This is my third backpacking trip and second one with TLOW. Coming twice itself shows that I had a really wonderful experience. Everything was so perfect and an experience of a lifetime. Beautiful memories to cherish and explore the hidden parts in India. So that trip constitutes 16 beautiful backpackers from different parts of India. This was a package from different parts of sightseeing, one of the most toughest trekking, full of fun and laughter and some undiscovered knowledge. I can just go on and on with a smile on my face. I met some awesome people along this journey where some turnout to be an inspiration for life from a mere 17 year old, to a married couple, age didn’t seem to be a barrier. Everyone gets along so well and the best part was getting to know those people and learning their stories. Every traveller has his or her own story and it inspires in a way you might have not even thought about. So here’s a small glimpse of this memorable trip of my life.
Day 1 : Assam
The first day began with meeting everyone at Guhawati. All the backpackers arrived at Paltan Bazar Guwahati, we all had a small introduction. It was around 11 am that we met and the tlow person who travelled with us was Sherwin. We all moved to the Guwahati bus station to board a local bus to travel to the main bus station. And from there we got into an AC bus and headed towards a guest house in Kojirang. All tired after the journey, everyone settle in a cute homestay. Night was all about interacting with the people and knowing more about the co-travellers and dinner and the more of chitchat.
Day 2: Assam
One of the exciting days, began with a light breakfast and the jeep safari in Kaziranga National park. Open jeeps and early morning pleasant weather, perfect for safari. Got some awesome clicks of a wide variety of animals and birds. We saw – the one horned rhino, water buffalo, hog deer, pricon, Indian roller, cormorant, cattle egrets and many more. After this fun safari, we headed back and took our backpacks and hopped onto a local bus to reach Jorhat. The good part of this trip was we travelled on local buses and ricks, that is public transport. This is the essence of a backpacking trip one cannot expert luxury but stay in local homestays with the locals and also interact with them and know more about the culture by the people themselves. On reaching Joharat, we got into the ricks and left to board a ferry. The ferry ride was also interesting. A ride of about a hour and we reached Majulie, the largest river island. Then finally after a long day, reached our stay for the night. The best stay ever tribal bamboo huts. It was so lovely staying like the villagers there and in such cute bamboo houses. We got to know about their lifestyle and culture there. Then authentic dinner in the Assamese bamboo kitchen. A night walk in the village so close to nature. Every part of the trip was worth it.
Wake up early morning, we had a heavy breakfast and then left to explore the stupas and temples around and then the Missing tribes. Got to learn so much about this part of our country. About their hard work lifestyle and how they survive in the heavy rain, about their existence. So down to the earth, the villagers were and hats off to their way of living and making the best of every opportunity. How they live together in thick and thin. We spoke to the villagers, had some superb clicks and learned about their occupation. Then had to leave for a small lunch and proceed towards the ferry again bidding a goodbye to Majuli and heading towards the railway station to board a train for Guhawati. This journey gave us an experience of at least all modes of transport.
Day 4: Meghalaya
Reached Guwahati station in the morning and then got a cab to go to Shillong. This day was all about exploring the city. Backpacking trip are all about learning and satisfying one’s curiosity on their own. We reached Shillong by afternoon. Tired after all the long travelling, everyone relaxed and evening was spent at leisure at the Wards lake which is one of the most beautiful places and it will just leave you in awe. We went around the local market knowing more about the city and its people.
Day 5- Meghalaya
This was an early day and all of us gathered in Riwai to witness the living root bridge. Such a beautiful place. Nature just remarkable and India is incredible. Part of the day went to explore Mawlynnong, Asia’s cleanest village indeed. Very clean and full of positive vibes. Then we got a chance to have a perfect lunch in the village. A huge veg or egg thali which stuffed us for the day. When in a new place,never fail to try the local or special food of that place. Then came the highlight of the day, Dawki. I was so desperately waiting for this moment. What a scenic beauty. See through water, so clean, you can see the stones and pebbles and fishes very clearly as well as the Bangladesh border in the distance. The boat ride in this clear water was very pleasant. The water was so cold that it refreshed everyone and people had a good swim and chilling time. Also got some perfect clicks with the GoPro. After an amazing day, we came back to the city and had dinner in the street of Shillong and the local food didn’t fail to live upto the mark.
Day 6- Meghalaya
Again an early day and the most adventurous day of the entire trip, a day full of trekking to see the double decker bridge. A great trek that involved climbing up and down via the steep steps. Every backpacker was full of energy and excitement. People were getting tired on the way, they took a small break but did not give up. But unfortunately, we lost the way and did not get to reach to the bridge as time was limited and the bridge gets complete dark around 5 pm. It would have then become difficult for people to come back in the dark.
“The journey is more important than the destination”.