Goecha La Trek: Days 8 & 9 - To Darjeeling

A bunch of guys who used to get up at 3 and 4 in the morning, without the help of any alarm clock for the last one week, slept late into the morning that day, till the sunlight literally crept in and warmed our asses. Though there was one more day left before we finally say goodbye to the mountains, the lack of excitement was visible on the faces. Given a chance we would all have loved to stay back for a few more days, but then life doesn't work that way always. So with much difficulty we all dragged our tired bodies outside, had breakfast and packed the bags. The taxis were waiting to carry us back to Darjeeling and without much delay we started our journey waving goodbyes to the beautiful people of Yuksom.

We reached Jorethang via Nayabazar, where we changed vehicles and finally checked into Hotel Mohit at Darjeeling by 12 noon. We had rest of the day to explore the town and without wasting any time we hit the Mall road. Some of us had Pork Thungpa at Devkar's while others were busy hogging apple pies at Glanarys. We all convened back at the hotel by 2 for a city tour. The first stops were the Peace Pagoda and the Japanese temple. Both the places were beautiful, but crowded with tourists, unlike the deserted terrains we witnessed the week before. We also visited the Himalayan Mountaineering Institute and the tomb of Tenzing Norge. The HMI museum had quite a few interesting exhibits - equipments used by the Everest conquerors, paper clippings explaining the triumphs and failures of many such expeditions and some awesome photographs of Everest, K2 and other peaks. The Darjeeling zoological park is also in the same compound where the main attractions were the Red Panda and the Snow Leopard.

After the city tour we again split up into small groups and roamed around the streets, tasting delicacies and buying souvenirs. I went to a pub called "The Buzz" with Ketan and Alfonso after seeing a poster about live music there. An acoustic trio was playing but we got to hear only the last part of their performance. The pub looked more like an English tavern with more foreigners than locals in there. We had a couple of beers and got back to the hotel in time for dinner. Tamal had arranged for a nice farewell dinner and after a couple of drinks everyone hit the dance floor. Dinner was served by 10 as an early morning journey to the airport was on cards for everyone, except Robert and myself. For the two of us one adventure had ended and the other was about to begin. We had plans to stay back for another week, exploring the North-East. There was no concrete plan or schedule in place, and that was the beauty of the second leg of our adventure!

I dreamed of Buddhist monasteries, snow clad peaks, mountain passes and beautiful ladies that night. It was time to say goodbyes by the time I got back from dreamland. After an early breakfast, warm hugs and well wishes the rest of the gang left to catch their flights, while myself and Robert retired to our rooms. So many things to do, so many places to visit, so much more to experience.. the excitement was creeping back into us. After a leisurely bath and some tea we too walked out into the streets of Darjeeling, trying to figure out where to start, what to do...

Fortunately we had no immediate time-lines to meet, no commitments to fulfill and lot of time to spend. We decided to take things as they come and started walking North... well, towards Glanarys, to have some apple pies for our second breakfast!

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Day 1: To Yuksom
Day 2: Yuksom to Tshoka
Day 3: Tshoka to Dzongri
Day 4: Dzongri to Lamuney
Day 5: To Samiti & Kockchurung
Days 6 & 7: Back to Tshoka & Yuksom
Days 8 & 9: To Darjeeling

Pictures from the trek here

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