Sunday 25 September 2016

Day 3 - Pelling to Siliguri

Pelling is a town in the West Sikkim district. It's among those few places, where get to witness a close and majestic view of the Kanchenjunga mountains. But as the rains were still not over, there were very few chances of a sighting. Still, I had one morning here and I had to give it a shot. So I got up at 5:30am (the official sunrise time) and opened my window curtains. There was nothing but thick white fog. So I kept going back to sleep with a 15-minute alarm being put on snooze. This went on without much luck until I dozed off completely. I just to woke up around 8:30am due to the noise of girls screaming out of excitement, just beneath my hotel room window. When I opened my eyes, the fog had cleared and there was a glimpse of the mountains beyond. It was breathtaking given the rarity of the event and I had been waiting just to get a glimpse. The clouds were constantly moving so, within a few seconds the peak again vanished into the clouds. I got my cam and waited some more, but no luck. Few shots I took later, which you can view in the series of shots below. Hope you get to see what's hiding behind the clouds.

Morning view from my hotel window.

Thanks to the boys at the hotel, my bike didn't have any trace of yesterday's ride (/mud) :) I knew I would earn that again on my way back anyway ;) 

Selfie from my iPhone from inside the case. A sign that it was still working after the first day of the ride in rain and mud.

Except for a few glimpses of the Kanchenjunga mountain (which I couldn't capture actually), there was this mystic fog, which covered the mountains most of the morning

Every time the clouds part, a magical part of the mountain was lit up in the sunlight. Just to vanish again.

This is all I could capture after I got my camera in hand. Lucky me to have seen a wee bit more of the giant in the rainy days of Sikkim.

I waited long enough to have a beautiful image of the mountains... Given the season, this is the best I could get.

The beauty of Sikkim didn't end at Pelling, it was all along my path of travel and I didn't have to look that far.

Other than me the only lucky person to experience the places and views was my bull :)

Bit challenging to find a safe spot to stop the fully loaded bike. 

I could spend the whole day shooting the same spot without losing a bit of interest, it was that beautiful. Don't take my word for it, just watch it on a full screen, and you would know.

This was a beauty !!!

One of the biggest and closest-to-road waterfalls I came across... I actually rode through the base of it and got wet with the splash and moisture around due to the falling water stream

I had a full day to ride the route I did in half the time yesterday... So I had all the time in the world today to enjoy this part of Sikkim

There is a reason I had picked the end of the monsoon (it was still raining on and off) for visiting the northeast. You may not find this level of greenery or abundance of water in the streams one or two months after the rain stops... So no pain (bad roads), no gain (amazing natural views).

Singshore Bridge in the background. Asia's 2nd highest-hanging bridge near Uttarey Village

Prayer flags on the cables holding the bridge.

Ek selfie toh banta hai boss !

It was such a peaceful place, as there were hardly any tourists around and the bridge was closed to vehicles due to repair work that was going on.

Decided to have lunch here.

View of the bridge side from the hut.

Some chicken chowmein... gave a pass to Buffalo meat, to avoid experimenting when I have some crazy roads to ride in the coming days.

A local driver came and had a boiled egg and tea.. rare combination for me for sure.

A view from the Singshore Bridge. You are welcome :)

There were a whole bunch of beautiful waterfalls all through the roads I rode in Sikkim... All thanks to the amount of rain this state received.

Teesta (river)? Is that you ?!!

It was so tempting not to leave out anything on the horizon while framing a shot here.

There was a choice I had to make, whether to get into the crazy traffic of a new city or give it a pass and move on to the other states and find something there worth my time. Well I moved on.. (towards Siliguri and then to Assam)

West Bengal entry from Sikkim side. The end of the bridge is a police/border check post.

Siliguri became my base for the first 3-4 days of this trip. This time, I was on my motorcycle..and you can see my energy levels after a day's riding ;)

Same challenges as before, set of wet clothes and damp motorcycle luggage needing a bit of dry air. This hotel room was tiny, so hardly there was space to hand stuff for drying. The only benefit I got was a bike wash late in the night (for a cost though). I had a long distance to cover with the hope of 4-lane highways, it was planned. So I had no time to waste and went to sleep as soon as I could so that I get an early start. 

Until tomorrow.


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