March 2000 Travelogue

Now I’m in Siliguri

Greetings from Siliguri!  you're probably wondering

where in the hell that means i am now - very close to

the bagdogra airport in india.  did that help?!

have survived the trek - it was amazing - 60 (?) miles

and 30,000 vertical feet in 5 days - went from very

hot to literally being snowed on at 13,000 feet.  it

was quite something.  coming back down was something

akin to cross country skiing in hiking boots.  not to

mention the dzoes (pronounced zo, zoe!  they're a

combinatin of yak and cow with big ass horns) which

frequently came up the trail necessitating leaping

into the 3-4 foot snowbanks lining the trail - it was

a riot!

hiked up to 14,000 feet and saw the sun rise on

kanchenjunga, the third highest mountain in the world

- it was spectacular, although it did mean getting up

at 4am AGAIN - i have seen 3am and 4am way too often

on this trip.

the wedding in darjeeling was amazing (although the

dalai lama did not show up, it was still way cool! 

also, plenty of photos of his holiness hanging out in

the norgay living room with various members of the

norgay family scattered about).  the costumes and the

music (although at one point in 10,000 maniacs was

playing, kind of disconcerting!)

getting to darjeeling from bhutan was quite a trip -

sheer sheer drop offs from the road - what made it

even more interesting was the accident our bus got in

with a truck - fortunately no one was hurt and we all

stayed on the road!  the trip from darjeeling to

sikkim was less eventful, but we all did have to flee

darjeeling under cover of night (try 4am again)

because there were quite a few people who were going

on strike that day & they were planning on

aggressively blocking all of the roads.

howard made it through calcutta and to darjeeling

without incident and he's had a blast as well.  all of

his marathon training paid off and the trek was a

total walk in the park (which was kind of annoying for

those of us who are not quite in the shape that he's

in!) and he even walked with the porters one morning

(although he did not wear flip flops, the universal

porter shoe - which no doubt would have slowed him

down somewhat!) - his first trip outside the u.s.

seems to have been quite a success, although

fortunately for him, i've been to most 3rd world asian

countries now and may turn my sights elsewhere!

okay - wanted to drop you all a quick line, but am

finally going to go upstairs to my room and take my

first real bath/shower in 6 days - cannot wait - nor,

i am assuming can those around me...

i fly to delhi & on to home tomorrow - see you all

real soon!


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