Participants : Surendra, Ana, Rajani, PrajwalS, MaheshR, AshayT, ManojR, AshishP, SudeepB, LekhnathB, RajivS, MadhavS, SauravD, KapilP, and Vishnu
Day : Sunday, March 31, 08
Route : Phulbari Gate >> Jamacho >> Mudhku
Duration : 6 hours
Distance : 16 Kms (approx)
Photo : AshishP, ManojR
Caption : Ashish
C. Support : NishchalS/Ashish
My first hike was…, well it was memorable. I would not have thought I could make it, but I cheated. I had inspiration from this little marauder. A 10 year old girl, Ana, so confident that she would make it helped me occlude my mind from thoughts of deserting the hike.
We got to the Nagarjun reserve at 9. The armymen at the base got us to ‘register’ our trip with them; they assured us that if we were to get lost, lose one of our friends they would come to the rescue… how very reassuring! Well, we started the hike and the very first climb was killing my feet. When I asked Vishnu how long we would walk, he said it would be an hour more to the top. I doubled this in my mind; I was sure he was trying to make me feel we were closer than we actually were. We walked on; stopped in various places and discussed everything from Nepalese politics to integrity of politicians. That was fun, everybody hated all politicians! We finally ended our ascent at around 11. Standing at the tower, and telling myself I had no fear of heights, I felt an exhilarating sense of accomplishment, for having walked up this far. We met an Englishman, Ivon who was cycling around the valley. He has been on vacations since January and has been cycling ever since! We started our descent and I decided that hiking was not such a bad thing.
It was at this time that Surendra and Vishnu decided to ‘Jazz it up’. God, we were walking a normal looking path when they suddenly entered a forest. For 15 minutes we walked on a difficult terrain. Then we had to stop. The hill ahead looked like a straight fall. And, we could not even go back; the path was nearly impossible to climb back, at least for me! We sent out scouts, they said we could come down. Well, I will not go into details, but more than once I thought I would not make it back to my chair on Monday. Well, we slid, fell, got ourselves bruised as we continued the descent. With help from more experienced members of the party, I got halfway down the fall. Now, Vishnu asked me to slide! I was SCARED. I tried but had no control over it. Vishnu yelled at me to slide on my feet, not my bum, well, that was helpful. I got down to the foot of the hill. There was a sense of relief within me. Not that the hike was over, but that I was still alive. Wow! Well, after that we started walking on a riverbed, with no water in it. It was not monsoon, thank God for small favours. We met a party from Kathmandu. They had come to inspect the water. Well, they told us that we were quite a long way off our target, but that we would meet the highway in an hour. Well, we had just started walking when this party got on their pickup truck. We finally, hitch-hiked the last 5 kilometers.
The trip was insane, surely by my standards, given I was on my first hike.
Signing off, until I get a fresh bout of insanity.
Sunday hiking had been a fascinating thing for me right from the beginning of my internship at D2 and it was last Sunday (March 30, 2008) that I got an opportunity to take part in it. When Vishnu mailed us the list of hikers, I received encouragement as well as discouragement from many people. At first, I thought of retreating as I had got remarks like ‘sakchhau ra?’, ‘garo hunchha..’. But on the other side, remarks like ‘ho janu parchha’… were there. So, I decided to go for hiking. Since it was going to be the first hiking in my life, I was really very excited, and at the same time little nervous as well. Until Sunday I tried to prepare myself physically as well as mentally.
The very Sunday I arrived D2 eagerly at 6:25 in the morning. One question had been striking my mind right after getting the list of hikers from Vishnu. There was a name in the list – Anna. I had guessed that she might be someone from Boston. But to my surprise, Anna was the name of the daughter of Surendra. (She is really a charming girl with a good sense of humour.) After all hikers had arrived, we set off for our destination – Nagarjun forest. On the way we had our breakfast and then headed towards the destination. It was about 8:45am when we started hiking. I felt little difficult in the first two hours. We reached the Gumba at about 12pm. We stayed there for a while and then we left the place for another destination – Sisdol.
The real adventure – steep hiking – began then. As I had never gone for hiking before, it was very tough for me and I slipped thrice down the hill. But Surendra, Ashish, Manoj and Prajwal were there to rescue us. Facing all toughness, we finally reached a place where we met some people and when we inquired them about the place, we were surprised to know that we were very far from Sisdol. We were supposed to be at Sisdol but we were about 5km away from Mudkhu.
We experienced hitchhiking as well. At about 3pm, we went to a restaurant for lunch. We all were very tired and hungry as well. We took rest there and had nice chats. We were supposed to have lunch there but ultimately it turned into dinner. After dining, we came back at about 6:30pm. Sharing of experience by Vishnu, Surendra and others, and innocent chats of Anna made the hiking interesting. I really enjoyed it very much and would love to cherish every moments of that hiking.