NE-GQ Tour: Sikkim – Day1 : Traffic Jams and the drive to Gangtok

Sikkim was a place which was long overdue for a visit. With my marriage getting over in Nov, I was thinking of a nice place to visit for my honeymoon. Various places within India and abroad were considered. As my wife didnt have a passport, going out of the country was ruled out. I zeroed in on sikkim, as this was in the pipeline for a long time. With the place finialized, I booked a tour through ‘FLY AIR Travels’. Since I had enough time with me, I also decided to cover darjeeling along with the golden quadrilateral.

With the trip finalized, the tickets were booked, and with last minute shopping complete, it was time to head to Bagdogra. The flight from Bangalore to Bagdogra took around 4 hrs with a stopover in kolkata. We were greeted at the airport by the travel representative and we headed off to gangtok. After negotiating the traffic in siliguri we headed towards the hills of gangtok. It was a pleasant drive till we met with our first block, a small traffic jam, which took some time to clear. The drive continued until a we saw a huge convoy of vehicles standing. Upon inquiry I came to know the BRO (Border Roads Organization) which is responsible for maintenance of roads were doing some road widening work, due to which there was a huge jam.

Traffic Jam in the mountains

The driver told us this was quite common here as road widening work was going on in various places in sikkim and delays are to be expected. He also told it would take another couple of hours for the traffic to move. With nothing much to do for the next couple of hours, I clicked a few snaps of the distant mountains just to while away the time and got chatting with a few drivers.The recent earthquake in sikkim and surrounding places had caused some serious landslides and many places especially in north sikkim are still under repair. I was told things are slowly getting back to normal, which is a good thing for the people.

The traffic jams reminded me of the jams we have back home, and nothing could be done except wait. Slowly after an hour or so we could see some movement and vechiles from one side were being allowed to pass.

Vehicles being let from other side

Soon it was our turn to go and it was slow crawl through the heavy machinery as we inched our way through the oncoming traffic.

Heavy Machinery used for road widening

With no more interruptions we proceeded towards gangtok with a stopover for lunch and a cuppa. It was evening by the time we reached the resort. Checking into the resort, we bid adeiu to the driver. Soon it was time to hit the sack as we had a early morning start to Tongso lake the next day.

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