We left at 6am, praying for better roads….We got them! A four-lane, smooth highway nearly all the way to Siliguri. We arrived by 1:30pm. We found a little hotel and dumped our big backpacks and packed each an overnight bag. Our Incase camera/laptop bags were the perfect size for our gear and a change of clothes. Knowing the road to Darjeeling would be steep, we decided to leave Lil Jigg’ in Siliguri and hire a car for the long climb up. Besides Lil Jigg’ needed a rest! Our driver, Bikku was excellent. It was such a treat to be driven, in an SUV, not feeling any bumps and no diesel fumes to breath in, as we actually had windows! OMG! This was such a treat. It took 3 hours to climb up to 7460 feet and the views were awesome! The temperature dropped and we went through a really choice storm with thunder, lightening and hail! Saw some crazy monkeys on the way. Bikku acted as both our driver and guide. Half way up to Darjeeling we stopped for chai and some fresh hot samosas. Bikku took us to a friend’s hotel called Magnolia in Darjeeling. It was pouring rain when he dropped us off and really, really COLD!
Thankfully we were smart, knowing it would be chilly and wore our trusty & toasty Blundstone boots and Aether Apparel water resistant hoodies. Darjeeling reminds me so much of Kathmandu. Its a hub of small restaurants and shops selling everything needed for trekking, all built in the lesser Himalayan hills. We went out for some drinks and food and then straight to bed as we were getting up at 3:30 am to visit the Tiger Path for sunrise- one of the most beautiful sites in India, or so we’ve been told.
Today we covered 252 kms.