Sikkim Travel Blog› entry 16 of 26 › view all entries
Sikkim Trip âWednesday 26th â Monday 31st May
Headed up to Darj on Wednesday before lunch but didnât get there until after 6 because there wasa Gurka rally in Kurseong which stopped all the traffic for about 3 hours! Finally got there, had pizza with Katie and Jen and caught up with James, Mike and Peter. Their Sikkim trip sounds incredible! They did a 5day trek up a mountain with yaks and Sherpaâs â the pictures are spectacular!
Got the 7am taxi to Gangtok via Rangpo, got our permits (stamp in our passport and everything!) which took a while as they had to enter our details about 3 times because none of the system is computerized! Got to Gangtok at about 12, had lunch with Alex (whoâs shaved off all his hair!!) and walked up towards the centre. It started raining so we took shelter in a monastery and were given a huge bag of food each and tea because it was Buddhaâs birthday! Then met up with Elf and Ed and found a hotel (New Modern Central Lodge) which was well nice and fairly cheap! We wandered around Gangtok for a bit, which is much more developed than anywhere else weâve seen in India, feels more like a part of Europe. We went to see a hindi film called âsuperhitâ which was brilliantly bad and hilarious. We had to fight for tickets because everyone wanted the cheap ones and the ticket booth was a tiny hole in the wall that opened up about 5mins before the start of the film! The crowd were quite rowdy and there were many wolf whistles whenever a âsexyâ lady came on the screen!
We then went for dinner (quite expensive) and were sneakily given alcohol, even though it was a dry day (no where was supposed to sell alcohol!) and had a yummy yummy meal! Evening was quiet as we had to be up early to go to Rumtek â we had planned to go to pelling but there were no taxiâs so we spent Friday in Gangtok and went to Pelling early on Saturday via Geyzing. All the taxiâs to Rumtek were very expensive, so we went to the roll house for breakfast and wandered about Gangtok. Walked up to a palace, the cable car (didnât manage to get on it though) and a monastery. Managed to get to Rumtek eventually, despite many people trying to rip us off and saw some amazing views. Rumtek is one of the only armed monasteries, because some monks caused trouble because they didnât agree with the choice of the 17th Karmapa! Rumtek is also home of the Black hat Sect who own a hat woven from the hair of an angel and which has to be kept in a box to prevent it from flying back to heaven! We also got to see a puja, which was mesmerizing, and the golden stupa which was really pretty and held the ashes of the 16th Karmapa.
In the evening we chilled at Pub 25 and had some Sikkimese breandy from a bowling ball (called âfireballâ), danced in the rain and Elf fell over a little bit! Morning was early and we all failed to wake up on time and have to run for our taxi!
Got to Pelling early afternoon on Saturday and checked in to Hotel Garuda which was really nice and homely. Walked to Rabentse, which is the Old Royal capital of Sikkim. It was beautiful and the views were incredible, but it was a little odd as they seemed to have rebuilt half of the remains to look like walls again! We went to hotel Taatopani (hot water) for dinner and had a yummy vegetable jalfrezi, and a not so yummy Irish Coffee.
Sunday we got a taxi at 7.30am to see a waterfall, Sewaro Rock Garden (great rocks to ramble on and cross the river) and Khechopalri Lake, which is a beautiful wishing lake. We got back to find that no ATMs were open, and neither was the bank â we had no money. Eventually Ed, Katie and Jen went back to Geysing in search of a cashpoint and luckily found one, else weâd have been up shit creek! Katie and Jen headed home as they had to write some tests for the following week =(
Sunday evenin was pleasant, walked about for a bit, got some beers from a 13 year old boy we nick-named Mr Muscle and got some Thungpa (hot bamboo millet wine)which was nice. We were up at 630 on Monday to get the bumpiest bus back to Siliguri (via Melli and 7.5 hours long!) EVER! Elf and I then headed back to Blue Diamond to see Cassi and Kate. Arrived at about 4.30, met a nice guy on the way who lives in Thindaria and invited us to his house and ate some yummy lychees (less than a pound for a kg!)Cassi and kate seemed to have had a good few days, despite Kate having a bit of a fever on Sunday. They walked down to a lake with the boarders and made a bee mural which is really cool! I ended up falling asleep at about 7, so missed out on dinner and most of the evenings socializing â heyho! Up at 6.30 on Tuesday to roll roti and peel potatoes. Had THE nicest breakfast, on account of th