In New Jalpaiguri station, on a sticky pre-monsoon night, I drink sweet masala chai, while fat mosquitoes stab my ankles. My woollen shawl, useful for keeping out the chilly Himalayan air earlier in the day, has morphed into a cushion, softening the concrete slab that supports me and my churning tummy. “Jamie, I think the […]
As the train pulls out a man jumps through the open door, and takes up residence opposite us. Sporting sunglasses balanced on top of a sharp new haircut, tight jeans and a smart shirt, he radiates style and bonhomie. We smile. He lurches towards us and we recoil as the sour alcohol oozing from his pores hits us.
On a banner stretched across the main road we read “2600 years of the enlightenment of Lord Buddha”. By chance we had arrived just in time to join in the celebratory procession planned for the next day. At a mere 2100m Darjeeling is unlikely to strike you down with altitude sickness, but be prepared for […]