|Title||2013 Aug – Deerwalk Hiking from Swayambhu to Ramkot via Amitabh Gumba|
|Route||Driving (Kathmandu>> Swayambhu), Hiking (Swayambhu>> Amitabh Gumba>> Ramkot), Driving (Ramkot>> Kathmandu)|
|Date||August 3, 2013|
|Hike Duration||5 hrs|
|Participants||Binit Shrestha, Kanchan Raj Pandey, Nimesh Deuja, Niraj Thapa, Rubeena Grurung, Shakun Shrestha, Subash Aryal, Ujjwal Manandhar.|
|Photos By||Binit Shrestha, Kanchan Raj Pandey, Niraj Thapa, Subash Aryal.|
|Report By||Binit Shrestha|
|Creative Support||Kanchan Raj Pandey, Rinesh N Bajracharya|
|Edited By||Rinesh N Bajracharya|
Waking up to the sound of rain, I was unsure whether or not that the hike would even happen. But, after a call from the unyielding Ujjwal Manandhar, he commanded me to get up and prepare for our adventure. My name is Binit Shrestha and I have been an intern at Deerwalk for a little over a month. I was asked to come hiking several times before and I could finally free up some time and participate for this one. The hike was on August 3rd and started from Swoyambhu to White Gumba.
Our group consisted of 8 energetic hikers from Deerwalk’s Services Team. After meeting up at the gate of Swoyambhu, we took out our umbrellas and marched up the steep road up to the White Gumba. Even though the rain poured hard, our group was cheerful and not fazed by the dismalness of the weather. We walked up the path for an hour until we decided to rest and eat at a local restaurant. We relaxed there until the rain finally calmed down, and then we resumed our hike. Shortly after that, we came across a slippery, steep muddy path that separated us from our destination. Carefully and quickly, we maneuvered across the path and followed a paved road up to the White Gumba.
At around 12:00 pm, we were greeted by Buddhist monks while we marveled at the sight of Kathmandu from the elevated vantage point we were at. The White Gumba consists of two stone carved statues and three gold plated statues of Buddhist figures placed on top of the location. Additionally, there also is a massive monastery with walls lined up with hundreds of small, crafted statues. After taking countless pictures and videos, we decided that it was time to eat and we headed to a hotel for lunch. We ate until we could not anymore, and we walked up the hill some more to find the path that would lead us back to the main road.
Like earlier that morning, we took out our umbrellas, but this time it was to shield us from the glaring sun. We walked through a small village and followed a narrow and grassy path to a temple that seemed like it has not been used for decades. Once everybody rang the ancient bell, we made way for the main road in order to reunite with the Deerwalk van. We asked for directions and finally found the slippery, downhill path that we had been looking for. Taking our time, we cautiously walked through the mud until we finally saw the surreal sight of the rural landscape below. After we found the main road, we relaxed again at a convenience store and reflected on our day.
This whole hiking trip has been a great experience for me and the rest of the hikers. During my stay there, I got a chance to escape the dirty and noisy aspect of Nepal which I see everyday. It was a great change when I got the chance to witness the beauty of Nepal and see the Buddhist culture in White Gumba. This hike has definitely changed my perception of Nepal for the better. When I go back to America, I will definitely remember the sights, laughs, the “Hare Rams!” along with the people that I got to share this experience with.