This post is in continuation with a previous one and a part of my Sikkim travelogue. We reached New Jalpaiguri from Delhi by train and then to Ravangla, Borong, and Uttarey by road. On the 6th Day, I went on a trek to Laminey Pokhri in the morning. Later on the same day, we left Uttarey and reached Kaluk, details of which are described in the post below. To read the previous parts of the travelogue, please click on the links below.
The journey so Far:
- Day 1 & 2 – Delhi to Jalpaiguri to Ravangla
- Day 3: Ravangla to Borong. Night Stay in Borong
- Day 4: Borong to Uttarey
- Day 5: A Day in Uttarey
It had rained intermittently all night and it was still gloomy when I woke up. It was 4.45 by my watch. Although the faint morning light had started to show up, it was technically dark. I went out and called Vijay who was sleeping in a tent.
The first words he muttered after coming out of his hideout were not music to my ears. With sleepy eyes but with a smile on his face, he said (at least I felt that he said) ‘Aaj weather achha nahi hai’ (the weather is not promising today).
I shrugged off his thoughts about meteorology and in 5 minutes we were traveling towards Laminey Pokhri.
Day 05: Uttarey, Laminey Pokhri, Kaluk
Although there’s a motorable road to Laminey Pokhri, we decided not to take that as it was a longer route than the trekking trail. Vijay leaped and ran while I huffed and panted as we negotiated the steep ascent.
It had gone fairly bright by the time we were halfway up and although it wasn’t a dull day, it was cloudy and a thick sheet of fog guarded Kanchenjungha against being exposed to my mortal eyes. The sun peeped out finally through the cloud and we decided to take a breather.
A huge part of the valley could be seen through the thin sheet of haze, the layers of mountains wrote a mysterious story as the morning light played on them. A faint hint of Rangeet was visible further below and looked like a silver serpent glowing in the morning light.
The light of the sun broke free through the clouds and the rays from heaven feel like streaks of spotlights on each slope of the hills. The main village of Uttarey looked like an insignificant cluster from the height where we stood.
The hill on which the monastery stood (and which looked gigantic from Nagbeli resort) seemed like a small heap. The entire valley dazzled in a golden hue as the sun painted a masterpiece on its largest canvas- the sky.
Laminey Pokhri – Heartbreak and Joy
Some more steps, a few more turns, and a few gulps of water took us to Laminey Pokhri. It was indeed a disappointment to miss the view of the mighty Kanchenjungha after such an effort.
But the sunrise and the view of the valley were delightful enough to wane the disappointment off. I consoled myself by saying that I had enough time in hand, and she could never hide from me for long. Hiding behind the thick sheet of cloud, she must have smiled at me.
On our way back to the resort, Vijay took me to a homestay en route. The basic homestay, called Lepcha homestay, although small, boasted of wonderful people as its owners.
I was greeted by 3 joyous and smiling faces and someone who completely wiped off the disappointment of the missed view of Kanchenjungha – a 6-month-old, extremely sweet kid, who jumped into my lap as I spread my arms. He giggled and let out screams of joy as he played in my lap.
He was softer than a soft toy and cuddled and played in my lap as his mom proudly told the feats he had achieved at such a tender age. Within minutes I was fuming a glass of black tea and cookies were served and I was invited to have breakfast with them.
The invitation was warm and straight from the heart, but I had to return back to Nagbeli and head for Kaluk from there. It was tough to leave the kid and his simple but wonderful family behind. As I departed the kid’s yearning to return to my lap made my heart bleed.
The Journey Continues
As we were traveling downhill, we didn’t take long to return, and we were ready to depart from the beautiful Uttarey in some time. Vijay had arranged an Alto that would take us to Kaluk.
Vijay and his brother (the cook of the resort) had come close to our hearts in the last few days. No amount of tip could pay back the happiness that Vijay’s smiling face gave us. We could feel the ache in our hearts as we bid the final goodbye to Nagbeli. As we reached the main town below, we again found the kid we had seen the previous day.
We waved our hands and he smiled as if he was seeing someone very well known to him. A few photos of the bubbly kid and we were off to Kaluk. The route till Dentam, from where the roads to Pelling and Kaluk bifurcate, was the same, and we crossed Singshore bridge for the second time.
After a quick stopover at the Dentam Alpine cheese factory (somehow the cheese was not up to my liking) we drove through a beautiful road with lush green hills studded with numerous waterfalls on one side, and a huge valley on the other.
I had booked Hotel Kanchen valley in Kaluk through Mr. Subrata Sarkar (Subratada), an old acquaintance of mine, whom I had first met in Rinchenpong.
As we reached Hee, I gave him a call to confirm the booking and ask him to keep our lunch ready. He confirmed the booking and asked us to pay a visit to ‘Hotel Silent valley’ in Bermiok (en route to Kaluk), a hotel he currently managed. We reached Bermiok by 12 and got a very warm reception from Subratada.
He showed me the hotel and took me to the huge dining room that overlooked a very wide valley. I was informed that the valley looked wonderful at night when the lights of Pelling and Geyzing glittered.
We left Bermiok, toying with the idea of spending a night there, by curtailing a day in Kaluk. The 4 km ride to Kaluk from Bermiok took about 15 minutes. We checked into our room, the one on the topmost floor adjacent to the dining hall.
Post lunch, a brief, lazy stroll on the streets of Kaluk helped us cherish our leisure. Below are a few pictures from the trip.
As dusk set in, we returned and parked ourselves on the dining hall that overlooked the opposite hills of Geyzing and Pelling which had started to glitter by now.
Gradually the entire hill lit up as thousands of electric bulbs ripped the darkness apart. As destiny would have it, we were the only guests even in Kanchen valley. The beauty of the glittering hills was so unique, that we could not figure out how fast time moved.
- Journey Ahead: Kaluk to Bermiok
By this time, we had decided to head to Bermiok the next day, although we did not know then, the treat that the glittering hills would give us the following evening. Please click on the link above to continue reading the next part of the travelogue.
Laminey Pokhri & Kaluk – Conclusion
That brought an end to our Day 6 of the trip after a short trek to Laminey Pokhri and arriving in Kaluk. I hope you have liked the travelogue so far. If you have any questions, please feel free to ask in the comments section below or at our Community Forum and I will be happy to answer.