Participants : Natasha, Monika, Sweta, Pius, SangitaM, Santosh, UjjwalD (rookies), SanjitP, Surendra, Rajendra, Prashanta, Bimal, Hitesh, Abishesh, Rachana, Rinku, Rupa, BinayaA, Kapil, Pradipna and Vishnu Route : Hawaghar to Bageshwori to Hawaghar Time : 8 hours 30 minutes Distance : 26 km (Appx) Date : Sunday, Mar 25, 2007 Report : Natasha, Pius, Sweta and Monika Photos : BimalK and AbisheshJ Captions : BinayaN, VishnuK Creative Support: BinayaN Natasha: This was my first hike at D2 and second in my life so I was excited and on top of that the weather was also perfect. The reports and photographs of previous hikes had also encouraged me. However, to gain something you have to lose something- I had to leave my warm bed. I reached office in a hurry at about 6:15 AM, only to find that we would be leaving at around 7:15 AM. With some clicks of the camera and squeezing ourselves (21 of us) in the van we left for Hawaghar, stopping for breakfast –jeri, swari, tarkari and dahi at SuryaBinayak. Hawaghar appeared as a small restaurant like when we reached there, which was out of my imagination. From this point we left our van and started down through the fields with Surendra’s map and compass. We climbed for a while and fortunately we got glimpses of the Himalayas even in this season. As the sun started to glare down on us our caps were out with Binaya’s most interesting and amusing Chinese cap with a solar fan as we can see in the pictures. With the help of locals around in the village we arrived at a primary school “Balmikeshwor Prathamik Vidhyala” where our next objective was to distribute copies and pencils to the school children. Starting from the lower level we distributed the copies and pencils to the children in their classes with Rupa’s inspiring them to do better. Grade 2 students were taking an exam, and Sangita even managed to answer a few questions for them through the window. We again headed up towards the hills, asking the people around how long would it take to reach up. “About 15 minutes” was the answer and after climbing more than 1 hour, we were nowhere closer to the tower. Huffing and puffing we reached near the tower and decided to return through a shortcut. What a shortcut it was! I would never forget. We were crawling, hanging from trees, the only support on the slippery way down through the jungle were the branches, roots of trees, bamboo(Nigalo), thorny bushes. Many slipped and fell, hands and feet were bleeding of the thorns caught for support. After a lot of scrambling, pushing and pulling we reached a dead end. But we needed no worries, as Surendra,Vishnu and others all made us a way out. We again had to climb up and up, finding no way out, no roads nor anyone to ask for any guidance, we even got separated into three groups. After losing hope of meeting the other groups, we headed on our own and at last found the way that we had passed through before. There was no way we would be leaving this trail now. Thus the eleven of us walked downhill with all our energy lost in the jungle. Eight and half hours of hike and how we reached the road at last is indescribable. We were picked by our savior- d2’s van. And thus our 1st hike ended back at Hawaghar. It was a hike by far the most adventurous, memorable and exciting that even changed my conception of hiking. Pius: ..............Somebody shut the hell up! But what is this for??? Hike??? I got up hurriedly and somehow reached office at 6:30 in the morning but we left at about 7 AM. Our hiking began from the so called 'Hawa Ghar' and was meant to end there. We began from road through farms and then to hills. In a way it was getting exciting. We were to reach the tower at 'Nagarkot' but suddenly we changed our route and decided to return through jungle. It sounded to me quite exhilarating. In no time we were deep inside the forest with nowhere to go. Our path was completely blocked and return was just impossible. Finally we decided to give a next try and climb up the hill ahead. For about 3 hrs. We were walking in search of traces and footprint. We were hoping for a miracle that somebody would rescue us but the person had to be ourselves. After tireless walk we finally reached a village and were happy to see human civilization once again. By the end of the day we reached the same 'Hawa Ghar' and marked the end of our first 'hike'. Lastly, I would like to repeat words from my friend "It feels great to be back again." Sweta: My first hiking experience in D2- I was so excited as it was my first hiking from D2. I reached office at around 6:30 AM and we left office at around 7:00 AM on D2’s van. Everyone was joyous in the van. So, one hour driving passed on, at no moment. Before reaching to our destination that is Hawaghar, the van stopped at SuryaBinayak for breakfast for around 30 minutes. There we enjoyed having jeri, swari, puri, tarkari etc. After breakfast, we again pursue towards our destination Hawaghar. Finally, we reached at Hawaghar at around 9:30 AM. Tthen onwards our actual hiking started with Surendra’s direction. At first we enjoyed walking as all were excited and there were no obstacles in our way. But the excitement didn’t last longer as some of us got tired after 2-3 hours of walking. Anyway we managed to reach near the tower and decided to return back from a shortcut way. This decision was the main reason to make this hiking so much adventurous and memorable. It became adventurous because we lost our way and we didn’t find any way to come out from the jungle. So, we had to crawl and hang on the branches of the trees for support on the slippery way. Surendra and Vishnu tried to make a way to come out from the jungle. It was just as an army training for us for a day. So, it was a memorable event to remember forever. At last after 2-3 hours efforts we got the way and Surendra came to take us in the D2 van and finally our hike came to an end at Hawaghar. In conclusion, this hiking was adventurous, memorable and as now I think of it I find it an exciting and interesting one. I came to know new thing about D2 from this hiking that D2 does some social work too while hiking by distributing its notebooks, pencils and other stationary items to the nearby village to the students of local school. We distributed these stationary items to the students of “Balmikeshwar Prathamik Vidhyala” primary school. This is something done for the good cause. Monika: Hiking!! It was like most awaited day since I decided to go. Since I had to wake up almost three hours earlier than my normal schedule, the night before I kept on checking the time at frequent intervals because I don’t usually rely on alarm. I reached office around 6 AM just to find no one around and imagined the tea and breakfast in my dining if I had started a bit later from home. Some friends came a bit later and we went to the canteen. I was asking if there was some bakery item or bread, instead we ended up drinking lemon tea. We headed towards our destination at around 7:15am. On the way we had our breakfast(jeri ,suwari,dahi).Everything was just so yummy for an empty stomach Finally, 21 of us hikers were there at ”Hawaghar” though the place was not as I had imagined.It was a restaurant with lots of “hawa”.We started our journey through the fields and climbing the hill.It was a sunny day, so very tiresome.I was wishing all the way that only if the sun was not so bright it would be a lot more easier.We then went to a school following a 9 year old small boy.He was running on that same path on which I had to think before taking every single step.We reached the school to distribute the notebooks.The little boy we followed had also come to take his little sister bvack home. The small boy carried her on his back very comfortably and he would walk all the way to his home in that manner.I really admired that, and that gave me a lot more energy and inspiration.We were soon amidst the pine trees and it was so soothing. The nature always protecting us. We then had a break on the way. It was a place with grass and shade. We all shared what we had brought to eat. Surendra Dai took out the cucumbers which were mouthwatering and everyone was looking at them greedily .The cucumbers with salt and lemon had never been so tasty. After the wonderful meal we started again. We were close to the Nagarkot Tower but we decided to take a route through jungles for a shortcut. I started feeling the real fun and decided to always come for hiking as it was no more hot and no more trails. We were making our own ways crawling through the thorny bushes, jumping from the stones. I must say our four feet were in action. Soon the way changed and there were some dry tress and we had to take support of those to move downhill. We remembered our ancestors while hanging on those branches and searching for the next to make our way down. Some of our friends had reached the top of the hill, and everyone was taking that as a destination for the time being. We reached that place with lots of difficulties with lots of scars on our hands and feet and a great team work. Eventually everyone gathered there. Guess what?? We heard great news there. It was a dead end. Nowhere to go now. Everyone had different reactions. We all were trapped lost in the jungle. There was no way to move down. I had no idea what would be the next step, and didn’t even want to think. I was imagining if the rescue team could come there in a helicopter and even that didn’t seem possible as we couldn’t even see the sky. We looked at the steep hill all filled with thorny bushes without a single footprint. I remember Surendra saying, “we will be going this way”. I thought that was a joke because I really couldn’t see any “way”. But our friends had already started to make their own ways. All lined up like army training, gripping the ground with our hands trying to carry ourselves up. I was actually enjoying all this. First time my life had been so adventurous, so much fun. I felt like we all were comic book characters out to seek some real time adventure. After all the crawling and jumping we finally found a way. Yes “a way” but none knew where it would lead us to. We were lost!! And we looked around and shouted for our all time hikers, our leaders. What else?? Even they were not there!! Our group had divided. We started in a group of 21 but now our number was reduced to 11. So much more fun, more adventure .We started walking now in a hope to find a way to come out of that dense jungle. We knew we would reach somewhere, but where would it be? When would we be in a place where people live. We all thought very positive and after walking for three more hours we saw a wide place. Oh! it was near the same place where we had our snacks earlier. We found it! We all cried out happily. Though it was a long way to go we at least knew where to go. Still with full energy and speed, we started and reached a place near Bageshwori village. We all gathered back at Hawaghar, though in three different groups. We all had a nice meal and marked the end of my first hiking. It feels great when I think of the day and it would always be a day to remember and be proud of.