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NE-GQ Tour: Day 3– Rafting at Teesta and the drive to kalimpong

Day 3 of our tour started with a drive to kalimpong. The driver who had come to pick us up told us that rafting was being conducted on the Teesta river and we were free to do it if we were interested. I didnt want to miss this chance of doing rafting at a new place, though I had done it back in karnataka. This also gave me an oppurtunity to introduce my wife to a little bit of adventure. I asked her if she was interested in rafting for which she agreed. Told the driver to stop at the rafting place which he did.

The guy was quoting 4.5k for a 12kms which I felt was a little costly. However we were told there was another couple who were interested in joining, we decided to split the cost evenly. After paying the required amount, we were taken to the place where the rafts were being kept. Training was given to new people who were interested in conducted rafting. We had a talk with the other couple while waiting for the rafts to arrive. The instructor gave us the life jackets and asked us to get into the rafts. It was the first time my wife was doing this and she was excited and a bit scared as well.

Instructions were given and we were began rowing, while the girls were sitting at the back. We came across the place where the rivers theesta and rangit join together (sangam), and we saw rafting lessons being held in the current. We bid farewell to the people and continued on our way.

The instructor asked the girls to come forward when we approached the rapids, so that they could enjoy the raft going against the rapids. The fun continued for another hour or so and we reached the end of the rafting route. With the water being too cold, everyone was soaking wet. We were ferried back to the place where our vechiles were parked. After settling the amount, we went our separate ways after saying adieu to our new friends.

A short break for a late lunch and we were in kalimpong by sundown. Evening was spent shopping for some souvenirs for friends and family at the local market.

A couple of snaps of the moon as it was lunar eclipse that night and it was nap time.

Moon as seen from the hotel

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Kudremukh Trip- Paladion

The daily mundane office routine was making everyone bored and everyone wanted a break from the projects, client calls etc. As a result a team outing was announced. Initially the trip was announced on 22-23rd Aug. This had to be postponed as ganesh chatutrthi was on 22nd and many people were busy with the festival , it had to be postponed to 29-30th. The trip was announced a month in advance , at that time around 60 ppl had agreed to come. However the dreaded swineflu made a few people rethink about them joining the trip. The resort and transport for 60 ppl had already been booked. Finally 45 ppl left for the trip on 29th night.

The fun began the moment we entered the bus. With beer and jokes to keep us awake we left bangalore. The first pit stop was made around 12.30. Actually it was the beer that made us to stop Smiling. After a short photo session we proceeded further. The next round of pitstops was much later , I dont remember the time as I was fast asleep Smiling. We reached kudreukh stretch around 6 in the morning. The valleys was illuminated by the rising sun which i wanted to capture desperately, however i couldnt as the driver was in no mood to stop Angry as we were already late. Finally we reached the resort by 7.30.

After reaching the resort which was admist hillls , myself and another guy went around the resort for a short photoshoot. I was really impressed by the hills surrrounding the place as it offered a excellent view which made my lens very happy

Scenary from resort


Once everyone entered their respective rooms and freshened up , it was time for breakfast. There was a swimming pool which was ultilized very effectively by many of the guys and later the girls.

After breakfast , it was time for some corporate team games for one group and the other group in which i was in , headed for rafting. Once the rafting was completed , i was discussing with the organizers regarding the plan for the next day. During our chat i came to know they were accomplished mountaineers who have done quite a few treks in himalayas. Hope to join them for a himalyan hike in the near future.

We headed back to the resort for lunch and it was time for the first group to go for rafting and for us to play the same team games which i wasnt much interested. As evening approached i was dissapointed with the cloud cover and drizzle as i couldnt get the sunset. Once the weather cleared myself and my colleague headed out for a short photo session.

Fields

Fields

While shooting the fields and the mountains surrounding it , an old woman came to us and asked us to cough up 100 bucks as i had taken a photo of her field. This really suprised us , we however went back without paying anything Smiling.

The campfire started once everyone was back in the resort with drinks aplenty. Once the festivities were over , we retired for the day.

The next morning those who were interested in a short trek got up around 5 , and we began the hike to a viewpoint which was a short distance from the resort. For me the hike was like an acclimatization for the upcoming trekking season. We proceeded further and managed to get some views which was promptly captured. We reached the top after an hour of trekking. After spending some time there it was time to get back

View enroute to the peak

View from top of the peak

After freshing up , we headed out for some sightseeing. Since we started late , it was decided we would cover hanumangundi falls and lakhya dam. Once we reached hanumangundi falls we had to climb down a series of steps to reach the falls. Since we went to the falls on sunday , the falls was overflowing with people Smiling. I went further down and found a good spot from where I could take photos.

Hanumangundi Falls

Once that was done we headed back to the bus.It began to rain once we reached the top and we had to take shelter as the bus tire was punctured. After fixing the puncture we headed to lakhya dam. Luckly the rain stopped as we reached the dam. Photography is prohibited near the dam. However the valleys surrounding the dam , made a very good landscape which i promptly went about clicking. Those who wanted to see the dam went ahead , I was busy with the photography.

Lakhya Dam

Finally we left the resort around 3 and headed back to bangalore.

Paladion Team Photo

We had arranged for cabs for drops. I finally reached home by 5 in the morning

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Snaps can be found here

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