Kanchan Raj Pandey, Rinesh N Bajracharya, Subash Aryal
Rinesh N Bajracharya
Close to Kathmandu, Helambu is one of the highland villages in Nepal; and visiting route to this place is popularly known as Helambu Trek. As per our planning on Friday evening, we arrived at Deerwalk complex at around 6:30 am in the morning. With all the preparation for the two days hike to Helambu, we left Deerwalk complex at 7:00 am. We all were still feeling the Deerwalk Annual Fest hangover from friday, and the Helambu Trek route proved tough for us. Because of the time factor we decided to change the route to Daman via Lali Gurans Trekking route. After 3 hrs drive we reached Deurali (Kulekhani).
After having breakfast we started our hike to Daman at 10:00 am. We felt that “Lali Gurans Trekking Route” would be an easy one and started our hike. Along the road things happened that we did not expect.
We enjoyed scenic view as we walked. Local people, mustard field, beautiful houses, innocent and helpful villagers, terraced land, organic vegetable field, dusty road and finally thirsty hikers that was us. The weather was getting cold. The greenery was very nice, and we ran and took shortcuts along the way. Seeing the grown vegetable fields one can assume that the villagers were good at farming and growing organic vegetables. With lots of fun and talks we entered a dense forest and missed the main route. Some of us were trying to locate direction and height that we were at. We didn’t know where we were walking but hoped we were heading towards our destination. After a while we met some people burning wood whom we asked for the route to Simbhanjyang. They told us we were out of the track, so we climbed down to get to the main road. The best thing about missing routes is that there are lots of ups and downs which reap real joy of hiking.
After catching our route we headed towards Simbhanjyang. Some of us started to walk fast as we were hungry and getting cold. We reached Simbhanjyang at 4:00 pm and stayed at a small hotel. We had some food there and headed for Daman. After walking for half an hour we reached Daman and managed to stay in a hotel (Gauri Shankar Hotel and Lodge).
The hotel was good and some tourist from Bulgaria and Spain were staying there. We ordered some food and started our talks outside in the warmth of a small fire. Two Bulgarians and one Spanish friend joined us for the talk. Rudra Dai introduced himself, and the other hikers. It was real fun and entertaining talk, and we could not stop laughing. We were also enjoying Khukuri Rum.
Though the talk was unstoppable, we decided to take dinner and continue later. After having dinner we went for a short walk at 10:00 pm. Then we played cards till 12 am before we hit the bed.
We woke up at 7:00 am, had a cup of tea and started walking to Kathmandu via ‘Sungava Trekking Route’ (Daman-Chitlang-Thankot). We missed the main road and went the wrong way again. Taking help from other pedestrians we continued our trek. After walking two and half hours we reached Kulekhani at 9:30 am. All of us were tired, but we had only walked one third of the route. We kept on walking and reached Chitlang at 11:30 am. We had lunch at a hotel and rested for half an hour. Chitlang was a beautiful village. We were astonished to hear about a goat cheese factory there.
Our destination was Thankot and we left Chitlang village at 12:30 pm. Now the road was uphill. We ascended the hill and reached Deurali. We viewed Kathmandu valley from there, and it seemed very dusty and polluted. On one side there was Chitlang Village (clear and surrounded with greenery) and on the other was Kathmandu valley (dusty and polluted). After having a cup of tea we headed downhill. We kept on moving our tired legs until we reached Thankot at 5:00pm and Kedar Dai drove us back home.
We decided to name this hike (Deurali – Simbhanjhyang – Daman – Chitlang – Thankot) as the ‘Deerwalk Circuit’ and invented some terms that highlighted the hike; Pyuthani Mula(big radish from Pyuthan), Regularly Used Medicine (RUM), and Lava’s Bulgerian talks.
So, if you are crazy about hiking, why don’t you try ‘Deerwalk Circuit’!
Happy Trekking :)Happy Tihar 2012