next day as its gonna be dark by the time I exit Shillong city. By the time I arrived police bazaar, fellow traveler Akshay who traveled in Cherrapunji also reached Shillong. We along with other solo travelers spent the day in Bazaars as few were interested in picking stuff for their loved ones and for themselves. One suggestion if anyone would like to shop please use your bargaining skills at the maximum.

We had our dinner in police bazaar and I felt like my trip has come to an end. The routine is about to start once I reach my city - all hustle of work and going to home is back. Once we reached home stay, I was just re-living all places and days of my journey. In the mean time, two more travelers arrived. They were from Chennai and happened to try something new. They went to Tyrna, finished trek and started back to Shillong and arrived by 9 pm. It was good to meet people of same minds and who thinks same about nature. My host was insisting on celebrating New Year’s Eve at Shillong. As I had a planned return, I had to leave Shillong on the very next day to reach Guwahati.

Day 8

Day 8

I said my good byes to the two travelers who had to start early morning to catch a flight from Guwahati and later to Akshay before starting my return. My very good friend once said to never use plug-ins if you are surrounded by nature. I think the picture gives all answers of why not to use plug-ins. I am grateful that Fascino never gave me trouble during my trip and I made sure to keep the tank full all the while. I believe giving something is always a great way to thank your host or friends. I gave Oranges to my host at Ila and purchased juicy pine-apple to my friends. As I want to spend some time with my friends, I made sure not to stop for any breaks except for fruits and pictures.

Photo of Guwahati, Assam, India by Deepthi Margam
Photo of Guwahati, Assam, India by Deepthi Margam

By the time, I arrived Guwahati, I just had enough time to meet and greet. Before my return, I had to meet another family as well. I was sloshed in ecstasy and was waiting to sleep in the flight. I quickly met family and friends, was served delicious meal, got ready and then I received parting gift from my friends. I just wished I had enough time to spend with my friends. I got my cab and headed to airport.

Photo of My unplanned SOLO on Fascino----- #Day 3- Day 8 or Is it Day 9 :) by Deepthi Margam
Photo of My unplanned SOLO on Fascino----- #Day 3- Day 8 or Is it Day 9 :) by Deepthi Margam
Photo of My unplanned SOLO on Fascino----- #Day 3- Day 8 or Is it Day 9 :) by Deepthi Margam

I got into the airport, got my bag scanned for security and tagged, headed to the boarding counter.

Surprise, surprise…. I booked a 31 Jan 2019 flight. The moment my turn arrived, the lady politely informed me that I booked a flight one month from now. I was already jam-packed with tiredness in every cell of my body and was unable understand the lady. I informed her that I had to be in that flight as I have to reach Hyderabad. She reiterated the statement in simpler words after seeing my tanned, tired, red-eyed face. She literally pointed to the date of flight booking on my phone. It took me good 10 seconds to realize what just happened. She guided me to reservation office for changing the bookings. I burst into laughter and rushed to reservation office. I asked the lady for ticket in the same flight, she politely informed it would be 16800 only upon adjusting current booking with required one. I gave a really big smile and informed on travelling the very next day i.e., 1 Jan 2019???? I was just thinking in my head about the number which was not even the cost for my whole trip. I had to pay additional 4000 for this booking for me to arrive my city.

I called up my dear one’s and gushed out laughing about my situation. I called my friends at Guwahati, informed the situation and started back to their home. Yes, mistakes are common on any grounds as we are humans and not Robots.

My friends were already preparing for new year’s eve and they said, “you were meant to celebrate New Year in Guwahati”. I just realized that some mistakes lead to happy endings and this is one of those. Scotch, Vodka and Wine was getting filled and re-filled, kitchen was busy with all the delicacies, hall was filled with near and dear one’s, karaoke was never ending road with all kinds emotions. I was enthralled with the celebrations which don’t have age, gender, region It’s just food, drinks, singing and dancing.

After a lavish gathering, we put an end to the New Year's Eve with all good byes to the dear ones.

Day 9

Day 9

My friend promised to wake me up and make sure that I do not miss my flight this time. He did as he promised. With all the sleepy head, I got freshen up, had tea and booked my cab. While I was heading to cab, I noticed a message which read flight timings differently, with a delay of two hours from current booking. After yesterday’s incident, I decided to spend my time in airport even if its spending whole day to catch my flight. After my security check , the cabin crew gave a boarding pass with the delayed flight timing. I had a smile in my head and moved ahead. I engrossed myself in music to be awake. Indeed, my flight was delayed by two hours and I made sure not to doze of by playing loud music in my plug-ins.

As they say, “it’s a small world. It keeps recrossing itself”. I think, I felt the same when I met my travel buddies of Shnongpdeng in the airport.

It was nostalgic:) 

We bid our final good bye until next trip!!!

Photo of Guwahati Airport (GAU), Borjhar, Guwahati, Assam, India by Deepthi Margam
Day 3
Photo of Shnongpdeng Camping, Shnongpdeng, Meghalaya, India by Deepthi Margam
Photo of Shnongpdeng Camping, Shnongpdeng, Meghalaya, India by Deepthi Margam
Photo of Shnongpdeng Camping, Shnongpdeng, Meghalaya, India by Deepthi Margam
Photo of Shnongpdeng Camping, Shnongpdeng, Meghalaya, India by Deepthi Margam
Photo of Shnongpdeng Camping, Shnongpdeng, Meghalaya, India by Deepthi Margam
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