Published: March 1st 2009March 1st 2009
Sign on the seat in front of me on the plane from Kolkata to Bagdogra.
Well here I am at last. Darjeeling, my home for the next 10 weeks or so. The drive from Bagdogra was scary and amazing all at the same time. I couldn’t begin to describe the roads. Hair raising would be an understatement but my driver was wonderful, more of a tour guide and did an incredible job. We stopped for tea and momo’s (yummy) and he paid. Yes, of course he was hoping for a tip, but when I gave it to him he stayed back and seemed embarrassed to take it. He told me that his elder brother works in Nepal for a bank and that he would contact him so that I could stay with him and his wife and children when I visit there in May. People here are just wonderful.
The Major, who is my host while in Darjeeling, spotted me in the taxi in the main street (I guess there aren’t many blonde people around) popped his head in the taxi and said, “Are you Beverley?” Now here I am in my room. Quiet stark but I don’t know why I would need more. And the view from the bathroom! Wow! But it
Making my room more homey!
The shelves being covered in newspaper didn't look the best, so s litttle improvement was necessary. Note the birthday cards!
is FREEZING! As soon as I unpacked, out came the thermal tops, socks and boots. I think I may be sleeping in them too as there is no heating. Nimala (Mrs. Major) informed me that it will start warming up in a couple of weeks. I think I may have to buy a big warm coat though. Not a problem. I saw jumpers for 140rp. about $4.50, so a coat I can afford. Once I was rugged up I popped down to the local internet cafe but was told that there is no internet today. I guess I will have to get used to that, along with the power going off for a few minutes every hour! I’m o.k. I’ve got my trusty torch and my book light.
It’s now 6p.m. dark and cold and I am looking forward to dinner at 7.30. I wonder if they have hot water bottles!!! The two Barbara’s from England arrive tomorrow and I am looking forward to meeting them. The major said that the one who has been here before said that she was looking forward to painting the town red. Sounds like my kind girl.
And yes, they do have hot water
Never thought that I would have an ensuite bathroom and a sit down toilet. Wow!
After a hearty breakfast of watery porridge, egg on toast, some Indian fried thing and toast and jam - phew - I was ready to explore. This place is amazing. I was befriended by a Nepali man of 62 who proceeded to show me around. We walked for miles through mountain goat country and he strode on while every now and then I had to stop to catch my breath, embarrassing! We had coffee together and he wrote out a list of places that I should see when in Nepal. As I said earlier, it is impossible to feel lonely in this place. I naturally gave him a tip for taking me around and I know that was the whole idea, but why not?
Just before lunch the two Barbara’s arrived. One is an older Scottish lady of about 64 who is a bit of a girl. She talks a lot but is fun. The other is a very plain lady of about 60. I am the youngest, yes! Scottish Barbara has been her before so showed us around and pointed out the best place for coffee and to shop etc. Very useful. I bought
The bed's not too bad. Not enough bedding though as it is sooo cold, but I did get anothet blanket and a hot water bottle.
a great jacket and hat for about $8. Dinner and an early night for them as they missed out a nights sleep getting here, so I did as well as not much else to do.
A slept with my new hat on last night and that seemed to keep me a bit warmer, I must look a site going to bed. Today we are going to the orphanage with the Major where we shall meet some of the girls then we are being assigned our schools. Fun, fun, fun. My birthday tomorrow then I shall open the cards that my friends gave me.
Woken early by sms’s for my birthday. Then decided to treat myself to a simply beautiful pashmina, a real one. Thank you Annie, that was my birthday present from you! Have now got my Indian sim card too so now I really belong. Altogether the day was great. Met a German guy and we ended up having a coffee and sharing experiences. Then tried to do this blog but their site was down. Bugger.
Had a Thai meal with the girls the Major and his wife Neema and I paid. They
This will be my home for the next two and a half months. Basic but I won't need any more and don't plan to spend too much room here.
protested, but it only came to about $40 for 5 of us with drinks! They even gave me a beautiful green moss agate necklace! A great day. Enjoy the photos.
There are more photos below