Dhotapu Guest House
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... shops. Naturally we had to browse. Eventually we made it to New Modern Central Lodge and the guy at reception doubled as a tour agent. He introduced us to Sylvain, a low key French guy from the French Alps who was also interested in sharing a jeep. The guy at reception laid out an itinerary similar to Sonam's, for a higher price. And when I asked him about the accommodations we'd be staying at, I got the feeling that it was bare bones. No ...
... told us it was back down the road and left us to drag our bags to the hotel. Lovely countryside along the way with tea plantations on the hills climbing to 2100m and bloody cold. Took a walk up the mall and had afternoon tea, cucumber sandwiches and scones at the Windamere Hotel, quaint original built in the 1930s for British bachelor tea planters. All fairly interesting so will do a bit of looking around ...
... being sorted into its quality with the whole leaf tea being the biggest profit making followed by the broken leaves, fannings which are the bits that brake away from the already broken leaves and finally tea dust which is what we find in our tea bags at home. We learnt so much while here. Darjeeling tea is known a the champagne of tea because it is one of the only pure teas. It used to be made form 51% darjeeling tea and 49% cheaper tea. However this has changed now and ...
... than by rail. This is fine until we hit the area where the landslide happened. Here we visit the Locomotive works which maintained all the engines, carriages and trucks on the railway. The landslide took away the ground only 20 feet from the back of the works!!!! I sure would have run.
It’s there just as it was. Some people work there: doing what, I have no idea as nothing can get in and nothing ...
... lost the excitement of visiting new places and running around like a mad tourist. Thankfully there is not much to see and do in Gangtok.
Back in the jeeps the next day for a slow, bumpy, scary (no barriers), twisting 35km drive to Tsomgo Lake (pronounced Changu) which is northeast from Gangtok and 20km from Tibetian border. There were many army bases (Black Cats) along the road up to the Lake and at the Lake as well which was interesting ...