Our last blog post on our trip to Sikkim ends with a photo-montage of the Limboo people. As you read in our last post we spent some time with out guide, Perna, and his family. They reside in the village of Darap in an old house passed down through the generations. Perna lives in relative luxury with a TV in his room, but the main house is like something out the dark ages. We were privileged to be allowed to spend a morning with these gentle people, even more so that they patiently allowed us to snoop around their house and photograph them going about their daily chores, which was mainly drinking salted tea and cooking pop-corn.
Ever been to Shangri-la? We have. It’s alive and kicking in Sikkim. Almost anywhere in Sikkim, outside a large town or tourist area, will do. We found our lost horizon in Darap, near Pelling. Two hundred year old houses growing out of the side of the mountain in which tiny people and chickens share their home with you is not something that happens every day. An afternoon getting high on hooch in the Himalayas is something to remember.
Liz has very kindly omitted the tale of our 17km trek to Kechopari Lake. In a nutshell it is the story of a 40 year old man realising his limitations. Realising them in a way that involves clutching the left arm, breathing like a 100 year old, having to walk backwards up hairpin tracks to avoid the constantly seizing leg muscles, all the while watching his girlfriend skip gaily by, light as a feather, hopping from leaf to cobweb like a woodland fairy.
Sitting on ankle-high stools we ate fresh pork straight from the flames of a dung oven, which we washed down with ‘Tongba’ and home made millet beer. After a few glasses of Rakshi this Arcadian village life became more and more attractive.
Taken at around 5am from Pelling, Sikkim, India, and given some black and white treatment to make a change from the usual colourful mountainscapes. A submission for #MountainMonday.
Husband and wife Santa and Kabita preparing us dinner. We spent a night at their home in the remote Himalayan village of Baranumber, where all cooking is done old-school style in a smoky wattle-and daub annexe that serves as their kitchen. Food was amazing; so too was the maize wine they distilled on this same stove before our very eyes!
Liz and I have just spent a truly inspiring day darting between three schools in the Himalayan mountains. We met some wonderful children from very poor backgrounds who are all learning English (we’re trying to ‘twin’ one class with a school in Newport via our friend, Jude, but more on that in another blog post). Just take a look at this cheeky little chappie from Class Six at Magna Vale School, Sukhia Pokri, Darjeeling. Just adorable!