Skip to main content

8 Days on the Road from Darjeeling to Bhutan. With a Preschooler.

On Saturday night we returned from quite a road trip. Mike, Muffin and I flew to Bagdogra last Friday. From there we drove several hours to Darjeeling. A few days later we then drove to the Bhutan border and spent several days driving through Bhutan. Then we flew home.

Muffin is probably the best-behaved almost-three-year-old kid you could possibly ask to take on a road trip with you. That doesn't mean the trip will be easy; it means we are insane for even thinking about attempting it.

And maybe since we are insane, we had a mostly wonderful time when we relaxed and enjoyed the scenery.

Day One
We arrived in Bagdogra and I'd asked the hotel to send a private taxi. While it's easy to hire a share-taxi and the "thing to do" if you are super-cool is to take the train, when traveling with Muffin we've found it's better to just have a car waiting for us. We don't need the adventure of trying to hitch a ride up the mountain.

We are used to driving in India so the honking and the near-death experiences around corners don't really phase us anymore. I noted that more corners than usual had guardrails along them, which actually made me nervous thinking that there had been enough accidents to warrant them and people still weren't slowing down and being cautious.

I lost track of the time, but the drive took several hours. I surprisingly did not get car sick. Once we left the flat plains around the airport we could open the windows for cool, fresh(-ish) air.

We stopped a few times on the way up:





Putting on a sweatshirt 'cause it's so chilly.
We were booked at the Dekeling Resort. The driver dropped us off at Dekeling Hotel, but I didn't know it was the wrong place at the time. There was a huge walk up the side of the mountain. An ancient little man came up to the car, strapped a belt around his head, and piled all of our luggage onto his back, then started climbing the stairs. So we followed. Up about a zillion stairs. I handed over my reservation to the front desk. The guy furrowed his brow and made a phone call and told us we were at the wrong Dekeling. He had the driver's phone number and called him to come back and get us. Some other porters carried our suitcases back down all the stairs and we got back into the car.

I was so relieved when we arrived at our actual hotel. The first Dekeling we stopped at is in the middle of town, where it'ss convenient to walk around but surrounded by cars, honking, exhaust, people, dogs, and dirty city stuff. The second Dekeling is in a location known as Hawk's Nest, which is quite a little ways out and up. Clean, fresh air. No barking dogs. No honking horns. We settled in right away.

Well, we settled in nicely for a few minutes. It turns out that Dekeling Resort doesn't have a restaurant. If you want dinner there you have to place an order at breakfast time for the restaurant at Dekeling Hotel and they'll deliver it. Also, guest registration is at the Dekeling Hotel so we needed to go back there and register with our passports. 

It's about a ten-minute walk down the mountain from the resort to the hotel. The restaurant at the hotel smelled so good that we decided to go there for dinner and do our registration. It was nice to walk after the airplanes and cars all day. Some of the roads were quiet enough for Muffin to walk rather than be carried.

It was too early for the full dinner menu, which no one told us until we'd looked at the full menu and decided on dinner items that we wanted. We perused again and decided on some South Indian snack fare. We actually had some good dosas. 

While I lingered over my dosa and hot chocolate Mike and Muffin went up to the office to register. But Mike only had my passport; he'd forgotten his own. 

So on Day Two another trip to Dekeling Hotel would be in order.

We decided to walk back up the hill to Dekeling Resort rather than get back into another car. It was a long walk, especially for Mike carrying Muffin on his shoulders. But it certainly helped to tire us out for a good night's sleep.

Day Two, Coming Soon.

Comments

Vikash Kumar said…
Muffin is very cute and you gave a nice description

Popular posts from this blog

The Acid Bug

My blog will now join the short list of results that pop up when you search for "nairobi fly, acid bug" on Google. Mike was hit by one over the weekend.
The Nairobi fly is a small beetle that does not bite or sting, but based on its nickname acid bug, guess what it does? The insides of the bug are toxic, and if you smack it against your skin the juices cause a burning rash. They are common throughout East and Central Africa, and it's the season for them here in Burundi. We think Mike and his friend rode through a swarm of them on their bikes over the weekend, because his friend has some burn spots, too, and the spots appeared on both of them after they returned from the ride.
We've heard of two remedies to soothe the burning, but Mike hasn't tried either yet. One is to use toothpaste, the old-school white kind, and the other is to cut a potato and rub it on the burn area. Both the toothpaste and the potato are supposed to draw out the acid. If you wash the area imm…

What Goes Through My Head When I Lock My Door

When I'm alone in our apartment, or alone with Muffin, I lock the deadbolt, day and night. Here is my thought process:

I'm walking down the hallway toward my door. I nod "Hello" in a neighborly way to a man also walking down the hall. I enter my apartment (having had my key ready since I first got into the elevator because women are conditioned from an early age not to be fumbling for their keys in an area where the distraction of doing so might make them vulnerable to an attack) and close the door. I put my hand on the deadbolt but I don't turn it right away.

What if the guy who just walked by thinks I'm locking it because I'm afraid of him? 

It's not about him specifically, though, it's about being a woman alone in an apartment building. 

So what if he's offended? 

It's none of his business if I lock my door or not, unless he was planning to enter the apartment, in which case fuck him, I did the right thing by locking the door.

I'm a nar…

Book Review: Ghostland: An American History in Haunted Places by Colin Dickey

After you've read something, please consider leaving a line or two on Goodreads and Amazon. The authors appreciate it!

Here's my review as it appears on Goodreads.

Ghostland: An American History in Haunted Places by Colin Dickey
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I really liked this book in the beginning. I grew up in an old haunted house in New England, yet I'm always a skeptic. (99% of supernatural activity ends up being the wind or a cat — and cats are creepy as hell.) I liked reading the stories behind the stories, whether they debunked the legends or gave credence to them. I’ve always been interested in history and nonfiction and ghost stories are the old “fake news.” Entertaining but you shouldn’t necessarily take them at face value. As the book went on, I found the stories themselves no less interesting but the format became tedious.

A couple of the stories really stood out to me. There are many cases of ghost stories being used to control a narrative that makes people feel sa…