To KolkataPosted: October 1, 2011
We loved the cooler climate and cooler people of Darjeeling but Darj wasn’t that kind to us. The rain we could deal with but then there were the disasters; the broken tooth, the earthquake and finally landslides. The tooth I got fixed but the earthquake spelled the end of our mountaineering aspirations and the landslides finally convinced us it was time to get out of Dodge/Darj.
After the course was cancelled we were at a bit of a loose end. But as Darjeeling was such a nice, relaxing place we decided to stick around for a couple of days. It rained every day. We stayed in a nice guesthouse and finally got some laundry done. We went for runs in the rain, doing street gym calisthenics with grey-haired gurkhas. Later in the day we hunkered down in the fantastic Glenary’s cafe drinking real coffee and using their wifi. At night we ate fantastic nepali cuisine and got drunk in tiny bars that shut before 11.00pm.
After a few days of this we had a real routine going but the unrelenting rain convinced us it was time to head south. We were told that with Dirga Purja coming up in Kolkata it would be nearly impossible to get transport into the city but we walked down to the train station in Darjeeling and bought tickets no problem. We left feeling a bit surprised. Nothing is ever that easy in India.
The night before we left the power went out again. Unlike other times it stayed out. A large landslide had taken out some road and the power. We were advised to leave early to ensure we got to our train in time.
Our arses ached as we bounced over potholes and our heads banged against the roof of the jeep on the way down but we didn’t see the big landlide, only a few smaller ones. For once our train was on time and we were able to locate our platform with no problems. There was no one in our berths either. As the train pulled out of the platform we shared a little grin; an entire day in India that had gone according to plan.