So now we come to the highest part of our journey – Darjeeling at approximately 6132ft above sea level. This officially makes it the highest point on land that we have ever visited (sorry – Serre Chevalier).
Darjeeling is reached by some particularly impressive switchback roads on the road from Siliguri, which take about 3 hours to navigate. Bring your sea-sickness tablets if you get travel sick.
Once you get to it though, you find Darjeeling clinging to the hill side in a particularly vertiginous manner. From the roads you cannot see the top of the hill upon which Darjeeling sits due to the multi-storey buildings which have been constructed and added to over time.
During the monsoon season the town mostly sits in cloud, which means that there are short periods where you can get a glimpse past the clouds to see bits of this hills opposite. Of course this does mean that there are moments when you cannot see 10m in front of you.
One of the other disadvantages of the ubiquitous clouds is the high humidity, which, depending upon your accomodation may mean that your clothing and bedding may feel permanently damp, with little chance of drying. The sensation is not unlike being in a tent while it is raining, but actually being indoors.
The town itself is pretty industrious, a relative hive of activity, in comparison with other Indian towns. This feeling is added to by the pervading smell of car fumes from the 4×4 vehicles which double as school buses / shared taxis / tour vehicles here.