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Hiking from Khawa to Thulo Patal

Theme: Being a Villager for a Day
Hiking Route: Kathmandu-Jiri-ThuloPatal
Day: June 21, 2008, Saturday – June 22, 2008 Sunday
Hike Coordinator: Lava Kafle
Participants: AashishK, AbisheshJ, BasuD, LavaK, MaheshR, MaheshS, ManojR, NirajS, PrajwalS, PramodR, RajendraB, SanjeetB and ShankarU
Photos: ManojR/AbisheshJ/BasuD/ShankarU/PramodR/LavaK
Caption: AbisheshJ/PramodR/BasuD
Report: MahesR, AashisK, PrajwalS and ShankarU
Creative Support: Dijup/Dhilung/Pallavi

DAY 1
Escape from Kathmandu Valley
Unfortunately, it was the day of strike in Kathmandu valley. With a small discussions with the protestors at Koteshwor, we headed towards Bhaktapur and then Jagati so as to make a narrow escape.

Vehicle Tour to Charikot
It was nothing less than a good tour on the office vehicle. We had the advantage of both hiking and tour in a single package towards. We were all equally excited and curious about reaching the destination. Some jokes and gossips on the way, enjoying the nature and taking wonderful snapshots of the beautiful and natural views of mountains, rivers, streams, we reached Charikot, the district headquarter of Dolakha.

Dolakha, Bhimeswor and Charikot
Charikot a town situated on top of a hill and surrounded by mountains is one of the most wonderful places in Nepal. With little rest, we went to the famous ‘Dolakha Bhimeshwor’ temple. Legend has it that the idol perspires as a warning of a possible disaster in the country.

Charikot to Jiri

We continued our journey towards Jiri crossing beautiful Tamakoshi River, small Maina Pokhari village and savoring the greenery on the highway. Finally, we reached ‘JIRI’ at about 7:00 PM. With little rest and some tea, we decided to start our hike from Khawa. Among 13 hikers, only 9 decided to go to Thulo Patal as it was already getting dark and rest planned to stay at Jiri and hike to the School, paper factory, monastery and cheese factory the next day.

Night Hiking

As compared to previous hiking at D2, this one was completely unusual as the real hike started from 8:00 PM (hiking under night sky). Added, we forgot to take the dry foods that we had bought earlier. After buying small torches for each of us so as to kill the dark and help ourselves to walk in night, we moved ahead towards our real destination ‘THULOPATAL’ to be a one day villager. The supposed half an hour hike did not end even in an hour. All of us started to wonder if THULOPATAL existed at all. “Are we on the right trail? If yes, how far is the destination?” These questions started haunting us. The lights were getting dimmer and the night was getting deeper. Then to our relief, we reached a place called ‘Lahare Mane’ at 9:15 PM. There we came to came to know ThuloPatal was still far far away. Having tea and a little discussion with the local villagers over there, we again decided to continue our hiking over the night sky. ‘JUKA VOKA CHAN’ (leeches are hungry) was the phrase used by villager to lure us to stay in his hotel. But, we had to reach our Dhurba dai’s ghar at ThuloPatal, so we had no choice but to move on.

The Rescuer ‘Tilak Bahadur Tamang’
Moments later we came to know that we actually were to reach DandaKharka, situated in remote hills of ThuloPatal VDC. Our previous assumption of half an hour hike was then a big blow to all of us.
As the clock was ticking towards midnight and most of the people were sleeping in their cozy bed, nine of us were wandering in the forest seeking the right direction towards DandaKharka. We didn’t know we were heading towards the wrong direction until we heard someone cough nearby. Luckily, the man replied to our shouts and decided to join us.

Dhurba
Finally, we reached Dhurba’s house under guidance of Tilak Bahadur. But to our dismay, we came to know that there were many persons named Dhurba in that VDC and the Dhurba we were referring lived at about half an hour’s walk from there. We had no option, but to walk. Everyone was quiet on the outside and equally furious from the inside. Tilak was a great motivator. After 5 hours and 30 minutes of continuous hike over slippery and dangerous jungle trail we reached our destination at 1:30 am (the house of Dhurba Kafle). Dhruba was a cheerful person and he couldn’t believe we had made it to his house under such conditions. We enjoyed the dinner on the top of his house (Buigal) and discussing the earlier events, we then went to deep sleep.

DAY 2
Warming up
We had to wake up early in the morning as the village life had already started. We had no idea where we were, and it was a surprise to look outside and find ourselves in the middle of a cliff. Dhruba’s family members were nice to us and served morning tea to us. It was already getting hotter, and we had a big day ahead. Four hours of hiking lay ahead, so we gathered our belongings and bidding goodbye to Dhruba, we decided to return back to JIRI following alternative descending trail at 8:00 am.

Devi’s house
The journey back was rather interesting. We met different people on the way and shared wonderful experiences with them. One of them was Devi. We reached her house on the way for information on the actual way to JIRI. She served us plums (aalu bokhara).One of us took her photos as if she were modeling. Another one talked to her and he came to know that she was not married yet.

Fulfillment of the theme of the Hiking

We met farmers busy in their fields.. As fulfillment of the theme ’Being a one day villager’, we decided to help them in their work. It was good to give a helping hand to an old lady. We took her photo along with her son and promised to send it to her. We left the village back and continued with the descent. As we were already hungry and no signs of any shops or hotels were to be seen nearby, we asked a young boy named GAMBU BIKA to prepare some food for us. He boiled some potatoes, and provided us wheat, maize and some plums. We thanked the boy and moved forward.

On the Way
We had already been hiking for five hours, and Jiri was still a distant dream for us. Then suddenly it rained. As we waited patiently for the rain to stop, we realized we weren’t going to make it to JIRI if we were to keep waiting. We bought an umbrella from a man who was returning to his home. Then, another man gave us his umbrella on the condition of returning it back to him by dropping it in his friend’s shop in Jiri-encouragement for hiking in the heavy rain.

Get Together
As some of us had hiked faster and some were lagging behind, the hikers reaching JIRI first had to wait. People who stayed at JIRI reached Hat Bazaar at 5:00 PM and finally, all of us were altogether. We decided to journey back to Kathmandu and it was 12:30 am Monday when we reached Kathmandu.

Capital`s crippling life
01 Capital`s crippling life
Break, Leak, Smoke, Breathe Time
02 Break, Leak, Smoke, Breathe Time
Waiting for breakfast at Zero Kilo
03 Waiting for breakfast at Zero Kilo
Silent Road (Noisy Van) to Nowhere
04 Silent Road (Noisy Van) to Nowhere
BLSB Time (Part 2)
05 BLSB Time (Part 2)
Sub hiking at Mudhe
06 Sub hiking at Mudhe
Messing with local children
07 Messing with local children
Feeling shy
08 Feeling shy
Helping family
09 Helping family
RajendraB sharing the Load
10 RajendraB sharing the Load
Smile My Little Sunshine
11 Smile My Little Sunshine
Mudhe Bazzar
12 Mudhe Bazzar
Great Sky
13 Great Sky
NirajS (Read the T shirts)
14 NirajS (Read the T shirts)
Culmination point of Araniko Highway
15 Culmination point of Araniko Highway
Entrance to Dolakha
16 Entrance to Dolakha
Driving into the Clouds
17 Driving into the Clouds
Courageus RajendraB
18 Courageus RajendraB
Frozen in time
19 Frozen in time
Free Flow (Charange Any Time)
20 Free Flow (Charange Any Time)
Stairway to Dolakha Bhimsen
21 Stairway to Dolakha Bhimsen
Dolakha Bhimsen
22 Dolakha Bhimsen
English speaking Sadhu
23 English speaking Sadhu
Sacrificing rate @ Dolakha Bhimsen Temple
24 Sacrificing rate @ Dolakha Bhimsen Temple
Riding the Bull
25 Riding the Bull
Together with Dolakha Bhimsen
26 Together with Dolakha Bhimsen
Bird`s eye view of Tamakoshi from Peepalbot
27 Bird`s eye view of Tamakoshi from Peepalbot
On the Tamakoshi Bridge
28 On the Tamakoshi Bridge
Swollen Tamakoshi
29 Swollen Tamakoshi
Funtime at Tamakoshi
30 Funtime at Tamakoshi
Scaffolds...
31 Scaffolds…
Sunbathing on one sunny afternoon
32 Sunbathing on one sunny afternoon
33 Tamakoshi Bridge Links Charikot to Jiri
Waiting for the tide
34 Waiting for the tide
Pensive
35 Pensive
SanjeetB and ManojR
36 SanjeetB and ManojR
Lunch at Tamakoshi
37 Lunch at Tamakoshi
Serene Khawa
38 Serene Khawa
Drunken Master...Disaster!!!
39 Drunken Master…Disaster!!!
Jiri or Zurich!
40 Jiri or Zurich!
Jiri Bazaar, finally
41 Jiri Bazaar, finally
Happy to hike at night
42 Happy to hike at night
Midnight Harsh
43 Midnight Harsh
Being lost and yet happy (Spot the Tiger in the background)
44 Being lost and yet happy (Spot the Tiger in the background)
Ke ho yo
45 Ke ho yo
Typical shop at Laharemane
46 Typical shop at Laharemane
Traiditional kitchen at Laharemane
47 Traiditional kitchen at Laharemane
Rare hotel on the way to Danda Kharka
48 Rare hotel on the way to Danda Kharka
2AM and eyes wide open
49 2AM and eyes wide open
Good morning
50 Good morning
Tea time
51 Tea time
Still moment at Dhruba Kafle`s house
52 Still moment at Dhruba Kafle`s house
(L to R) Sanjeet, Manoj, Dhruba Kafle (House owner), Tilak Tamang (Rescuer)
53 (L to R) Sanjeet, Manoj, Dhruba Kafle (House owner), Tilak Tamang (Rescuer)
Bajai
54 Bajai
Farewell
55 Farewell
Second day`s hike began @ 8 am
56 Second day`s hike began @ 8 am
Lost in the mist
57 Lost in the mist
ShankarS the Forester
58 ShankarS the Forester
Come on Guys!
59 Come on Guys!
A little rest
60 A little rest
Enjoying Devi Sunuwar`s hospitality
61 Enjoying Devi Sunuwar`s hospitality
Passing across villages
62 Passing across villages
Waiting for fellow hikers
63 Waiting for fellow hikers
The dawn mist glowing, the water flowing, the endless river, forever and ever
64 The dawn mist glowing, the water flowing, the endless river, forever and ever
Lava the Leader
65 Lava the Leader
They helped us
66 They helped us
Go this way .. and left ... and right...
67 Go this way .. and left … and right…
...and up
68 …and up
ShankarS and ManojR
69 ShankarS and ManojR
Wait a sec ... Let me take a nap first
70 Wait a sec … Let me take a nap first
A march for Haat Danda
71 A march for Haat Danda
Long way to go
72 Long way to go
Do we have time to step down
73 Do we have time to step down
Trying hard
74 Trying hard
Did I get it right..
75 Did I get it right..
Going easy
76 Going easy
Helping hands
77 Helping hands
Two Maheshes   MaheshS and MaheshR
78 Two Maheshes MaheshS and MaheshR
Gambu`s small shop
79 Gambu`s small shop
Gambu`s hospitality
80 Gambu`s hospitality
Solely from Gambu I
81 Solely from Gambu I
Solely from Gambu II
82 Solely from Gambu II
Gambu  (on white shirt) saved us with filled belly
83 Gambu (on white shirt) saved us with filled belly
Towards Sikri
84 Towards Sikri
Just sown
85 Just sown
Signs
86 Signs
Khimti River
87 Khimti River
Dragonfly
88 Dragonfly
Busy day
89 Busy day
Rain !! Does not matter
90 Rain !! Does not matter
Villagers with traditional umbrella (Ghoom)
91 Villagers with traditional umbrella (Ghoom)
Good bye Sikri!!!
92 Good bye Sikri!!!
Final push to Haat Danda
93 Final push to Haat Danda
Jiri Bazaar
94 Jiri Bazaar
Sidelined
95 Sidelined
AashishK and NirajS distribute notebooks and pencils to local kids in Jiri
96 AashishK and NirajS distribute notebooks and pencils to local kids in Jiri
They want more
97 They want more
There you go
98 There you go
Clearing marks off the yak cheese
99 Clearing marks off the yak cheese
 Nepali paper in production
100 Nepali paper in production
 The paper engineer
101 The paper engineer
 Morning lesson
102 Morning lesson
 Jhandaa
103 Jhandaa
 Stupa @ Cherdung
104 Stupa @ Cherdung
 The bespectacled warrior
105 The bespectacled warrior
 The lookout
106 The lookout
 The journeymen
107 The journeymen
 Tired journeymen
108 Tired journeymen
 Once an airport, now a meadow
109 Once an airport, now a meadow
 Reflection on a stagnent water
110 Reflection on a stagnent water
 Not enough rapids
111 Not enough rapids
 Lodges @Jiri Bazaar
112 Lodges @Jiri Bazaar
 V   Veteran (Mr. Man Bahadur Jirel, High Altitude Porter. 40 times to Everest Base camp)
113 V Veteran (Mr. Man Bahadur Jirel, High Altitude Porter. 40 times to Everest Base camp)
 Evening mist over Tamakoshi river
114 Evening mist over Tamakoshi river
 The End
115 The End