After too short of a stay in Kalimpong, we are on to Lava and Kolakham. We hire a jeep to take us there. Any vehicle could make it from Kalimpong to Lava, but the road from Lava to Kolakham is very steep & rough. It is worth it! We are staying in one of 2 guest houses in town. Kolakham is a small village on the edge of the Neora Valley National Park. We arrive just before a storm blows in. The power is out at our Guest House due to the storm. We take this as a clue that we should rest up, from the extremely unnatural act of flying half way around the world. One of the few cash paying jobs in this village is cooking for the guest house. People take turns & the food is EXCELLENT! We are fed Breakfast, Lunch, Snack/tea, & Dinner in a little building between the 2 houses of the Guest House. The view from this little dinning area is incredeble! On Day 2 the weather clears & we take a hike with 14 year old Lucas as our guide. Lucas goes to mission school in Kalimpong, but is home for Easter Week.
He is a good guide. We hike about 6 KMs down to the waterfall. At this time, this area is remote, but from the looks of the building going on near the waterfall, that will change before long & tourists will be flocking in. Oh well. We do meet Mar-je-mee from Calcutta & her family at the falls. She is a delightfull lady with a million dollar smile! The hike to the falls & back leaves us tired & happy. We catch up on our feeding schedule by having a late lunch when we get back, before snack/tea time.
Next day, Arjun, one of the main guys at the Guest House, drives us up to Lava & then on to Rishyap. Rishyap is above Lava, at 8,000 some feet. It also has beautiful views, & many tourists from Calcutta. Some are very friendly, some not so much. It is chilly in Rishyap. We take walk Enjoy a good dinner, take another walk. In evening, power is on for a while & we watch a little TV.
Next day, we walk from Rishyap to Lava. It is about 4 or 5 KMs. We now own fancy suitcases with wheels
on them, so we can roll them when the road/path is not too bad. It is sooooo worth it for the views, the wild orchids, rhodendrons, ferns, & cloud forest. When we reach Lava we arrainge transport to our next destination, Gangtok Sikkim!
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