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A bud and 2 leaves

Day 6 Gangtok > Darjeeling

Left Gangtok at 9am / 09:00 for the 98 km journey to Darjeeling by our private van.

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Border crossing at Rangpo as we left Sikkim state with a short wait for JD to deal with the passports.

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Then stopped at the breakfast spot by the Teesta River where we enjoyed the breakfast a couple of days earlier at Hotel Phalguney.

A vegetable wai wai which is veggie noodle or 2 minute noodle 50 rupees / NZ$1.00 / US$0.80 wasn’t enough so I asked for an egg bread omelette 60 rupee / NZ$1.25 / US$0.90 and a cup of warming milk tea 20 rupees / NZ$0.40 / US$0.30. Just 130 rupees / NZ$2.70 / US$2.00 for all.

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The reflection by the 2 rocks wasn’t the same as the river must be flowing faster.

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The guys were still building next to the restaurant. The method of a person pulling on a rope attached to a shovel with another person at the end of the shovel was common.

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From here it was a 3 hour drive back towards Kalimpong through to Darjeeling with a photo stop at Lovers Meet overlooking the confluence of the Teesta River and Rangeet River.

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Tova, Joe, Ken, Robyn, Sally, Ngaire, Hans

Tova, Joe, Ken, Robyn, Sally, Ngaire, Hans

Tova, Joe, Robyn, Ken, Ngaire, Sally - JD in front

Tova, Joe, Robyn, Ken, Ngaire, Sally - JD in front

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Shekhar our wonderful driver

Onwards to Darjeeling.

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Checked in to Krishna Residency and a plate of Singapore Chow Mein 80 rupees / NZ$1.70 / US$1.25 washed down with a cup of milk tea 25 rupees / NZ$0.50 / US$0.40.

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Happy Valley Tea Estate

Opposite the hotel was the 1,212 hectares Happy Valley Tea Estate.

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Being winter nothing was happening, just maintenance. To me it was run down.

“A bud and 2 leaves” ... a phrase that I have heard many times in Sri Lanka when I saw their tea industry….

  • Leaves mainly picked mainly in March and April.
  • Spring is the first flush and strongest to the fourth flush or weakest.
  • Withering to remove excess moisture – 60/70 %
  • Rolling
  • Blowing at 32C
  • Oxidation drying 115C 98% DRY NOW
  • White best
  • Green and finally
  • Black tea.

Happy Valley Tea Estate (Bengali: হ্যাপি ভ্যালি চা বাগান) is a tea garden in Darjeeling district in the Indian state of West Bengal. Established in 1854, it is Darjeeling's second oldest tea estate. Spread over 177 hectares (440 acres), it is situated at a height of 2,100 metres (6,900ft) above sea level, 3 kilometres / 1.9mile north of Darjeeling, and employs more than 1500 people.

The bushes in the garden are very old — the minimum age is 80 years, and some are 150 years old. Very little re-plantation has been done in the recent past. Thanks Mr Wikipedia

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Happy_Valley_Tea_Estate

https://www.happyvalleytea.com/

https://www.darjeeling-tourism.com/darj_000025.htm

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Ngaire

Ngaire

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Robyn, Joe, Tova, Ngaire

Robyn, Joe, Tova, Ngaire

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From the top of the tea planation I waited for the group and took this sun set sequence.

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A local had lit on the roadside this small fire.

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Took an evening orientation tour of the town which was essentially a walk through the roadside market stalls and shops.

Potent parcels of areca nuts, lime and tobacco wrapped in a betel leaf

Potent parcels of areca nuts, lime and tobacco wrapped in a betel leaf

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Dinner back at the hotel and for another 80 rupees / NZ$1.70 / US$1.25 Singapore Fried rice came out. Milk tea 25 rupees / NZ$.50 / US$0.40

In hindsight we should have had something to eat at the market! The food at Krishna Residency was not good at all throughout our whole stay!!! Without going back into town there was no nearby alternative.

Posted by bruceontour 01:55 Archived in India Tagged sunset tea_planation

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