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India » Last week in India: Darjeeling
2011-10-04 ( Tuesday ) 10:53:56 GMT+1
Relieved to have a tourist bus with sleeping seats, we jumped into our last Nepali cab to the bus station! Nevertheless, the fact that we got a bus screaming for renovation and two other passengers hade the same lovely seats as us ( meaning in the very back where you cannot move it for a mm!! ) was not a big surprise. After some struggling we finally sat down... or tried at least ( we dont fit with our European legs) and started our 17 hours ride to the border (Kakarbhitta). After some 15 min we understood that the drivers dream was to take part in F1, but what he managed to actully ignore was that he was driving a BUS full of people, not this tiny "sticking-to-the-ground" racing car. He decided to omit some traffic jam by driving on the wrong side of the road and took off when we were about to have a frontal smash with a bus going the right direction - congrats to another responsible driver! He got away, but had to do it so fast and aggresively that a window crashed, unfortunately the one infront of us... this resulted in a windy 17 hour goodbye of Nepal. We were told that the bus will take the highway - HAHAHAH, another hillarious joke!!! This one was really good!
We arrived to the border and experienced how it is without the moonsoon...sweaty !!! We cathed a local bus and expected to reach Siliguri after 30 min. Its funny how many different answers we get to one question. As many different versions as people we ask. One says 5 min, another says 15, and a third will say 2 hours. Once in Siliguri, we found a jeep that would take us to Darjeeling. Another 3 hours on bumpy roads... we travelled non stop for 24 hours on extremly bumpy roads and we had ENOUGH! We had another delicious meal with rice and then we slept for 12 hours!
The next day, we prepared for an intensive time in Darjeeling, since we only had one day there... exhausting but worth it! We walked down to the tea plantation and visited the factory where we could observe the whole procedure from the people plocking in the fields to the packages ready to be exported all over the world. What we saw and what we smelled will stay in our minds for long time... this time in the "positive flashback - box" :) We also managed to hit the zoo and (among others) visit the lovely creatures Red Pandas!
Darjeeling made a great impression on us, since it is pretty high (2143) and the landscape is beutiful... it is not that big, crowded and busy... and it still has its Hindi style and atmosphere. Recommended.
Next: Bangkok, Thailand (via Kolkata and Bangladesh)