Dad woke me up at 6.30 am, he was thrilled about something and I hurried to get out of bed to see what it was. The weather was clear and there from the window we could see the majestic peak of Kanchenzonga and an entire range of Himalayas. They were hidden yesterday as it had rained and the fog covered the hill ranges making them invisible. It is an amazing and enchanting experience. We watched the clouds rise slowly and uncover the ranges. I frantically took pictures before the clouds shrouded them again.
Dad scolded me as I was getting late for bath, we had to get ready to leave Gangtok by 8.00 am as the vehicle would arrive to take us to NJP railway station. I quickly had bath and ordered breakfast of toast/ butter/ jam. I also ordered a packed lunch of Puri and aloo bhaaji and sandwhiches. While I had tea, I stayed close to the window. I was feeling the pangs of leaving Gangatok behind already and especially this Jade room from where i enjoyed the nature's dance in the Himalayas. Every moment had been captivating.
While we were having breakfast the car arrived and the reception informed us about it. I asked him to send the bell boys to move our luggage into the vehicle. Yet by the time we reached down it was past 8.00 am. The day time rules for traffic now had to be followed, the Tavera was asked to move to a different location and an environmental friendly taxi had to be called in.
Hammock Holidays and Heat flexi holidays had taken wonderful care of us. They definitely made our travel memorable. The drop to the NJP station by a Tavera too was a special touch.
The drive was torturous as we went downhill and we felt a churning in the stomach. It was a beautiful day with clear weather and I wanted to enjoy the beauty of the hills, the vegetation and the drive along the Teesta but was possible only for a short while. The uneasiness forced me to close my eyes and rest back until we reached the plains of Siliguri.
In the plains the weather was warm and sunny. The road to Siliguri was lined on both sides with Teak and Sal we drove by the Military base. I was feeling much better and a drink of sprite got me fresh. We reached NJP at 11.00 am itself.
We had booked the train tickets for Guwahati-Yeshwantpur express for second a/c coach and we were before time by almost 2hrs. So we went to the waiting room. Fortunately it was clean and had enough space.
My Dad hated the idea of travelling by train but I had convinced him as this journey was across 5 states of India, West Bengal, Orrissa, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Karnataka and 45hrs as per schedule. This was a rare opportunity.
Somehow the train travel seemed jinxed right from start. As the train pulled in a good 2.45 hours late we found out that the 2nd A/C coach was converted to 3rd A/c coach. That meant that six people in one area, I shuddered. However when we found out that the entire block was ours I was very happy. We would enjoy the privacy of a cabin with that, Yay! The ticket collector however had a really bad time because of the logistics failure. Finally we settled down and had big cups of hot n fresh Nescafe and that brightened our mood.
Rest of the day was rather uneventful though I enjoyed watching the chugging, huffing of the train through endless paddy fields. In the evening we had an early dinner of dal, rice and chole aloo bhaaji and went to sleep in the rocking train.