Longjohns and cherry brandy
Last night's hotel was a bit out of Evelyn Waugh. It seemed to be in the middle of a building site and to be half finished. We asked if there was a swimming pool and were told there was, only later did we discover there was no water in it! We were solo guests at dinner. This was an emergency hotel, all roads North blocked by strike.
Up at dawn this morning to drive to Darjeeling up in the foothills of the Himalayas. The road was tortuous and potholed like all Indian roads.The spectacular scenery was shrouded in mist sadly. Finally we took a toy train, really rather a toy train. The track ran almost on the road,indeed crossed the road at several points and sometimes we were almost right in the shopfronts!It was very cold by now as it was so high up(6000 feet).We visited a monastery where we had to take our shoes off and Mum turned into a real Ice Maiden! However the hotel is great, an old fashioned hill station hotel . We were greeted with coal fires and cherry brandy. However we had to go straight upstairs to change into wooly vests and long johns. After lunch we went sightseeing and saw the zoo and the Himalayan Mountaineering Institute. Relived the conquest of Everest, decided not to attempt it ourselves. Saw Leopards tigers and wolves in the zoo. Later over tea tasting we read of a leoopard mauling in the tea plantation nearby! Looking forward to Colonial G+T in the bar ,dinner and bed with hotwater bottles.