Today: 298km | Total: 686km
India just doesn’t stop surprising and show off its tremendous differences. Today was just another example as i reached the state of Meghalaya – the 3rd state on my motorbike trip and the 10th overall (just 19 more to go, one day 🤣😂).
First up a few snaps with the Royal Enfield Classic posing across Meghalaya (the 📸 was busy today)
Get me out of here
I woke up late in the run down hotel i booked late last night. I didn’t sleep well despite having been supertired yesterday, as i was fighting off mosquitos all night, was without ventilation (energy-saving or power cut 🤔) and with the entertainment of an Armageddon type thunderstorm all night. Despite the relentless efforts of the resident muezzin and his adhans, nothing happened before 9am. I also skipped breakfast and left this hotel and city as fast i could.
The muezzin calls six times for prayer starting with sunrise. Means the times change every day and are location dependent. Check your times here.
My general direction was south-east, further towards Bangladesh. On the border is a national park i want to visit, but that is for another day. First up, i wanted to get to Meghalaya’s capital – Shillong. And that was quite a few km away…
The scenery improved significantly once i was out of Goalpara and even more so once i crossed from Assam into Meghalaya. I became more hilly (the highest peak in the state is almost 2000m and it did get cold late afternoon) and very, very curvy with many tiny villages wayside. So let’s bend it like Beckham!
It just didn’t stop… Must have been close to 200km of relentless turns and twists today as i yanked my moto up and down the hills. The roads here are good meaning in good condition and with two marked lanes. Not much traffic either and generally decent driving (well, cutting corners remains popular). Absolutely a dream for any biker.
A Christian state with woman matter
The whole state felt different in general. 75% are Christians (vs. only 2% countrywide, one of three states with Christian majority), english is the main language (no more Bengali though there are several spoken native tongues) and people look different (more akin to people from Myanmar than your typical indian look if there is such a thing). There are little churches all over Meghalaya and seemingly a complete lack of Hibdu temples or shrines not to mention mosques.
The state is also referred to as the Scotland of the East due to its hilly and green countryside and i guess the rainfall too, which is nowhere higher than here in the world (12m annual rainfall!). I actually felt like in Cairngorms national park at times and like in Colombia in others.
Different to most india, the women carry the family name and inherit the wealth (matrilineality) – a tradition stemming from the three key tribes (Khasis, Jaintias and Garos) and by far not the only place in the world with such customs. I guess that makes local woman a tough match for muslim admirers.
This time i reached my destination before nightfall and after refreshing in a fantastic homestay (Rockski B&B), i enjoyed some continental food in Shillong. Great place this city – while very busy traffic wise, it is clean and organised. What a difference to Assam (well, lets not judge so quickly).