As Requested

Complaints were made regarding my choice of photo representation of the Snows of Sydney in last Saturday’s post. Here, then, is a cozier, cuddlier photo of the two, pictured together (as they often are)

Also pictured is Cash, Cat in Black, Destroyer of Chairs.

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The Journey ‘Home’

In the end, I ended up selling Hrithik to a local tour company in Darjeeling. I liked that. It meant that he’d go on to see the Nepalese mountain roads, even if I would not (at least not this time around. Mark my words, I will ride those fuckers eventually).

After 2 and a half months together, I bid farewell to my beloved Hrithik.

The end of the trip went by in a blur; driving to Tiger Hill to watch the sun rise over the peaks of the Himalayas (which was awesome), selling the bikes, arranging flights, heading back into Patna and parting ways with Pete. . .while I left for Canada he continued on to Thailand. Continue reading

A Perfect Day in Darjeeling

I’ve mentioned before that a stunning photo does not necessarily indicate an awesome experience. That statement works both ways.

No photo can accurately sum up the day I had on April 21st of the year 2012. It was perfect, for too many tiny reasons that just do not translate well to pixels (though I suppose these words are also technically pixels. Or are they? My god I am not not good with computers). It doesn’t even make a good story, really (which doesn’t really say much for the quality of the post to follow). Nothing particularly epic occurred. It was just a lovely day.

It started off with the best pancakes I’d ever had, courtesy of Sonam’s kitchen. Continue reading

The Restorative Effects of Mountain Roads on Mood and Health

The road to Darjeeling is fucking stunning. The days of travel leading up to it (if fading in and out of consciousness during a raging fever can be consider ‘travel’) had been marked largely by worry and depression but, as we rounded a turn to catch our first glimpse of green on the twisting road to the former British hill station, my joy came right back to me. I was delighted to find that it hadn’t gone too far.

I wish I’d some pictures of the sharp switchback roads leading to Darjeeling but stopping in the middle of them is probably frowned upon by the traffic coming up behind you.

My spirits continued to rise as we did. As we cleared the first town at the mountain’s base mist rolled up through the long trunks of the shadowed forest below to crawl lazily across the road before us, shining silver in the afternoon sun. Its rays broke through the canopy above in slivers that created for us the illusion we were riding through thin walls of light. The roads began to twist and turn and rise at alarmingly sharp angles and steep degrees but I don’t remember feeling afraid or nervous. . .just highly, unwaveringly focused as I struggled to negotiate the 350 lb bike, intent on not stalling out in the middle of one of the hairpin switchbacks, relieved to no longer be in a hospital or hotel bed with sickness wrapped around me like a thick, clammy blanket. Continue reading