Arrival in Dibrugarh, Assam, Tea Capital of India

We’re staying in Chowkidinghee Chang Bungalow, in Dibrugarh, India’s biggest tea exporting town and about as far east in India as you can go before you hit Burma/Myanmar about 150km away. The bungalow is beautiful. It dates from early Raj times and, because of British paranoia of the hideous, man-eating beasts of the time, is on stilts, sitting about four metres above the acres of surrounding tea plantations.

We flew into Assam from Delhi earlier this afternoon, over the massively swollen Brahmaputra River. Two days ago we were in Jaisalmer, one of the hottest places in Rajasthan with temperatures in the high thirties. The temperature isn’t much lower here, but it’s so much greener and there’s a fabulous earthy smell in the air, which, in my opinion makes the heat, humidity and uncontrollable sweat glands far more bearable.

A few minutes ago we had a power cut. Sat on the veranda of our heritage chang bungalow in the pitch black, we saw hundreds of fireflies flitting around at the edge of the garden where the outlines of a hedge were barely visible in the light of a half moon. It was a mesmerising sight that made me grateful for India’s intermittent power supply. All too soon the electricity flickered back on and the delicate lights of the fireflies disappeared into the beam of the garden’s lights.

Our room is air conditioned, we have a large, screened veranda (although, despite this precaution, I have been bitten four times since we arrived), a fireplace (won’t be needing that…), dining area, TV area and mouth-watering, homecooked food. It’s all very Burmese Days. Craig keeps asking me to pinch him to check he’s not dreaming!

We’re here for the next seven nights. Coming up we have trips to tea plantations, local villages, temples, an Allied WWII cemetery and a national park, all courtesy of Indus Tours & Travel. I love my job!

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