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... to Afternoon Tea at the Elgin (again) to celebrate Mark's 50th. It was all very civilised and everyone enjoyed themselves. I don't know whether I mentioned but I do love a good Afternoon Tea.
Next day it was off to Gangtok in Sikkim in jeeps. Ours was a little more roadworthy this time, but I couldn't really appreciate it as I was sick. I think the jeep driver was very pleased that I waited to be sick outside his jeep! We are in Sikkim for 4 nights.
14.2.2014 Darjeeling, India Km: 49737 Darjeeling Himalaya Railway / Darjeeling Himalaya Railway
Crossing the border to India is equally chaotic as from India to Nepal. No real customs and I have to ask several times where immigration is. On India's side one with a scooter guide me to the building of immigration. Even I would have probably not found. But I have the entry stamp and am again shocked by the Indian lifestyle. Dirty town, too ...
... hours somehow passed quickly as our group chatted around the little fire prepared for us. I shamelessly botched the pronunciation of French words, to the amusement of our Belgian trekking partner Ftouma. I find that talking about the intriguing behaviors of American rednecks and hillbillies usually amuses Europeans immensely as well. And before we knew it - it was 8:00pm and time for bed! The trek only lasted five days, and before I knew it I was back in ...
... We bought some water and kitkats for the journey and started our trek. Things all got brought sharply into focus very quickly. We had been walking about 5 mins when we were confronted with a obscenely steep hill. The hill was a road track and swung in serpentine loops making its way up the mountains. Now I genuinely love walking, I can walk all day and take in the views and the clean air, lovely jubbly. What I didn't really realise at the time, mainly through naivety was this trek ...
... or tied (still flapping) to the handles of bicycles, but had yet to see pigs housed or transported in quite such a brutal fashion. The further we walked, the more piglets we saw being carried in bamboo baskets, either in handbag fashion, or on shoulders, complete with trotters hanging out of the bottom and the occasional snout or tail poking out of the end. Quite what pigs are used for we cannot fathom, since most Nepalese are vegetarians, so why they should be such a commodity ...