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January 27th 2010
Published: August 9th 2017
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Geo: 27.3016, 88.2327

I really like Sikkim, the scenery is really amazing with the steep hills and looming mountains above. It's a nice place to come and relax and take in the silence before heading into the more crowded places. It's amazing to drive through the valley's and seeing houses built on the most extreme slopes and in the most random places where even getting access would be a hassle.
After taking a 5 hour jeep ride from Gangtok to Pelling we settled into Hotel Kabur. Two French girls, Anna and Lucie, who took our jeep also stayed here. Hotel Kabur is a nice little place to stay with a nice restaurant up the top. Here we found a whole bunch of other travelers.
We grabbed some dinner and headed for an early night, it was pretty cold so we just lay there in our beds hiding from the cold and watching some TV.
In the morning at about 6.30am I awoke to loud conversations, singing and banging up top, this was from the people who worked there, they didn't seem to grasp the concept of being considerate to all the people staying in the rooms. This happened the following morning also, one of the downsides about the place, unless you can sleep through anything.
So Irma kept sleeping and i went upstairs for some breakfast where i saw some amazing views of the Khangchendzonga mountain. I spoke to a few of the other travelers including two from Melbourne, there were also two other girls, one from Newcastle and one from Canberra.
We teamed up with Anna and Lucie for the day and walked to the Pemyantse monastery and had a look around before taking a long walk downhill into Geyzing where we were told that the market was on, but it was a tiny market and not really that interesting. We grabbed a cheap lunch and took a quick walk through the small town before catching a taxi back into Pelling.
The four of us went upstairs to the restaurant and played some cards. We overheard that two British guys and an American, Duncan, were attending a traditional dance at a local house, so we decided to join them. So a whole bunch of us boarded a jeep and drove down to the nearest Village called Darap.
As we arrived we entered the locals house where we were served a local drink called Thumba, and it's alcoholic made from yeast and Millet served in a massive wooden barrel looking mug, the idea is to add hot water and you continue to top up the drink every so often with hot water. So it's like a never ending alcoholic drink. After a little bit of drink we were taken to the backyard where we circled the camp fire and watched an amazing display of Traditional Dances performed by the teenagers and young children of the Village.
The first dance was performed by all the males where they played drums together and using leg and foot movements to the beat, i really enjoyed it. There were also performances by young girls, who danced to songs and were showing amazing expressions, and by guys on guitars and singing. I did have a go at the drumming and dancing but of course not a natural. Eventually we were served some food of rice and a whole bunch of different food items, it was really nice. The whole evening was amazing, and i love those situations where all of a sudden you end up joining people and attending local events or just having a good time in general. So i really had a good night there.
I had planned to get up early and walk to one of the monastery's for the sunrise but it was too cloudy so i quickly hopped back into bed. But once again the workers were up talking and banging at 6:30am. The four of us were up and running by 7:30 as we were doing a day tour of several places, we were picked up at around 8:30 by jeep and headed north, we stopped of at two waterfalls, one of them being the Khangchendzonga falls. At first appearance they looked tiny but that's because that wasn't the falls, you just walk up the stairs and pass the stands that sell snacks and the actual falls are there. The waterfall was quite nice but seemed small, i can imagine in the monsoon season it can be much bigger.
We hopped back in to the jeep and headed for Yuksom, one of the most Northern village in West Sikkim, this is a starting point for major treks. Just up the hill from Yuksom is the Dubdi Monastery which is said to be the birthplace of Sikkim which has a large Gompa and small monastery. We walked down the hill to a small lake which was surrounded by prayer flags, at the lake we met a Russian couple and Brazilan couple and we sat down and enjoyed the peace.
I took a walk around the lake and heard a noise, i went to have a look and it was a bunch of frogs all piling on top of each other for some reason. The whole place was just so peaceful and amazing, i wish i had the time to stay in Yuksom, but maybe next time.
We had a short drive into the village of Yuksom where we had some lunch and then it was time to head back to Pelling with a stop over in Khecheopalri Lake, the lake is similar to the one in Yuksom but much bigger and surrounded by big hills with lush forests that offer walks to other Villages and tp monasteries on top of the hills. Irma had some buscuits in which we threw into the lake and big fish would eat them. I will remember that a family of Indians came to see the laske and went to take a family photo when the dad was on the phone, so much for a nice photo.Then it was back into Pelling for some dinner and cards.

We woke up early to be picked up for our ride to Kalimpong, at the start the jeep only had us in but we went down the raod for about 5 minutes where we stopped and piled in four others. These four others had just been in a motor bike accident though, i had noticed them pass us as we were waiting for the jeep. One of the motorcycles had slipped and the two guys came off bad, one had a broken leg and the other one had cuts and bruizes. The worst was when we were on the way to Geyzing, which luckily for them had a hospital, the road was bumpy and uneven, so everytime we hit a bump the guys would scream. We finally dropped them off before picking up more people for the trip to Kalimpong.
I remeber there was a girl that was picked up and was sitting in the fromt with Irma, Lucie and the driver, four crammed into the front. I could tell Irma was frustrated, but i swear that the girls would get let out, we would continue to drive, then we would stop and she would get back on. This happened like 3 times, strange.
We finally arrived in Kalimpong, settled in and took a walk around the town, I didn't think much of Kalimpong, nothing much to see. There was a local soccer game on in which we watched for a little bit, but most of the time in Kalimponng was spent walking around and the Internet.
We did try to go out for dinner but everything was closed by 7pm and we only found one place open in the middle of town where we could have dinner and Ice Cream which Anna was keen on getting the whole day.

The following day we were told there was a market on, but it was the same market, only bigger, that we had been to on the previous day, pretty boring, so we went to the Internet and had lunch before heading in the jeep to Siliguri where the other three had a train to catch and where i was staying one night on my transit to the Nepal boarder. There was a strike a couple of hours before we had to catch the jeep and Anna and I were coming b ack from the Internet and thought that we wouldn't be able to go, but it was only for a few hours. It was a protest fopr Gorkaland and there was a march along one of the main streets, but only men were involved.
We arrived in Siliguri grabbed some dinner and said our goodbyes.
The foloowing morning i went in search of how to get to the border, people kept telling me to go in different directions and i was getting very frustrated, but i found a share jeep to the border .
My Indian adventures were pretty much over with exception of one week before i fly out.
I was glad to start my Nepal adventures

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