23 members from the Adventure and Trekking Club went for a North Bengal tour on the 3 day holidays...
Just tried my hands on a travalogue of our recent trip from the Adventure & trekking Club...
What would you expect from a group of 23-some enthusiastic junta from their trekking expedition? Well lots, lots, lots of fun and 'real adventure', of course! Exactly, that's what we experienced in the Lava- Rishap- Kalimpong sojourn during 3/11 to 7/11 with around 86 hours of excitement and making friends all the way. And boy, it was awesome!
Going chronologically, the members started to Siliguri through the NBSTC Rocket Bus on 3/11/2005 (Thursday) at 8 p.m from the Esplanade Bus Station (Pls bear with my date and time details then and there, as I intended to capitulate these details too in this travelogue)
We reached Siliguri at around 10 am amidst all the thuds along the bumpy road sessions of the rocket. After getting fresh and having brunch or lunch (as applicable to the individual), close to 1.30 pm, we started our scenic trip to Lava through a Swaraj Mazda van. Took a small stopping at the water falls after the Dantak Valley with some memorable snaps! The van reached Lava by 5 pm after heaps of hair pin bends and curves. The co ordinators Sujoyda and Dipakda benevolently took care of hotel and lodging arrangements as well as synchronized the team all the way through . After the garam samose and chai, in clusters, evening walk started among us. People did flock the STD booths and did simple shopping of hats, bags etc. Then we had congregated back at the Unique Inn Hotel for the adda and dinner.
After the super-chill-thick-blanket-covered sleep followed by morning walk, lots of us had a darshan of the monastry with its striking landscape at Lava. By 10.30 am, we assembled at the Lava Jeep stand and a guide (Prem) was arranged. Debi da, Anita di steered the group all the way and co ordinators profusely guided us through the 'Mission Rishap'. Accompanied with gossip, fun and photos, wading through the jungle, we reached the interim point Tiphandhara (donno if I've spelled right). From a podium over there, an astounding view of Kanchanjunga delighted us. From there, we moved down the hill to reach Rishap by ~ 4 pm. Rishap, being less inhabited, looked as though specially made for a group like us. No doubt, the serene and calm environs gave tranquility to the mind. In fact, the entrance to Rishap itself was beautiful with its flora. We then went to our Lodge Hotel Snow View on the face of a dazzling valley. Yeah, by this time all of us were pretty hungry. A walk around the valley bypassed the time and hunger when the lunch was being prepared by the Snow View people. On returning back, we certainly were delighted with food which was worth the wait. Later, the evening started with the eventful masti bhari Antakshari around the campfire. I guess it certainly is still afresh in all of us. Veterans of gaane - Subhashish, Debashish, Anita di et. al added more glitter the event. Debi da constantly extended the camp fire with his periodical wood block inputs into the flames. Finally, antakshari ended in a neutral verdict. Post dinner, everyone slept only to wake up soon to see the sun rise.
Time: 5.30 am. Most of the people flocked outside their rooms to see and capture the spectacular sun rise and sun rays through Kanchanjunga. As somebody rightly told, it certainly was 'a feast to the eyes'. Later by around 10 am, by means of 3 jeeps, we started to Lava through the narrow muddy hill roads (literally showered!) with stones and gravels. Yippee, these drivers were really talented! From there, we headed towards Kalimpong and reached there by around 12 noon. Armed with 3 vehicles, we went around the 7 minus 2 points sight seeing - Forest Musuem, Cantonment Golf Course (it remembers me how we took the snaps in a hurry burry there), View point (yeah that suicide point only!), Monastery and finally the Nursery. After lunch, by around 3.30 pm, we started to Siliguri in a Swaraj mazda van again. It felt as leaving something behind and going... Siliguri was reached within 2.5 hours. Had enough time to hop around the shops outside Siliguri Bus Station as the Kolkata Bus departure time was at 7.30 pm. Some of us had been to the famous Hong Kong Market there and lots many bought Chai Patthi. Later we boarded the Kolkata Rocket bus, which was more spacious and comfortable than the one with which we came. Nevertheless, the roads were the same to give us the same disco shake! Raghu da promptly provided all with gangajal mineral water packs. Tarun and co. entertained the people with their bhoot stories in the back of the bus!
Dawn came. As Kolkata was nearing, every one started bidding adieu at their respective destination. Really it was touching to part with the sweet memories cherished...
Still the vivid memories of the bus ka discotheque, garam chai and momo, monastery,trek to Rishap, expedition to valleys, camp fire, Antakshari, Sun rise and rays thru kanchanjunga , jeep ride from rishap-lava-kalimpong, 5 points trip, 'Punjab restaurant experience (!)', and not to forget the Bhuter golpo...continues to hang around (in all of us).