Date: April 11-12, 2009
Hiking Route: Nayapul(Tamakoshi)-Mainapokhari-Jiri
Report By: SameerT,MaheshA
Creative Support: Pallavi Sharma, Dijup Tuladhar
Geographic Information of Jiri
Latitude (DMS): 27° 37′ 60 N
Longitude (DMS): 86° 13′ 60 E
Altitude: 2074 m.
Unlike most hiking troops, the enthusiastic hiking team was ready at 6 a.m; this was an accomplishment in itself and provoked us into thinking that this trip was going to be none like others. The van was loaded with 13 hikers some barely awake and some about to wake up, dozens of mineral water bottles and some snacks. Some of the hikers couldn’t make it so we included a common friend Bikash, who without a question joined us. It was around 7 am when the van reached at Banepa and it was time for breakfast. We took a guide “Sambhu” with us so that we would have a definite knowledge about the places to stay and places that were not supposed to be missed. Sambhu started his job early, as he showed us a place in Banepa for undeniable breakfast. But the breakfast, with excess salt had a peculiar effect on all the hikers that they started growing thirsty. Their thirst had already consumed two cartoons of mineral water by the time we reached Dolalghat. We were left with no option than to refill the cartoons with more mineral water. As the van rolled up and down through the never ending turns and through the beautiful landscape, there was no singing and or anything still. Guess it was a bit too early for the Friday night riders to do anything this early. After a while when the “Enthusiastic Hikers ” were considerably awake, Kapil’s special talent in singing bhajans had an enchanting effect on all the hikers that the Bhajan is expected to remain a part of their life for at least some days to come. After the Bhajans every one seemed awake. Along the way we had “Rubus ellipticus Smith” and “Myrica nagi”, sounds fancy doesn’t it?? That’s the magic about English, plain and simple we had considerable amount of “Aisalu” and “Kafal”.
Time flies when you’re having fun, it was noon when we reached Mude. As per our guide it was “THE” place to stop for Nepali lunch. The guy was right, rice cooked in traditional pots in firewood ovens had a taste that most of us may not have tested. The smoke form the ovens had left the walls of the restaurant unpleasantly smoky , but the Delicious dal-bhat with mutton soup and tomato-gundruk-chatani was so tasty that the team promised not to reveal to anyone else anything regarding the amount of bhat was consumed that day, though it was scary!! Then we started our journey to Nayapull.
It was almost 2 when we reached Nayapul in Tamakoshi. This was the place where the roads to Rammechapp and Jiri separated. Road to Ramechapp was not what we had expected. It was not blacktopped, and there were some major potholes that couldn’t be ignored. So we decided to go to Jiri. We didn’t waste any time getting ourselves ready for our hike along the banks of Tamakoshi.
HIKE ONE: We packed ourselves with some drinking water, some food for us and some for the fishes we expected to say ‘hello’ on the way. PrabinS was the most enthusiastic member for he was always eager to see fishes in their natural habitat. As we walked along the banks of the Tamakoshi to our destination for the day “Mainapiokhari”, we cursed those who invented Gelatin and those who used Gelatin to strip the fishes of their lives. In our five-hour stroll that took us along Tamakoshi and up to Mainapokhari, we thoroughly enjoyed the view of the beautiful river and the greenery that was breathtaking. The Dry season had taken its toll and not much was left to see at Mainapokhari. We discussed among ourselves why the place called “MainaPokhari”, as we didn’t see any mainas and no pokharis. This hike ended when we reached Mainapokhari.
From MainaPokhari where the van was waiting for us for almost two hours, we decided to hike go giri since the rumors of Ramechhap bandh the next day left us doubts on mind whether we would be able to return to Kathmandu. The van drove us through beautiful hills, through pine forests showing us the glimpses of the setting sun which seemed to be playing ‘lukamari’ with us. On the way we stopped here and there in some pretexts to enjoy the panoramic view and the fresh air which we were denied for so long at Kathmandu. By the time we reached Jiri it was almost 8 pm. Then we got ourselves in one hotel (Cherdung Hotel). Neither the darkness nor the tiredness caused by long hike and drive during the day stopped some of us from exploring the truly called ‘Switzerland’ of Nepal. Some of the hikers had to go searching for “ENO”. After their return the dinner was ready waiting for us. SantoshK’s desperation to have chicken in the dinner finally paid off as the hotel owner managed to get chicken for the dinner. After dinner we went for bed waiting for the hike next day.
We woke up early in the morning next day with the rumors that there were bandh at several places on our way to Kathmandu. Soon we heard that the bandh was taken back. ‘Bandh-Karta’ must have been given some ‘partibadhatta’ that it was taken back. We had some good brunch before leaving the hotel. The hotel owners showed their hospitality by thanking each of us with ‘Khada’. It was really nice to have such hospitality and resembled the popular quote “Atithi Debo Vawa”.
Hike Two: The second day hike was planned from Jiri to Gumba initially. The team got ready for hike to Gumba at 8 am. The team hiked through the villages, across brooks for one hour to meet the Buddha waiting for us in his Gumba. Since the hike to Gumba ended in just an hour , the enthusiasm and excitement led us to go further beyond the Gumba. Then MaheshR came up with the idea to go to the famous Cheese Factory of Jiri. Taking a short break, the team marched along wheat fields, climbed up the hills one hill after another towards the Cheese Factory. The tough uphill hike was being accompanied by the funny jokes of KapilP starting with “Haina ho Shere”. We were half way to the cheese factory when we noticed 3 of our team members lying on the ground and waving at us. SantosK’s physique and others’ physical stature indicated that their legs couldn’t carry them anymore. It was later known through one of our FBI Agent that it was RajuM who said ‘Guys! We shouldn’t always listen to what others say. We must consider our health. We shouldn’t do injustice to our body. We should wait for others to return.’ However rest of us continued with our hike. Through grasslands, through forests full of rhododendron of different colors ‘red, pink, and white’, the team marched up and down the slopes of pristine hills. Then finally we got to see some structures on the top of a hill. We guessed it to be the cheese factory. Yea! It was the famous cheese-factory of Jiri. It was located at 2633 m above sea level. They had a small solar panel to charge their mobiles. Their radio-sets could capture even hindi-FMs. Thanks to the height. Everyone was exhausted after the 3 hours uphill hike. Yet the curious hikers left there tiredness aside and started exploring the process of making cheese. The people working there at cheese factory not only explained us the process of making of cheese but also provided us with pure milk from local chauri which was brought by the local women. Yet we were not able to taste the cheese at the factory since it was the beginning of the season and the cheese was not ready to be eaten. We learnt for the first time that the “girlfriend” of Yaak is called Naak. Soon we were slithering down the hills to reach the van at giri bazaar.
Then with limited time we marched back to Kathmandu. The team had its lunch at the same place “Mude”. This time on our request the hotel owner made us the local “Dhido”. It was really tasty along with the mutton soup. After lunch the team headed back to Kathmandu. On SantoshK’s request the song “Mohani Lagla Hai” played through the mobile made the journey musical. Some of the team members had some shopping stuffs to do at Khadichaur. On our way back to Kathmandu SantoshK’s jokes, Kapil’s neo-bhajans were interrupted time and again by PrabinS’ lethal weapons. By the time we reached Kathmandu it was already 8 pm to conclude our great trip. ‘Oh ho report ta lamo po vayechha. Aba yeslai roknu parchha.’