November 15, 2013
My note book is just about out of pages.
Last night I stayed in Siliguri. I had trouble finding a hotel. I saw one on the outskirts of town. It looked very expensive. Yep 3000 Rs. Time to move on. It was almost dark. I continued through Siliguri and the first one I stopped at I went in and told them, “I need a basic room, no AC, no garim pani, no TV just a bed.” I was only about 75km’s from Darjeeling. The kid showed me a room for 400 Rs. Perfect. I through him my passport so he could get started no the paperwork. I brought in one saddle bag and the dry bag. I see that the kid was on the phone to his boss. I assumed it was because he was unsure on how to process a foreigner. I has the other saddlebag off and was butting her to bed when the kid came out and told me they were all booked up. Bull – shit. No one would stay in that dump are people like me and I have yet to meet on in the 45 days I have been here.
I call a spade a spade these days. The tumour is in my left frontal lobe. This part controls emotion and behaviour.many times I have wondered if the depression is caused by the tumour. I have asked a couple of doctors if removing it would ‘restore’me. All of them can’t or won’t say one way or the other.
I know exactly what happened. I tell the kid to tell his boss that I am a writer for a travel magazine and I am writing about India. Then, I stare him in the eyes and tell him that his boss said, “400 rupees!! You should have charged the foreigner 800 rupees and now he not going to rent me the room. That’s exactly what happened wasn't it?” I looked at the ground and nodded. I told him to bring me my shit. Fuck I was mad. Now it’s dark and I have to still find a place. I tried several other places and they all turned out to be restaurants whereas their signs read, “Restaurant and Hotel.” Fuck it, I went back to the expensive hotel.
I was on the road by 10am. It was only three hours to Darjeeling. Darjeeling sits at 2135m. I am not sure how low Siliguri sits but it’s low. Tea plantations as far as the eye could see. Most are around Siliguri.
The drive up to Darjeeling was beautiful. Green and clean. It was good pavement and really twisty. I honk going into every corner. This is how it’s done in every country I have been to where it’s twisty and you can’t see what’s coming. It wound it’s was up through thick jungle. Up and up – it was never ending
I got my first views of the Khangchendzonga massif. It was breath taking. I had to stop. It was unreal. Getting to see this and Darjeeling is something I have wanted to do for a long long time. To see it through the jungle was – I can’t explain it in words. I could not see Everest, Lhotse or Makalu but apparently there is a view point where you can. But yesterday I met a couple of Indian men from Kolkota that do a lot of driving around India. They told me of a village that has much better views of the Himalayan range than the one in Darjeeling. I am going to use Darjeeling as a base camp and go there and explore other areas as well.