LOST in Sikkim
Day 5 | 23 Dec 2015 | Siliguri to Darjeeling
- Route: Siliguri – Kurseong – Darjeeling
- Distance: 65 Kms
- Road Conditions: Uphill road with steep climb and sharp corners. Caution needed while riding over train track which appears randomly across the road throughout.
- Stay: Hotel Blue Diamond, Darjeeling
We woke up to hear an unfortunate news that Amruta’s grandmother passed away back in Mumbai. She was in tears and there was no way she could continue the ride and had to return to Mumbai. Shreyash immediately booked a flight for her from Bagdogra to Mumbai. The flight was scheduled for 3 pm and it was a very sad moment to see her return after she showed the courage to ride as pillion for 2600 kms till the Gateway of North East India. Such is life! Very cruel at times. There was no way we were leaving without dropping her to the airport so we decided to split ourselves in two groups. Vaibhav, Manisha and myself decided to drop Amruta to airport in a local taxi while Shreyash, Nikunj & Deepan got in touch with Vishal from Ride Siliguri group to take the bikes for basic maintenance work. Nikunj’s CBR650F & my Ninja 650 needed oil change. Additionally my bike also needed chain adjustment since my chain sprocket was heavily damaged and I was riding the bike purely on luck factor that my chain sprocket will last somehow someway. Yeah! I was stupid enough not to change my chain sprocket before the ride even though I knew the chain slack had become permanent. So the bikes received some love in form of Motul 300V engine oil, new oil filter and some other basic checks.
By the time the ride started from Siliguri it was around 3 pm and we had a couple of hours to make it to Darjeeling before sun down. Crossing the hustle bustle of Siliguri town we made our way towards Darjeeling and the road became narrow with beautiful tea gardens and forest on both sides for our viewing pleasure. Soon our bikes started the climb up the hill as I watched other cars zoom past us from the opposite direction on such a steep and narrow road. Taking sharp hairpin after hairpin while gaining in altitude we made it till Kurseong in good time. Roads from Kurseong to Darjeeling saw us crossing some very dangerous railway tracks which were very slippery and it’s unfortunate as I saw two bikers fall one of which was with pillion while crossing this track.
Luckily for us we made it to Darjeeling by nightfall and it was freezing cold to say the least. Our hands and feet went completely numb. Of Course I expected Darjeeling to be cold after all we were at 6700 feet above sea level but still not this cold man, I mean -13° C at night Come On! It was biting cold! We also found that there were very few hotels in Darjeeling that have secured parking. We found a hotel at a decent cost who told us we can park our bikes inside the hotel at night which was quite a task by the way as there were 4 full size steps to cross. It took the He-Man of the group, Shreyash to lead this activity for entire group and he did it in style but it did drain him out I believe.
Now from here on it would good to note for fellow travellers that nightfall happens in East & North East regions in December by 5 PM and just about every restaurant closes by 8 to 8:30 PM post which its purely on luck if you can find that one off hotel which is open. We ate in Hotel Park in Darjeeling which offered good food to relish and the hotel is well insulated from outside cold. After filling our tummies with nice heavy dinner it was time to hit the sack and be ready to be lured by the epic show of Kanchenjunga tomorrow morning from Tiger Hill Point.