It was 5.45am when I heard banging on my door 30 minutes after the buses and lorries started their engines for the day over the road from the hotel (I had a room at the front), it was the lady from the restaurant wanting me to put my bike outside.
I lazed around for a while and left early. The Nepal border was a breeze, it only took 10 mins to get my passport stamped and carnet completed, a record. The India border was great too and both borders only took 30 mins in total, by far the quickest border this side of Europe.
Now back in India I stopped at 9am for street breakfast, 2 x roti, dal and masala tea all for 25p, it was great.
By 10am I had started to climb the mountain to Darjeeling, there was a lot of traffic, all 4WD’s and the last 25km took about 1 1/2 hours to climb to Darjeeling at 2,200 metres. After some good negotiation I checked into a central hotel with a massive window overlooking life outside, I ordered a coffee, relaxed and watched Darjeeling pass my window.
I walked around the town and to my surprise there weren’t many western tourists, I saw a handful at most, there were many tourists but they looked Nepalese and Indian. Perfect.