You think you getting the hang of it .. but....
Trip Start Sep 19, 2012
79Trip End Feb 28, 2013
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By morning and many stops the rabble had thinned slightly. Through out the 20 hour trip there was a constant stream of vendors and hawkers shouting up and down the train selling anything from chai, food, cell phone accessories and plastic toys. You can just imagine the state of the toilets.
Arrived at Jalpaiguri mid morning and now need to organise a lift to Darjeeling. Met a pleasant Italian couple who were waiting for transport. There are only certain 4x4 type vehicles that take you up the 3 hour journey to Darjeeling. So what they do is wait until the vehicle is full before they leave. This can take anything up to a few hours waiting for trains to arrive. This couple had been waiting for sometime and were getting fed up. Eventually I found another smaller vehicle that would take the 3 of us at a slightly higher price but everyone was tied of waiting. When we explained to the original driver he was obviously not too happy but would not budge on his waiting. Eventually an argument broke but the Italian girl was fluent in Hindi and I don't know what she said but it certainly was impressive - a very irate Italian shouting in Hindi with arms waiving. Anyway we won the fight and off we headed to Darjeeling.
Drove through Siliguri and were soon in among the forests that thinned out into the tea plantations and we then started. Amazing drive over little rocky streams and the road got steeper and steeper with switchback and hair pin bends. It looked as if the houses were scattered and tumbled down around the hills. As we got higher the mist came in and the temperature dropped. There is a great feel here. House are brightly painted and most have loads of bright flowering pot plants. The roads are incredible steep and linked with stairs and alleys. I think I am going to like it here.