Long prologue … someone once said…
Happiness is to plan a trip to somewhere new with your loved one.
One best friend from Santanu’s engineering college got transferred from Bangalore to Shillong last year. In his send-off party, everyone committed that they would like to visit that part of the country. The friend in question is serving our country and he promised to be our host there while we visit Shillong, the Scotland of East and British summer capital of North East.
Our travel planning started way back in the month of January it was left to Santanu as he grew up in NorthEast to talk to relatives & friends, read travel blogs and come up with a rough itinerary. While initially, he wanted to travel all the way to Dibrugarh, he has fond memories of that places as he studied there between 1st and 4th standard a long long time ago. But he dropped that idea as it would have been too much of traveling. So the first cut and final looked like this. We are really thankful to Mr. Manju Barua (Wild Grass, Kaziranga) for his valuable selfless inputs.
|First Draft||What we end up doing|
|Majuli||Kaziranga (bypassing Guwahati)|
|Nameri||Gibbon & Sibsagar|
|Cherrapunji||Nameri and back to Guwahati|
It is easy to start and end with Guwahati in NorthEast as it is well connected to rest of India with many flights and trains. To explore and have a relaxing trip we almost decided to have 2 nights halt in most places. The key challenge was rain as Kaziranga closes by end of April. One friend said he would be joining us for Meghalaya part so we changed the first draft and opted to visit Meghalaya first and Assam second.
Seeing our detail itinerary many eyebrows were raised. Few of the friends gave up saying they can not have this type of strenuous vacation. Vacation for them is getting up late…relaxing, enjoying food and not mandatorily visiting all tourist points….aargh just the opposite of our thinking style.
We never gave up on our thinking as we are what we are….For us traveling means getting up early, beat the traffic or the other tourists irrespective of breakfast time, cover as many possible, eat foods from roadside small eatery or any recommended place(traditional food) as per convenience. We are so used to all this that my 10 years old also got adjusted to the same. Without complaining, he too enjoys this kind of travel.
“Once the travel bug bites, there is no looking back we are happily infected till we can”
Exploring so many places means we need to have a car of our own to travel. We talked to few reliable drivers as suggested by friends and family, their rates were almost similar but was on the higher side for us as we had almost 2 weeks to cover. Moreover, each day we do not plan to travel a lot on the road, so it was more economical to self-drive.
There are not many options like other major Metros but ZOOMCAR is there and we made our booking with them in advance.
Also, we are used to self-drive as it gives us privacy and the complete back seat to Aarush. He really likes it that way as it gives him liberty to take a small nap in between if needed. Santanu made most hotel booking well in advance, but he kept two buffer days without any prior hotel booking to commodate any unplanned situation.
We also planned to visit to Siliguri to visit my mother-in-law for a day and Calcutta for 2 nights on our way back. While we write more on this long trip, please take few minutes off and see this wonderful official video of Assam Tourism.