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August 17th 2012
Published: August 17th 2012
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Our first four days in India have consisted of a lot of travelling and marvelling at the sheer stink of the capital of the Assam region - Guwahati.

Having done copious amounts of research into the conflict zone of the state of Assam, we made an executive decision that really we would be ok. The PM of India had travelled there so how bad could it be?

Arriving at Delhi airport we went straight to the Spicejet (India's answer to easyjet) counter to book the first flight to Guwahati. The travel man immediately asked us about our route from there warning us to not go out when we arrived there due to Indiependence day and to have our wits about us due to tribal friction.

This advice seemed to follow us wherever we went and was repeated by the tuk tuk and the second hand car seller. Oh dear we may have to have a slight change of plan.

So there you have it - our plan has gone a bit tits up!! No tuk tuk (it also turns out you ave to pay up to 50,000 when you sell it just to change the number plate!), and stuck in a city where no one will let us leave and everyone tells us not to stay.

After spending a very sweaty and agitating hour at the bus station with every bus tout taking us to his brother, cousin and friend to try and get us on a bus, we decided to take heed of the "military, military is dangerous" advice and clambered into an auto rickshaw, rucksacks piled on top of us and bumped along at 15 mph to the train station.

Luck finally came to our aid as we managed to get three beds on a triple bunk, cockroach infested 2nd AC train - the Jha Jha Express - to Siliguri where we would then get alternative transport to Darjeeling.

Arriving at 3.05am we traversed the sleeping bodies of Siliguri Junctions resident beggars and walked into the street to find a bus or communal jeep. Funnily enough it was dead silent, with the life coming from a calf gently nuzzling its mother. Oh dear... it seems we weren't very good at this adhoc travelling malarky.

A friendly stranger saw the panic on our face and asked where we were heading, "Darjeeling we think,"

"Aah I come from there, there are communal jeeps that leave at 4am you can take that."

So at 4.30am we all crammed into the jeep and made our way to the tea capital of India - Darjeeling.

(I have to go for supper now before the restaurant closes. Sorry for spelling mistakes, the keyboards letters have all rubbed off!)

Love from us all

Chatty, Jamie and Olivia.


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