We left for the RE workshop & Bapidas bike received a few repairing. When my turn came, we told Bapida of our plans to visit Sikkim. Bapida happily agreed & gave us instructions on the formalities & rules of travelling in Sikkim & then left for Kolkata to join Krishnendudas group in Raiganj. Meanwhile we received a call from Rathinda informing that he & his Bike is leaving for Kolkata by train due to severe fever since yesterday night. His train was scheduled to 4.30pm.
We decided to meet with him & take his camera with us but I received my bike at 4.00pm. We hurriedly left for the station but here strikes misfortune again. My bikes clutch cable tore & we had to come back to the workshop for repairs again. There was no hope of meeting Rathinda in the station anymore.
After our repairs Bishwa took me to his uncle’s house where he used to live a few years back. We received a warm welcome & I was astonished to see his popularity there. Another astonishing fact was, he was called ‘Raja (King)’ by everybody there.
2nd December 2010: At about 10am, after packing & mounting our saddlebag we left for Sikkim & bid goodbye to the friendly neighborhood. To reach Sikkim, one has to travel through the wonderful Sevoke Road. It was the first time I was riding my bike through the wonderful road. Dense pine forests on both sides with the crickets cheering loud, it seemed like a path that led to heaven. Indeed it does. Sikkim is heaven. My excitement knew no bounds. Bishwa too was excited when I asked him to drive for me. It was the first time Sikkim motorcycle tour for both of us.
We reached Gangtok at 2.30pm and parked our bikes to the ‘Hotel New Orchid’ which is a fixed hotel for our club every time we visited Sikkim. Let’s say since 1998. This hotel is actually our 2nd home. We have heard many stories of their friendliness & cheerful attitude of Sherpa Passang, who is the hotel manager since 1998 & a 12 year best friend of Rolling Wheels Founders.
We climbed upstairs to the reception & asked for Passang & the guy happily shook hands & said, “You must be from Rolling Wheels! Krishna Nandu called me up informing you are coming. Your room is ready as well as your lunch”. Now, this Krishna Nandu is none other than Krishnenduda. Passang in these 12 long years couldn’t pronounce the name as it is & neither did Krishnenduda ever try to rectify that. “He pronounces it so sweetly”, Krishnenduda always says.
When we were showed our rooms we were shocked! The first thing I did was look for my purse to see how much money I would have after paying for a room like this. It was too lavish for us!!
Bishwa asked Passang if he has some other room which was a little economical to which Passang simply smiled and said, “Room of my Choice…Rent of your Choice”. We stood stunned!! Now we understood the depth of his friendship.
We freshened up & had our lunch. It was delicious. Perhaps it was the most delicious food since we left home. After our lunch, we sat with Passang and discussed our tour plans.
In the evening we set out for the M.G. Market to buy a few necessary items like:
1. One belt to hold your pants in the required place.
2. One camera to hold on to sweet memories.
3. A pair of gloves to hold on from the cold while driving.
4. A bottle of Red Wine to hold a party in the hotel.