Wednesday, May 29, 2019

Sikkim Diary 1

From Bagdogra Airport to Temi Tea Estate

During our last India Tour, we visited the little mountain state, Sikkim. We reached the nearest airport in Bagdogra, Darjeeling. From there we went by rented car. Here I'm sharing my experience. 

After our adventure-less plane ride from Kolkata to Bagdogra, Darjeeling, we waited for our driver, who was going to take us all the way to Temi tea estate in Sikkim. That was a 70 miles drive from the airport. It was at least 4-5 hours journey on narrow mountain road. The weather was nice. It was not cold, also not roasting hot like Kolkata. After crossing the congested Siliguri-Sevak road with hassles we left the traffic behind, and started driving up slowly towards our destination. All of us were very hungry. Our driver, who was a very friendly person, told us that after crossing Mahananda reserve forest we could get a good dhaba (street side eatery) to have lunch. In the evening time if you are lucky, you can encounter hard of elephants crossing the road. We were not so lucky as we passed the forest during afternoon time.When we reached the Gautam Dhaba we were hungry like dog. 

That was a nice experience to have a hearty lunch at a humble street side eatery. It was not decorated like any restaurant, rather you may feel repulsion. However, the food was really scrumptious. 

Anyway, after a late lunch we started our journey again on the meandering mountain road, keeping the River Teesta of Darjeeling on our right.The flexuous mountain roads were not smooth at all. Rather it was bumpy road with numerous sharp hair pin turns.Those turns were so sharp, that every time I felt chill on the spine. Only experience diver on mountain roads can drive on those roads calmly. Teesta , which was on the level of the, slowly went down from our sight. On extremely narrow roads, on the top of the every kind of vehicles were plying. That is essence of mountains. You cannot get any detour there, whether the . If the journey becomes smooth, then it will lose the charm. Though the estimated time was 4 hours , we started loosing our time. 

The last 18 kilometers were nerve wrecking. It already getting started dark. The road condition started deteriorating. Due to all natural calamities the road was not driving friendly. Apart from bad road, darkness of night, there was no railing or any protection on the cliff side of the road. More than one time happened we crossed trucks. Those trucks may be were not of gigantic size, but compare to the width of the road those were big. We crossed one truck from opposite side with only one inch gap. Our driver took three hours for the last 18 kilometer to reach the estate. After loosing heartbeats numerous times we reached in pitch dark around 7 at night. I won’t complain about the rise. Rather it was an experience. It was an experience I can talk with family and friends and can relish the experience.


Margaret D said...

Gosh it sounds like a harrowing trip around bends with no rails.
As long as you are safe.

Miguel Gouveia said...

Thanks a lot :D

OMG :o

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Nancy Chan said...

Sounds like the type of road we need to take to go up our highlands where the road is narrow.

Mirtillo14 said...

Quanti bei luoghi che vedi ! Saluti.

eileeninmd said...

Hello, the long drive sounds like an adventure. I am glad you arrived safely. Wishing you a happy day and weekend!

Cynthia said...

Wow, that was an experience! I would have been so scared but i guess the driver knows what he is doing. I’m wondering, did you have your child with you? It looks like a delicious lunch but i only recognize the rice!

Cynthia said...

PS. I am signed up to received notification by email when you post but i don’t receive it for some reason.

Jeanie said...

My father served in India in the war and I've always been intrigued by the country. I have to say that the last 18k of your road trip would totally freak me out!

NanaDiana said...

OMGOSH! How scary and what a LONG time to be in a car to only go that far!!! I would have needed a bathroom break! I love this story and hope you write more about it! I felt like I was right there with you with my heart in my mouth.
Have a wonderful Friday- xo Diana

Elena M said...

Great post dear, so nice and interesting, love it!

Kathy Leonia said...

so lovely landscape:)

Luana said...

beautiful place!
the food seems delicious!

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Julie's Creative Lifestyle said...

I enjoyed looking at the photos and reading about your trip in India. It sounds like a long drive a scary at times.

Dyn said...

The food looks very tempting and the scenery is so beautiful!

Evi Erlinda said...

Beautiful views and tasty meals

Have a wonderful trip!

Miguel Gouveia said...

Thanks a lot :D

super interesting post.
have a nice week

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shwet said...

Sikkim is beautiful place, i haven't visit it yet, but it's in my bucket list.
Pictures are lovely.
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Debbie-Dabble Blog and A Debbie-Dabble Christmas said...

How interesting!! Thanks so much for sharing!!

white and vintage said...

What an adventure! I have never been in India. It must be a very interesting country.

Rafa Oliveira said...

Very interesting post.

Kathy Leonia said...

have a good day:)

Mariette VandenMunckhof-Vedder said...

Dearest Krishna,
Oh my, so glad you lived to write about this adventure!
Having done lots of traveling in the mountains of the Nilgiri District of India, also on the Dieng Plateau of Central Java, Indonesia where we lived and worked, I fully understand.
One thing I know for CERTAIN: we do have a GUARDIAN ANGEL! Ours has been on heavy duty numerous times, during mud slides in the mountains or whatever surprises. Oh, sure in West Java we once got stuck on a mountain pass for 12 hours... What can you do/say? Toughing it out and admiring those drivers that really can pass like you wrote above, on an inch! We're not exaggerating at all.
We've never made it to the Sikkim area, heard lots of stories about the beautiful gardens there, from one of our Pond's India colleagues.
Hugs and thanks for your visit - we're traveling right now and you will read about it end of June.

The Liberty Belle said...

You had quite the adventure!

Lisa said...

What gorgeous pictures but gosh, the drive sounds scary!! I'm glad you made it safely!! Have a great weekend!! Big hugs :)

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