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Gangtok to Rabongla, Sikkim, India

Photo, Pictures of, Images, Picture
(October 2011)

The rain cleared long enough to see the mountains in Sikkim, India.


Our touring bicycles loaded up in downtown Gangtok, Sikkim, India. A few day after we arrived, there was a 6.9 earthquake that shut down all water and power service and closed many roads. Gangtok didn't suffer too much, but some villages in the north were mostly destroyed. Sadly, many people lost their lives in this quake.


Gangtok is another city built on a hillside, fantastic views of the surrounding mountains.


After the earthquake all the water stopped working and the Indian Army organized water supply stations where people lined up with their water containers


On the road to Rumtek, we climbed past lush terraced rice paddies.


We made it by this rock slide, caused by the Sikkim earthquake, but later came to another that was impassable. We had to turn around then and take a different route. Needless to say, the new route involved thousands of feet of climbing and backtracking.




This is beautiful peaceful riding, if you don't mind the hills.


After two days of climbing up over a total of 2000 meters, we reached Rabongla, Sikkim, India. Fantastic views of snowy peaks and long valleys. Finally we have great weather, just in time to hit the big mountains.


Our not-so stealthy camping spot on the side of the road. We were between towns and tuckered out from the climbing so we plunked down here next to a big waterfall. We had a great view of the next day's ride to Rabongla.


Even getting water for the morning's coffee and oatmeal is an adventure in the Himalayas!


The roads were frequently flooded, either due to the earthquake or monsoon rains. It was rough going but passable.


Lush greenery lines the road.


Rabongla is home to this huge Buddha statue, currently covered with scaffolding.


Part of the new complex being built at Rabongla.


Rabongla is growing quickly, but still a good place to see everyday life in Sikkim.


Little girls trying on their dancing costumes.


Once a kindergarten teacher, always a teacher. Gretchen has a way with the kids.


On the way out of Rabongla, one last look back.


Snowy Himalayan peaks play peek-a-boo in the clouds.


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