Travel with Twinny .. Summit at Glenburn

There is a time when one seeks to travel with no hidden agenda but to simply RELAX !

To indulge in that great ‘’Sweetness of doing Nothing ‘’ which in Italian is called ‘’dolce far

niente’’.

With this as our major objective,

we travelled to Glenburn …. A scenic ‘tea bungalow’ turned into an 8 roomed luxury boutique hotel in

the north east of Bengal , about an hours drive from Darjeeling !

In Gorkhaland !

Book in hand, breathing in the fresh mountain air , the magnificent Kanchenjunga as a backdrop , sipping a cup of Glenburn Moonshine tea .. aah….

Life could not have been lovelier !

Just then a voice piped up . It was Andrew, the hotel manager .

‘’We have 1600 acres of forest land on a quarter of which we have tea plantations .Would you like to see these upclose ?’’

We made a rough calculation that such an exercise could not really expend much energy !

After all , all we had to do was to ‘see ‘ !

‘’ You will have to take walking sticks , the path is a little tricky .’’ he warned .

‘’No worries!’’ we smiled indulgently .

‘’And yes , there are a few couples who will join you . More the merrier ! ‘’ said Andrew cheerily.

‘’Oh , ok !’’ we agreed , a tad hesitantly . Taking the effort of making new friends was definitely not part of our plan , determined as we were to doing Nothing !

Gingerly we stepped out in small groups , down uneven ,stony paths leading to the muddied terraced slopes laden with tea shrubs.

Though we had never met each other before , each of us was secretly glad the other was there , when we realised that the tea plantations were perched on the

steepest inclines!

The Gorkha locals ,mostly females , negotiated these expertly , plucking dextrously,

tossing the ripe tea leaves and buds behind into cane baskets harnessed on their foreheads .

We learnt that a good days plucking meant collecting only about half to 3/4 kg of the ripe leaves in a day .

What a labour intensive job !

Took a pic like this just for kicks , though we all seriously began to wonder how much we took for granted our everyday comforting cup of ‘’chai ‘’.

It was a revelation that the tea leaves used for medicinal purposes in China way back in 2737 BC

were brought to India by the British only in the 1830’s !

The soft, loamy , well drained soil , the warm humid climes of Assam and the north east were ideal to grow a tea stronger than that of China .. the famous Darjeeling tea !

Amber coloured , muskatel , aromatic are a few ways to describe its

rich flavour .

Planting the tea must not have been easy nor was growing it , keeping shade , weather , soil in mind .

And THAT was just the beginning !

Once plucked , the tea leaves are taken to a tea factory where they are systematically withered , dried , rolled , fermented , sorted ( completely manually ,phew !) , then finally packed as green , black , oolong , white , what have you !

Each time we learnt something , we chatted and backslapped like primary school children. New vistas of conversation opened !

Some of us trekked down a rambling , rather dangerous 8kms to a campsite at the Rungeet river waterfront and this humble achievement made our bonds stronger . At night we sat around a bonfire , exchanging life stories following which we were served

a scrumptious dinner with the piece de resistance being the Nepalese Chef Maitasing Gurung

singing a song for Sajili , our birthday girl as charismatic as her name !

Please do hear !

Without trying , over three days we had been introduced to a whole new world , that of the Tea Gardens and these in turn had sown the seeds of likely

lifelong friendships !

Thankyou Andrew ! Thankyou Maita !

The sweetness of doing nothing I observed ..is sweet if only it is a “limited edition”, lasting a short “ precious” while .

Life is too short and too precious to spend it doing zilch !

Bet you will agree Sajili , Arvind ( squared ), Sanjay – Ketika , newly weds Akriti – Sandeepan Purvi -Dev !

So seize the day ! Carpe diem folks !

On second thoughts ,

a bit of ‘dolce far niente ‘

a bit of ‘carpe diem’

Both coupled with a cup of strong orange pekoe is not quite a bad idea !

With tea leaf pakoras to match !

Muahhh!

One thought on “Travel with Twinny .. Summit at Glenburn

  1. Paradiso sur terre,!!!
    an explicit ornamental travelnama with the lovely detailed photographs to enliven the narrative, a live Radio Nepal…. Mata sing who has a sing in his name with a voice to substantiate…. though missed Sajili !
    The lovely professor of the pluckers association on an inspection ,looking resplendent in the scarlet scarfed terai attire ….. wonder which leaves u plucked! The view of the Kanchenjungha, with the fragrance of the Darjoyling tea amidst the very British vestiges of aristocracy … it certainly is a beau sentiment exprime! Wish u travelled more often to such exotic locales which satiates my travel wish by just letting myself loose with your travelogues in which u create a sense of deja vous! If Marco Polo was present he would have taken a bow 🙇🏾‍♂️❤️

    Like

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