Thursday, March 04, 2010

Darjeeling - Thursday 4.3.20

I returned to Windamere Hotel for their 'high tea' (Rs375) yesterday; this comprised one scone with jam & cream (the ubiquitous red coloured jam - possibly strawberry - you get everywhere in India... although once I was given green coloured jam), then a glass pot of tea with milk & sugar accompanied by a small basket containing: 3 triangular peanut butter (!?) sandwiches, 3 circular cucumber sandwiches, 4 shortbread biscuits & a chunk of marbled chocolate/vanilla cake. The slightly tragic aspect to all this was that I was the only guest there that day. Today however I went with two folk I've met here to the Elgin Hotel, another 'top end' heritage hotel - but without the reputation that Windamere has. This was much classier - the room seemed a lot fresher & classier, and the 'high tea' was overall, of better quality & quantity for the same price (although no cream with their scone ... and the same red jam). In addition to the cakes & sandwiches we were given a plate of pakora, and found it hard to finish it all. Also visited the Bengal Natural History Museum, a  terribly old-fashioned place with cabinets of bugs pinned to the walls, jars of snakes & fish, and a moth-eaten collection of stuffed birds, tigers, leopards & other creatures possibly found in this part of the world. Sometimes these sorts of museums have a perverse charm but this was pretty ordinary. I spent a few hours wandering around town today with Fran while Adam, who conducts his business via the net while travelling, spent a few hours working online. We checked out a couple of temples, Observatory Hill & the Tibetan Refugee Self Help Centre. Unfortunately the zoo was closed today - according to the guide book it's one of the best in India. It's been good to take it easy & wind down before my final ride tomorrow - back to Siliguri & the nearby New Jalpaiguri (NJP) train station for the overnight trip back to Calcutta.

The road to Darjeeling

Make way for the Darjeeling express!

High tea at the Elgin Hotel


Mr Felix (aka Pak Peelips) said...


That looks like a good road, compadre. Very nice indeed - I'm envious, esp. as you'll be going down tomorrow, rather than up.
I esp. like the 'high tea' pic, though - I did laugh. You look like Sir David of Darjeeling, enjoying a moment of comfort before you head out into the unforgiving wilds again.
"I tell you, those Himalayan dogs are right curs," said Sir David, sitting up for high tea. "One of them damn well ripped my foot off before I could break his head open with my lathi stick! I had to adjust the pedals on my bicycle to cope with the lack of foot, but what ho! This tea is bloody excellent! Here have another scone."

Good luck tomorrow! :)

david w said...

Hi Felix, see next blog entry - not so good close up... but still, a great ride. Not so many 65km downhill all the way rides ...

shawn trelly said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
bonnlee said...

Hey Sir David of Darjeeling. Love that post from Felix!
You look a bit too comfortable in that pic. Must have been hard to get back on your bike after the 'high tea' experience.

cheers, dianne

David Smith said...

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