I took separate trips to Rajasthan and Kerala in the monsoon of 2015. Time passed by, I joined another organisation after taking a break of 3 months. I wasn’t sure that if I want to re-join IT sector. A friend convinced me with the suggestion of giving myself span of 2 months in the new organisation and if I don’t feel good, I can start looking for something new.
I decided to give it another shot but time stopped at professional space. The good thing about it was to raise a toast to the job that was paying the rent and sponsor my short trips. The feeling that there is so much to see and I should not miss any chance to explore the world and endless landscapes had long seeped in. In Oct 2016′ an old roommate of mine discussed the idea of taking a trip to SIKKIM. It took me less than 10 seconds to say yes. Thanks to the world of internet and increasing trend among Indians of posting their travel experiences and details, she had found an itinerary consisting of places to visit and number of days needed.
I was thrilled at the prospect of my long pending dream taking shape. No way I was letting this opportunity go, we decided to take it in 3rd week of December so that we can escape the shooting fares during Christmas and New Year. Also it will give us at least a month and half to sort out the logistics.
I immediately called up Tuts (friend with whom I discussed first the trip to north east) and told him about this trip. He was married by now so I invited his wife too to join us. He too became super excited but had to deny considering that he already had leave plans during later that month. I remember his wife’s words (“Aap ab pehle jaa rahe ho, dekhna ye kitne dino tak rote rahenge“) (“Because you’re going first and it was a dream for both of you, he’ll cry for next many days“)
Keeping the online itinerary as base, Priyanka (old roommate) drew a map on paper indicating the cities/towns we were about to cover. Gangtok, capital of Sikkim turned out to be base city for this trip. She took on the responsibility of planning the entire trip. We decided that it will be 9 day trip including the travel from our respective locations. As both of us were living in west and south India, we decided that we’ll travel by air till nearest airport to Sikkim which was Bagdogra, a town in the state of West Bengal.
In the first week of November, she looked for the flights from Pune and Bangalore and ensured that we were reaching Bagdogra in the gap of 1 hour. We booked the flights at the same time and once I had the tickets in my mail-box, I was so overwhelmed that a tear just stopped at tip of my eyes. Both of us were shouting in joy over phone as first step was taken on sealing the trip. Now there was no looking back.
Next 1 month passed away quickly. I told my friends at office about it and they were excited too. Keeping the hand drawn map, online itinerary and reviews on TripAdvisor as reference, Priyanka fixed the itinerary by deciding the towns/cities to visit, number of days at each town and booked the hotels. Sikkim does not have app based cab services. Through online forums, we knew that North Sikkim was going to be most difficult part of the journey. We decided to keep things simple and explore the transportation once we reach Sikkim. As there were certain places to visit which were expected to be covered in ice, we took extra precaution to ensure that we’ve right kind of clothing. Priyanka carried the medications especially for motion and altitude sickness considering that we were going to an altitude of 18K feet to see second highest lake in India. I went ahead with carrying the eatables which included sealed packets of namkeen, dry fruits, cup noodles, chocolates and digestive tablets like Hajmola. We carried eatables anticipating that there may be times we do not get a food joint.
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