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Old 4th March 2012, 11:06   #16
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Default Re: A Himalayan Retreat aboard the Silver Blaze (Kolkata-Gangtok-Darjeeling-Kolkata )

It is sad to see that the condition of NH34 has not improved much. Considering the fact that it is the main arterial road between the northern and southern districts of West Bengal, the condition of the road has not improved much.
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Old 9th March 2012, 17:30   #17
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Default Re: A Himalayan Retreat aboard the Silver Blaze (Kolkata-Gangtok-Darjeeling-Kolkata )

Quite an enjoyable travelogue, I must admit. Expecting the pending one soon
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Old 9th March 2012, 20:03   #18
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Default Re: A Himalayan Retreat aboard the Silver Blaze (Kolkata-Gangtok-Darjeeling-Kolkata )

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Originally Posted by Incognito View Post
However you might do well to avoid the Pankhabari stretch on NH55, dubbed as a shortcut by the locals, unless off course if you are a pro driving one of those SUVs. Ok thatís a bit of an exaggeration, I have heard about someone doing this stretch at night in an Esteem VXI, yeah same guy and same car.
Back in Darjeeling via the Pankhabari road, only this time it was a breeze .
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Old 9th March 2012, 21:46   #19
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Default Re: A Himalayan Retreat aboard the Silver Blaze (Kolkata-Gangtok-Darjeeling-Kolkata )

Thanks for the encouragement all round, was pleasantly surprised to find the thread on the home page of tbhp

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The Sikkhim guest house looks a great place to put up your legs & chuckle over a PG Wodehouse!

How bad was Dalkola?
Thanks buddy.You have my word. This time round Dalkhola wasn't too bad as we found the level crossing open on both occasions. On some of the previous ones however, it cost us a good 1 hour.

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Back in Darjeeling via the Pankhabari road, only this time it was a breeze .
Unbelievable. How about putting some snaps of the Pankhabari stretch on a moon-lit Holi evening, or the crystal clear Kanchenjungha? That will compliment this wonderfully.

And oh yes I am not revealing the suspense around your new ride. Do we call it the "White Tusker" ?
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Old 10th March 2012, 20:22   #20
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Default Re: A Himalayan Retreat aboard the Silver Blaze (Kolkata-Gangtok-Darjeeling-Kolkata )

^^^
Doesn't everyone know it is a Bolero? What registration did BP get?

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Old 10th March 2012, 21:05   #21
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Default Re: A Himalayan Retreat aboard the Silver Blaze (Kolkata-Gangtok-Darjeeling-Kolkata )

Quote:
Originally Posted by Incognito View Post
Unbelievable. How about putting some snaps of the Pankhabari stretch on a moon-lit Holi evening, or the crystal clear Kanchenjungha? That will compliment this wonderfully.

And oh yes I am not revealing the suspense around your new ride. Do we call it the "White Tusker" ?
No pics of Pankhabari stretch. However there are pics of Sandakphu and Pankhabari is a childs play compared to Sandakhphu

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^^^
Doesn't everyone know it is a Bolero? What registration did BP get?

Regards
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Lol.. it is not just any Bolero.. it is a Bolero 4x4 and it has proved its mettle today in Landrover country.. to Sandakhphu and back in 7 hours. here is a pic of the Bolero in Sandakphu
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A Himalayan Retreat aboard the Silver Blaze (Kolkata-Gangtok-Darjeeling-Kolkata )-dsc_4212.jpg  

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Old 10th March 2012, 21:11   #22
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Default Re: A Himalayan Retreat aboard the Silver Blaze (Kolkata-Gangtok-Darjeeling-Kolkata )

^^^
Did you really need the 4X4 last week?
4X4 electrical or mechanical actuation?
Amongst power steering and AC, which one is missing?

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Old 10th March 2012, 21:15   #23
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Default Re: A Himalayan Retreat aboard the Silver Blaze (Kolkata-Gangtok-Darjeeling-Kolkata )

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sutripta View Post
^^^
Did you really need the 4X4 last week?
4X4 electrical or mechanical actuation?
Amongst power steering and AC, which one is missing?

Regards
Sutripta
I did not get you regarding if I needed the 4x4 last week or not.
4x4 mechanical actuation
AC is missing
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Old 10th March 2012, 21:24   #24
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Default Re: A Himalayan Retreat aboard the Silver Blaze (Kolkata-Gangtok-Darjeeling-Kolkata )

^^^
Did you encounter a situation where 4X4 was really necessary?

OT. Have you ever thought of a car and bike tour?

Regards
Sutripta
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Old 10th March 2012, 21:45   #25
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Default Re: A Himalayan Retreat aboard the Silver Blaze (Kolkata-Gangtok-Darjeeling-Kolkata )

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Originally Posted by Sutripta View Post
^^^
Did you encounter a situation where 4X4 was really necessary?

OT. Have you ever thought of a car and bike tour?

Regards
Sutripta
Yes, there were 4 or 5 occasions when the 4 low was necessary on the Manebhanjan-Sandhakphu route. Most of them were on uphill slopes when a car came from opposite and I had to come to a standstill. On one occassion I had gone offroad on NH34 to avoid truck jam and then had to come back on the road via a treacherous route with loose gravel and stonechips.

What kind of tour are you talking about. I have always had this dream of a month/2 months long expedition :-) We can take this up through PM.
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Old 11th March 2012, 11:59   #26
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Default Re: A Himalayan Retreat aboard the Silver Blaze (Kolkata-Gangtok-Darjeeling-Kolkata )

^^^
Two months! Ten days (at most two weeks) is more my timeframe.

Would be lovely to tour the hills on a bike. Except that this romantic vision takes a few hard reality knocks. But if it is a combined car and bike trip (with likeminded people timesharing driving/ riding/ being a passenger) most of the objections vanish. PM me if what I say makes sense.

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Old 13th March 2012, 11:18   #27
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Default Re: A Himalayan Retreat aboard the Silver Blaze (Kolkata-Gangtok-Darjeeling-Kolkata )

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Originally Posted by Incognito View Post
And oh yes I am not revealing the suspense around your new ride. Do we call it the "White Tusker" ?
Thanks Incognito for naming the Bolero. "The White Tusker" or "TWT" seems to be a very apt name
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Old 19th March 2012, 03:59   #28
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Default Re: A Himalayan Retreat aboard the Silver Blaze (Kolkata-Gangtok-Darjeeling-Kolkata )

Excellent report. For a person like me who group in India but moved out when I was 20 years old and did not really get a chance to see India, this kind of report really opens my eyes. India is beautiful, I really wish, people and governments take care of it.
As everybody said you are a great writer and i thank you for taking the time to write this detailed report. I felt like I was there looking at your pictures and reading the report.
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