When I came back to Mawlynnong, Henry told me that a guy from Pune had come riding his bullet. I asked for his homestay address and went to meet him. His name was Mickin and was a Hotel Manager. He had left his previous job and before joining new job in Kuwait he was on his solo trip to North East of India. We decided to visit “Dawki” together next morning. We started at 7 am. Visited living root bridge and view point again, we headed towards Dawki. It was one hour journey through thick forest. We came across one awesome waterfall on the way. We stopped there, clicked pictures.
Dawki is a must visit place with a breathtaking river view. We took a boat ride through the crystal clear waters. We were amazed to see the view. We drove back and Mickin left for Cherapunji to continue his trip. It was a nice experience to meet a person from your city in other corner of the country and travel with him. Mickin made my Dawki trip memorable as I never have thought in my wildest dream that I would be riding on bullet in North East of India. Simple, humble and nice guy he was!
Earlier day when I was searching Mickin’s homestay, I ran into a Check Republic solo girl traveler. Eliska. What a positive vibe shae had. We got along with each other so easily. We had decided to meet once I am back from Dawki, so I went to her homestay and I saw four of them were sitting outside her place. Gunajit, Eliska’s host from Guwahati who had come to Mawlynnong for a day trip, Alon from Israel who was here in India for two months and was about to travel more five months travelling in India. Koaster, Eliska’s homestay owner. We had very discussion on different topics ranging from Bihar Elections to Modi and solo backpacking to women empowerment. It was interesting to interact with people with different culture and countries. We had tea together after the discussion.
Next day morning Elishka and Gunajit left for Cherapunji and Guwahati respectively. Alon and I went to Shnongpeden via Dawki. And the day started with taking Alon to the living root bridge and the view point. I was becoming a guide of Asia’s Cleanest Village.
Alon was a free spirit, flexible and kind. Passionate traveler. He had this urge to know more and more about India. He used to ask me so many question and queries. He was curious about me as I was an Indian solo girl traveler. The common thing between us was, we never wasted our time in waiting for vehicle. We started walking towards main road. We walked almost 15 kms. We hitchhiked four vehicles in our journey.
Alon wanted to follow the trail on the hill, we were crossing to get to the river. I preferred going down to the river and relax for some time. And make myself believe that it was real place. “Shnongpden” the place I have thought only exist in romantic novel. But it’s real and only 7kms away from Dawki. Magical view this village has. It is based on the slopes of khasi hills, clean and clear river like a mirror, and a lonely planet.
Where locals are fishing and one of them offered us a ride in fishing boat. We were mesmerized by seeing the reflection of hills on the water. The was so clear we could see the fishes and stones clearly.
Next day me and Alon walked through rivers and wandered in the forest with tribals. We walked through forest for 3-4 hours to see beautiful winter waterfalls, bamboo bridges and living ladders interior inside the woods.
One of the best part of my trip was my homestay. Nangroi(best cook and best host ever), her kids, her sister in law and few neighbourhood friends and me would talk around the fire evey night after dinner. I learned more about Matriarchy and khasi language. I tried to know their views on rest part of India. We would take after dinner tea.
One of my travel buddy rightly said I had become a citizen of Mawlynnong and Nangroi’s family member in my eight days stay. I was happy not making plans and take every moment of the trip as surprise.