Vishnu asked me to narrate the hiking trip we had on Sunday, December 03rd but I am not the most creative writer in the world, even during my college life I used to avoid writing classes as much as possible and used to take Technical courses. Any way, after spending many years of convenient life-style in one of the most developed country in the world, the USA, where I had been living/studying/working for almost fifteen years. Now, I am back to my own homeland, my sweet motherland where I had taken my first step and spoken my first word.
My country Nepal is full of natural beauty which I had missed for many years. Before I migrated to the United States, I had had met a few foreign tourists and they used to describe how beautiful Nepal is and I would ask/wonder myself why would these white men would like the simple Mountains and Himalayas this much! I had heard about the hiking ritual people had in the D2 office in Kathmandu but I hadn’t tried it yet. I was little bit hesitant and excited at the same time because I was suffering with the cold and sore-throat but I wanted to give it a try any way. On Sunday December 03rd, I got up around 5:00 am and drove to the D2 office and got there right before the stated time 6:30 am. Fortunately, Vishnu was already there and he offered me a cup of tea. Boy, it was great having the hot beverage in the very cold morning in Kathmandu. We had planned to leave D2 office around 6:30 am but some of the participants didn’t show up until 7:15 am, so we ended up leaving around 7:30 am or so. We drove to the Soaltee Hotel where we picked up Rudra and Raj Malhotra, who had accompanied Rudra from Boston. I think it is worth mentioning that the Hotel Soaltee is/was one of the most beautiful hotel in Kathmandu. After picking Rudra and Raj up, we drove toward to the city of Balaju where we stopped briefly for Nepali Breakfast which looked very delicious (but, I didn’t eat it). The plan was to drive little beyond the city of Balaju and hike all the way to the top of the village of Kagati Bari. After brief driving for about fifteen minutes from Balaju we got off the Van and started walking down the hill. It looked magnificent looking down the hill where local farmers had planted various types of crops. One of the mesmerizing scenery was the blossoming yellow mustard seed. It was looking just gorgeous! After about an hour or so, we started seeing hiking ability of each participant. Rudra, Surendra, Thakur, Vishnu and others looked quite good at it but Raj and myself were struggling the most. I didn’t know that Rudra was so good at it that he was walking almost like a mountain goat (compliments for the good hiker). On the other hand, Raj who apparently was originally from the flat land of India and didn’t know how to walk on the mountainous trail or the down hill and his very tall figure wasn’t helping him it all. Initial hour and half wasn’t that bad but after that we were little bit concerned because we encountered with the dead ended trails and we almost had to crawl the ditches or back track and find another way to climb up the hill. We really appreciated Raj for not giving up but poor guy seemed to struggle more and more but we were cheering him up and encouraging him a lot. Surendra helped him through out to keep up with us. At this point, we had hiked about three hours or so, we finally reached to the top but interestingly enough the hiking was to reach the Kagati Bari (Lemon field) but there was no single Kagati plant (No lemon plant) at all. But we saw a few Grapefruit tree though, funny huh! Rudra decided to buy some of them and we asked a village lady to give us some paste of hot chilly with the mix of salt and we marinated the pealed Grapefruit with it. Man, it was very spicy/delicious! Now, we had to locate our Van driver but his cell phone didn’t seem to be connected with the mobile phone tower. Any way, Vishnu was kind enough to go on the public bus to find him. During that period we all decided to walk toward to the city of Kakani base where we could see the beautiful Himalayas with the full of snow. The mountain looked so adjoining that it felt like we could touch it. Being in foreign land for many years, now, I know what they (Foreign tourists) were talking about and liked it so much. We Nepali take all of these for granted and not realizing the significance of the natural beauty. Raj and I were very happy to see the Van coming toward us because we were very tired but Rudra, Surendra, Thakur, Vishnu and others appeared to be dissatisfied with the very sort hike of just three and half hours. Apparently, they were more adventurous compared to us and even a full day of hiking is very common among themselves. But for me it had already been like climbing the Mt. Everest. Now, it was time to find a place to have the late lunch. We finally found a beautiful country style restaurant where we ordered rainbow trout (Kind of cold water fish), local chicken, gundruk (dried leafy mustered) and rice. It took more than two hours to prepare the meal. It was fun having lunch with the bunch of our co-workers, we chit-chatted for a while and after the lunch we drove back to the city. Lesson we learnt from this trip is that if we can include new generations/D2 employees who normally wouldn’t go to the village like Kagati Bari, we think that the event like this (hiking) can help to promote the domestic tourism in the kingdom of Nepal which is very good for the local economy. And, it can also help us (D2) to promote good public relation (PR) with the community. I don’t know, if I will ever go with these guys again (No, I am just kidding!). Seriously, it was one of the most enjoyable outdoor activities I had ever done in my life. I would defiantly recommend everybody to try it at least once. Last but not least, we want to thank the organizer for planning for the most memorable hiking trip and see you on next Sunday with another interesting event!