September 12 we ventured to Ralang in Sikkim to visit H.E. Gyaltsab Rinpoche's monastery. The road to Ralang was an adventure in itself. What normally takes 4 hours, required 8, so it was a long day. Some of the delay was due to an overturned army truck and processing our visas at the border.
While Sikkim is an Indian state, it's proximity to China requires a special permit to visit. The rest of the delay was simply the condition of the roads after monsoon. Some were muddy; others had small rivers running across them. At points there were spectacular views (and drop offs).
We stayed at a wonderful little "resort" called the County Inn, which I believe was intended to be the Country Inn. The accommodations were very comfortable at 800 rupees per night and it offered spectacular views of Mount Kunchenjanga, the third highest mountain in the world.
How would you like to wake up to this every morning (see picture)?
The trip back was quicker and we stopped at the statue of Guru Rinpoche, which is in the middle of nowhere, but quite spectacular. Kalu Rinpoche and the retreatants offered a puja and we all enjoyed the beauty of the statue, though it was being refurbished, hence the bamboo scaffolding.