Day 2 Darjeeling
Darjeeling is famous for its sunrise … where the first rays of the sun fall over the Kanchenjunga range. So next morning we woke up early for the sunrise and found that it was still raining 😦 I didn’t have any hopes of seeing any sunrise in such weather. Anyways, we dressed up and reached the hotel reception to wait for our taxi. There was a huge crowd there. I guess literally everyone in the hotel must have been there. If anyone had told me that there was less than 0.01 % of seeing the sunrise I would have happily gone back and slept. But here I saw so many people all dressed up and ready at 3:30 am in the morning for watching the sunrise that you wouldn’t believe that there was hardly any chance of seeing the famous sunrise. Just before leaving we had given anti vomiting medicine to Cheebu but I think the medicine didn’t get any time to be effective because once again she vomited as soon as we were on our way to Tiger Hills. After braving the rains and traffic jams so early in the morning we reached Tiger Hill. It was cold and raining…
There was a huge crowd of tourists… It was impossible to believe that there was hardly any hope of seeing the sunrise
These were the taxis in the parking lot… after that there was a line of vehicles for at least a couple of km outside the parking lot. It was peak tourist season. Nobody had anticipated such weather
As expected, we didn’t see any sunrise 😦 and started back to the hotel. On the way we were supposed to see a couple of places. But when the driver stopped at Ghoom Monastary, we decided to give it a skip as it was raining heavily and Cheebu was sleeping comfortably. I was very disappointed… with heavy rains, hardly any visibility and Cheebu vomiting as soon as we were on the road… I could see where this holiday was heading 😦
Back at the hotel, while Cheebu cuddled up with her dad and both went off to sleep, I couldn’t sleep 😦 I let them sleep for a couple of hours from 6 to 8 am. Both of them woke up fresh after the morning nap and miraculously by then the weather had also cleared up 🙂 We could see the mountains in the distance from our hotel window.
We got ready and after a good breakfast and seeing the good weather outside we cheered up and were looking forward to the local sightseeing during the day. We started with the Japanese temple and the Peace Pagoda and then reached the Zoo. The zoo here is famous for the red pandas and we were not disappointed. There were so many of these cute creatures and Cheebu was delighted to see them. Besides these we also saw the Himalayan black bear, yak, white leapard, clouded leapard and many other animals.
Cheebu thoroughly enjoyed the zoo. It rained sometimes … but never very heavily
The zoo also houses the Himalayan Mountaineering Institute. We enjoyed seeing a museum here on the Himalayan mountain range and mountaineering, but Cheebu was bored. What she enjoyed was dressing up in the local costume and getting herself clicked 🙂 We got a family pic clicked in the local costume 🙂
The weather was perfect for some roasted corn and hot veg momos with hot tea
Next, we headed towards the tea gardens. On the way Hubby spotted the ropeway. This was not part of our package itinery, but the driver told us that it would also take us to the tea gardens. So we decided to go to the tea gardens via the ropeway instead of by road
There was a long queue for boarding the ropecar… we had to wait for about an hour. But the little stalls selling maggi and momos here kept us entertained. We got a free tutorial of how to make momos 🙂
There was a lovely view of a boarding school from there and we threatened Cheebu that we will get her admitted there if she was too naughty 😉
Finally after a long wait we got to board the ropecar
The views from the ropeway were certainly worth the wait 🙂 We went over lush green forests and tea gardens.
It was one of the longest ropeway ride, I have been on. At the end of it there was a lovely little village in between the tea gardens. We went around the place and finally had the most awesome maggi with hot tea at a small place.
There was a lovely garden where we waited for our turn to go back on the ropecar. We had to wait because not many people chose to get down after coming down the ropeway. They came through the ropeway more to enjoy the journey choosing not to get down at the destination. We didn’t mind waiting… it was a nice little place 🙂
The ride back was as good as the ride to the tea garden. From here we went back to the hotel and freshened up. We still had some time at hand before dinner and decide to explore the local market. We spent the next couple of hours in the market. The markets were mostly full of local stuff like show pieces and woolen garments and of course the world famous Darjeeling tea. We went to a heritage tea shop where the shopkeeper showed us tea ranging from Rs 200/kg to 20000/kg. I bought some organic green tea from here. Back to the hotel and after a yummy dinner we went off to sleep.