05.04.2012 - 06.04.2012
Subash & I decided to take a friend's moped and drive to Sriantu, a hill close to the Nepal/India border where you can get a good panorama view of the area. We had a hair-raising drive up the track between the house and Fikkal, managing to lose our balance at least a couple of times, even with an experienced rider - the road surface has to be seen to be believed. The driving after that was a lot more pleasant, although the track got a bit muddy in places. We wound through hills covered with forests and tea plantations. The track became too steep for the bike towards the end so I got off and walked the final section to the hilltop. We ascended through a pine forest cloaked in mist, came to a big metal gate and made our way to the hilltop. There was pine forest in all directions, prayer flags blowing in the wind and a strange sinister looking watchtower, there was not a single sound and mist blew across the treetops - it felt like a strange dream. We got up at 4am the following morning and made our way up through the forest again (headlamp came in handy), the dark forest had an ethereal chill. The view we got before the light still stays with me, you could see a sea of lights from India superimposed with pine silhouettes, it was hauntingly beautiful. Subash remarked that you could see where the border was as Nepal was likely to have a power cut. The sunrise was a bit underwhelming but the twilight views more than made up for it. We wandered through the forest and came across a small shrine with bells chiming in the wind - adding to the surreal atmosphere...
The unexpected places are often the most memorable.
The winding road to Sriantu
Prayer flags in the wind
Hilltop viewing tower - note the lack of health and safety
As I gaze at a sea of a thousand lights,
My mind runs away with me into the night
Memories of a place I’ve never been,
And hopes for places not yet seen.
As the sun rises over our find,
Those lights are etched into my mind.
India's sea of lights
Sunrise over the treetops
Slightly disappointed with the sunrise...
The Mechi River which runs along the border
Easy does it - it had been raining which made the track on the way back very slippery, we were sliding around all over the place.
Mud track to nowhere
Tikas courtesy of the lodge we stayed in
Rolling hills covered in tea plantations, in the Fikkal area