Darjeeling, India – I love it.
From the steep, twisting streets of the town to the momentous mountain views, friendly locals, top food and fresh climate. By “fresh” I’m referring to it being cold which to be honest, caught me a little bit off guard at first. I mean it’s India it ain’t supposed to be cold but then it dawned on me, with all the Tea farming I should have expected it to be cold. I remember years ago I stayed in the Cameron Highlands, Malaysia and it was the same. Perfect for tea plantations, cold and wet and at high altitudes.
Below you can see my whole Darjeeling trip condensed into one video packed full of goodness. From my bumpy jeep journey up through the mountains from Siliguri to Kurseong Railway station, a trip on the famous Toy Train along the Darjeeling Himalayan Railway through to a tour of the local town and it’s surrounding areas. All mixed in with a few of my interesting little insights along the way.
cant’ see the video ? click here.
Like a fool I of course turned up in Darjeeling in pretty much in shorts and t-shirt and had to resort to wearing almost everything I had with me. Even though it was very cold it was quite refreshing for me as I’ve been living in hot climates for the last few years and I fell in love with Darjeeling within days and decided to stay a while. One of the first things that first hit me about Darjeeling (apart from the cold) was how much it didn’t feel like India. With not so many Indian-looking people and structures around it felt more like China or Nepal. As I learned more about the interesting history of Darjeeling from the locals it all made sense.
A major factor in me loving Darjeeling had a lot to do with the excellent place I was staying at, The Revolver Lodge is a funky little ‘Beatles themed’ place with most importantly free wifi that is pretty solid (essential for a digital nomad such as myself), stylish rooms, electric blanket bed warmers for those chilly nights, satellite Tv, books DVDs and attracting real interesting travelers
cant’ see the video ? click here.
I had phoned this place whilst on the train on the way to Darjeeling and when I arrived I was majorly impressed by the whole vibe they had going on at this stylish little lodge. Looked at the rooms and thought “Yes- this will do at least for my first night or two”. Six weeks later I was still there. Met some great people, saw some amazing sights and had a real chilled (literally) relaxing time.
A Day in The Life Of
An average top day for me rolled out something like this:
6am Up bright and early, mountain view walk to this tiny little local shop for a big cup of strong black Darjeeling tea.
7am work online for a few hours. using the good WiFi with my USB dongle as backup.
10am Breakfast at a local vegetarian restaurant- my favorite, Baked Beans on Toast topped with Cheese.
11am Back to Revolver for an hour or two blast on the Playstation3 -working my way thru a fantastic Sci-Fi first-person-shooter, chipping away at it thru to it’s completion a little bit each day.
1pm Work online for a couple of hours –by using some ninja productivity tricks I can get 4-5 hours work done in 2 hours.
2-3pm Lunch at Glenery’s Restaurant – too many amazing dishes to mention but I did become addicted to their roast chicken with roasted veg. Washed down with a chocolate brownie and ice cream covered in hot chocolate sauce. Burp.
4pm Back to my room at revolver for a bit of TV and maybe a cheeky afternoon siesta to sleep off my big lunch.
6-7pm shower and out for an evening meal – Indian or Chinese and quite often Italian. I found this awesome place that did fantastic pizza and pasta called “The Hot Pizza Place”, couldn’t keep myself away from there.
9pm back to revolver to work online as the US is starting to wake up.
11.45pm Midnight movie (and flick on that electric blanket for a toasty hot bed) – crash out for the night.
Pretty simple but a great little routine where I got tons of work done and at the same time had a real chilled out lifestyle that I changed up a lot and really got into.
Let me know in the comments below if you think Darjeeling appeals to you. Or if you have been there before, how did you rate it ?
And Then It Turned Bad
All round, I really, really liked Darjeeling and my stay at Revolver – THEN my whole India trip suddenly started to go seriously pear shaped and then got worse and led to me leaving India and having some life threatening and scariest, maddest few weeks I’ve had for a long, long time. Find out all about that in my next post….
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