I have written before about the Darjeeling Toy Train, and this is its home. Its adventures continue as I write my blog. Sometimes it crosses my path, at other times it runs alongside me. It moves in its own way and at its own pace. It knows how to take its time. It covers the 80 km that separate Jalpaiguri from Darjeeling in eight hours, at an average speed of 10 km per hour – perfect for those who appreciate life in the slow lane.
The Mist Valley plantation takes its name from the lingering mist that envelops the mountains in this region of Nepal. However, from time to time the wind blows away the fog, the clouds dissipate and the sky clears completely. Then this magical landscape is revealed, with the tea fields that appear to hang in the sky, undulating like flying carpets, ready to carry you off over the Himalayas.
I am writing to you from paradise,
From a plantation at the end of the world,
Right at the bottom of a valley in Nepal.
A plantation worth finding after hours of walking,
Hidden in the Himalayan mist,
A plantation that makes its tea from the crops of an association of small producers,
A plantation so isolated that the number of visitors can be counted on one hand,
An unknown plantation whose teas are nonetheless worth the detour.
A plantation named Mist Valley.
The lunch break offers a special opportunity to sit down with the tea pluckers and get to know them. They don’t often get to see buyers, and are even less likely to have a conversation with them. It doesn’t take long before shyness turns into spontaneity. These are special moments which I enjoy very much.