COLD so COLD
Trip Start Nov 13, 2007
102Trip End Oct 08, 2008
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top 3 things about sikkim
1. amazing amazing views and scenery
2. the most entertaining airing of R Kelly on the truck so far
3. snow snow and just even more snow!
top 3 urgs about sikkim
1. sleeping in a room that was -2 in a lodge with no heating and no electricity
2. getting stuck every step of the way when we're ALMOST ALMOST there
well darjeeling was kind of a non-event marred by my stupid cold that just kept on crippling me in the mornings and making me not want to get out of bed (although when i did get up i invariably felt alot better each time.) the day after i wrote the last entry we got the steam train enginy thing up to ghoom / ghum but the clouds and fog were so low that you really couldnt see anything at all apart from 10 metres infront of you. but it was a nice ride and weird to be in a train going up a road. in ghum i had the nicest momos of the trip so far, sat huddled in a little hut/house with the family who ran it sipping on some pretty good soup and loving the warmth. and that evening victoria and i had the NICEST cheest crispy (oh so crispy) bacon and tomato toasted sandwich in Glanary's (if you ever go to darjeeling you have to go to glanary's).
we left next morning back down to siliguri en route to gangtok and through some of the most simian-infested roads its been my misfortune to travel through oh my god there were monkeys everywhere. and as has turned out to be the norm with our group, on the road up to gangtok when we were so so NEARLY there we got stuck in a massive traffic jam because of road building up ahead
we got to gangtok around 6, it was dark and cold and foggy and rainy - just like home really. the rooms were grand though so we went in search of net (it didnt work) and had showers and ate. there was the option of an overnight trip up to the town of lachung near the chinese border and then in the morning a trip up to the yomthung valley at 3,800m and some of the most incredible views known to man. so they said. in the end there were 5 of us who went along with adam and steve so our 2 jeep convey headed off up the mountains. the journey up was fine, some really great beef momos and also some awesome chai on the way. we stopped off at 2 of the most remote but beautiful monasteries ive seen and were allowed in to watch them chanting and praying (no pics though obviously). it was jsut lovely to be somewhere so uncommercial and remote and be able to see how the monks are living.
as we got nearer and nearer to lachung the weather got colder and colder and colder. there was snow, a little at first and then ALOT. and then it started to snow. and as we rocked up to the lodge where we were staying it was getting dark and a blizzard was moving in! so so so so so not what i ever expected in india!!! the town is powered by the army who at that time had cut the power so we had no electricity and no heating and no fire (it was snowing too much). so very VERY cold. now i dont mind the cold too much but it was COLD. minus 2 infact. inside
but next morning oh my goodness the clouds lifted and the scenery was like something from a postcard of switzerland or something, snowy snowy mountains and little wooden villages and piles and piles of snow. we set off for the yomthung valley, everyone eagerly awaiting adam and steves promise to do that whole snow/hot springs dip thing? but unfortunately 6km's up the road the track was just totally impassable so we couldnt go. we walked the 6 k's back to the lodge, had some gorgeous dinner and then set off on the Drive of Hell.
the snow had started coming down before we even left but about 50 k's out of gangtok the fog came down. and it wasnt any normal fog it was FOG heavy fog like in that movie called The Fog where you literally cant see anything at ALL. and of course muggins here was on the door side that had the sheet cliff face plummeting away into the darkness. as i told stormi, it took every and i mean EVERY ounce of my willpower to not just lose it completely and burst into tears from fear. in fairness we were driving about 3 kph and probly werent in THAT much danger but it didnt feel like it at the time when you couldnt see jack sh *t infront of the bumper. oh and there was freezing rain too jsut for good measure.
but we made it back alive somehow. and showered (ah the hot showers!!) and had a really nice dinner in the restaurant across the road so that was ace. and then next morning we set off for siliguri (urg) and the nepalese border (where the fun just continued!!!!!!!)