How I ended up failing to complete the David Scott trail and then completed the ridiculously difficult drive to Sohra.
#1: The half-done David Scott trail
On the second day of my solo bike trip to Meghalaya, I wake up in Mawphlang - it had rained all night and it was still raining at 7 am. I started off for the David Scott Trail - a 16km trail cutting across the Khasi hills originally created 200 years ago for carrying goods (donkeys/horses). They carved a path which was as wide as 12-14ft at most parts! I asked a local kid to accompany me. Halfway through the trek, we had to cross 2 streams. It hadn’t stopped raining since 2 days and the turbulence of water was too damn high. Since it was only me and John, we decided to go back as it would be unsafe to cross the waters when it’s rushing so violently! Hence, rather than completing the entire trek, I had to cut it short - reaching back to the start point by 11am. 😑
My guide John was younger to me and being a guide was his way of earning some quick bucks. For no real reason, I gifted him a laser light that I was carrying which he really got fond of. It was surprising to see how happy it made him. Read more about some quick backpacking tips to intermingle well with the locals.
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After returning from there, I rested at a villager’s home before leaving the place. They were sweet enough to offer me a cup of tea and some pakoras!
#2: Mawphlang to Sohra (Cherrapunjee) - The Most Difficult stretch of driving that I have ever done
This was by far the toughest ride I did through the entire length of my trip. It was technically just about 50kms but it took me around 3 -3.5 hours to do this journey. It was windy, raining hard and completely cloud covered throughout the route - my visibility was less than 10 feet - add to that the fogging of helmet and my spectacles. None of your waterproof stuff work here - even my waterproof / windproof jacket couldn't help me stay dry.
My charger in a zip pouch in Quechua waterproof bag, within a waterproof Quechua bag cover - got wet and stopped working.
The winds are crazy too. I was soaked in enough water to increase my weight by 3-4kgs atleast. Driving very carefully and taking regular water/nature breaks was critical here. By the time I reached Sohra, it was ~3 pm. There's a great highway dhaba right after Mylliem (next to petrol pump) and I just cannot resist momos!
#3: Discovering Fear
Once I was all settled in Cherrapunjee, I left for Mawsmai caves - about 5kms from here. This was a great place to visit, especially if you have never really been to REAL caves before. It's completely natural, yet there are lightings and railings which help you navigate.
Walking inside the cave, it gave me a sense of discomfort and "Eww". It was greasy, slimy and yet clean. There were bats on the sides, unusually rocks hanging from the ceiling and path untraceable. Half-way through the cave, I started rushing to exit and at that point, I realised that I fear caves!
I plan to do a cave expedition very soon and overcome this fear. This makes me excited. Wish me luck.
If you liked this story, read about this unique human-nature interaction in the ecosystem: Living Root Bridge.
You can also checkout my Meghalaya Trip's entire itinerary here.