Der Führer: Day 10 – The Road Down from Darjeeling

The day started with a spectacular view of the entire Kanchenjunga massive as the clouds had obligingly cleared for us that morning, and Shangri-la Regency enables you to sit with your muesli and coffee and just soak it all up.
We took the toy train up to Ghum, which you have to pay a whopping Rs240 for even if you are just going the one way. But it was worth every penny of the £3.50 as we were able to reach the highest point on Indian Railways by train, indeed on one of the world’s most famous steam trains. The rest of the journey down has to be done by road at the moment anyway as they havent fixed the road up yet, It was a lot easier than the drive up, even at the back of the van.
On impact at New Jalpaiguri we were again subjected to quite a gang of beggars, mostly children, and I’m hoping the charitable nature of the expedition was not lost on some of the others in the group, though I’m losing confidence daily on that front.
A quick shower in the upper class waiting room, and there then followed an uncomfortable overnighter on the Darjeeling Mail to Sealdah station in Calcutta. Few of us managed a decent night’s kip as we were all booked into the side berths, the lower of which is virtual torture.
DHR by The Captain


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