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Hiking from Palung to Daman

Title Jeff and Bill went up the hill
Location Simbhanjyang
Start Date 7 March, 2011
End Date 7 March, 2011
Coordinator Saroj Bhandari
Participants Rudra Pandey, Jeff Gasser, Bill Higgins, Manoj Shahi, Abanish Kayastha, Basant Amatya, Bikram Lal Shrestha, Ashay Thakur, Saroj Bhandari, Sanket SHrestha, Rachana Shrestha, Sushanta Pokharel and Sachin Karanjit
Photos By Sachin Karanjit, Bikram Lal Shrestha
Report By Sachin Karanjit
Creative Support Nimesh Deuja, Sushanta Pokharel, Meekha Tuladhar

Preparing for a short yet interesting hike!!! then Palung-Daman-Simbhanjyang route is certainly not to be missed out. It all started with Rudra’s plan to hike through the route with many of us unaware of the place and it actually turned out to be one of the absolutely top experiences to all of us. It was a very easy walk in one of the most beautiful settings I have ever seen. Certainly it was one of the most enjoyable things we’ve ever done. The experience was incredible and the hiking team was fantastic.

We left office premises at around 7:30 in the morning to pick up Jeff and Bill and seeing them even more excited than us actually gave me the vibes that the hiking was going to be real piece of fun and undoubtedly it was. We drove past Thankot and on the way Rudra’s joke suggesting NTC office as Pentagon of Nepal were interesting. Stopping to view Rudra’s village, a quick light meal at Banepali restaurant at Naubise, we drove towards Palung and everyone already seemed to be enjoying the fresh air and the beautiful scenery.

As the sun came up the temperature began to rise and we stripped down to t-shirts and shorts. I could hear the awe in everyone’s voices as we witnessed some breath taking views of mountains. Everyone tried to describe how amazing the views truly were. We couldn’t have asked for a more beautiful day for a hike.
We quickly stopped to capture some moments and then rolled again. Rudra was making sure that we shuffle our seats so that all can interact more with Jeff and Bill. Jeff and Bill are really good at mocking each other whenever one gets chance and it was fun to watch. We drove past Tistung with views of terrace farming and then reached Palung. We confirmed the route with some locals there and then started our ascent at around 11.30.

The uphill was not so tough but the view of valley was awesome. The local girl whom we met on our way was really interesting with good sense of humor. As we were moving up, it was quite amazing to see Jeff and Bill keeping up with Rudra’s pace. And actually they were among the ones who reached the top first. Reaching the top, cool breeze of wind flowing and on top of that we had a company of chilled beer. We thought this is it for today but Rudra had other plans. He was all set for Simbhanjyang. It was supposed to be 15 minutess walk according to Rudra. It turned out to be 45 minutes. Nevertheless it was really interesting considering the shortcuts that we took on our way. It would have been more interesting had Bill figured out where Everest was. We then walked back to Daman and I am damn sure Jeff won’t forget this little walk back to Daman ;).

As the sun went down creating some really pretty light especially with the forest we headed back to Kathmandu with wonderful memories of hiking.

Jeff Gasser

This was my first hike ever, so taking it in Nepal was incredible. I had been looking forward to it for months. The mountains were breathtaking at first view, and only got more beautiful as the day progressed. I was pleased that I was able to stay with the front pack the whole day. I particularly liked meeting the people along the way. I will always remember the young local woman who was doing her chores traveling the same route with her 6 year old daughter and her great-grandmother. She was laughing at Bill and I the whole way up the hill! Finally when we got to the top, Rudra shared her jokes.

However, I think the best part was meeting all of the Deerwalk team for the first time, and getting to share the day so we got to know each other a little bit. There was that unfortunate cow dung incident I ran into at the end of the day. I am sure Ashay will still be telling stories about that 10 years from now. Hopefully by then, I will have gotten the smell off of my shoes. I can’t wait until my next visit to do this again.

Sachin Karanjit

For me it was a hike after a long gap and was excited about it. I knew that it was a short hike so I was planning for lots of pictures during the hike to brush up my photography skills. It was nice getting to know Jeff and Bill during the hike and the jokes they shared with Rudra was fun. Further we moved away from the city, cleaner the air and environment was. I enjoyed the mountains, the walk uphill, the short cuts, sharing some good chit chat with kids and taking pictures. It was refreshing for me after a tough week. And yes, this time pictures came up good than last time.

Sushant Pokharel

The place was beautiful but I didn’t regret not taking my camera because this time I could enjoy the whole hike without having to worry about taking good photos. It was so much fun also because I had good company. We practically laughed through the entire hike. From talking to cheerful locals to taking impossible shortcuts we did it all and I am so glad I didn’t miss it.

Sanket Shrestha

“After joining deerwalk, tistung was my first hike and too with stalwarts of our company Rudra dai, Jeff and Bill. Exciting! After travelling on van for about 3 hours, we reached our destination and started our hike. The hike route was mostly uphill and it tested my stamina. I found out that I seriously need to do some cardio. Well after reaching Daman, I swallowed down all my tiredness with beer. All in all, it was a very good hike. Only party pooper was that long traffic jam in Thankot”.

Rachana Shrestha

It was end of February, taking the Tribhuwan highway; Deerwalk hiking crew of 14 people started the journey at around 7.30 am, full of excitement, for Palung. We had an unusual, yet remarkable breakfast with fresh curd at Naubise, at the junction of Tribhuvan and Prithvi Highways. We forked off to the left, climbing relentlessly for 30 km to Tistung. The weather of the day was perfect for the outdoors. The scenes of hills, villages, terraced farmland and most importantly, the attractive Himalayas en route were stunning. The trip was very interesting as we got to photograph the peaks, extending from Dhaulagiri in the west to Everest in the east. We finally got down to the base of Palung. At 2200m, it was already too high for me. The hike goes through big challenging hills and its challenging walk; every step was at least 20 degrees. We climbed through terraced fields, carved into steep hillsides. The entire hillside was full of beautiful red Laligurans.

We hit the peak in an hour and a half. We had our lunch at Daman with appetizing pickle of Laligurans (there is a first thing for everything). After capturing few snaps of charming mountains, Rudra made us walk to Sim Bhanjhyang (2488 m) and back, another hour. The mountain pass enters a landscape of plunging hill country and begins a relentless, 2000m descent to the valley below. These south-facing upper slopes of the Mahabharat Lek are dramatically green, wild, and windy. I heard that it is often icy in the winter. By the time we got down to the van to go back Kathmandu, it was almost 5.30pm.

I had an opportunity to mix up with Deerwalk people, got to see enthusiasm of Rudra dai to hike and hear new jokes throughout the journey. Nevertheless, I saw free non-stop water flowing taps which one can never see living in Ktm.