Assam, India, Jorhat

Northeast Indian adventure part five: Haircuts in Guwahati and gibbons in Jorhat, Assam.

July 15, 2016

The first thing the boys did when we arrived in Guwahati from Cherapunjee was get a Goddamned haircut.  Who did they think they were with their wayward locks and their scruffy beards!?

For guys, a trim is a great experience.  For £1 you get a haircut, a cut-throat shave and a head, neck and shoulder massage.  Some barbers operate out of small salons, whereas some simply occupy a small section of a wall upon which they hang a mirror.  A chair and a few grooming tools are their only other business overheads.

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Guwahati is the largest city both in Assam and in the whole of Northeast India.  We only stayed for one night so here are some more haircut photos.

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We took a walk from our lovely hotel alongside the Brahmaputra River and stumbled upon a delightful little cafe.  It was a welcome sight to see a place that served fresh juices and Italian food!  The owner of Cafe Riverrun was more than happy to leave the cheese off the pasta and voila we had a scrumptious meal!

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Seriously yummy bruschetta!

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It was necessary to include this panoramic photo.

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The following morning we began our journey to Hoolongapar Wildlife Sanctuary (formerly The Gibbon Sanctuary).

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Perfectly timed take-off by this myna bird.

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En route we stopped off for coconuts.

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A few hours into the journey, as we drove through what seemed like the middle of nowhere, a colourful and inviting market tempted us.  As soon as we stepped inside the maze of stalls, it became clear that foreigners were not a common sight.  As we admired sequin-adorned fabrics and alien-like vegetables, locals watched us, many of them whispering and pointing.  It certainly wasn’t a hostile vibe.  We felt perfectly welcome. We also felt like we had stepped into another world.

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Once again, the hours passed quickly because the views were spectacular.

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We settled down for the night at Gibbon Resort, a truly lovely place!  We arrived to welcome drinks, a traditional Assamese record playing and this gorgeous view.

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The host was such a nice man.  A real giggler!  He was also a very talented photographer, specialising in macro photographer.  All over the place there were photos of extreme close-ups of spiders and other creepy-crawlies!  Perhaps one of the most memorable things about our stay was the food.  It was just so delicious.  The best we had eaten throughout our entire trip through Assam and Meghalaya.  Our compliments and praise affected our shy and humble chef so much so that he began to cry and had to leave.

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Clockwise: roti, rajma, mixed veg curry, some kind of wonderful papad crumble, soya meat curry

The following morning, after a hearty bowl of porridge, we headed out to the Gibbon Sanctuary.  As the monsoon had come, this was very much off-season.  The trees were big and bushy meaning it would be harder to spot wildlife and of course there was every chance it could rain.

And it did.

And the leeches loved it.

No matter how many times you tell yourself that leeches aren’t harmful and that once they’ve had their fill (OF YOUR BLOOD) they’ll just drop off and no matter how many times you discuss tried and tested methods of leech-removal (using a lighter, sprinkling salt), when you find one of those creepy-as-hell blood-sucking faceless spaghetti-like creeps IN you, you freak out.  Some of them were legit huge. As the rain got heavier, more and more leeches appeared from nowhere. Wiggling and jumping, weaving their way through our socks and in between our toes.

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When we weren’t obsessively checking our feet, we spotted some awesome stuff up in the trees, including two different types of gibbon…Steve, Sarah…help us out with the names?!

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Once we had finished our walk around the leech sanctuary, we headed back for one last meal at Gibbon Resort. The boys also took the owner’s Enfield out for a spin.

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After a farewell photoshoot, it was onto our next adventure, Majuli Island.
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1 Comment

  • Reply Caryl July 15, 2016 at 6:31 am

    Oh wow, where to start? Firstly, I love that there is Old Spice at the barbers :) The market trip sounds vibrant, I can just picture all the sights and smells and wonderful atmosphere. The story about the chef who you made cry with your compliments? That’s just so humbling and a reminder that we should always thank the cook and not take them for granted. The place looked lovely, I would have enjoyed seeing the gibbons but leeches? No thankyou.
    Did you find the best way to get rid of them? You’re very brave, I’m not sure I could have managed!

    Awesome photos as always guys, really enjoyed reading about your travels!

    Xx

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