The long and winding road: finding Tibet in Darjeeling

One or two inhabitants stood inside the gate observing our sweating, panting faces with dead-pan expressions. A wide and well-tended path stretched upwards to the main group of buildings. We had walked into another country: there were no plastic bottles, crisp wrappers, bright blue tangles of frayed nylon rope, plastic bags, sweet wrappers, turds or stinking puddles anywhere. Just nice green grassy borders either side of the well-trodden path, and a hand-built wooden stairway.

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Arrival at ‘The Queen of Hills’

And they’re off! This is the introduction to our trek into the Himalayan foothills. “Cold and travel weary by 5pm, we stumbled across Joey’s pub… with its cosy bar, ramshackle tables and faded posters it felt immediately like home.” All that Buddhist culture and we end up in a pub. Typical. Lots of atmospheric photographs and an argument with an Indian tourist in this blog entry…

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