On day 6 we will leave early and head up the initial stage of the Singalila mountain ridge, a popular trekking route, which usually takes 5 days on foot. As we only have 2, we have opted for a combination of a jeep / trek ascent. The trek starts with a 1 h 15 mins drive from Darjeeling to Manebhanjan, where we will transfer to a 4WD jeep. There is no denying the ride will be a bumpy one, but if the clouds are kind to us, the views of the Himalayas will be worth it. From our ultimate destination, Sandakphu*, which sits at an altitude of 3658 metres above sea level, it is possible to see four out of the five highest peaks, Everest, Makalu, Kanchenjunga and Lhotse. The full journey to Sandakphu takes approximately 4.5 hours, passing through the small Himalayan hamlets of Chitre, which comes with its own monastery, Lama Dhura, inhabited mainly by Tibetan families, followed by Meghma and Tumling (2926 metres), which at mid-way, is a popular stopover for trekkers, before we head up through the Singalila National Park to our overnight stopover Sandakphu.
*Our intention is to stay overnight at Sanakphu, but if there are any unavoidable conditions we will drop our stay to the lower altitude hamlet of Tumling (which still has great sunrise views). It is also important to note that accommodation is very basic on Singalila ridge.