Saturday, September 14, 2013


*This is a preface that this blog is from April and I have just yet to publish it because it was unfinished and not on my priority list clearly.  However, because I did want to have it written about, here I am posting a forever old story.

Going back to my trip to Darjeeling.  It was a really an extremely different place than Kolkata and a wonderful escape from the city.  Our 'hotel' was terrible, and I don't think I have very high standards of a hotel.  It was just really gross and nothing felt clean and the door didn't lock.  In addition to that, it was clearly a honeymoon suite of some sort (it was Kristy, Jennifer, and I staying in there), and they had a mirror on the ceiling and heart shaped pillows on the bed.  Moving past that awkward aspect, we thankfully didn't stay in that room for longer than one night and didn't spend much time in the room at all.  The biggest tourist attraction is going to see the sunrise on Tiger Hill.  From that spot you can see the tallest mountains in the world (when the clouds are right).  We had to wake up at 330am to be up at the mountain by 530 so we didn't miss the sunrise.  It was about a 30 minute ride up and there were literally hundreds of people going.  It was super touristy (you could buy souvenirs, cha, and food) but it was totally worth it.  The sunrise was beautiful and it was so cold outside.  We couldn't see Everest that day but we saw K3 which is the third largest mountain in the world so I will take it!  We did some other touristy things after we left there but I wasn't really interested in that stuff.  Seeing a temple, and some railroad thing.  I have gathered in my travels here that I do not like doing typical, crowded, touristy things for the most part.

At that point we went into the town to have breakfast and we met up with everyone at a restaurant called Keventers.  It has this awesome roof top patio where you can have breakfast and see most of the whole town.  It was really great food and coffee and we sat for a while to talk and decide what we wanted to do during the day.  Kristy and I decided that we would walk around for a while and check out the town.  We ended up going to a tea tasting in a store overlooking a tea plantation.  I'm not usually one for hot tea but this was really good.  We went from there to have lunch at a bakery in town and then to tour the Happy Valley Tea Plantation.  After the tour, we had the chance to go and explore on the plantation.  It was beautiful and not too hot.  Kristy and I split up and went to read and be alone for a while.  I wrote a short bit while I was reading up on the mountain.

'As I begin writing this...I am sitting at a tea plantation in Darjeeling India. The city to my left, and nothing but tea, mountains, space in front of me. It is Saturday, the day before Easter. As I have been this entire time in India, I am constantly thanking and praising God for his provisions and allowing me to be here and be doing these things. Even more so today as I reflect on resurrection Sunday and the ultimate sacrifice God made for us by giving his only son. I sit here overcome with joy and gratitude.  The past few days have been a welcome respite from the normal hot India I know, as well as a good time for reflection and yet I havent come up with a ton of answers. I have no idea why I get to be here doing this but I'll take it. I choose it, even on hard days. Even on days where I don't want to.'

It was an amazing setting and just a perfect way to spend a Saturday afternoon, as well as the day before Easter.  After that we were asked to come into this woman's home who works at the plantation.  She was quite the character and half an hour of laughter ensued while we were in her house.  She had stuffed animals that she wanted us to take pictures with, as well as talking extensively about dinosaurs and how kids don't like to work these days.  It was yet another hilarious adventure in the people we encounter while traveling.  

We met back up with everyone else and went to a Chinese dinner at a place called Shangrila.  It was a really good meal besides getting everything in opposite order that we were supposed to.  The dessert came first followed by the main dishes and then the appetizers.  It was really only fitting for the way things work.

On Sunday morning we woke up early and had a time of devotion and prayer with the group since it was Easter.  It was a really special time of singing and worshipping with a group of people whom I have grown to love.  We then went and had breakfast at a bakery and went on the 'toy train' ride.  That was yet another experience, and not one that I would recommend for anyone.  It was really silly and a waste of money.  It rode backwards down part of the mountain, and then foward back up.

At that point most of the group was leaving to go to the town of Siliguri because they had to catch their train the next day early.  Jennifer and I were flying home and didn't need to leave yet so we went to a burger place for lunch followed by shopping, and more tea tasting.  We went back to the hotel to read/nap/freshen up and then we went to a happy hour at a bar nearby.  For dinner we went to a place called Glenary's which was really good.  After that we decided to go to bed because we had to get up early to head down the mountain and catch our flight.  

It takes two hours in the car to go from Darjeeling to Bagdogra on winding roads.  It was a short hour flight and then we were back in the City of Joy.

I really enjoyed Darjeeling, however, I would have to say that my time in Kalimpong and Padong were by far much better than Darjeeling.  They were less crowded and more of a small town feel.  It is very strange though because all three of the towns are far more Western and they are so much smaller in population.  

I would absolutely go back to all of the places.

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