Hiking Theme: Mountain View
Hiking Route: Godavari to Phulchowki
Date: Sunday, 21 December 2008
Participants: Sanjeet Baidya, Ravi Sharma, Ashsish Tuladhar, Manoj Rokka, Awanish Ranjan, Tejaswi Rana, Shamesh Joshi, Monika Sarawogi, Pragya Rana, Surendra Adhikari, Aana Adhikari, Santosh Pradhan, Piyush Karmacharya, Shreejana Prajapati
Photos: Ravi, Ashish, Manoj, Santosh and Piyush
Report: Awanish, Ashish, Manoj
Caption: Ravi, Shamesh
Creative Support: GaneshT/DijupT
Lost in the Jungle
I tend to lose the way quite frequently whenever I go for a hike. But guess what, this makes the hiking more adventurous, at least for me. I got a chance of experiencing such adventure in this hike as well. We were about an hour late to start off, after having some light breakfast at Godavari. We were quite sure that the Meteorology Department’s prediction of a light rainfall of will be wrong, this time around as well. And our belief about this was proving correct, right from the beginning as the sunny day was waiting for us; a perfect day for hike, with no sign of even a drop of rain, nor fog. At the beginning, we were made aware by the locals to be careful while taking short-cuts otherwise we will end up losing our way. While ascending towards Phulchoki, the short-cuts that we took were quite prefect and heading towards the target. Actually we started losing our way when we were descending towards Godavari. We were quite confident to take short-cuts this time as well, and in fact, first two short-cuts that we took while descending were quite right. Then came the most tempting short-cut which was going to take us to the adventurous journey of jungle lost. We were divided in four groups. Luckily, the first group escaped from the temptation of that misleading shortcut, but rest all groups were trapped by it. First lost group was of Shamesh, Monika and Piush joined by Tejaswi, Shantosh, Srijana, and myself and ultimately Surendra, Ana, Pragya and Manoj. Coincidently, all 11 of us met in the mid of the jungle and we again started confidently, to move along the wrong way. As we kept on moving, we could not find any sign of meeting the main road of Phulchoki. Then we started feeling that we were actually lost in the jungle. And the worst thing to happen was the fading sunlight. In absence of any light source and mobile signal, we were actually heading towards a huge problem of being stuck in the jungle. In that situation, some of us argued to follow the same trail but the most experienced hiker of our group, Surendra, insisted on returning back, which was the decision of the day. In that hopeless tired situation, we started returning back. Many of us were reluctant of ascend along the same way, but we had no choice. In fact at that time, we walked so fast that the journey which would have taken about one and half hours normally took just about 20 minutes. Finally, we reached the main road and I heard somebody shouting in happiness. The light was fading quickly and we started moving down following the main road, and short-cuts but this time we were confident that no short-cuts are going to mislead us. But we were still too far from Godavari, so we decided to have the van up and conclude rest of the journey through van. But another misfortune hit in form of unavailability of mobile signal. After trying hard, we were able to send some message, but were not sure that the first group comprising Sanjeet, Ravi and Ashish (who didn’t lose their way) received those or not. One thing we did not do, we did not stop walking down. Finally after a walk down of about 1 hr. around 6:30 pm, we found office van and accomplished remaining journey (left of about 1 hr walk) in van.
Hence the story of being lost came to a happy end with delicious meal at Godavari and then returning back home safely.
Through the eyes of the rescuer…
Every hiking has a story to tell. This time it was yet another adventurous and thrilling experience. The hike started normally as all other D2 hikes do. A late hiker, wrong meteorological info, enthusiastic faces, it all looked familiar to the last time I went hiking. But boy was I wrong. Nobody could guess that it would be the most memorable of the hikes. But that is the second part of it, let’s start from the beginning before I give it all up.
Like I said, the hike started with nothing out of the ordinary. We picked everybody up along the way and headed towards Godavari. After a hearty breakfast we started our hike from Naudhara. Every step of the steep four hour uphill climb was an effort. Occasional pit stops, snacks and majestic views of the mountains did help though. After lots of efforts and permissions from the military personnels, we finally entered through the gates of Phulchwoki. The first sight that greeted us was that of the giant Phulchwoki tower. But the final reward was the view from the top of the summit. Clear view of the mountain range was breathtaking (refer to the pics posted below). After taking few photographs at the top, it was time for the descend. It was already half past three, so everyone was aware that we were way behind schedule and I could sense something bad about it (except for the pictures of sunset that Ravi took), because I don’t consider a jungle to be the best place to be after darkness takes over.
While descending, I realized we were splitting into groups. Sanjeet, Ravi, Tejaswee and I were in one group. What other groups went through, has been better described by Awanish’s report. But I can attempt to recollect what we went through. As the descending continued, fatigue stated to impede our speed. Three of us decided to take rest for a while but Tejaswee decided to push forward. So after a brief rest we moved again. The descending was fairly uneventful. We were chatting and joking all the way down. We reached Naudhara at dusk and called Ram to come pick us up. We were later surprised to know that we were first to see Ram. We then went to the restaurant and decided to take some rest while the rest of the group was coming down. But the moment we got there we got a call from the remaining hikers, saying that they were only half way down, and to add to the anxiety, Tejaswee and Manoj were not with them. Now since Ram was on his way to Naudhara to pick the hikers (who were still half way up Phulchwoki), we had to contact him to let him know. So we hitched a truck and headed to Naudhara. The conversation with the driver was the one that three of us will always remember. He was concerned for the safety of the hikers because its locality was known for fierce tigers and bandits. Scared half to death, we reached Naudhara and decided to go up the hill in the van and get the hikers. Then to our relief, Tejaswee and Manoj showed up., but the rest were still on their way. We found the rest of hikers as we moved into the jungle.
Recollection from Manoj Rokka
After a long gap I got an opportunity to join the team, the team for last Sunday hiking. Being a hiking enthusiast I’m really excited for yet another day to spend some time in lap of nature and endure some physical pain to get rid of busy schedules which I had during last 2 months.
This time our mission was to ascend Phulchoki, “Highest peak of Kathmandu Valley”. Altogether there were 14 Hikers including one guest hiker and she was non other then Anna “Surendra dai’s daughter”. I would like to call her a question girl, myself and others had to answer lots of her questions when she walked along with us.
One of many unforgettable moments of this hike was taking a wrong shortcut and being lost for half an hour in a dense jungle with the fear of tiger. Finally after 4 hours of walk we reached at the top of valley, enjoyed the magnificent view of mountain range and started to climb down.
“Keep on hiking & rocking in the free world”