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Old 28th February 2017, 22:47   #1
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Default Sikip, Baiguney and Darjeeling in a Thar

After our extensive trip to Bhutan, we had planned not to visit the hills soon. The resolution lasted for a shade above 2 months and one fine evening we found ourselves progressing rapidly towards Siliguri in a white Thar. The destination was Baiguney in West Sikkim

The star of the trip
Sikip, Baiguney and Darjeeling in a Thar-img_20170122_121717.jpg

Day 1: Kolkata - Baiguney (650 Kilometers)

We started from Kolkata after office on a Friday night and took the Burdwan-SH7-Moregram-Malda-Raigunj-Botolbari-Islampur-Siliguri route. Caught up with a few friends at Malda. Our routes were same till Siliguri. They were travelling in a Bolero and a Scorpio. The plan to meet at Malda was to cross the Botolbari route in a convoy. We reached Siliguri early in the morning, said goodbye to the others and went on our way towards Sikkim.

The road till Melli was good. About 15 kilometers after Melli the condition deteriorated and pace came down to almost ten to fifteen kilometers per hour. I felt a bit tired and was bored driving at that speed, so stopped the car at a convenient place and slept. Woke up after half an hour and felt rejuvenated enough to continue the trip. Bad roads continued all the way to Jorethang. We had our booking at Club Mahindra in Baiguney which was about 3 kilometers from Jorethang after crossing the bridge.

The statistics of the drive from Kolkata to Baiguney captured by the Garmin eTrex30
Sikip, Baiguney and Darjeeling in a Thar-img_20170121_102631.jpg

It was around 10:30 am when we reached the CMH resort and were absolutely famished. Ordered two non-veg club sandwiches which turned out to be good but exorbitantly priced.

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The idea of this trip was to relax in a good hotel for 4 to 5 days. We spent the rest of the day in the resort, reading books and strolling around.

The hotel unit of the CMH Resort
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Peace of mind when one can see the vehicle parked from the hotel room
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In the evening we went to Jorethang market for dinner at a place named Big Belly suggested by the locals. It was a decent little place and the food was average.

Day 2: Baiguney - Darjeeling - Baiguney via a road not on Google maps

Our friend Shaswat had reached Kurseong and the plan was to meet him at Darjeeling later that day. However the CM was visiting Darjeeling and the police were not allowing any taxi to ply via the hill cart road. The tourist vehicles had to go to Darjeeling via Mirik and it created a lot of problem. We could go to go Kurseong to meet him but the return journey to Sikkim at night would be a very long one. We started for Darjeeling at around 11 am hoping that he would be able to make it.
The route was Baiguney - Jorethang - Nayabazar Bridge and then immediate right after the Nayabazar Bridge - Zamune Bridge - Lebong Cart Road - Darjeeling.

Route plotted out by eTrex compared to the one suggested by Google

Sikip, Baiguney and Darjeeling in a Thar-day1_darjeeling_route_sumitro.jpg

Breathtaking view of the Kanchenjungha en-route

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The view was so nice from this place that we parked the vehicle and took a few pics.

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We reached Darjeeling at around 1 p.m., found a nice parking spot in front of Planter's and headed straight for Glenary's. Just as we were placing the order for lunch, Shaswat called us to say that taxis were not willing for the Kurseong to Darjeeling trip. It was almost final that he would have to cancel the plan. It was bad news, but not enough to stop us from gorging on the mouth watering dishes.

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Sikip, Baiguney and Darjeeling in a Thar-img_20170122_134633.jpg

One cannot beat the price!
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After the superb lunch, we got the news that Shaswat was able to use a source and his press card helped in getting a taxi to Darjeeling. It would be a long time before he reached, but spending time at Glenary's was never a problem.

Sikip, Baiguney and Darjeeling in a Thar-img_20170122_141550.jpg

We finished cups after cups of Darjeeling tea as we watched the evening slowly setting in

Sikip, Baiguney and Darjeeling in a Thar-img_20170122_162022.jpg

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At around 6:30 p.m. our friend arrived after an epic struggle
Sikip, Baiguney and Darjeeling in a Thar-img_20170122_175008.jpg

The next several hours were spent in The Buzz at Glenary's until we were literally pushed out, but as always, with a smile.

The big expensive camera on the right that substantiated Shaswat's claim of being a press reporter
Sikip, Baiguney and Darjeeling in a Thar-img_20170122_181602.jpg

A parting shot before we promised to meet again the next day
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We went out from Glenary's into the desolate roads of Darjeeling. Not a single soul was to be seen anywhere and it was bitter cold. The walk back to our vehicles seemed to be an eternity. But the difficult part was yet to come. Finding our way back to Sikkim at night proved to be far more challenging than we had thought. Lost our way multiple times before reaching Jorethang at around 1 a.m. in the night!

Last edited by BlackPearl : 17th April 2017 at 02:29.
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Old 16th April 2017, 22:38   #2
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Default Re: Sikip, Baiguney and Darjeeling in a Mahindra Thar

Day 3: Baiguney - Darjeeling - Baiguney via Singla

The next day we went to Darjeeling again, but this time via the route suggested by Google. This was through the tea garden of Singla, before it connected us to the Lebong Cart road.

A few pics on the way. Kanchenjungha was not visible along this route!
Sikip, Baiguney and Darjeeling in a Thar-dsc_9827.jpg

Sikip, Baiguney and Darjeeling in a Thar-dsc_9793.jpg

The time taken to reach Darjeeling was a bit more compared to the other route. We went to Glenary's and went through the same routine as the previous day .

Sikip, Baiguney and Darjeeling in a Thar-dsc_9837.jpg

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It felt like we were in a time warp repeating the same things again and again. Shaswat arrived in the evening, we settled down in The Buzz, the same smiling faces waited on us, the smiling faces turned to unhappy ones as it was close to shut down time and we were not moving, finally going out into the cold desolate road again! This time we did not lose our way while going back to Baiguney though.

Day 4: Baiguney

Weather was fantastic in Baiguney. It was bright and sunny, perfect day for a walk by the river side. However, the dam built just before the CMH resort has resulted in drying up the river in front of the hotel. But all was not lost. We spoke to the locals and they suggested us to drive further towards Pelling and we would find lots of places where the river was still flowing in its full glory. About 5 kms from Baiguney we found a lovely place called the River Watch resort. It is a must visit place for those staying in this part of Sikkim. We parked the car beside the river and had to cross a bridge on foot to reach the resort.

Sikip, Baiguney and Darjeeling in a Thar-img_20170124_120707_01.jpg

Sikip, Baiguney and Darjeeling in a Thar-dsc_9934.jpg

The cosy seating area overlooking the river
Sikip, Baiguney and Darjeeling in a Thar-dsc_9877.jpg

We spent the entire day at the River Watch resort, had breakfast and lunch, read books, chatted with the owner and watched the river flow by.

Sikip, Baiguney and Darjeeling in a Thar-dsc_9875.jpg

Sikip, Baiguney and Darjeeling in a Thar-dsc_9927.jpg

Sikip, Baiguney and Darjeeling in a Thar-dsc_9931.jpg

Day 5: Sikip

We usually carry all our camping stuff whenever a trip to the hills is planned, but most of the time they are left unutilised. This time we were hell bent upon using them. So we planned an impromptu picnic by the river and set out in the morning to look out for a spot. About 40 minutes uphill from CMH towards Pelling, we chanced upon a place that seemed perfect for our plan. Did a bit of recce before finally settling down. Parked the car next to the river and took out the pots, pans and lit the stove. We thought of doing a bit of angling as we were also carrying a fish grill basket, but decided quickly not to attempt it as it requires a lot of patience and one needs to stand knee deep in cold water to actually catch them!

Sikip, Baiguney and Darjeeling in a Thar-dsc_0149.jpg

Sikip, Baiguney and Darjeeling in a Thar-img_20170125_135936.jpg

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Sikip, Baiguney and Darjeeling in a Thar-dsc_9975.jpg

Sun sets early in the hills and soon it was time for us to wrap up. We ensured that we left nothing but tyre marks and set out for the hotel.
Upon reaching, we wanted to make the most of the last day of our vacation and went for a walk.

Sikip, Baiguney and Darjeeling in a Thar-dsc_0309.jpg

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Day 6: Baiguney - Kolkata

We started off early the next morning as we had to attend a party back home planned by one of our school buddies. It was a fast drive with minimum halts and we reached Kolkata by 6:30 in the evening.

A parting shot of The Sherpa
Sikip, Baiguney and Darjeeling in a Thar-dsc_0074.jpg

Last edited by BlackPearl : 17th April 2017 at 02:38.
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Old 17th April 2017, 07:44   #3
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Thread moved from the Assembly Line (The "Assembly Line" Forum section) to Travelogues. Thanks for sharing!
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Old 17th April 2017, 09:38   #4
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Default Re: Sikip, Baiguney and Darjeeling in a Thar

Fantastic Blackpearl !! Such a perfect relaxing vacation. Can't wait to go to Glenarys for a bite now. Great to see Shashwat making it on both the days. Although, I am keen on exploring the Jorethang-Darjeeling route, Melli-Jorethang condition discourages me the most.

Pictures are awesome !!

Regards

Pawan
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Old 17th April 2017, 12:09   #5
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Lovely TL Blackpearl! I liked the idea behind this trip... "to relax in a good hotel for 4 to 5 days"... may be this is cause I need a similar one. The pictures at Glenary's really makes one feel hungry, delicious stuff I am sure! I plan to drive to the hills in June. Can't wait after reading this TL.
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Old 17th April 2017, 14:06   #6
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Default Re: Sikip, Baiguney and Darjeeling in a Thar

Quote:
Originally Posted by navsjab View Post
Lovely TL Blackpearl! I liked the idea behind this trip... "to relax in a good hotel for 4 to 5 days"... may be this is cause I need a similar one. The pictures at Glenary's really makes one feel hungry, delicious stuff I am sure! I plan to drive to the hills in June. Can't wait after reading this TL.
Navsjab, How is it that you have already planned for a trip and I do not know about it? Where and when are you planning to go? So Himachal is totally out of the radar?
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Old 17th April 2017, 14:21   #7
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Default Re: Sikip, Baiguney and Darjeeling in a Thar

There was a time when going to North Bengal needed some planning but because of guys like you, now these trips have become like going to the neighbors house!

Now instead of writing every time, excellent pics and great narration i guess it will be easier for me to quote my own reply from your previous travelogues!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Samba View Post
Rated a very deserving 5*. The pics are fabulous and the travelogue is a very detailed one.
This time its no different!

Last edited by Samba : 17th April 2017 at 14:51.
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Old 17th April 2017, 14:25   #8
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Navsjab, How is it that you have already planned for a trip and I do not know about it? Where and when are you planning to go? So Himachal is totally out of the radar?
Hello Teesta, the break for the Himachal trip will be too long and Bhavneet is extremely busy till May (you know already). So in-case June is good to us, we will take a couple of leaves (mid-June) and Gangtok/Darjeeling it should be

PS: I told BP about it recently. He is not sharing information it seems
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Old 17th April 2017, 14:36   #9
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Originally Posted by navsjab View Post
Hello Teesta, the break for the Himachal trip will be too long and Bhavneet is extremely busy till May (you know already). So in-case June is good to us, we will take a couple of leaves (mid-June) and Gangtok/Darjeeling it should be

PS: I told BP about it recently. He is not sharing information it seems
Okay, so I was hoping against hope and also trying to entice both of you, will keep on trying till the end. June plan sounds good to me, I have decided that I will be part of it as well.
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Old 17th April 2017, 15:01   #10
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Okay, so I was hoping against hope and also trying to entice both of you, will keep on trying till the end. June plan sounds good to me, I have decided that I will be part of it as well.
Brilliant! I did not say that earlier thinking it would be expecting too much after your Himachal Trip.
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Old 17th April 2017, 22:46   #11
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Default Re: Sikip, Baiguney and Darjeeling in a Thar

Thanks for Pointing me to this. Excellent Travelogue, rated 5 stars. Keep Going!
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Old 18th April 2017, 13:34   #12
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Originally Posted by PapaBravo View Post
Fantastic Blackpearl !! Such a perfect relaxing vacation. Can't wait to go to Glenarys for a bite now. Great to see Shashwat making it on both the days. Although, I am keen on exploring the Jorethang-Darjeeling route, Melli-Jorethang condition discourages me the most.

Pictures are awesome !!

Regards

Pawan
Thanks Pawan. I had started writing the travelogue in February but was not able to complete it. When I came to know that you guys are also planning to go to Darjeeling via Jorethang, I tried to complete it as soon as possible so that you can take one of the two routes mentioned. All the best for your trip.

Quote:
Originally Posted by navsjab View Post
Lovely TL Blackpearl! I liked the idea behind this trip... "to relax in a good hotel for 4 to 5 days"... may be this is cause I need a similar one. The pictures at Glenary's really makes one feel hungry, delicious stuff I am sure! I plan to drive to the hills in June. Can't wait after reading this TL.
Thanks navsjab. As Teesta has mentioned, we will try to be part of that trip as well if time, money and leaves permit

Quote:
Originally Posted by Samba View Post
There was a time when going to North Bengal needed some planning but because of guys like you, now these trips have become like going to the neighbors house!

Now instead of writing every time, excellent pics and great narration i guess it will be easier for me to quote my own reply from your previous travelogues!


This time its no different!
Thanks a lot Samba!

Quote:
Originally Posted by 1100D View Post
Thanks for Pointing me to this. Excellent Travelogue, rated 5 stars. Keep Going!
Thanks a lot 1100D!
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Old 18th April 2017, 16:14   #13
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Great pics and travelogue as usual

I will be in Siliguri from May 31 to June 4 visiting in-laws. Planning to go for night to Darjeeling hiring a zoomcar from Siliguri. Would have loved to drive from Bangalore, but it will be too much. However the benefits of having in-laws in Siliguri are I will have umpteen opportunities to drive to the hills.
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Old 18th April 2017, 23:18   #14
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Another great travelogue from the only distinguished Bhpain in town I never knew this place existed until now and this TL will surely help popularize Baiguney and the tourism there in the long run. I wonder why didn't you stay in Darjeeling for two days as you spent better part of those days shuttling to & fro from hotel. The awesome spread at Glenary looks mouth watering, last time i posted a picture of that place it got deleted by admin (apparently they prefer darjeeling tea over red wine). Just curious how expensive were the club sandwiches at cmh resort ? Also i am surprised that Darjeeling - Baiguney route which google maps suggested seems longer and narrower than the one you took (don't they show the shortest route possible?) and that's not even considering the splendid view of Kanchenjungha en-route. The Sikip riverbed trail looks 4x4 territory and an exciting place for a short camping expedition. Amazing pics & narration like always ! Rated *****
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Old 19th April 2017, 08:42   #15
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Another dose of the mountains from blackpearl and sherpa ! Awesome. Added bonus for us is that you are a real good photographer. The river shots of the jeep are amazing.
I am just back from a drive around those places in my thar, and it is indeed a pleasure to be in a vehicle like the thar in these roads. (my drive last week was from guwahati-dooars-darjeeling-mirik- maneybhanjan - namchi - ravangla- pelling - dentam-rinchenpong and back)
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