Sunday, January 17, 2016


Trekking is activity of going for long walks in the country for pleasure, knowledge and exercise. Few year back I went hiking with my friends to Ghandruk. It was full of excitements. Since then I felt that trekking is really good for us. 
My country Nepal is rich in natural beauties. I have heard about Manang Mustang since childhood. So, I have been talking about trekking to Mustang with my friends since many years. And then we formed the hiking group consisting 5 members including me, my sister Jeena, my friends Sangarshila, Sachin and Chetna. We planned our trip for October 2nd 2015 but unfortunately we postponed it. Now we added Manang to our trip this time and that was our wonderful decision. At first we were so confused to start our trek and we did lots of research and collected so many information from our relatives, friends and internet. Then we started shopping for our trek that was a fun, we were so excited to start our trek. My parents was not happy by my decision and they tried to stop me but I didn’t.
We left our home at around 2 pm on Friday October 30 and get into the microbus and headed toward Lamjung, we were so happy. But our bad luck, our microbus was trapped in checking at Aaptari, Chitwan and we were carried to police station from check post. Our fault was we didn’t asked for ticket, we were in problem now. We had a bad experience with police inspector on that day. Finally, we caught bus for Dumre as we didn’t have direct bus to Lamjung. Fortunately we met some good people and reached to our destination safely at around 10 pm. We stayed at Hotel Mongolian, Besishar, Lamjung on that day which was booked by Raju Dai who was my neighbour. I called to my parents after reaching there, they were so worried about me because they loves me so much.
Next morning we hired a jeep to go to Chame and luckily we got chance to mix up with other group. On the way we did lunch together at hotel waterfall guest house and restaurant. After some time we reached Syange and saw waterfall which was so beautiful and we stopped there for some time, took photos.  From there we walked short distance and that was really a fun walking with new members. We introduced with each other during the walk. Among them one was DSP from Kathmandu named Arjun Timilsina, next was Surendra KC who was his friends, another was Rajendra Adhikari and he was inspector from lamjung, next was Hom dai, Barun dai, Bikas dai, Niranjan dai, Avivandhana Di and Shaswat dai who used to keep silent. After few minutes we found another waterfall which was amazing and was on the side of a road.
As we didn’t knew its name we named it Bahubali Jharana as we have seen such type of waterfall in the movie Bahubali.  After going ahead, we have reached to a place named Taal, which was a piece of heaven. We crossed so many beautiful places n views on the way that was my best experience. But road was very scary, so this trip was full of adventure for us. In this way we reached Chame, it took about 8 hours. After reaching there we stayed in another hotel had a dinner. On that day fortunately we got chance to watch cultural dance of Manang district as well.
On third day, we headed to Upper Manang with new group in jeep again. Today’s way was much better than yesterday. On the way we saw snow and stopped our jeep and played snow for the first time. This was an awesome experience of my life. We crossed Humde airport and lots of mesmerizing views as well. After 4-5 hour drive we reached Upper Manang and from there we started walking and went to Gongapurna Lake, took some photos there. After reaching there, I realized that Nepal is really a rich country, it’s a heaven on earth.
We spend some time at Gongapurna glacier and we went for lunch at Hotel Yeti. After lunch I felt uneasy, I thought I have been caught by altitude mountain sickness (AMS). So took some medicine and headed toward Khangsar. That walk was very difficult for me as I had a severe headache, so I couldn’t enjoy that time. On the way he had to cross a bridge and that was a tough job for me because I am afraid of heights. I got help of my friends and crossed that bridge. After the bridge now we have to walk through snowy cliff and that was tough again but we have to cross it anyway, we don’t have other option and we did it with the help of Shaswat Shrestha and his friends. We were so impressed with their helpful nature. In this way we reached Khangsar and stayed there.  We had a fun, cracked jokes, my friends played cards but I don’t know how to play card so I just watched TV and talked with friends. After sometime while playing cards my sister Jeena had a severe headache. So I was thinking to go back home from there as we thought we could not walk ahead because of my health condition but Arjun dai convinced us and we made our mind to go ahead. We had a dinner, as I was not feeling well I ate wai wai garlic soup and slept.
On fourth day, we waked up had a breakfast and walked ahead to Shree Khadga, again we have to cross a bridge and that was so scary for me but any how I passed it with the help of Surendra KC to whom I used to call mamashree as he was from my mawali place Banepa. We reached Shree khadga, took rest clicked some pictures of mountains and Annapurna range which was so near to us as if I can touch it.. Those views were really awesome. Our team member had a lunch there they ate rice and we five girls ate thukkpa as we didn’t liked rice. After lunch we headed toward Tilicho base camp (TBC). On that day I was fresh and enjoyed our walk. I was surprised of my sister as I thought she couldn’t walk but she was doing well, was enjoying the trek and was leading our group. I was always scared of bridge and every time I took help of friends. Now this time we had to cross landslide area and the route was very dangerous. We had to walk through Marsyangdi River and if we fall down from our trail we have to swim in that river, but the views were lovely and that was a thrilling experience for us. On that way I was with my Surendra mama, Shaswat Dai n Shangarshila, they helped me a lot. Anyhow we crossed that trail and reached base camp safely after walking about 10 hours. That place was so pleasant, surrounded by snow and snow-capped mountains. We drink hot water and ginger garlic soup after reaching there. We started planning to go to Tilicho Lake which is situated at highest altitude (5200 meter). Arjun dai was now confused to take us up to Tilicho Lake as we were not well prepared, we don’t have cramp-pones which was essential to walk on snow as the way was slippery. So all of us were tensed, I loosed my confidence to go there, I thought Tilicho Lake is next to impossible for me. So I was convinced not to go there. My other friends those who don’t have cramp-pones were also so confused, but they decided to go anyhow. We had a lunch, played card, sang a song sitting beside wood fire, as it was very cold weather. And all of us slept at dining hall including foreign tourist. Hall was so crowded, there was not sufficient blanket and pillow, so could not sleep well. Niranjan dai is very humorous person, he always crack jokes and make us laugh. He said I need a pillow, and everybody started laughing and barun dai said “तपाईं को ससुरली होर भनेको भनेको जस्तो गरी बस्न पाउनलाई”, we start to laugh again. But internally I was very sad as I have decided not to go Tilicho Lake, tears were rolling down from my eyes whole night and couldn’t sleep.
This was fifth day, everybody waked up and was getting ready. Poor me, I was not going so I was sitting on the bed. But Shaswat dai n Bikas dai gave confidence, encouraged me and told they will take me there. I was so happy and made my mind to go. And we moved ahead at around 5 am, I was following Shaswat dai, trail was very dangerous, it was covered by snow, slippery, very narrow and again we have to cross landslide area. Stones were falling down, so we had to cross it as soon as possible, and I was hited by stone badly. I slipped down 2-3 times due to slippery snowy way, so Shaswat dai gave his cramp-pone and his original stick without thinking about own self. I was so grateful to him at that time, I felt as if god has send him there just to save me. He is really helpful, responsible, and humble. He is very strong, for me he is a super hero. On the way, we saw the board 35 minutes more to Tilicho Lake. At that time I was with Shaswat dai and Jeena. In this way we reached our destination Tilicho Lake after walking about 5 hours, it collects the glacial melt of the entire northern slopes of Annapurna and Thorang Peak, which is claimed to be the highest lake in the world. In 2001, Hindu pilgrims from around the world flocked to the lake convinced it is a holy spot mentioned in the Ramayan - a holy book of the Hindus. Tilicho Lake was so beautiful, offering us spectacular and majestic view of white Himalayas.
We were so happy, feeling proud to be at highest altitude. We clicked so many photos, enjoyed with nature. And after few minutes I felt uneasy, I had a severe headache and nausea. I couldn’t drink or eat anything at that place, I guess I was caught by AMS. So Shaswat dai told us to move down and we headed back from there. Every time he was with me so that he can take care of me, this time also I was using his cramp-pone and his stick. On the way he told that today is his special day and I asked is it your birthday? He just smiled and said I will tell you tomorrow. After some time we met Bikas dai who was walking in front of us and Shaswat dai said Bikas dai to take care of me and he walked ahead. Now I was walking with Bikas dai, he was also very good person, every time he used to encourage me. Avee di was resting on the way as she was suffering from migrain headache. Finally we get back to TBC safely. I thanked god for helping me by sending peoples like Shaswat dai and his friends in my life. When we reached TBC I found Arjun dai sleeping on the floor, as he was caught by AMS, my sister gave him blanket and some medicine. Now I was fine and ate wai wai soup. But Arjun dai was not feeling well so we decided to stay at TBC. After having dinner, we sat down around wood fire and start our regular chitchats and songs. Some of my friends were playing card. Suddenly, Sangsharshila asked Shaswat dai his cast and he said Shrestha, I was shocked as he didn’t look like newar. During our chitchat he told his house was in Thamel, Kathmandu. And I asked him do u have a sister named Laghu and he said yes, than I was confirmed that he is my relative. He asked my father’s name and I told him his name is Ganesh Lal Shtrestha. At that time I was so glad to find my mama at that unknown place. All my family members knows him only I have never met him before so I didn’t recognized him. At that time I realized that I am very lucky girl. I was so excited and I called to my home and told about Shaswat dai who was my mama. My parents were also happy and now they were relaxed. I could not sleep that night also, may be because of high altitude and excitement. 
Next morning (sixth day), we did breakfast and headed back to Shree khadga. As I have already described the way was very dangerous but this time I was with my own mama so I was feeling safe. On the landslide area as the trail was so narrow, I was scared to step my feet but I crossed it with my two mama. Infront of me I have Surendra mama n Shaswat mama at my back.
Beside them Sudip bhai who has joined us from Shree khadga, Jeena and Arjun dai was also walking with me. Shangarshila and Barun dai was walking ahead. Other group members were at my back. We had lunch at Shree khadka and headed toward Yak Khadka. On the way we can see forts and snow-capped mountains, below there was Marsyangdi River.
Again we have to use cramp-pone, and I got it from Shaswat mama. This day we walked for about 10-11 hours. Now my feet started hurting I felt as if I couldn’t walk more. Finally we found one small restaurant and I thought we were staying there as it was already dark. But Barun dai told we have to walk more, and I was tired and was scared to walk at night so I said no. I could not control myself and I started crying and that was my most embracing moment. Oh my god how could I cry infront of my friends and other member of our group like a small baby. So ever body stayed there but Arjun dai, Surendra mama and Sudip bhai had already gone so me missed them, they stayed at Yak Khadga. We did camp fire, and had a lunch. I found caring and sweet Avee di, who was making me comfortable, we shared our dinner that night. At that moment I felt as if I am being burden to my group members. My sister and Shangarshila were also confused and finally we decided to come back from there, but we were not happy at that moment. There was no sufficient space and bedding so it was very difficult for us to sleep, this was all because of me. I couldn’t sleep that night also.
On seventh day, as we had decided to go home, I discussed our decision with my mama and sadly he said as you wish. But at last Jeena changed her mind and she decided to go ahead. Now Sangarshila and I was confused what to do, I could not go back without my sister and I also wanted to pass Thorong-la peak, so we decided to move ahead.We were walking and the way was not so tough now, so my mama walked ahead leaving me behind. We were moving ahead, but after some time I became alone as other walked faster than me, suddenly there was two trail and no directions. Now I was confused where to go, so I shouted calling Shaswat Mama and my sister Jeena. But nobody replied, and I was afraid and start to cry again. I just don’t know what to do, I start calling God, and after few minutes may be about 10 minutes I saw my other friends Chetna, Sachin, Niranjan dai and Avee di. They were just at my back and I asked them which one is the way and they showed me the way. I moved ahead alone and few meter ahead I saw my mama waiting for me and I was happy to see him waiting for me. He asked me did u called me and I answered yes, and we start our walk talking with each other. He told that day was his Birthday, and we shared so many things with each other. In this way we crossed that trail and after some time Jeena also joined us and reached Yak Khadka. We had a breakfast, charged our mobile and camera, also we bought Cramp-pone at that hotel. After some time we again started our journey. Again we have to cross the bridge and I was afraid to cross it. This time Bikas dai encouraged me to cross it by myself and I boost up my confidence and I did it. Now I have overcome my fear of bridge and credit goes to Bikas dai. Our friends were waiting for us at Leddar for lunch and we joined them, I didn’t liked rice so ate thukkpa. After lunch we moved ahead. Again we have to cross the bridge and this time I did it myself and I was very glad. On the way there was a snow fall and I was really enjoying that weather. I met Arjun dai, Surendra mama and Sudip bhai on the way, and found them confused because of snow fall. I tried to convince them to move ahead as we were so close to our goal. All my group members were behind and I was waiting them at Thorong-la-base camp. After some time I found Bikas dai in-front of my eye and after that Chetna and Sachin joined us. But my eyes was searching for my sister and I was worried for her. After waiting sometime I saw Shangarshila and I asked where is Jeena. Finally I found her there and I hugged her tightly in excitement. Slowly everyone joined us except three peoples (Arjun dai, Surendra mama and Sudip). I asked mama about them and he told they returned back home, I felt sad for them. Now we started planning for Thorong-la Pass sitting beside wood fire, we planned to move at 4:30 am, had dinner and went to our room. Jeena was not feeling well on that day, and mama was observing her, and he was worried for her. I couldn’t sleep whole night, I was just thinking about Thorong-la pass.
Finally, the day has come and its eighth day, we packed our bags and get ready to go. All of us climbed up steeply with torch lights on our hand. After sometime we crossed High camp and we stopped for tea, at first tea shop after high camp. And mama also arrived there, we three had a tea and moved ahead.
Finally we were at 5416 meter height that means we achieved Thorong-la Peak, it was marked by chortens and prayer flags. That was awesome feeling for us as we reached their safely.I felt as if I was rewarded by magnificent view on the top. Now we had a cup of tea and clicked some pictures at the top for memory. As that place was so windy it was difficult for us to stay there and wait for others to come. So we stepped down toward holy town Muktinath.

Among whole trip, for me this part was wonderful. We could see awesome Dhaulagiri mountain range, I had a fun with snow, I was not scared walking on the snow, we made snow man but it looked like snow ganesh. It took about 4 hours to reach a restaurent at Muktinath for us, after reaching there we ordered some drinks and I called at my home, proudly I told them that we crossed thorong-la pass and they were really happy. We stopped there until all our friends came. Finally all other friends joined us, ordered food for them, after eating we left that place. We booked a guest house and we stayed there.  We did dinner together, and as everybody was tired we went to our room and I had a sound sleep that day.

On nineth day, we headed toward Muktinath Temple. Muktinath means place of Nirvana and is home to the Muktinath temple as well as several monasteries. It is said that all sorrows you feel are relieved when visiting the Temple, which is a scared pilgrimage site to both Hindus and Buddhists. The main pilgrimage normally takes place in September. The Temple is dedicated to Lord Vishnu and has 108 waterspouts around it from which Holy water pours. Another attraction nearby is the Jwala Mai Temple this contains a spring and an eternal flame fed by natural underground gas. We did holy bath under 108 waterspouts, and worshipped temple, clicked photos and came back to hotel. On the way I bought a shawl for my grandmom, and some dried apples. We had a lunch at hotel and hiked toward Kagbeni. Shangarshila was tired, her knees were hurting so she went by bus and reached Jomsom. I found Mustang as a desert, it was very dry, we couldn’t see greenery, but the scenery was spectacular. After 4-5 hours of walk, we reached Kagbeni, can hear sound of flowing water and that was Kali Gandaki River. We stopped there, Shaswat mama asked a priest about “Tarpan” as he wanted to do it for his late father. Priest told him to do it in early morning so we decided to stay at Kaagbeni.  Kaagbeni it was beautiful old city and one of the gateways to upper Mustang. At that time Shaswat mama, Bikas dai, Jeena and I was there, our other friends was on the way. We waited them at guest house and ordered dal bhat for our group. Everyone joined us except Shangarshil as she had reached Jomsom. That night I enjoyed most, my mama who used to keep quiet, opened up and was singing songs. He was forcing Jeena to sing a song, everyone was having fun. At last we had a dinner, watched our photos in my camera and slept, except me. I couldn’t sleep whole night, don’t know why.
It was a 10th day, everyone waked up and mama was ready for tarpan. We went to Kali Gandaki River with priest, mama did tarpan, Bikas dai was there to help him.  After finishing all rituals we came back to hotel and had breakfast. Leaving Kaagbeni we travelled down the Kali Gandaki river valley to Jomsom. We collected some saligram on the river bank, we were enjoying beautiful landscape as well.
We walked for about 3 hours and reached Jomsom, where Shangarshila was waiting for us at Hotel Majestry. We had a delicious lunch and headed toward Tatopani by bus and the way was very scary. Some of my friends started drinking marpha in bus and they were enjoying at that moment but I was so scared because of the way. After 7-8 hours of travel we reached Tatopani and we had hot water bath and enjoyed a lot. We had a dinner and slept.
Next morning (11th day) we did breakfast, packed our bags and left Tatopani. We reached Beni after traveling for 4 hours and had our lunch, all of us were very tired at that time. My sister’s feets were swollen as if she was suffering from elephantiasis because of exhaustion. We booked a bus to Pokhara, reached there at around 8 pm and get off from bus at Prithivichowk. From there we headed toward our hotel and took rest. After some time we had delicious dinner at Thakali hotel with all our friends including Bikas dai’s wife and his son who joined us at Pokhara. We went to busy bee after dinner enjoyed live music, played pushball, spent some memorable time as that was our last night with soulful trekkers and get back to hotel and slept.
Finally on 12th day we packed our bags and headed toward buspark with Chetna, Sangarshila and Jeena. Actually we were not happy to go home as we were leaving our soulful trekkers back at Pokhara. After reaching park Jeena and me get into the bus and came back home and Chetna and Sangarshila went Kathamndu.

We felt that our trekking was really fruitful. We have widened and depended our knowledge and experiences. Heartily writing, it is a piece of heaven. I have realized that all of us should visit these places once in order to illuminate our heart.