Good morning, Darjeeling

Tiger Hill at 6:36 a.m.

Dozens of Indian tourists come up here to see the sunrise; the cars start arriving by 4 a.m. when it’s still pitch black. People are cheering by the time the sun rises above the eastern hills. On a good day, it lights up Kanchenjunga, the world’s third highest mountain.

When we were there, the mountain was a little shy. See below.

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Life’s little details

Darjeeling domestic

I like photos of the domestic, the everyday, the routine. I love the details.

It’s no spectacular photo, but it comes from a street in Ghoom, a little town outside Darjeeling.

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Nothin’ but blue skies… I see.

India is generally a dusty and often smoggy place, especially in Delhi. That makes a clear blue sky a real treat.

This one comes from Darjeeling, interrupted only by prayer flags and strings of green and white Gorkhaland decorations.

I’m continuing the Darjeeling photos while I’m off diving in Pondicherry.

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Fresh, fresh, fresh, fresh…

You are what you eat?

In India, I frequently have access to more varied and fresh fruits, because the distribution system is often door-to-door or block-by-block via fruit wallahs.

Here is some nice papaya that we had for breakfast a few weeks back. My (sadly, now ex-) roommate Rachel liked a lot of fresh fruit. I joined the fray now and then with pineapple, lemons, oranges, bananas and (while I’m diving here in Pondicherry) Granny Smith apples.

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Stop and smell the roses

Gemstone flowers

Pietra dura, known here in India as parchin kari, inside the Red Fort complex in Delhi.

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That’s why the lady is a tramp

She's pretty cute

I have enough friends who like dogs. Even street dogs. This one’s for you.

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Headed for Pondicherry and diving

Look at that bite

My mother is here in India visiting. We’re taking a little trip to Pondicherry in what was once French colonial territory until 1954. I’m also going to get in a couple days of diving. Mom may give it a shot, too.

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Tibetan eyes

Tibetan Refugee Self Help Centre, Darjeeling

We visited the Tibetan Refugee Self Help Centre in the Darjeeling hills. At the time, it was a rather dour compound. Adults eyed us — seven foreigners pulling up in a van — with reserve. We spent most of our time in the gift shop that sells traditional handicrafts at fixed, good prices.

Outside, these two little ones made up for the quiet with their laughter.

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Copper pot, color kitchen

Just pretty. That's all

Lonely chairs in the Tibetan roadside restaurant we visited in Darjeeling.

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Dreaming of sunsets over the sea

Rays of light on Radhanagar Beach, Havelock Island

I’ve been writing a travelogue and environmental essay. Which has me thinking of the Andamans, sand and diving.

Thankfully, I get back to the sea next week, if only for a little while. FYI, starting Monday, the blog will be on autopilot for a few days.

The sunset above was just too easy.

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