The road to Darjeeling, I am about to learn in short order, was basically a cart path at one time, that has been graveled and tarred in a few spots 🙂 but certainly not widened! After a two hour flight from Delhi, arrival at Bagdogra, I am met by Santosh, who advises that we will be on the road for at least three hours ….. At that point, I thought, well, 100 or so kms, why the 3 plus hours?? I rarely read my itineraries and sometimes I just should!! …. So, onward to Darjeeling, a town perched precariously on a hillside, deep in the foothills of the Himalayas … it is highly possible I would not be here in Darjeeling, had I known the road conditions, but glad I didn’t know …… there is my winging it theory at work, albeit, overtime …. After holding my breath for far too long, my knuckles white, strained and exhausted, I exhaled, let go, put my faith in God, and finally got into the amazing scenery surrounding me … I could not, would not, ask Santosh to stop for pictures, so have barely a picture to share of the most awe inspiring scenery I have yet been exposed to in India! …. Just a few shots of the road in places where it was undergoing repairs and Santosh was forced to slow down! When I realized Santosh turns to me in the back seat with each attempt at conversation, giving me his full attention, eyes off the road in the process …. a road of sidewalk proportions, consistently curving up a steep mountain!! ….. well, needless to say, I remained quiet for the duration of the 3 hour climb to Darjeeling!!
Darjeeling has been sitting in and out of misty clouds since my arrival, so no good pictures of the stunning scenery except through a haze …… Wish we could have stopped enroute yesterday but not on that “road” 🙂 …. If you use your imagination in one of my pictures, you can see the tip of Mt. Kanchendzonga, India’s highest peak at 28,169 feet …. On a clear day, it’s view dominates Darjeeling but alas, not in the cards for me as Darjeeling is normally under cloud cover this time of year ….. Will see, as I am here for a few days yet … Might be lucky …..