Sick in Sikkim
Gangtok Travel Blog› entry 18 of 32 › view all entries
January 18th, 2008 – by: nicoleah
We reached Rangpo and the entire jeep had to wait while I went from office to office to get my permit to enter Sikkim. Sikkim is a protected area in India, almost like a state that has been turned into a national park, with many rules such as no spitting (thankfully as everyone's hocking loogies on the street throughout the places I've visited), no plastic bags, and no horns in many places.
Upon arrival I took a share taxi to the actual city of Gangtok and with the help of one of the guys from the jeep found a really great hotel for the night. I enjoyed a great chicken and aubergine (eggplant) pizza while coughing so loudly I scared the other patrons.
The next morning I enjoyed my complimentary breakfast of eggs, cereal with boiling hot milk, mango juice, tea, and five pieces of toast (I only ate two) with a stick of butter and half a jar of cherry jelly. I really don't know if they eat this way normally or if it's what they think an American would want.
I then made my way across the hotel area to find a taxi which took me up to a small monastery. From there I walked a grueling hour long climb straight up to Ganesh tok (it was hard to tell it was even a path) in very hot, humid weather. I enjoyed the views of the valley and then walked across the street to the zoo. The guidebook said you should see this zoo in a car because it is so big. I, of course, walked several hours seeing the snow leopard, red panda, yaks, and other animals. The animals are in huge enclosures that are surrouding their natural habitat and signs say clearly that you may not see any animals on your visit due to the natural design.
I had lunch of mushroom soup and stuffed tandoori bread (with potatoes, garlic, and onion, yum!) before finding another taxi to take me to another monastery and Tibetan artifact museum.
I then made the very long downhill (for once) walk through the confusing streets to find an internet cafe. By the way, I learned there was a bird flu outbreak the same day in the exact place I was in while visiting Bangladesh. But I'm pretty sure my sickness isn't that, since I had it before visiting Dinajpur. I was very lucky though because apparently they blocked the borders a few hours after I left which would not have been fun. Tomorrow I plan to head back to Siliguri in the morning then it's the overnight train to Kolkata (Calcutta).
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