I've been rock climbing and rafting from Deerwalk before, but this was my first time going hiking with my coworkers. I am not a morning kind of guy, and I loathe walking. I had always wanted to experience hiking with my fellow Deerwalkers, as it is one of the proud cultures of the company. At the beginning I was quite skeptic about how tough the hiking would be, and I hoped for a easy one. Well, hiking, it’s not just about walking; it’s also about being close to the nature and enjoying it, and I have always enjoyed nature.
The office van picked me up at Koteshwor at around 7:35 am. On our way to the Batase from where we were to start the hike, we picked up two guests, Catherine and Gillian. They looked as excited as I was, since it was their first hike as mine. From Batase we started walking up hill. Our first destination was Namo Buddha followed by Panauti; we hoped our legs wouldn't fail us. First few minutes of walking and I was already a bit tired. We took rest for few minutes on top of a small hill and had a photo session posing against the splendid backdrop.
Hiking is not just about walking; it’s also about being close to nature and enjoying it, and I have always enjoyed nature.
After walking for an hour or so, my legs got used to it. Tiredness was gone, but I was getting hungry (and so were the others). We only had had a light breakfast back at Banepa. The sceneries as beautiful as they were, the empty stomachs lessened the fun than what it could have been. We were so hungry that some of us even picked up rhododendron (Laliguras) on the way to try it for a change (they are edible). Rhododendron is the national flower of Nepal and has great medicinal quality. Some even say that the flower is used for curing cancer. It did not taste bad, a bit like the spicy pickle we have in our regular meals. All thanks to Susma who climbed up a tree to get the fresh rhododendrons.
After a couple of hours of walk we reached Namo Buddha, which is a beautiful Gumba. We hung around there for few minutes. We even had some local oranges which were very good. We had our lunch there, a typical Nepali set. After Namo Buddha we headed to Panauti, our second destination. Panauti was three hours walk from Namo Buddha.
On the way our group got separated, few of us took one path while others took another. From atop a hill, we could see the whole route we had to walk. It was long and nearly discouraging, but not for this bunch of Deerwalkers. We continued our walk, listening to Rupesh and Susma arguing. They both were the talkative ones in the group. On the way we saw trees full of oranges.
Around 4:30 we got back to the office van ready to return. Everyone shared their experience on the way back. My first hike, proud to say was a very successful one.