Hello there! Have you read my article on Nongriat? Well, this is a continuation of my Meghalaya trip with Theraparatravels. We started to Shnongpdeng from Nongriat. When we were traveling to Shnongpdeng, my heart was still at Nongriat and to be frank, I was sad leaving the most beautiful place I have ever visited. On our way, we visited Mawsmai caves and Nohkalikai Falls as well. But sadly at Nohkalikai falls there was no waterfall and was too dry. From Nohkalikai Falls, we started our journey to Shnongpdeng. On the way, we saw a beautiful sunset even though I’m not a sunset person. I have seen it a million times on the sea, but this time the sun was setting on the hills and that was a view worth cherishing.
As we were a group from different parts of India, people had brought various types of local snacks and shared it amongst one another. The snack I liked the most was bhindi masala.
Around 7 pm we reached Shnongpdeng. We were going to stay in tents near the Umngot river. We could see a lot of vehicles parked, but there was no sign of any river nearby. Nadheem told that there were porters available to carry our luggage as we had to cross a bridge and walk for some time to reach our tents. While crossing the bridge, we could hear the river flowing below us. Myself and Bindi started to walk parallel to balance the bridge, but our minds were still stuck in the Nongriat root bridges. (there was no need to walk parallel as the bridge was safe).
As we reached our tents, we could hear the river more louder. Two persons were allocated to each tent, but no one went inside them. Everyone was tired after the long drive. After some time everyone settled down on the chairs they could find. While some started to have drinks, food and campfire got ready with good music. We could see some other groups playing songs and dancing around their camp across the river and near us.
We settled down at the campfire and started talking and eating our food. My heart was still at Nongriat, and all I wanted was to go back. Everyone shared their experiences of the trip, and especially each one of us was happy that we could complete the trek to Nongriat. After sometime we decided to go and sit down on the bridge that we crossed. As we were walking through the bridge, everyone was talking something and I was just looking around. I was Wonderstruck seeing the most beautiful thing, the river in the middle guarded by giant mountains on both the sides. You guys should see the place at night; It seemed to me like I was in Jurassic world. I stood there admiring the view and feeling the cool breeze, it was like the mountains calling me to stay with them. I was so thankful that I could be there, to open my eyes to the beauty that surrounded me.
A little later, Nadheem joined us and told that we could go and sit in the middle of river. There was a small bamboo bridge below us. We all said yes and joined hands for a night adventure. We found a place in the middle of the river as Nadheem told and settled down there. Some people started singing songs and Nadheem along with Bindi joined them. Bindi knows the lyrics of most of the songs by heart. As none of us had any night vision camera, we all turned on our mobile flashlights to get a picture of us.
The next day I woke up early and started to the bamboo bridge we sat on the previous day. The sun was not up yet. I went down and settled down on a rock to see the sunrise. Sitting there, I was searching for the mountain that called me the other night. I sat there admiring the view and listening to the river, as she was telling stories to those who open up their hearts and listen.
After some time, Bindi, Rachita and Srujana joined. Bindi came and laid down on the rocks saying her usual dialogue “I’m set here”. She does this everywhere she goes and looks up into the sky. We were all wondering where the transparent green waters were which we get to see when we Google Shnongpdeng and were disappointed not seeing it.
While Srujana and Rachita went back to the tent, Myself and Bindi went to the otherside of the river to explore the place. There were lots of boats and each boat was painted beautifully. We went further ahead to explore the places which was when I realised that I could have gone for a river trek if I had woken up early in the morning.
We simply roamed around and went back to bridge we crossed the previous night. Then we looked down, and looked each other in awe as we could see the riverbed and rocks very clearly now and it was all in green.
We went to have our breakfast as we were going for boating after that. We changed our outfits and went towards the boats. Each boat could accommodate five people and as we started, we could see people trying to catch fish by looking through the river. After sometime, we reached a small waterfall and the boat went straight to it. Gurvir was sitting in the front of our boat; He got panicked and started telling us “don’t move, don’t move” while he was doing all the shaking. A few minutes later, he became calm. We stayed near the waterfall for sometime and then went back.
On our way back, we saw someone trying to swim across the river. As we neared him, we could see that it was actually Sree who was having a good time. This was the time I regretted not learning swimming (adding my to do list: Learn Swimming). There were some other activities like zip lining, cliff jumping as well in store for us. Some of us went for it and I skipped it all as I didn’t know swimming.
We went back to the bridge to capture photos just like the ones we get when we google Shnongpdeng and yes we were lucky enough to get some good pics.
Then we saw a foreigner swimming below us and there was a good spot to take a picture from above. Myself and Bindi went down and asked Rachita to take a picture of us from the top (you would have seen that picture at the beginning of the article).
Sometime later, Sree joined us after coming back from cliff jumping. I was too busy taking his photo and for some reason, I looked down the river. My precious red glasses fell off and had already gone into the depth of the river. It was hopeless to retrieve it. It was time to leave Shnongpdeng and so we went back to our tents to have our lunch and kickstarted our journey back. By now I was well and good at saying goodbye to beautiful places.