N.E. India – Day 13 – Darjeeling to Kolkata


Another travelling day today, driven by 3 of the shortest drivers imaginable. When clustered together they look rather like a tea bush and I half expect a tall woman in a sari to pluck leaves from their heads. The worst thing is that our one barely looks old enough to have left school. However they are remarkably skilled drivers, treating their vehicles as a second skin, squeezing them through gaps where surely only a motorbike would fit. With consummate ease they brought us swinging around the curves, spiralling down to the plains below.


From there it was a straight forward run through the Indian equivalent of Salisbury Plain (one of the biggest army camps and training areas I’ve ever seen) to Bagdogra airport. It was crowded but we soon got through check in and security and into the departures lounge, where it was standing room only. Mark led the British charge and laid waste to all in his path as he headed towards a coffee and snack bar, the rest of us following in his wake. Somehow he got wind of a further lounge right next to our departure lounge which was almost empty so we formed camp there.

The flight was a little delayed and we had got there early, so we had about a 2 hour wait, but at least we were sitting in reasonable comfort. When our flight was called we walked to the tarmac and were then herded into buses for a 100 metre (I kid you not!) drive to the airplane’ steps. I disobeyed instructions and walked, only to find an empty plane as everyone was being held captive, nose to sweaty armpit on the buses. I settled myself in and was soon joined by the others. It was an uneventful flight – which of course is just what one wants!

We were met at Kolkata ( what a lovely airport it is – 4 visits now and it really does grow on you) and taken by bus to our hotel, a mere 10 minutes away. Tomorrow is an early start as our flight back to Blighty is at 9.45..

This will be my final blog on this trip, so if you have been following, then thank you and I hope you have found it interesting. We have thoroughly enjoyed the 4 weeks and there have been many highlights, nevertheless I think we’ll be glad to return to the U.K. and get back to some sort of routine. Saturday morning I am doing some filming, then there are church accounts to finalise before the APCM, a family service to plan for the following Sunday, rehearsals for the Freedom from Torture evening, a script to finish, ……actually I wonder if Christine fancies going on somewhere else. Japan’s quite close……..darling, how do you fancy……….?

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