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... with the freedom to stop where we like. For the two of us, he started at 22000Rs for the package and we negotiated down to 18000 Rs with upgraded accommodations. And in case we have other people join us, it would be 4000 Rs extra for food and accommodations per pair (double occupancy). We told Sonam we'd check out a few other places and get back to him.
We hadn't had breakfast so we climbed the stairs to MG road, a wide ...
... Statue of Guru Rinpoche, the patron saint of Sikkim. The statue in Namchi is the tallest statue of the saint in the world at 36 metres (120 ft).
On the way to our next stop we saw the Baichung Stadium built by the Sikkimese government in honour of its most famous citizen, footballer Baichung Bhutia. "The Gold Cup" football tournament is held in Bhaichung Stadium almost every year.
Our 3rd stop was Siddheshwar ...
... other at times.
Stopped at Kurseong for our first cup of Darjeeling tea and momos - lots of flies!!
Arrived at the Elgin hotel which is an elegant colonial historical building. It has lovely well maintained relaxing areas on the ground floor and the room are spacious and well appointed. We were welcomed with a cherry brandy (tasted like my cough medicine) and a ...
... also known as the Black Hat sect. We were only able to visit the new monastery and had to hand over our passports in order to enter. The monastery is heavily guarded against possible clashes between the feuding parties (?- not sure which) as explained by our mandatory guide. It was quite a hike up the steep hill passing through the village and sections lined with prayer wheels. Once arrived, we were only allowed to take pictures outside the ...
... for the evening though! We nipped across to the very pleasant looking Sherpa Lodge just across the way for a hot chocolate to thaw us out, but one of the other guides came across to get us before we were finished…apparently we’d crossed the border. In an attempt to warm everyone up, the guides poured us and another group glasses of what they were calling Roxy – home brewed rice wine. Before even stepping into the room you could smell ...