The day dawned as an average hot Chennai day and I started out to the airport where I was to meet my cousins and aunt.

At the airport starts this phenomenon of looking at people’s faces and guessing if it was one of our gang. The fact that I had seen the rest of them only through thumbnail images in gmail till then, is to be noted here.

So me, Lavanya, Geetha Aunty, Nishanth, his friend EB (not electricity board, Elaya Bharath :P) boarded the flight to Bagdogra via Kolkata.

The rest of the group were to board the same flight at Kolkata which was when we finally got to map the face with the name. We created a ruckus throughout the process, and I am sure the other passengers would have known by then that we were travelling together.

Thus we reached Bagdogra and had to go on a 3 hour drive by car from there to Darjeeling, our aclimatization point. We stopped midway at a Cafe where green tea was served. Tired from the drive, Lavi and I decided to stretch our legs and took a walk.

The roads look pretty much like Shimla (for those who have already gone there), layers of roads one below the other and rail tracks through it. We got picturesque views but no camera to capture them 😦 Our faces brightened only when we saw Sandhya aunty come out with her cameras. And that is when we knew about the ace photographer in her. As the story proceeds, she proves it time and again.

We reached Darjeeling and got settled in the Swiss Lodge after a buffet dinner. I am not sure if it was before or after dinner, but we had a brief by Wangchuk, our trek organizer. He was patient in answering all our questions (however silly) and gave each of us printed sheets of the itenary. And yes, we also got our walking sticks that day. Later part of the story will cover details regarding our walking – stick fixer 😉

The day ended with an interesting incident – Nishanth, EB, Rohan and Wangchuck got locked out. Apparently Nishanth and EB decided to take a walk at around 10 in the night and found that the gate had been locked when they returned back. Meanwhile Rohan was returning from Wangchuck’s place to the hotel, and they all were stranded outside. Thankfully EB had my aunt’s number and called her to inform. We rushed out, me collecting all the keys available in the reception desk (the receptionist was not there as well) and finally opened the gate for them!

– Until next,

Vid 🙂