the living root bridges of Meghalaya

(Today we reversed the previous two rides and are back in Guwahati. Tomorrow we head northwest. Ride report tomorrow)

The location of this post is close to the village of Mawsynram, the place with the highest rainfall in the world. 467 inches a year (vs. Vancouver’s 45 inches), most between June and September.

We took a little beater cab for 30 minutes from our hotel at dawn, from the small town of Cherapunjee, to as far south as you get by road here. The drive is through a forest and along a mountain escarpment to the tiny village of Nongriat

There, being foreigner we had to hire a guide for the descent to one of the most famous oddities in NE India. It’s a brutal 3000 steps down 2500′. They’re concrete, built to serve the remote few valley homes, and a church

Once down the mountainside you cross a series of shaky cable bridges across rivers and through the forest

Came across this giant stick insect

The water under the bridges in the deeper pools is a lumimous blue

A few small homes here and there

This church

To this, a bridge made from roots of a tree (Ficus elastica)  for hundreds of years by the tribesmen of the Khasi people

It takes 15 to 20 years to train the roots across and for them to bond and structurally strengthen. Then they last as long as the tree, sometimes 200 years.

Walking across them was the reason we took this long diversion south from Guwahati

Another 30 minutes to the most famous living root bridge, the double decker

The pond immediately above this bridge, with that incredible blue

is stuffed with big beautiful fish

Then another 20 minutes and more bridges

to this waterfall and huge pool

It took 3 hours to return, really hard!

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