For New Years a couple friends and I went up to Sikkim for some winter trekking. It turned out to be the best New Years I can remember and a truly rejuvenating, relaxing experience. There was even something to be said for the freezing cold nights (-20’C at it’s coldest), seeing as I haven’t gotten a season besides summer in the last 3 years.
We spent the week before our trek travelling in central and west India. When I say travelling I mean it literally, i.e. in transit from one location to the next. My friends flew in from Beijing and Addis Ababa with very limited time and an incredible ambitious list of things they wanted to see. Being a not-so-savvy Indian travel I didn’t insist we limit ourselves to a conservative yet manageable itinerary, and instead opted for almost the complete opposite. Needless to say, India punished me for my insolence. Every single leg of our journey was delayed, cancelled, or re-routed. We ended up in Delhi on two separate occasions, having not scheduled a single stop there to begin with. Out of necessity, we broke pretty much every rule we set regarding travel safety and budgeting. By the time we got into Sikkim, of the 150 hours since we got together in Mumbai, more than 80 were spent travelling.
But it was all worth it. Sikkim is one of the most stunningly beautiful places I’ve ever been. Since I can remember it has been a dream of mine to trek in the Himalayas. I still can’t believe how close we were geographically to Jharkhand, but how foreign it felt in every other way. India is truly a subcontinent, with so many unique things to see that you could spend lifetimes trying and never get to it all. Below are some of my favorite photos from the trip. They’re all from the Sikkim trek. I unfortunately forgot to take any from the earlier parts of the trip, but it’s hard to remember when you’re in a stinky bus terminal arguing for a fairly priced taxi that you didn’t expect to take in the first place or throwing-up in an airport terminal after a bad dinner choice the night before. I guess there’s no such thing as a free lunch…
Scenery like this has always spoken to me, and the reverence and respect that the Sikkimi’s give to these mountains is inspiring. Can’t wait for the next trip!