“The senses awakened when landing at Bagdogra…”Bagdogra, India
The senses awakened when landing at Bagdogra located in the West Bengal District in east India. This was definitely a good thing after the long 11 and half hour journey from Dubai via Delhi.
It was hot and dusty yet full of life as everyone seemed to be in a race to reach their next destination. The sounds of car horns tooting could be heard echoing all around. I felt cocooned in our vehicle somehow in a different world watching with extreme fascination the cows on the sides of the road eating the deposited rubbish, rickshaws pulling heavy loads, political flags flying from the houses and the blasts of colour everywhere across the landscape – I loved it!
Our journey through the state of West Bengal to our final destination of the hill town, Darjeeling, took about 3 hours. Narrow winding roads took us higher and higher to a final altitude of 6710ft. If you are scared of heights, then this will be a nerve wracking journey and you will need to remember to keep hydrated with the increase in altitude.
The landscape changed from a busy dusty city to greener than green tea plantations, where we saw the first pickings for the 1st tea flush of the season, to the impressive Himalaya mountain range. The views were just fantastic and become rather atmospheric as the mist rolled in the higher we went. We travelled through many little buzzing villages stopping halfway at Kurseong for a refreshing beer for some of us and a must have Darjeeling tea for others. We finally reached our hotel: Sinclairs in Darjeeling, the Queen of Hills at 4pm.
Exhausted from the day we ate dinner at the hotel. Having a gluten intolerance always makes eating out a little more than a challenge but I could not praise the Chef enough. He came out to meet me to understand my requirements and made sure every meal was suitable for me to eat. I was truly looked after! It was not just the personnel touch that made the evening – the food was in abundance and super delicious.
We ended the evening with a nightcap in the bar and teaching a local couple how to play pool.
Accommodation: Sinclairs Darjeeling
Hotel was clean and functional. The restaurant was particular good for evening dinners with lots of yummy choices for breakfast. WiFi intermittent and you need a separate code for each device every day.
Tips: Transport Bagdogra to Darjeeling
It is best to book your transfers ahead with a reputable company with a good safety record. Our group booked through Ffestiniog Travel, who specialise in Rail holidays of the world.