Trip Start May 31, 2007
107Trip End May 20, 2008
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Another interesting aspect I am learning now, is that North Sikkim doesn't have any restaurants that have menus...so what we do is tell the manager what we want to eat and judge by their facial expressions whether it is possible, and whether it is possible within the next 5 hours. Then, based on the information gathered, you modify your order accordingly...fun fun.
Aside from all this, the landscape was stunning. Not since the road from Katmandu to Tibet in 2006, had I seen such spectacular mountains, abundant waterfalls and greenery. The road was harrowing but our driver was good and got us through the dodgy parts. Waterfalls cascaded over the paved hairpin turns or sometimes, when the falls were large, there would be an older suspension bridge or a newer bridge allowing the water to cascade below the driving surface. The roads are built and maintained by "BRO" a bit 1984 for my taste...especially with the pithy sayings and warnings painted all along the road such as "If married, divorce speed", "Speed thrills but kills" etc with cute little horns painted on the rocks at the narrow blind corner locations. Since North Sikkim is near sensitive borders, we saw loads of military all around. In fact, many of the villages were adjacent or seemingly reliant on the military bases. There were also quite a few temporary looking encampments for the road workers...men and women doing most of the work by hand...including sitting on piles of large rocks, breaking them up by hand with a hammer to create gravel for the road bed...also, the men would be shoveling this gravel or dirt and the shovel would have a rope tied around it which was held by a woman so that she could pull to help offset the load. Talk about teamwork...