10.08.2009 20 °C
Yataaaa i arrived in Darjeeling :D i dreamt abpout for so long!! And how to say... its the most wonderful happy end to be in bengale for my trip!
How to find the words to describe this colorful city, built on a mountain ridge, surrounded by tea plantations, which offer an incredible Himalayan panorama...
From my guest house (about0.9 uros a night!), run by a so friendly family, i can see the clouds flooding the valley, and the highest ones come to tickle on th mountain summits. Sometimes some come to wander in the city and the streets become totally foggy for some minutes, creating a mystical athmosphere and they leave as fast as they arrived! I like to see the sun playing behin in a light and shadows game. From my terrasse bells rings ad echoe far away in this amazing landscape, its so quiet appart of the chicken, that i can hear the buddhist flag floating in the wind. And this is only few steps from the center
There are some highlights i Darjeeling i discovered while i got lost in the labyrinth of small streets. As this amazing buddhist and hinduist temple just above the observatory hill, from where you can see the mosq and the st andrew church. A so peaceful mix of faiths made my heart so warm. This is the India i love so much!
Anyway, when i arrived in this temple, i had to sit on one f the colorful benches, i was so astoished! Just take the time to admire the thousands of prayer flags floating slowly in the wind, hinduists who came to kiss the holly cow statue and inclinate in front of te chemney where incense is burnt , just absorbing the really strong energy issued from the million of prayers and hopes made here, intense athmosphere becoming even more strange with th clouds effect...
I loved as well the zoo, himalayan reserve of highly endangered species: my eyes drawned into the tibetan wolf and the snow leopard ones. But i spent a long time admiring the yaks, the red pandas and the black bear as well!
Just out of the zoo, there is the imalayan mountaineering institute, where i saw pictures and equipments belonging to the mountaineers who tried or succeed to get to the top of the higest mountain in the world and especially about Tenzing Norgay first one who managed to the summit in 1953 and founder of the institute. I offered me an amazing darjeeling black tea under his statue memorial intense visit, which shew me where human will can lead! Today institute is offering formation and adventure trip for mountaineers frfom all around the world.
I went down then to the tibetan refugee center, where people are hardworking to make handicrafts in a very traditional way, in exchange the association offer to the refugee lodging and food, they run also an orphanage and a picture exhibition in this place here for 50 long years, but atmosphere is very friendly and intense.
a small grey eyes girl ran to me and asked me for a picture XD
Tomorrow i will try to go tp a tea plantation, a botanical garden or make a day trekking startin from tiger hill to see the sunrise and coming back by gompas and monasteries along the way.
To come here from Delhi was really an amazing trip! First 27 hours train to NJP, in cheapest class, very crowded but very authentic, you can make your shopping, some people make their small business of food, tea, watch, t shirt, and toys or whatever you can imagine walking between people sitting on the floor or at 3 on a bed.
Then i took a 8 person rickshaw to goto the bus stand 8 km further and negociated a place on a jeep trunk to cross the hills til darjeeling accross the amazing bengali countryside!
Those last days i lived totally in the “now”, without caring about a futur e which is to come, just an illusion, and a past already gone. I lived every moment so deeply, each sound, color, shape, light appear so beautiful, so interesting. Each experience had been so intense. I have to say that after spending a to walking on the gandhi steps in so peaceful gardens, library and museums in delhi,
i saw this bloody corps abandonned on the sidewalk of a train station, and then being again in the amazing indian coutryside with hundreds years old trees, with roots whichseam to pump the center of the earth, flashy green rice fields with women in colorful saris leading huge cows to find the best grass. And i forgot the huge elefants walking slowly in the main bazaar in Delhi while i had a masala diner with an indian and an autrichian couple.
So many contrasts, so many discoversall the time made me live fullyin the present moment, i discovered at what point each momnt is much more meaningful when mind is not full with useless considerations about plans expectations or memories, there is no more fear, stress, sadness or boring moments.
Thats why travelling is so exciting, but i realized that its possible to live like that in everyday life as well! Each moment bringing new adventures and discovers, why to worry about something which is still to come,the moment of now is the only truth and there are never any problems in there. I realized that after all i can change everything, anywhere i go i have this mind with me, and this is always the same patterns... Kind of home, i can bring anywhere, i cannot get rid of it. From this point of view \, every moment is a travel, every new day in montreal or in france or wherever else can be a great trip!
Ioups i start writing a bit too long XD, i will be late, the nice owner ofthe guest house will cook for me a huge meal with rice, dal, vegetables, potatoes.... i wont miss that fr anything in the world!