Roof of the World
Trip Start Jan 13, 2009
22Trip End Oct 12, 2010
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Where I stayed
Our friend John and we used Darjeeling, India, as our base of operations. Darjeeling is located at 7000 feet elevation in a little appendage of India that juts north into the Himalaya, between Nepal and Bhutan. The region contains the world’s third highest peak after Mt. Everest and K2, called Khangchendzonga [got that?], some 28,000 feet above sea level. More than we expected, this part of India is distinctly Himalayan culturally, with Buddhist monasteries everywhere, most people speaking Nepali and of Mongol rather than Indian descent
Darjeeling sports some spectacular views of the mountains. So we hear. When we were there, a distant cyclone moving across central India was causing dense fog to shroud everything beyond our hands in front of our faces. So we spent some time at local monasteries in the fog, walked between towns in the fog, drank some of Darjeeling’s famous tea in the fog, did some bird-watching in the fog, and went to the Himalayan zoo in the fog (ever seen a snow leopard? wow!).
John had to head back to the States before us, but we hear he got to see the mountains on his way out of town at 5 in the morning. The two of us then embarked on a multi-day trek through the high country along Singalila Ridge, which forms the India-Nepal border and fronts the world’s highest peaks. Treks in this part of the world customarily involve a guide, porters, and cooks—not something we’re used to, but who wants to buck the trend? A hike with tea breaks, catered hot meals, no dishes to do, and no big pack to carry. Not too bad.
Not to say we were actually comfortable or anything... Although we (especially Dan) had been looking forward to a cooler climate away from tropical heat, this trip swung the pendulum a little far
After this we returned to Bangladesh to wrap up our work there, then endured the 40-hour, 5-leg flight back to Hawaii, during which we both got sick. All part of the fun. Now we’re actually looking forward to possibly NOT travelling for awhile. We’ve been on the road for 6½ months out of the last 8, and a little R & R sounds alright.