I was always apprehensive about doing solo trips. It was one of the things I knew I wanted to do but somehow always found reasons not to. However, with a week free in the middle of classes and with most of my friends in Europe on student exchange, I knew that this was the best shot I had. And so I stuffed my backpack and took off on my first visit to the Northeast.
Day 1 was familiar turf, my train pulled into Calcutta in the wee hours of the morning and after a delightful cab ride I was at Flury's feasting on some delightful tuna sandwiches and Darjeeling tea. I then took a long walk all the way to Victoria Memorial where I spent most of the morning sitting in the lawn by the lake and exploring the museum exhibits. Another long walk back, I visited F Bloc, the geek-paradise that's tucked away in a basement on a lane close to Park Street and after spending an inappropriate amount of money, I found a nondescript dive bar where I befriended a middle-aged man with alcohol issues over a bottle of Budweiser.
Arriving at Bagdoghra airport and booking a prepaid cab, I set off on the long drive to Gangtok. A treat in itself, the fresh mountain air was a welcome change after the months spent in Jamshedpur. It was dark by the time we hit the mountain roads but the driver knew the route like the back of his hand and expertly navigated them while I sat in the back drinking beer out of cans, with the sound of crickets and and the Teesta to give me company.
Arriving at my hotel which I had booked online I got the staff to cook me some food and I crashed soon after.