Sikkim- "The Last Shangri-La"
Sikkim, literally a bump on the map between Nepal and Bhutan, only became part of India in 1975 and still feels like a separate country. Sikkimese border guards check your entry permit as if it were a visa. With undisturbed forests, glacial streams and snow covered Himalayan peaks, Sikkim is both rugged and beautiful. It's home to the third highest peak in the world, Mt Kangchendzonga.
This tour combines some strenuous hiking and biking and is limited to people who are in excellent condition and are comfortable on both bikes and trails. It's our only adventure where we actually do some camping.
We meet in Delhi and then fly to Bagdogra, for a transfer by jeep to Kurseong. We bike through Darjeeling, Pelling, Yuksom and Borang before a rest day in Gangtok. We then head to Rumtek and Kalimpong and a spectacular descent out of the Himalayas through Lava.
After the biking, we can arrange trekking for you. The 4 day trek from Yuksom up to Dzongri is spectacular with views of Kangchendzonga and the entire Singalila range of mountains near the Sikkim-Nepal border. Treks can also be arranged from Darjeeling.
Day 1 and 2 - Delhi
We meet in Delhi, but you essentially have free time to explore the city and shake off jet lag.We will plan to get our Sikkim permits in Delhi.
Day 3 - Delhi to Kurseong
We fly to Bagdogra and then travel by jeep for 4 hours to Kurseong. In Kurseong we will put together our bikes.
Day 4 - Kurseong to Darjeeling
We visit the nearby tea estate first thing in the morning. It's a then a short bike ride from Kurseong to Darjeeling so we will have the better part of the afternoon to explore Darjeeling town. Darjeeling is famous for it's tea and the narrow gauge train. There is plenty to do and see here.
Day 5 - Darjeeling to Pelling
We'll exit Darjeeling via the VERY steep, but less traveled "back way". It's a route that cars and jeeps have some difficulty getting up. We descend all the way down to the valley before reaching Pelling.
Day 6 - Pelling to Yuksom
We have a big down hill ride and the climb about two thirds of the way back up to Yuksom. Yuksom is a great little town and a trekking center for the area. It also has some nice views of Mt. Kangchendzonga. It's not unusual to see yaks being led through town as parties get ready trekking adventures.
Day 7 - Yuksom to Borang
Today's ride is both challenging and spectacular. We go by Tashiding and then will stop to take a look at the the 300 year old Tashiding Monastery. The monastery's 10 foot tall prayer wheel looks like moving art with raised gold inscriptions on the dark bronze wheel. It's so big you must walk around it to turn it. A loud gong strides with each revolution, as if to recognize your prayer. Borang is on ridge with spectacular views.
Day 8 - Borang to Gangtok
We descend from Ravangla and ride along the Valley floor to Singtam. From Singtam we climb up to the capital of Gangtok. Gangtok, at 1570 meters is improbably spread out on the steep slope of a mountain. It's the the commercial hub of Sikkim and is also the gateway for accessing the more remote parts of the country.
Day 9 - Gangtok (rest day)
This is a well earned rest day. You have time to explore the city. You can visit the Tibetan Institute, the floral gardens or ride the aerial tram (Gondola). If ambitious, you could also ride your bike up to Hunaman Temple and back.
Day 10 - Gangtok to Rumtek
|Last Updated on Saturday, 15 June 2013 19:35|