Day 01 Delhi
Welcome all! Now, if you are a firm believer in fate, I guess you may or may not choose to believe that you were brought here for a reason. Chances are you have been, and we are going to have you experience and live through some pretty mind-blowing experiences, which will change the way you prioritize life for good. Our adventure begins tomorrow, so pack in a good night’s sleep.
Day 02 Darjeeling
We start our journey by flying to Bagdogra, home of the magnificent and impressive tea gardens in the Darjeeling District. We have a nice short journey today, a lovely 4 hour drive through the jungles, tea estates and hillside villages. This road generously takes us up through Kurseong, to follow the route of the famous Himalayan toy train. On our short car trip, feel free to stick your head out the window and get a good, ol’ whiff of the blossoming white orchids, we won’t judge you if you do. We will arrive at Darjeeling in the late afternoon.
Day 03 Tonglu
Sunrise plans to wake us up, squeezing its sun-rays through your window shutters to give you a heartwarming wake-up call today. The view overlooking the tea plantations makes it hard to be mad for the early wake up call. We will be finding our way to Dhodrey at some point today, which will be the starting point of our trek. If you want some healthy motivation, glance up at the white ridge of the Himalayan peaks, which is where we will be very shortly! So, after breakfast we will hop on the Toy Train, slowly zigzagging through man-made cracks in the mountainsides. Before we leave, make sure you soak up all the good karma around you in Darjeeling, as it was once a monastery and residency of the Mother Theresa! At the end of the day we make a stop in Tonglu, where you get your first night under the stars, bonfires, the whole ‘camping’ package! (11 km, ~6-7 hours).
Day 04 Kachenjunga Mountain
Hoping you all didn’t get too merry on our first camping night, we say goodbye to Tonglu, and start making our way across Kanchenjunga Mountain, which sits comfortably as the third highest mountain in the world at 8586m! Moving on through Tumling, we cross to Nepali settlement – Jaubari, and then follow the gorgeous ridgeline all the way to Kalapokhari (13 km, ~6-7 hours).
Day 05 Singalila – Sandakphu
With our highest point today of 3636m, you may be feeling a smidgen of altitude sickness, but fear not! We will teach you all the tricks to overcome it. We will hike up and pass through the bamboo glades and wicked rhododendron forests, making a gradual ascent to Sandakphu, our highest point of the trek reaching a breath taking (literally) 3636m. (7 km, ~4-5 hours).
Day 06 Singalila – Sabargam
A Scenic, incredible day is ahead of us, as we zigzag between India and Nepal along the Singalila ridge to Sabargam. Inhaling the clean crisp air, perfumed by the scent of chestnut trees, oak and silver fir. Forget what you’ve seen on the internet, this is the real deal! The Himalaya in all it’s snowy glory is laid out before you in full HD. (15 km, ~6-7 hours).
Day 07 Phalut – Samaden
Starting the undulating trail towards Phalut, reaching a whopping 3600m. A single lodge stands on the hilltop, guarding the secret trail that leads to a very special and unique viewpoint. We end our day in the beautiful Samaden. (16 km, ~6-7 hours).
Day 08 Rimbik
Our little journey takes us through small hamlets, inhibited by local settlers: the Rai, Sherpa and Tamang people. Today will allows us to experience the authentic feel of this Himalayan lifestyle as we pass the terrace fields and descend to Sirikhola. Crossing a suspension bridge onward to Rimbik, we will set aside our temporary camping lifestyle and trade it in for a night in a toasty-warm lodge. (16 km, ~6-7 hours).
Day 09 Darjeeling
After the satisfying yet strenuous trek, we can all rest our weary feet on our ride back to Darjeeling. Feel free to do a tad more exploring of the historic, double cultured landmark, once belonging to the Sikkim, later to Colonial England. There are even some pretty sweet Victorian cross Buddhist influenced buildings.
Day 10 Gangtok
Today is just the day of stocking up on some mountaineering supplies at the Himalayan Mountaineering institute. Today is also a day where we say a sweet goodbye to part one of our journey as we head onto Gangtok, the capital of Sikkim.
Day 11 Gangtok
Gangtok, if you didn’t already know, is the heart and soul capital of Sikkim. Gangtok towers above its surroundings like a friendly giant, as a historically crucial landmark should, tall and proud. Once a major stopover on the trade route of British India, now a Buddhist pilgrimage site, you can be certain Gangtok will be another place that sticks in your memory. One monastery we love to visit is the famous monastery in Sikkim where the exiled Tibetan Lamas once found shelter.
Day 12 Kalimpong
“The main road is for tourists, the side road is for the real travelers” is a saying that we can really side with here. Because of this, we are going to take you through the wild forest plantation of Teetsa Valley on our way to Kalimpong. We have an important Monastery stop to make, and a visit to Dr. Grahams home and school, where educated Indian children strive to change life’s broken trails. The end of the day is wrapped up with a visit to the renowned Kalimpong Bazaars for some authentic shopping, of course, if you wish!
Day 13 Calcutta
Today we have a nice few hours exploring. Might wanna catch the Cactus shows that’s in town. After this, we are going to gently whisk you away to Silinguru. Here you will have the delightful chance to experience perhaps the most authentic Indian experience of all: A real Indian overnight train.
Day 14 Calcutta
At last, we arrive to Calcutta, a city heavy with a turbulent past. Once the capital of British India, Calcutta was in the heart of the struggle for India’s independence, its marks still carved on the wall and in the deep history-soaked pavement. Known for its colorfulness and versatility, Calcutta is the home of many nationalities, each brings its own unique heritage that constructs this truly marvelous city.
Day 15 Calcutta
Our journey does come to a halt here, but as we say at the end of all our journeys: “There’s more where this came from”. When you are ready, we will be here, Ready to welcome you back.