Friday, December 25, 2009

The one 'where I drink a peg for 20 bucks'

6th October 2009. A late start today by our standards (10.00 am). We had breakfast in the sylvan surroundings of the garden at Mintokling.

The Mahendra Maxx came to pick us up and off we started on our journey to Gurudongmar and Yumthang - our destinations in North Sikkim.

Its a six hour journey from Gangtok if not more. We passed through absolutely stunning scenery. Mountains- endless, green, shrouded in mist and deep valleys where the Teesta flowed.

Stopped at Seven Sisters Waterfalls and got some photos.

Proceeded towards Lachen after stops here and there - the drive had to submit photocopies of our permits at various checkpoints on the way. It started pissing down at some point and our driver got worried about landslides happneing along the way.

The route to North Sikkim is heavily guarded with army checkpoints galore. At Lachen, we would be 45 kms from the Indo-China border. Apparently you get Tibetan refugees fleeing from China and making their way to Lachen. If genuine, they are sent downwards towards the plains or else sent back which would mean sure imprisonment and torture. All this was told to us a quarter bar cum general store cum wine shop which sold me a peg of 'Imperial Blue' whisky for Rs 20!

Dinner is done and its 8.30 pm. Will be reading some and sleeping. Have to be up at 3.30 am tomorrow to head towards Gurudongmar - a destination I have been dreaming about since I started planning this trip.

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