|Title||Quick getaway to Tau Daha|
|Date||14 August, 2010|
|Participants||Aabhushan Mainali, Ashim Tuladhar, Bishwas Bhatta, Nimesh Deuja, Sagar Maharjan|
|Photos By||Aabhushan Mainali, Bishwas Bhatta, Sagar Maharjan|
|Report By||Bishwas Bhatta|
|Creative Support||Aabhushan Mainali, Ashim Tuladhar, Nimesh Deuja, Sagar Maharjan|
When the spirits are low, when the day appears dark, when work becomes monotonous, when hope hardly seems worth having, just mount a bicycle and go out for a spin down the road, without thought on anything but the ride you are taking.
- Arthur Conan Doyle
Our spirits weren’t low, the days were normal, hopes were worth having but the work was getting monotonous for sure. It was time to get involved in some adventure to give our lazy ‘characteristic IT’ bodies and overworked brains some much needed exercise and refreshment. Taking the advice from Mr. Doyle, we had planned a cycling trip to Tau Daha. The date and time was fixed and all those who were participating were excited about it. But as the day came closer, few of them withdrew their names and with further last minutes cancellation, only 5 of us were remaining. Without losing any hopes we decided to carry on with the trip and thus began the fun and adventurous trip to Tau Daha.
The heavy rain in the morning threatened our plan but it soon stopped and after a light breakfast we started the ride from Deerwalk premises on our hired mountain bikes. Nimesh recalls the beginning, “We were supposed to meet at office at 6:30 AM but Sagar reached at 7:40 AM. Anyway, we started and the route to Taudha was decided by us as through Bhatbhateni, Kings Way, Tripureshwor, Balkhu and Chovar” while Sagar defends saying, “Downpour in Kathmandu on the morning of Saturday was so heavy which gave me the feeling that our cycling program to Taudaha would be canceled. But against all odds, we managed to gather at the premise of Deerwalk and set off our journey at around 8 in the morning”. The ride through city streets was very different experience than that of any other day. The morning air, less traffic, in-ride cycling tips exchanges and occasional stealing glances from city belles made it quite enjoyable. The section between Teku and Balkhu was the most disgusting part of the whole journey as the already polluted Bagamti was on full force with monsoon rains and thus the acrid smell was unbearable.
After crossing the Balkhu and TU area, we could finally enjoy the mother nature. The sky had opened up, the sun was warm and the air was chilly which made the climb to the top of Chobhar a little easier. Quick snacks, juices and few snaps later, we were back on the road. It was a straight downhill and we let our bikes fully free and enjoyed the feel of the gushing air against our body as we sped down the hill. Passing by, once glorious turned junkyard, Himal Cement factory, we rode on slowly and steadily. The views of green paddy fields swaying with the wind and the luscious forest in nearby hills were sure refreshing for city blokes like us.
Finally after riding for around 1 and half hour we reached our destination, the lake Tau Daha. It’s a small oxbow lake formed by Bagmati river and situated around 6 KM from the southern edge of Kathmandu city. The lake holds significant cultural and religious values for the local people and is fast becoming a popular recreational area for the inhabitants of Kathmandu valley. It is also a very popular destination for bird watching during migratory season and for some excellent nature photography.
Our ride around the lake was really thrilling as the path was very narrow and one small mistake meant a straight plunge into the lake below. It was the day of ‘Naag Panchami’, so the area was crowded with people busy performing religious rites and families out there to spend the holiday. We rested on a cool spot among the shades of some trees, had snacks, strolled around the lake and took plenty of photographs. Every one of us was getting quite hungry by then so we entered a restaurant built at the shores of the lake. After ordering foods and cold drinks we sat down on a high rise platform overseeing the lake.
Sagar explains the journey till then, “I was really scared of cycling and lacked little bit of confidence. I almost caused accident of my fellow biker friend and I am really sorry for that. However, rest of the cycling trip was really enjoyable and unforgettable. We had chips, juices and water in between the small breaks of our trip. We reached our destination after about 1.5 hours of cycling. I was bit tired but my fellow biker friends were contemplating journey was shorter. We rested for some time. Aabhushan and Bishwas became busy with photography while remaining of us were enjoying the pond and its magnificent view. Lunch at small but cosy Bamboo restaurant was also fun. Vegetarian Aabhushan was having problem with choice of food while for rest of us there was no problem in choosing the food items”. After some more rest, photography and cycling tips and tricks session, we lazily mounted our bikes and started the journey back to Kathmandu.
A slight drizzle had started as we approached the climb to the Chobhar hills and it rained heavily as we reached the top. We stopped and took shelter under a huge banyan tree. On the opposite side of the road, shooting of a film was on progress. It wasn’t hard to guess that the scene being shot was an action sequence as an old car was being slowly lifted to the air by a crane. We were hoping to see the car getting dropped and crushed but the rain had stopped and Rajesh Hamal (guessing by the fact that he stars on most of the Neaplese films) wasn’t on sight. So we couldn’t wait more and rode again. The downhill at this side of the road was even more thrilling and we didn’t have to pedal a single stroke till we reached the gates of TU. The dust and smoke that had already built up reminded us that we are back to the polluted capital city.
The sun was at its peak and along with the smoke and dust, the heat was killing us. The bikes were returned and to beat the burning heat, we decided to go for some ice-cream. Enter Baskin-Robbins at Sherpa Mall in Durbar Marg and all of us were grinning like kids as we selected flavors. Delighted by the taste and coolness of ice-cream we discussed our journey, made jokes and giggled around. “Ice Cream at Baskins n Robins and Polio girls at Thamel were other memorable incidents in the trip”, says Sagar. Then we headed off to office premises where we freshened ourselves we said our goodbyes to each other promising that this team will be together on other similar cycling trips.
The distance covered during the whole trip was small but the experience was really great. Nimesh says, “So my experiences of the trip were extra fun, relief, enjoyment, excitement, coolness and so on. Cycling was really a different experience than we thought it would be. And after this I am fully assured that I am also a good cycle rider”. The pain occurred during each push of the pedal at tough uphill climbs had turned into trust and respect for fellow cyclists who were there to support with encouraging words. The importance of riding in group is explained by Ashim, “Probably cycling in group provides more stamina and reduces the pain, that is why I was able to complete the trip. It would have been impossible for me alone to ride a cycle even 4-5 kilometers. The cycling trip was rocking and refreshing. I simply enjoyed the trip. The trip was certainly good for health and memorable too”.
The brief time spent among nature’s magnificent beauty had refreshed us, renewed our energy and reminded us that there is a whole new world behind the high rise of concrete. Aabhushan sums up the objectives and experiences, “We needed a break from the complexity of the environment here at the city. It was time to feel fresh and to be with the nature. We had enough of the noisy traffic, the nauseating smoke and the view of concrete structures. Cycling was a long awaited activity at the office and finally we had decided to travel till Tau Daha. Breathing the fresh wind from the trees, listening to the chirping of different birds and looking at the reflection of the white cloud on the lake was an exhilarating experience. Though it was just around 10 KM outside the city, the lifestyle there was so simple and innocence reflected in the eyes of the people who lived around that area”.
The big and content smile on each of our faces as we parted our ways at the end of the trip was the proof that the trip had gone as we had intended to. This team encourages every one of you reading this blog to get out of your comfort zone, challenge yourself, experience the beauty of nature and discover your hidden strengths and potentials. From our own individual experiences, we can say that there will be always something for you to learn from it. Get out there once in a while and as the great Mark Twain says: ‘Explore, Dream, Discover’!