Cold in Darjeeling!


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December 1st 2004
Published: May 22nd 2006
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Gerry and Denise's Journey


View from GuesthouseView from GuesthouseView from Guesthouse

The view from the Classic Guesthouse in Darjeeling with the cloud down in the valley.
After the roasting hot temperatures we were used to in the plains of India, Darjeeling was cold. Not only that but everyone in town had a cold! We also picked up colds and coughs, which lasted for about two weeks.

Darjeeling has a beautiful setting, surrounded by mountains and forests. We arrived during the festival of Durga Puja, which is a local holiday and we struggled to find a room for the night. We ended up in the government run tourist lodge. We had a cavernous room which was dull and stunk of mustiness, although it was clean. The meals were inclusive and there was no choice. The food was quite good though, and we were given a Western-style breakfast.

The next day we checked out and found a very cheap and clean room at Andy's Guesthouse. On the roof of the guesthouse you had a 360 degree panoramic view of all the mountains and on a clear day you can see Kanchenjunga.

Having left my one and only fleece on the aeroplane from Heathrow I (Gerry)was freezing, especially at night. So I bought myself a locally-made, very colourful Tibetan jacket. I felt (and was) totally unique as
Assemblies of God Assemblies of God Assemblies of God

The Assemblies of God church from which emanated gospel choruses.
that night I counted 20 tourists all of them wearing very drab, foreign-made fleeces!

After a few nights we moved to the Classic Guesthouse, which has stunning views (and a balcony) over the mountains. Way below we could hear a familiar refrain from the Assemblies of God choir singing gospel choruses in competetion with the Hindu loudspeaker celebrating Shiva's triumph over the demons, and the Buddhist's repetitive chants. Darjeeling is a mixed fruit shake of many different varieties.

As that place was a bit expensive, and still feeling the cold we were tempted to another hotel which offered a log fire in the bedroom. This was no ordinary log fire. It was an iron monstrosity, with a huge pipe leading to a hole in the window. The logs were fed into what looked like an oversized charcoal iron, the type which we used to use for ironing our clothes in Uganda. Anyway it worked, and after recovering from the belching smoke we had a hot night!

Talking about fires, another day we paid a visit to the wonderfully old colonial hotel, the Windermere. I'm sure it hasn't changed in over a 100 years! We went for high
Denise at WindermereDenise at WindermereDenise at Windermere

We warmed ourselves for 4 hours here. High tea was rubbish.
tea in the sitting room with a log fire comforting us. It cost the earth and was rubbish, but it was worth it for the 4 hours of heat we managed to extract from the occassion!

After Darjeeling it was back down to the welcome inferno of Kolkata for one night prior to flying off to Singapore. Singapore here we come!!!


Additional photos below
Photos: 16, Displayed: 16


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Log fire in room.Log fire in room.
Log fire in room.

Denise and the 'iron monstrosity'
Monster WalkMonster Walk
Monster Walk

We walked all the way from Darjeeling to this tea estate then all the way down this hill and I had a bad cold and was shattered by the end of it!
Smallest and highest  racecourse in the worldSmallest and highest  racecourse in the world
Smallest and highest racecourse in the world

Lebong racecourse is no longer used, but apparently this is the smallest and highest horse race course in the world.
Tibetan home-made weaving machinesTibetan home-made weaving machines
Tibetan home-made weaving machines

We visited the Tibetan Refugee Self Help Centre in Darjeeling, where they make carpets, clothing etc.
Denise at Tibetan CentreDenise at Tibetan Centre
Denise at Tibetan Centre

Everything is done by hand including dyeing their own wool.
Maple Tourist Lodge in DarjeelingMaple Tourist Lodge in Darjeeling
Maple Tourist Lodge in Darjeeling

Our first night was spent here.
Hotel WindermereHotel Windermere
Hotel Windermere

Hotel Windermere is the one in amongst the trees, furthest up the photo.
The old Planters ClubThe old Planters Club
The old Planters Club

The old colonial Planters Club above the market, an interesting place. You can still stay here but the room we were shown was in a right old mess!


2nd December 2004

Questions
Hi! Sounds like you all are having a wonderful trip! I will be flying to India in a month, and spending 2.5 months there. Darjeeling is one of the places I would like to go as well as cities in the south etc. I wondered if you two had any advice?
29th December 2004

Hope you enjoyed Darjeeling
Hope you enjoyed your stay in Darjeeling. Thanks for the Pics. Take care, Cheers - Gurans
29th December 2004

Re: Advice for Darjeeling
when are you planning to go there. from december to march it is cold.. so u need plenty of warm clothes. when u are there.. dont forget to try.. alu dam, and toongbah, local beer, where u refill it with hot water for many helpings... the best part is.. how much ever u drink.. u wont get a hang over and it is good for your health. cheers ;) - Gurans
20th October 2005

Lebong Race Course
Might I add that your beautiful pictures have made me see my own hometown in a different light. They're fabulous. Also the racecourse in the pic above name Lebong Race Course is actually the highest Race Course in the World. That's a fact. Although horses no longer run here, I've heard rumours about races being conducted again. That should give the gamblers a run for their money.
27th December 2005

I love Darjeeling.
I have been all around the world and to many places but i can't get my dear Darjeeling out of my mind. i know i can hardly come back to Darjeeling now..but honestly i crave to see more photos. Good job guys...The momo...the classic taste of tea..the smell of tea gardens..my friends ...my friends..i will remember you.you deserve an appreciation. Hats off to you!!
4th March 2006

Lebong racecourse
Thank you for the picture of Lebong racecourse. My mother was born in Lebong in 1906, 100 years ago next May. I have always wanted to go there, and plan a trip, hopefully this December, with my son. I have barely been able to find Lebong on maps before, and this is the first photo (apart from one of my mother as a babe in arms 100 years ago on the front verandah of their house) that I have seen of Lebong. Thank you.
29th April 2006

Some memories leaves golden impression.
Years back I had everything including family,friends,college….love…life. Now look at me I’m a professional now and I have come so afar from Darjeeling. I have nothing left of that place with me except for the little tea bud in my diary which reminds me of Darjeeling and few memories. I love that smell of the forest when you walk across the Tenzing Norgay rock. I love the feeling when the snow crackles beneath your feet. I just wanna say that nobody out here is friendly. Nobody gives me Momos,aaloo bhuja,Thukpa and that classical cup of tea.I know someday that I will be back.The tea out here sucks. Until then adios Darjeeling and Kudos to your beauty and your mountains. And mind it the photo which you see Assembly of God church School is my School and I love my school. I was a school captain out there. And thanks to people in coordination of this website. Appreciate your work with deepest gratification…Neo.
5th March 2008

Tour operator
We are one of the tour operator for Darjeeling and we are national Award winner twice . Contact us - accounts@heattravels.com
4th November 2009

I need chipest room in Darjiling
pls let me know the rent of your room. I need a chipest room in Darjiling. for 2/3 days. like 100 rupies per day
26th October 2010
Monster Walk

is it paradise?
Beautiful place /scenary always make me sad. I feel I canl stay here till my death.

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