India - 6th day - Route to Darjeeling!
Trip Start Jul 28, 2010
42Trip End Aug 25, 2010
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Where I stayed
Hotel Bellevue, Darjeeling, India
Registration for flight was easier and faster than expected. I think that the early flight helped with that. Two guys started to help us with the luggage, pretending to be airline helpers, with a neck strap, other end in their shirt pocket. I let them go even if I suspected they were not. Even Kim said 'They will ask for a tip Joffrey!' and I said 'Well they took my bags not asking anything - it's their trouble!' And indeed, they asked for tip. Kim made sure it was clear for them we would not give anything. If they would have asked if we wanted help, things would have been different. I would probably even have taken their service willingly.
Flight to Bagdogra was an ease. Bagdogra is literally at the foothills of the Himalaya. Bagdogra is hot as hell as always. I don't know why it is as such. There must be a Chinook-style effect coming from the mountains
It takes about an hour before we start climbing the mountains. It takes 30 minutes more to be high enough to forget that you were in the plains and most of what you see are mountain ridges and, from time to time, you can see the lower plateau.
The drive to Ghorkaland was amazing. Every inch we were driving up was getting more and more excited. Every ridge, every river, every food stands. The air is already different. The odors are different than the big cities. I could not avid smiling seeing the toy train in operation. As we crossed Ghoom's train station, a few monasteries, I knew we were close. Then Darjeeling's train station. We are here!
Luka has been "choking" on the bumping and swirling roads. "Choking" is Luka's way of saying he wants to puke. We had to stop and give him some Gravol... Did I mention that it takes 4 hours to cover 100km? Roads are tough. Roads are narrow, so some times we have to pull a stop to let another car, bus or truck go by.
Our driver, Bizang, is quite a driver. Very talented. And he brings us right to our hotel through narrow passages that are practically the same width as the car. Our hotel! Ah!!! The Bellevue Hotel! Hum... Well at first Annie and Kim are a bit under shock. Doesn't Kim remember how it was? Of course, after staying at Amar vilas and at the Imperial, it is obviously not the same resort!