Saturday, 30 March 2013

Darjeeling, day 2. Observatory Hill, and the Happy Valley Tea Garden.

Today we had breakfast at the Frank Ross café and then walked up to Observatory Hill, where an observatory used to stand, and now houses several Buddhist & Hindu temples and lots of monkeys. Coming down off the hill we walked around the promontory and found a viewing point where, on a clear day, you can see Kanchenjunga. Today was not a clear day, though it had begun much clearer than yesterday.

After getting back to Chowrasta we went to Nathmull's to buy tea. After trying 3 sorts, gathered at different times of the year (flushes) and of different strengths, and served without milk, in whisky and wine glasses, I made an investment in some different packets of tea. Then to Glenary's café for lunch (and wifi). Whilst we were sitting down I there it began to rain, and continued to rain on and off until perhaps 4pm.

This didn't stop us getting a cab to the Happy Valley Tea Garden, where you're shown the process of drying and then grading/sorting the tea (which you're not allowed to photograph), and can then buy some of their tea (they otherwise ship it all to Harrods) and walk around the tea plants on the estate, which we did for about 45 minutes.

Back at the hotel, I finally went to the local Vodafone shop to get a local prepay SIM. This is surprisingly difficult, and requires first an argument that they actually do have such things, then that it's ok to sell it me now and it will activate in 2 days, and then the paper work, which requires a photocopy of my passport and visa, and a passport photo. Having jumped through the required hoops, I have a local prepay SIM with some credit.

No comments:

Post a Comment