Tuesday, March 26, 2013

The End

The jeep ride to Gangtok was long but the view more than compensated for it. As we entered into Sikkim the environment changed gradually. The weather was warmer, the air foggier, the roads a bit wider. A great deal of construction was taking place. Huge chunks of rock had been ripped from the vertical crevices, leaving jagged wounds and much sandy residue behind. Below the cliffs lay a swollen Teesta River, dark emerald green in colour and full of vigour. I desperately wanted to go for a swim in it, but finding another jeep midway seemed unlikely, so I suppressed my inner child. After five hours we arrived in Gangtok and as usual, Mission #1 was to find a place to stay. Hotel Tarika was a stone's throw away from the jeep stand, and a restaurant on the ground floor provided us with a much needed meal. After lunch we left for the tourist center. Apparently, I could book a helicopter to fly to Bagdogra. The awesomeness of the thought was quickly killed when the tourist center informed us that the helicopter would run after my flight; the delay was due to the presence of His Holiness the Dalai Lama who was visiting Gangtok. My helicopter dream shall have to wait till another day.

It began to rain - no, it was pouring. Heavily. With hail. We purchased a rainbow coloured umbrella and continued our stroll in the market which was fancier than I had expected. The walkway was a sort of promenade with copper coloured tiles on which cars were off-limits. Brand stores mixed with local shops lined both sides of this area. After exploring a more 'local' market, I walked away with the only item I have ever  valued - sweet and sour tamarind candy pulp. Actually, the fruit was something called lapsi, ground into a delectable much along with sugar, salt, and a multitude of spices. I devoured it until my nose turned into a perpetually leaky faucet and my taste buds were numb from the lapsi's fieri-ness.

We visited a gurudwara next to an army camp, walking away with a palmful of halwa. Dinner was at a place called Porky's: pork momos, chicken soup, sausage fried rice, and sliced pork with vegetables. Meatalicious. Aqui had lent me a Sidney Sheldon book from her library yesterday, "Tell Me Your Dreams".  In the gaps throughout the day I managed to finish it. Thus ended my last day in the Northeast - full of suspense, drama, and with appropriate closure.

2 comments:

  1. You have the power to make the reader feel he/she is travelling with you ... thank you for sharing :)

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  2. I too echo who Pinjani said-awsome entry. So proud of you.

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