Thursday, March 20, 2014

Darjeeling Mail



Our first train experience in India was…. A lot easier & cleaner & more comfortable than I expected. We took the Darjeeling Mail from Kolkata to NJP (New Jalpaiguri). The train left at 10:05pm as scheduled! We found our berth with no issue.

We made friends with an older couple who we shared our sleeping quarter. Nice husband and wife couple who were very keen to tell us about their daughter who was studying in England and now looking for a job in India and their son who is studying medicine in Kolkata and is very tall.

They gave us lots of helpful information traveling in India – ‘Don’t eat food from street vendors, we can’t even take them’, ‘(pointing at me) Don’t leave her alone, always be with her’, ‘Always use registered travel guide’'You MUST try the chicken momo while in Darjeeling!!'….
After some chatting, we all went to bed. The beds were shorter and narrower than the sleeper train we took in Thailand but pretty clean and comfortable (at least for me – I am short). 

We arrived in NJP at around 8am. NJP is a lot cooler than Kolkata. Ah nice breeze.

We organized a pick up from NJP station to our hotel – the ride to Darjeeling was another 3+ hours – going up the mountain in a very narrow roads. Scary.

So we finally arrived in Darjeeling around noon. We got out of the car and it was freezing!! We don’t have many warm clothing with us but we quickly got changed to slightly warmer clothing. In the afternoon, it started raining / lightning cut the power off. So we had NO hot water / power all night. The hotel staff brought us two hot water bottles so we won’t die.