Our trek starts with a drive (1 hour) by jeep to the border town of Maneybhanjang (2130m) that lies on the India-Nepal border. We meet our trekking crew and porters who would have reached here earlier in the day before starting up a steep, broken jeep track that zigzags up some 600 metres to a tea shack where we stop for lunch. The gradient eases somewhat as the track enters patches of oak and rhododendron forest leading to Meghma and a further kilometre up to Tonglu. From here there are particularly good views of Darjeeling town spread over the ridge immediately opposite and 1000 metres below us on one hand and wide views of the entire Kangchenjunga range on the otherside. (5 hours walking). Overnight Camp.
Tonglu - Kalapokhari (3206 metres)
After a relaxed breakfast and time for photographs, we have a short, easy walk to Gairibas, which translates as the village amongst the bamboo thickets. The initial level walk takes us past a long Mani wall to the Nepalese border post in the large village of Jaubari - one of the few border crossings in this part of the world where we are actually waved on without any formalities. After a tea break, we take a downhill trail back into the Indian side reaching Gairibas. In Gairibas (SSB) the border army will check the passport and and entry permit by the forest person. After finishing the formalities we start climbing up for another 600 meters through Rhodendron and Magniliea tree.
Walk to Kalapokhari is particularly interesting for bird enthusiasts with minivets, flycatchers, finches, redstarts, falconets and a number of other varieties seen from the trail. Following the jeep trail with frequent shortcuts, we walk through rhododendrons, some of the large tree variety, to Kalpokhri - a fair sized village beside a dark, prayer flag lined pond that gives the village its name. ( 7 hours walking) Overnight Camp.
Kalapokhari - Sandakphu (3636 metres)
From Kalapokari its a easy walk up till the Bekhay Bhanjan which means a land of poison. After Bikhay Bhanjan its another 1 and half hour steep climb till the top to Sandakphu.,
At an altitude over 3636 metres, Sandakphu commands views of Kangchenjunga, Jannu, Makalu, Everest, Lhotse, Nuptse and a number of high peaks in Sikkim and Bhutan like Chomolhari. (3 1/2 hours walking). Overnight Camp.
Phalut (3420 metres)
We wake up early to walk to a platform overlooking Sandakphu with grand views all around. Today is quite a long day but is generally easy walking on the most spectacular section of the Singalila ridge. The undulating ridge trail runs north to the junction of Sikkim, Nepal and India. There are superb views of the Himalaya throughout the day and a walk along the Singalila Ridge is hard to beat for the sheer grandness of its views and the vastness of the surrounding landscapes with a series of ridges fading away to the Arun Valley in the west, the mountains of Sikkim and Bhutan to the north and east and the enormous bulk of Kanchenjunga directly ahead. We camp at Phalut. (7 hours walking). Overnight Camp. (BLD)
We stay on the ridge for the first part of today’s walk but then descend through rhododendron and magnolia forest to reach our campsite at Sasamden or Rammam , a beautiful campsite near a very small village in front of forest. (5 hours walking). Overnight Camp.
Rimbick (2300 metres)
A downhill trail takes us to the floor of the Sri Khola valley before climbing through thick forests of the Singalila National Park to the roadhead of Rimbick. A fascinating day as it offers another opportunity to experience a walk through untouched parts of the eastern Himalayas followed by a section through a couple of orderly hillside villages allowing us to see the local lifestyle from close hand. We will stay at the Hotel Sherpa, as there is no proper campsite available. This lodge is run by a friendly Sherpa family and has the bonus of plenty of chilled beer. (6 to 7 hours walking). Overnight Hotel Sherpa. Forest leading to Meghma and a further kilometre up to Tonglu. From here there are particularly good views of Darjeeling town spread over the ridge immediately opposite and 1000 metres below us on one hand and wide views of the entire Kangchenjunga range on the otherside. (5 hours walking). Overnight Camp.