LOST in Sikkim
Day 6 | 24 Dec 2015 | Darjeeling to Pelling
- Route: Darjeeling – Pattabong Tea Garden – Tukvar Tea Garden – Jorethang – Nayabazar – Legship – Pelling
- Distance: 75 kms
- Road conditions: Bad roads overall with random good patches in between.
3:30 AM, the alarm woke me up perhaps when I was in my deepest sleep cuddling myself inside a blanket doubly my size. Brrrr….it was super cold and getting out of the bed at such an early hour was an absolute struggle. Perhaps riding to Khardung La is easier than waking up at such an oddly hour to see a sunrise. The cold was such that no matter how many layers we wore, it could still find its way and make us feel its presence damn well! We had decided to give some rest to our bikes and rather go in local taxi which took us till the spot. While some of us did feel, What’s the big deal about Tiger Hill Point as Sunrise can be observed from the window of our hotel room too. Much to our amazement we found a huge crowd already present, I am positive the number was over 500 and all of them eagerly waiting for the sunrise. Finally as the sun rose, far away through the clouds and painted the sky pink creating a colorful aura which is every artist’s dream painting followed by the epic entry of Mt.Kanchenjunga. The snow capped mountain although covered in clouds when the first rays of sun kissed the peak but soon peeked through the curtain of clouds and sight was breathtaking. Though not in the best way we were still happy as we got to sight this majestic mountain and the painstaking process to wake up was worth it.
We took our happy heads back to Darjeeling where we spent some time roaming in Batasia loops followed by lip smacking chaat and famous Darjeeling Tea without which the trip would have felt incomplete. Batasia loops was a war memorial created in memory of the Gorkha soldiers of Indian Army and allowed us to check out the toy train up close too. It was time to say adios to Darjeeling, saddle up and enter Sikkim now.
Two roads diverged in a wood and I – I took the one less traveled by.” – Robert Frost
Well, this is by far the best way I can express our journey from Darjeeling to Pelling. We took the road which was more or less in bad shape but more scenic, a road where you will not find the hustle bustle of vehicles or too many eyes to notice you. It’s a road which passes through tea estates, where the aroma of tea leaves make you feel fresh and the discreet sound of the surroundings makes you feel alive. For a moment, I got nostalgic as this beautiful panoramic views of Pattabong tea estate reminded me of evergreen Valparai hill station in Tamil Nadu. We stopped by to click some pictures, something to look upon years down the line and remember these moments which we lived together.
After crossing the lovely tea estates we rode all the way till Jorethang, a small town where we had lunch before we headed to Pelling. Although the lunch was not so cool as the journey, it’s something we could live with and move on. We were welcomed into West Sikkim on the way and it was a job well done to the entire team who rode all the way from Mumbai to experience the mountains of North East in extreme cold. Battling the bad roads, occasional slush and landslides we made our way in Pelling just before the sun set. Finding a hotel was not a difficult task as there were sufficient hotels in Pelling and at ridiculously affordable prices. We settled in our nice cozy rooms and the cold was much more bearable than what we encountered in Darjeeling which everyone was happy about. It was a day to remember as we went through our photos and videos of the trip while relishing Sikkimese delicacies one at a time. Today was special as it marked our entry into Sikkim and we were ready for an adventurous week to look forward too. More stories to be unravelled as the LOST in Sikkim journey continues