Hiking Route: 2009 May – D2Hawkeye Hiking from Changu Narayan to Nagarkotvia Telkot
Date: May 17 , 2009 Sunday
Hike Coordinator: Himal Karmacharya/Keshav Basnet
Participants: Chip Pulitzer,Jim Despelteau,Keshav Basnet,Dhilung Kirat,Vinaya Shrestha,Ram Kumar Sah ,Lava Kafle,Sudip Koirala,Manoj Rokka,Sameer Tuladhar,Ananta Raj,Pawan Pokhrel
Photos: Dhilung Kirat, Keshav Basnet, Chip Pulitzer
Caption: Dhilung Kirat, Keshav Basnet
Report By: Chip Pulitzer and one of the hikers
Geolocation: Changu Narayan Temple (27°42’59″N 85°25’39″E) , Telkot ( 27°42’44″N 85°28’28″E ), Nagarkot Tower (27°41’30″N 85°31’14″E)
Creative Support: DijupT/DhilungK/PallaviS
01 Changu Narayan – The Oldest temple in Kathmandu valley (4th century A.D)
Hike to Nagarkot – Perspective from Waltham
We all took part in several minor road reconstruction projects to enable the D2 van to pass.
Jim and I had a fantastic time on this hike. Although Jim had been there before, I didn’t really know what was in store other than that Nakarkot was our final destination. The initial drive out to Changu Narayan took a little while since the roads heading out of the city center were very narrow and windy but that just made it more interesting. We all took part in several minor road reconstruction projects to enable the D2 van to pass (we sent the Kathmandu public works department a bill for services but have not heard anything back yet). The ancient site of Changu Narayan and its temples were fascinating. Afterward, a breakfast of omelets at the local shop offered a chance to get to know some of our Nepal colleagues and we had a great time.
The road to where we were to begin the walk to Nagarkot was beautiful. The route we took to the mountain on which Nagarkot sits wound through valleys, over hills, past villages, and past a Hindu shrine. Stray dogs along the way gave us company. Eventually, after emerging from the trail to a bend on the road, the D2 guys presented the options of either walking an additional 6 km to the top or hopping on the van (which had magically appeared where we emerged – haha) so we chose to cheat a little. But we did stop soon enough to give us a rigorous walk to the top.
Jim and I were a bit concerned when the guys told us they were buying costumes for us until we realized they meant bathing suits.
Once there, we climbed the old lookout tower with thousands of prayer flags attached (the divine goodwill, of which, may have been the only thing holding this thing up). We were told that we could see the Himalayas and even Everest on a clear day, but on this occasion the summer haze didn’t permit it. Nevertheless – a great view.
After a lunch of crackers and goat cheese we headed back down. The next stop was swimming at the Godavari resort where you can buy time in their pool. Jim and I were a bit concerned when the guys told us they were buying costumes for us until we realized they meant bathing suits. We had a huge dinner afterward and then headed home.
Thanks to Dhilung and Keshav, D2’s best photographers, we have an excellent record of our trip – far better than I could do with my little camera. Lava kept us laughing the whole way and the rest were top-notch companions as well. The only regret for the trip was that the rest of the D2 family couldn’t be there.
-One of the hikers (*)
A social Service and an exemplary team work, “Chip could carry huge stones in hills and mountains, and Jim could mend narrow, difficult, and impossible village roads in Nepal”. The Hiking team cheered and clapped and started supporting the duo in their mission.
This Sunday was entirely different. It had something special. The charm, glory, enormous excitement, fabulous plans, and the adventure sets this story apart from all others. Chip’s first visit to Kathmandu office in Nepal combined with Jim’s third would be a sensation to the hikers of the day – Keshav by Himal. The whole team gathered and waited in parking lot of Hotel Yak and Yeti, the majestic five star entity, enjoying the environment there.
Chip hails from northernmost New York State bordering with Montreal of Canada and he introduced his Father, a Ranger Officer in the Forest.
Soon, Jim and Chip entered the vehicle introducing themselves and we all replied ‘Hi’. Dhilung was immediately recognized by Chip and as we moved out of City, Chip remembered the 1.5 hour delay in airport when the automatic doors were broken, and they did not have other exit routes available, but wait for the Fix. Chip hails from northernmost New York State bordering with Montreal of Canada and he introduced his Father, a Ranger Officer in the Forest.
Jim narrated on how he had no electricity for 3 days during the Storm/thunderstruck and he had to go to stay at relatives’ home during the winter. Jim listened to laughter and recognized the person. It was a wonderful moment. Everybody gave smiles and burst of laughter. All stopped as the crave to reach Changu Narayan through the new adventurous path saw big boulders sideways. Driver Ram could sneak the van easily through and got loads of applause from Jim and Chip. All of us clapped and rejoiced him.
The moments of rejoice stopped when the van stopped again and Jim, already outside at the front of the Van asked all to drop out. Oh God! Mercy! The front edge of the gap between the van’s face and the ground was zero. As pointed by Jim, the Van backed off and a new process. Mending roads was not easy though all were involved. We were surprised at how Jim and Chip worked with the stones in the village and Jim remarked,”We are Engineers. We should be ready for Civil engineering jobs as well.If we mend roads for others, it is a great service”. He also cracked a joke“ We will send the bill to the VDC office.”
After a few meters drive and we nearly fell down the ditch and Again we repeated the same construction job. Villagers were nearby to appreciate our talents. Finally we saw the black topped street to Changu Narayan.We took a few shots of the temple, and the idols. We took breakfast in an extremely expensive looking restaurant. Dhilung was missing. He was busy with his camera. He joined all of us uttering, “ The Dog nearly bit me”.
Now, Jim and Chip both asked all of us to introduce ourselves, our department, and , and our jobs to wait for the breakfast to be ready. After formal introductions, there were a lot of talks, stories , and gossips followed by bursts of laughter.
We followed through the mountainous jungle area with sparse villages where small children asked Chip/Jim for a chocolate with “Namaste”, but we had none to share with them, so they got thanks.
We cannot forget that Chip used his camera often. This time he found two cute baby goats playing and grazing.
Oh God! Mercy! The front edge of the gap between the van’s face and the ground was zero…
Jim now narrated his story of going to the Holy City of Israel, visiting the Holy Golden Temple, and nearly meeting the Pope. He wondered why Israel has no direct flight with Nepal. He had to go to Baharain cum Istanbul to get the flights. He visited about 7 countries on his way to Kathmandu. He wants to make this count growing by visiting up to 14 countries in single travel and tour package.
Keshav, the coordinator was always handy with his camera and beautiful anecdotes for Jim and Chip. The hikers rested in deep jungle after returning from the Kali Temple that had Fierce looking Deity and extremely big TRISHUL , the three throngs for Creation, Maintenance, and Destruction of universe considered for the process combined with the rhythm of Damaru, a typical classical musical instrument that produces sound , “DUM DUM”.
We rested amid a jungle for some time, took group snap, and reached a resting place 2 kilometers before reaching tower top. By now exhaustion had crept in and we coupled with other domestic foreigner emptying the mineral water bottles and again clicking shots around. After resting, we continued to the top passing by Ranger Battalion the training ground for Nepal’s most proficient army personnel.
Jim now narrated his story of going to the Holy City of Israel, visiting the Holy Golden Temple, and nearly meeting the Pope.
In the Nagarkot Tower, Chip climbed the rusty tower that was built in 1971 while Dhilung got chance to throw is legs below the wooden platform on top of the tower that had rotten away and small children could easily fall. Jim enjoyed the place more than anything else and was reluctant to go down the stairs to Club Himalya where the swimming pool was not available so we went to Godawari Village Resort.
Godawari Village Resort welcomed us with greet as Vishnu Kshettri had managed everything necessary. Those who had no swimming costumes bought from a shop nearby and splash!! into the beautiful pool. A lot of picturesque shots at the pool, in the water, and finally time to dinner as sun was setting. The Dinner started with success stories of Keshav, Dhilung, and others where everybody shared feelings about life, achievements, and future plans. We forbade BYE to the catering team, posed amid green beautiful lawn there, and finally reached the van.
(*) Report writer’s name is made anonymous in request of the writer.