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Silk Route Project Craig and Simon are currently travelling from India to Istanbul with the fantastic support of World Nomads. On behalf of Footprints, World Nomad's charity, they will be visiting of a number of projects along the route to deliver supplies of essential medicines to impoverished children.

High Tea in Darjeeling

INDIA | Friday, 30 June 2006 | Views [2642] | Comments [3]

To escape the sweltering heat of the northern Indian plains we have scurried up into the hills to Darjeeling, the quintessential British colonial hill station and home to the worlds finest tea. To get to Darjeeling is an adventure in itself. The road twists along the hill sides and is half a car wide which makes it quite interesting considering the ten cars bearing down on you from the other direction. Naturally the drivers remain undaunted and attack with the usual panache worthy of their Gurkha heritage. So for all you extreme sports fanatics, you can have your base jumping and mountain biking – we’ll take this drive any day. 

 

 It certainly was high tea, Darjeeling sits a bit over 2000m above sea level and has a lovely temperate climate. Unfortunately however at this time of year you spend most of your time in the middle of a cloud. We were both excited about stories of seeing the Himalayas in the distance, instead it was a thrill to see more than 10m in front of us.

 

There is incredible cultural diversity in the area, with Buddhist temples sitting next door to Hindu temples, which are next door to mosques. People range from Indian to Nepalese to Tibetan to Bengalese to Bhutanese to Chinese, which makes for an astonishing variety of dishes on restaurant menus (there was even beef).

 

The British influence is still very much present, even though the people aren’t. Some of the houses are classic English cottages and school kids wear a full school dress of blazer, vest, tie, trousers and shiny black shoes. But for all things British nothing beats the Darjeeling Planters Club. Set on a bank overlooking the town, it has a wide balcony with large wicker chairs and splendid rose garden. There is a lounge, bar, library and billiards room all of which have deep crimson carpet and are adorned with stuffed animals. It was a true monument to everything British … except that it was falling to pieces.

 

Now that our batteries are charged it’s time to do some work. We are heading down to the Siliguri where, with the support of Footprints, we will be providing medical assistance to a community of impoverished stone breakers. Watch this space.

Tags: Adventures

Comments

1

Someone took the thesaurus with them to India. Well done!

  Christabella Jul 1, 2006 11:56 AM

2

Hahaha...I was thinking the same thing when I read this!...who wrote this?

  Laura Jul 3, 2006 5:34 PM

3

I can just see it now...the two young gents sitting safari suits in tow sipping tea and smoking pipes on the veranda of the Darjeeling planters club. Tally-ho Chaps!

  Dave Walsh Jul 3, 2006 9:01 PM

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