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The Best Trip I Ever Had
Recently, I went to Sikkim in India, which is like the most beautiful place I have ever seen. It was a trip with loads of people, and when I say that I enjoyed it, consider it an under-statement.
So, we took a flight from the Delhi Airport to Siliguri airport in Assam. It was the normal kind of flight, just chatting and enjoying the scenery below me. After we reached our destination airport, there was a long car trip to Darjeeling, the place famous for its tea.
There were like 10-15 people with me, and all of them were very fun. When we were enjoying the exhilirating scenery all around us, there were enough people to take care of our entertainment. They were all basically like my mother's brother's family or her sister's family and my grandparents. And overall, they are the best people ever.
When we reached Darjeeling, it was like 9PM and darkness had fallen upon the mountains all around. A hotel had already been booked for us and we fell in for the day.
The next day, we woke up early at like 4AM to go to the sunrise point, where we beheld the full glory of the rising sun. It was the best thing I had ever seen. And on our way back to our hotel, we stopped at some monk temples, just to take a look.
Then it was the normal trip like visiting temples and parks and gardens. But when it was evening, we decided to stop at the world famous tea gardens in Darjeeling.
It was as if the mountains themselves had been cultivated. These plantations were so steep that half our group decided to stay up top, but some of us did go down. And it was beautiful, we could see the whole valley covered with tea plants. It was the first time I had seen such a thing.
The next day, we started out for Gangtok, the capital of Sikkim. It was the normal mountanious journey. And at every turn, my stomach fell. I was never prone to high altitude sickness, but this time it did hit me. The roads were just beside steep canyons, and our car was dangerously close to the edge.
We stopped at several places before we finally reached Gangtok. It was the anchoring point for us. Because our main destinations were deep in the mountains.
Then the next morning, we started towards Lachung, which is a not-so-big town in the middle of the mountains. This was when all the adventures began.
When we were about halfway through the journey, there were reoprts of the road being blocked due a landslide. And these reports had not been false. There was a huge traffic jam and when we did reach the place where the landslide had taken place, we had to go so close to the edge that my grandmother almost fainted of fear. But, hopefully our drivers were experienced and we were out safe.
When we reached Lachung, we stayed there for the night and the next day we were out again. This time, our destination was Yumthang Valley, the valley of flowers.
We skipped it, and decided that we would come back to it on our way back from zero-point, which was a mountain top, where the temperatures were always sub-zero. We stayed there for an hour or so, and I was having difficulty in breathing. So, it was quickly decided that it was time to go back.
But, things did not go smoothly. The decent was so quick, that most of our family members became sick. Only me and some others decided to check out Yumthang, while the others returned to Lachung. When we reached back, all of us were sick, except me and some others.
It was decided that we would sleep there and return to Gangtok the next day. Now, on our way back, another landslide took place, but this time it was right in front of our eyes. It was like the whole mountain was falling down.
Hopefully, no one was injured, but it took about four hours to clear the road. Still, we were back in Gangtok by 10 in the night, and we had a relaxing sleep that night.
Now, there was only one last destination remaining, and it was a temple very close to the Indo-China border. When we were on our way, we saw many sign boards telling us to beware, and that it was a battle prone area. My grandparents were so scared that they remained quiet the whole way.
But the scenery that we saw on our way was the most beautiful. I don't know why people ignore this part of the mountains. This could easily compete with Kashmir, if not better. It was like heaven on earth . The huge mountains, with snow covered tops. It was just like something out of a fairy tale.
Finally, we reached the temple. It was a temple dedicated to the spirit of a soldier, that was said to guard the border. We had a nice hot cup of tea there, and we didn't know that things were about to get hellish for us.
On our way back, snow started falling. We were so happy to experience snowfall for the first time. But soon, it became evident that it was a very strong snowstorm.
The roads were covered with snow, and the vehicles could not get the required traction. They were slipping. And to make it even worse, we were descending a mountain, with a deep canyon just by the road. I cannot tell in words how scary it was. Cars were slipping in front of our eyes, with their drivers trying their best to keep the vehicle on the road.
But again, our driver's experience worked off, and we safely returned to our hotel. My companions and me too, had been so scared that our heartbeats had rose to abnormal speeds.
And not just that, when we were back in Gangtok, reports started coming in that an earthquake had devastated north-east India, but hopefully, it was not so devastating in Sikkim.
This trip had been the mother of all trips that I had been through. I would not, even if I tried, forget this experience. We had become acquaintances with most of the forces of nature in just this one trip. This was literally the best trip that I had ever had.