We survived the strike in Darjeeling yesterday (just!) the whole town was closed, including shops and restaurants. And if it wasn't for Joeys pub, which opened on the quiet at 5pm (word of mouth only) we would have probably gone without a decent beer and Momos & chips! Actually thats not really true, the hotel looked after us very well and provided us with soup and sandwiches for lunch.
Miracle of miracles we actually managed to get on the Toy Train. More by luck than judgement, we wandered down to the train station and we both stood in separate queues. Luckily Paul had filled out the tedious reservation form a couple of days before and we still had it with us. Its a very strange system, you fill in the form with your name and age (!) and which train you would like to catch and if there are seats available you will get the tickets, if not you get your form back maybe to use later. The chap at the front of my queue was told there were no tickets on the joyride but by the time I got to the front of the queue 8 tickets had mysteriously appeared so we booked 2 and had a wonderful ride down from Darjeeling to Ghum, past the Gurkha soldiers memorial. We had 30 mins at Ghum station, just enough time for a ciggy and a cup of tea and then back on the train to Darjeeling. The steam engine really had to work hard getting up the hill.
Oh and yesterday we also saw Khang-something (the 3rd tallest mountain in the world). It was just peeking through the clouds but we managed to get a couple of photos.
This morning we took a jeep down to Siliguri, where we are now. There has been an enormous thunderstorm here, we think it is the leftovers of the cyclone in Myanmar.
Anyhoo, tomorrow we are off to Chennai (Madras) via Kolkata (Calcutta). Don't expect any updates tomorrow but...................... keep tuned
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