Participants : Raj, Hiteshi, ManojR, Bimal, RajK, Suresh, Ananta, Raghu, Sweta, Roja (rookie), Luna, Puja, Awanish, Kumar and Vishnu Route :Anbu Khaireni-Manakamana-Kurintar Date :Sunday, May 20, 2007 Report :Roja, Luna Photo :Raj and BimalK Captions : Vishnu Creative Support :BinayaN, DovanR Trip Doom: 10 miles (GPS) First Hiking Experience in D2 Quite excited!!! The first hiking route I chose was Khaireni to Manakamana and back to Kurintar, which was quite a longer one. Thinking about how the hiking would be ……. felt sleepless the previous night. I was woken up early in morning at 4:20 am by the alarm clock, as I had to reach office by 5:30 AM. After making some preparation, I got ready and reached Bhaktapur Bus Park to get bus for Kathmandu. However, I missed the first bus for Kathmandu at 5:00 am. So I had to wait 20 minutes more for the second bus and reached office by 6: 10 AM. I found everybody waiting for me as I reached late. We left office at around 6:10 am. We were altogether 15 in the office Van on leaving the valley. I found Nepal’s natural beauty on the way with wonderful green and sloppy mountains, stony and snake like rivers and roads. Bimal was busy capturing the natural scenes with his camera. We had our breakfast at JHAKKAS KHAJA GHAR with rice pudding and spicy foods at around 8:30 am on the way. The bus route to Khaireni was also longer one. Our hiking did not start until we reached Khaireni at 10:00 a.m. We were a bit tired before hiking because of long route to Khaireni on wheel. On crossing the bridge called JHOLUNGE Pull at Khaireni we started our hiking. Sweta was scared on the bridge because of Bimal’s movements on the bridge. Actually, the day did not seem appropriate for hiking. We had to climb on stony steps on such a bright sunny day. I felt very hot and tired soon because of sun’s immense heat and the stony and sloppy hill towards Manakamana. We desired for cool airy environment under the skirt of clouds. But, the sun was against us. We took rest for sometime on shades and continued walking. On the way Luna lost her bracelet which made Luna, Vishnu and Raj to return back some distance in search of her bracelet. So our hiking group was divided into two groups. Fast hikers continued hiking ahead. I was among the slow hikers (must be the slowest…..) as Luna could not find her bracelet. I felt the stone paved to Manakamana very difficult to climb continuously. Therefore, I took some more rests on stones and shades on the way that made me last hiker almost all the time. Raj, Vishnu, Kumar, Luna, Puja, Sweta including me were among slow hikers. Vishnu and Raj encouraged me to hike ahead as this was my first hike. We encountered so many asses carrying loads of rice and gas cylinders. The stony way was so long and difficult enough to climb on such mid sunny day. The sun was throwing maximum heat then. After hot sunny day, evening was cool and fresh air started to blow which calmed us a little. Me, the last hiker reached the Manakamana Temple at 2:30 pm. We had climbed the destination at the height of around 4200 feets. The fastest hiker had waited almost 2 hours for us. After the paying homage to Manakamana temple we had nice meal at a restaurant near by the temple at around 3 pm. We started climbing down again at around 4:30 pm as most of us were interested in climbing down rather than returning in cable car. Only Kumar returned in cable car with all our bags. This time we chose another way to return to Kurintar. The new way we had chosen was narrower but easier at the beginning with green corn fields on both sides of the way. As we found no schools open due to teachers’ strike, we had to distribute the office copies and pencils to a group of children playing ball on the way. The way we returned tends to follow the track of cable car. Almost half of the way was easier to climb down. On the way, returning there was not much places to rest for. When I tried to rest Suresh was there to say not to take rest but rather reach Kurintar earlier and have plenty of rest. On continuous walking along half the way, I felt tired. Due to less sleep the previous night, late meal at 3 pm and long walk on such sunny day on such stony and sloppy hill, I was quite exhausted and so had terrible headache. I felt much more difficult to climb down rest half of the way. It seemed difficult for me even to step a single step. I wanted some rest rather than walk. However, I took some rest on that sloppy hill, as I was so tired. Any way I had to complete the hike. So I started walking very slowly with shorter steps. I felt my legs heavy enough to climb down with every step I took. It was like stepping on moon with slow motion in short steps in less attraction of gravity. Everybody (especially Suresh, Sweta, Ananta, Raghu) were encouraging me to take longer steps to climb down soon. But I could not do so because of tiresome whole day walk. The long hiking duration even more lengthened only because of me. All the hikers had to wait for me again in the JHOLUNGE Bridge at Kurintar. I was quite disappointed to see everyone waiting just because of me. I felt sorry for my friends that I made them wait most of the time that day. We had our office van waiting at around 7:00 pm at Kurintar and returned to Kathmandu. We had our dinner at Naubise at 9:30 pm. Very exhausted i stepped into my house by late night (11:20 pm). Anyway, the hiking being tough and lengthy one was really a memorable and interesting one. We walked almost 10 miles in total from Khaireni to Manakamana to Kurintar. I enjoyed my first hiking a lot. Oh! I hope I have not again annoyed you all telling a long experience. Hiking Report: Luna Yet another tough route and sought after destination for hiking, it was one of the elongated route from Aabu Khaireni to Manakamana. Altogether there were 15 hikers enthusiastic to pursue the lakshya “Manakamana”, on a bright and sunny Sunday Morning of 20th May. Leaving the chaotic Metro City and mundane work-life for a day and opting to go for a hike was probably the best choice for recreation. It was a 3 hours drive from Kathmandu to Khaireni, on the way we stopped to view important sites like: ancestral habitat of honorable D2 founder, then moving towards Naubise where we had breakfast then at around 10 am we reached Aabu Khaireni, from where we started our trail, which was definitely a tough one. As the cliché goes “when the going gets tough; tough gets going”, the scorching heat of sun made our venture more infuriating and strenuous. Besides my hassles like: loosing a bracelet and the search which went in vain; we got fatigue so we took rest and munch and in fact I was worried about our girl team among who was Roja, the rookie on a rough trail however there were Raj, Kumar and Vishnu to encourage and accompany us. I am in dearth of words to thank them for their empathy and consideration even we lagged behind the proficient hikers by 1 and half hours and reached the sacred temple “Manakamana” around 3 pm. After refreshment and lunch, we strolled back to Kurintar along the winding trailing hill where Cable Car Towers were built. Finally, despite of soreness and exhaustion, we girls didn’t give up and reached Kurintar within 7 pm. Walla!! By the grace of goddess, we completed it in a day which was actually a tough two day route as told by elders who had been to Mankamana for pilgrimage.