On Monday after touring Glenburn School in Darjeeling, the rest of the family headed to Kalimpong for some shopping while Cory, Lexie, and I stayed behind to get some rest. I was feeling pretty lousy by this point in the trip – very little sleep combined with some severe stomach issues had finally caught up with me. Plus, we’d been sleeping with bed bugs for the past four nights and my skin was feeling the full effects of it. (I have never in my life felt something as itchy as bed bug bites. They were even worse than the poison sumac rash making its way across my rear end!) And so we spent the day relaxing, watching the monsoons come down outside our window, and dining in our bungalow for lunch.
We only had one evening left at Glenburn Tea Estate before we’d be heading back to Mumbai and we still had yet to see the mountain ranges that surrounded us. We were trying not to be disappointed, but we really did want to see the Himalayas before we left. It would have been such a shame to come so far and then go home without seeing what we came for.
As if in answer to our plea, by late afternoon on our last day in Darjeeling, the monsoons began to stop. We had gotten so accustomed to hearing the rain hit the tile on the patios outside that we knew immediately when it quit raining. Within half an hour, the fog had dispersed enough for us to get a good look at what we’d been living in the past few days – the foothills of the Himalayas!
The rest of the family still wasn’t back yet from Kalimpong, but we were hoping that they could see what we were seeing from wherever they were. We had no idea how long it would be before the monsoons picked up again, so we made sure to take full advantage of the dry spell while we had it.
We got our cameras out and walked around the grounds of the estate snapping photos of the foothills of the Himalayas from every angle. We could see pretty far out from where we were, but we were still unable to see the largest mountain ranges closer to the border of India because of the fog. We were grateful for what we were given, though, especially considering that half an hour earlier we could barely see twenty feet in front of us!
Thankfully, the rains held off for the rest of the afternoon and everyone made it back in time to see the mountains before sunset. We were feeling really grateful to be able to see what we were seeing. (I think the rain stopped just for us!) After we took a few final photos at sunset, we got dressed up and headed to the main house for our last dinner at Glenburn – a South Indian themed meal.
It was a little bittersweet – the leaving Darjeeling bit, I mean. I knew once we got back to Mumbai, it would mean our trip was nearly over. In some ways I wasn’t ready yet, ready to give up the thrill of waking up every morning knowing this day would be completely different from the one before. Ironically, however, that was also exactly what I couldn’t wait to be rid of. Twelve days into our trip and I was craving my old routine equally as much as the excitement of traveling to new and foreign places. But more than anything, I was craving my own bed…without bed bugs!
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