So the morning of the hike I woke up early wondering what kind of day was in store for me today. So far my stay in Nepal had been fantastic getting to know the people and parts of the city but I was happy to get out and see some sights as so far I had seen the hotel, the office and the road in between (and a couple of restaurants). The van picked me up bright and early and we took off down the street. Very quickly we became stuck in festival traffic and after meeting up with the rest of the group we decided that it was going to take too long to get to our original destination Daman and decided to go to a "hill" that was closer and in a different direction. After a while we decided to stop and get some breakfast at a local restaurant. As we walked in it was clear that their had been a large party there the night before. We had a good Nepali version of an American breakfast and then took of for the hill.
As we pulled into the base of the hill there were rice and wheat fields everywhere and it was clear there were lots of proud farmers. We then got out of the van and took off to the hill. At the base of the hill we came to a decision where we could either go right on a nice paved road, left on a nice paved road or straight which was a mud path that went STRAIGHT up the hill. After a quick discussion about how the would get in trouble if they took me up a paved road we went straight up the hill. I kept pace with the faster members of the group (Kapil, Ashish and Sumit I am looking at you) for about 2 minutes and very quickly felt the effects of the elevation, incline and my body's shape and stopped to catch my breath. Even though we had gone only 2 minutes we had gone up a considerable amount and the view was already incredible. We then continued on with me getting about 20 steps in before I needed to stop. I remembered my sister's recommendation for hiking and only stopped for about 20 seconds each time. Abanish and Trilok kept me company and Sushant was not far behind taking pictures of the beautiful scenery and me trying to keep up. It was an incredible first 25 minutes of climbing and at the end of that we had gone way up the hill.
At this point the guys started telling me that there was only "5 or 10" more minutes till the top of the hill. I pointed out how this was typical of Engineers in that the last 10% of any project always takes 90% of the time. They did continually tell me how the work to get to the top would make the view and food much better and I am not sure I could have reached the top without their support. We eventually reached the top of hill and then walked a ways to the other side of the hill where we found the restaurant. This restaurant had about the most beautiful view of any restaurant I have visited. We order some nice food and sat down for about an hour and had a great conversation and beer while we waited for the food. The food tasted fantastic and not too spicy. After a great meal we started the trek down the hill. It had been raining off and on for a couple of days and the side of the hill was very wet, it was very challenging going down the hill without falling. Sushant in particular was very good at dancing his way down the hill (and Kapil somehow managed to go down the hill 10 times faster than anyone else). Once we got to the bottom of the hill we walked past through several backyards and back to the van.
The trip was incredible and I cannot wait to go back and go for another hike. Thanks all for the wonderful hospitality during my time in Nepal.