It has been a while since we had a vacation to write about, not since the spooky encounter at Morgan House (A Haunting in Morgan House!) – and Monkeys have been too tied up in their daily foraging to go for a high jump across the trees!
But when we Honumans roll, we do it in style! Honuman holidays are high with adrenaline and way off the beaten track – and this time around we have river crossings, full scale blizzards and a lot more on the menu 😉 Also, presenting – Pawan and Meghna, who had the guts to go on a trip with the Mental Monkeys!
Well, actually it was the other way around! Pawan did most of the planning and calling, and we just happily followed our tour guide :D, being too busy with our work, of course. It was a trip rushed within a couple of days, hoping May day would be a off for most of us. Luckily, all worked out well and we hit the highway (finally) in our two Dusters, at around eight in the evening of 27th April. [Not before I had to rush to office to replace my laptop’s adapter which gave up 2 hours before lift off – well something had to happen, Mr Murphy is not famous for nothing ].
The drive through the night was mostly uneventful except for a few unmarked speed breakers on SH 7 from Bardhhaman to Moregram, that were higher than the hills we were going to, that sent our cars flying! (I will not bore readers out here with route details, all of which is just a ping or email away). Both of us were familiar with the route and we crossed Siliguri in the wee hours of the morning.
Quick dinner with packed food at the Azad Hind Dhaba on NH2 –
And after an uneventful night of driving, we had break fast at Melli. The twins having a rest after the sprint!
We were to camp at Reshikhola which is at the border of WB and Sikkim at a homestay on the banks of the Reshi river (which is actually the border). Somehow, no one seemed to know the way down to the river, and we circled the mountain roads for two hours before Prerna, a helpful school girl, hopped on and showed us the way.
Prerna had just completed her 12th exams and was planning a visit to Kolkata the following weekend – big thanks to her for showing us the way
Upon reaching the river: It turned out that if we could muster up a wee bit of courage, we might not have to carry our luggage by ourselves across a precarious bridge.. and so
A bit of swimming for our steads!
We were staying at Reshikhola Eco Tourism resort across the river, more famously known as Mr. Pradhan’s place which, is probably not as good as it used to be earlier. But Reshikhola is a treasure trove nestled between the mountains. Cradled by the Reshi river, which is usually a gurgling stream (but can show her true colours when it rains, as we found out later at night!), it is a camper’s delight. The road which downhills from the Rongli highway can be treacherous though, during rains, particularly for sedans and hatches.
The place is guarded by Dixy – who is the king of all that he surveys!
but he can be quite affable too when he is off duty as the king!
This is where you chill out (quite literally!) –
And find your inner peace!
(not sure what Pawan was looking for by the river early in the morning, a quiet spot?!! 😛)
It started to rain heavily from late evening and continued well into the night. With Sikkim’s awesome local brew for company, and the rain and the wind lashing about – turning our little Reshi stream to a thundering force of water, cut off from the all pervasive mobile ring tones, it was an evening we will remember for a long time.
The next day we were supposed to climb up the old silk route from Rongli via Zuluk & Kupup, and reach all the way to Gangtok. What happened was totally out of the syllabus!
Keep watching this space!
[We do not endorse or encourage long highway drives or night drives, please do not attempt these or adventure offroading without prior experience or expert guidance]