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Darjiling, India


A few more days in the quaintest of towns. Several fantastic day (and one not so fantastic day) with quality group meals, and lots of walking about. We all decided to visit one of the more 'quality' tea plantations recommended to us by local tea experts so we headed out one early morning. Turns out quality equals every far away and hard to get to. We began walking down a road...and kept walking all down the winding path into a deep valley for some 4 hours. The views were beautiful and the company good, which made it worth it even though when we finally got there the factory was closed and we had to get a tour of the empty place. We did learn the process of tea making though, which is rather fascinating. Fist comes drying, then comes rolling/crushing, then there's fermentation, followed by more drying, sorting by leaf size and type, packaging, and finally testing for quality.

The trip back up turned into quite a humorous debacle. Not thinking things through, we had not confirmed that there was a way back OUT of the valley that didn't not involve walking back up the same hill for 10 hours. But after several cars refused to give us a lift and about 20 minutes of uphill battling we were starting to realize the danger of incomplete planning. Luckily (as I was confident of the whole time, though not most of the girls) we were picked up by a taxi for just 20 ruppees a head. phew. A very relieved trip back was followed by some tasty momos and quality cup of Darj tea.

permalink written by  Drie on May 1, 2008 from Darjiling, India
from the travel blog: Adventures in Hindustan
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