We had spent two amazing weeks travelling from Kerala, our home-state, to Delhi, Agra, Sikkim and North Bengal.
It was now time to return.
Sanjeez drove us from Darjeeling back down into the plains of Badogra.
From there we flew to Delhi, then Cochin.
Our journey had taken in some of the greatest and most iconic sights of India:
The Red Fort;
The Taj Mahal;
I had celebrated my 59th birthday during this trip
and it was one of the happiest and most fascinating holidays I’ve experienced in all those years.
The disaster struck just three days after we were safely back in Kerala.
The Himalayas were hit by an earthquake measuring 6.9 on the Richter scale.
Its epicentre was Gangtok, where we had spent the first three days of our Himalayan adventure.
The devastation wreaked on the mountain communities and roads was immense.
Well over one hundred people died.