We reached Lava in the afternoon for lunch. Lava is a bit more crowded, so people who like people, shopping and talking, will love this place. There are many shops in the locality, a Buddhist monastery and another temple, a small school with a huge playground, friendly children running about and cheap oranges selling everywhere! The time when we had gone, India was hit by a cold wave heading from the further North, and the fall of temperature at 1 pm in the afternoon in Lava were -2 or -3 degrees! Only till 10 am in the morning we witnessed sunlight and its soothing warmth, but post 12 pm felt like evening, with bone chilling winds attacking the bare skin like a thousand needles.
Take a trip to the monastery and the temple, walk around in the village, buy some local goods and if lucky you might experience the weekly market where believe it or not I bought a pair of long fat woolen socks for Rs.20 only, which were otherwise being sold at the rate of Rs 60 – 80 in the local shops. Yes, those shops will demand high rates, if you are good in the art of bargaining you’ll be a champion or else you better hold your urge for shopping till you reach Shiliguri.
Keep the next day free to set out early in the morning for the Changey falls, or as I would call it the “Paradise Falls”. Well, to watch this falls to one’s heart’s content one needs to be “physically fit”, because you’ll have to walk down a steep slope with fours turns down to get a close view of the falls, and then walk back the same slope panting out your lungs. Ha! I was the first to go down to the falls and come up bubbling with joy of starting and ending the undecided race like a winner, with some fifty other travelers. Many did not take the risk of walking down till the end, and took a simple peak at the falls from the first or second turn of the pavement. We came back to the hotel, took a stroll in the locality, and made some friends, and bought lots China Bone mugs and oranges.
The nest day we were to leave for home and end this memorable trip. We left in the morning, and decided to take a different route to New Jalpaiguri (NJP) station. We made our way to the station through Garubathan. On the way there were uncountable tea gardens with workers busy plucking in some of them, streams, small and pretty houses and monkeys. We stopped by a river which had many boulders and evidently seemed to be a picnic spot, groups of soldiers were practicing marches on the open area while some where cooking on the restless river bank, or rather among the rocks, since there was no proper river bank. Then we passed by lots of places whose names I don’t remember, and we reached NJP. Having our lunch we still had two hours in hand and so all of us set out for shopping in the Hong Kong market. To go there just take an auto and head straight to the market. Roam around for hours, yet you’ll be unable to cover the full market. What more? Good bargainers will earn a definite profit shopping there.