Mahendra Duwal As initially planned, Niraj, Rajendra and I gathered at Deerwalk office premises on the morning of the hiking day and waited for Ram, the van driver, so he could drive us to the starting point of our hike. We were a little disappointed when we came to know that three of the proposed hikers would not be able to make it to the hike. We planned on picking up the rest along the way. We left the office premises at about quarter to nine. Having picked up five other hikers on the way, we were eight in total. Excitement began to build up in anticipation of the fun and games to follow. Some 38 kilometers into the journey, we stopped for breakfast. Hungry as we were, we had a heavy breakfast - much needed as we had to climb hills. Many thanks to Rajendra for leading us to such a nice place that served organic coffee and ‘lassi’. The drinks were awesome, and we could not stop talking about how delicious they were. The other breakfast items were also equally delectable. To top it off, the view from the place was simply breathtaking. We left the place promising to stop by on our return journey. At around eleven, we reached the starting point of our hike – Panchkhal. Thanking Ram for the ride, we bid him goodbye. Our hike officially began, so did fun. We walked slowly up the blacktopped road. The scenery was of course quite different from what we were used to. The vegetation was different, the houses were different – even the soil was different, which was reddish brown all along the way. We bought some bottles of mineral water and some sour pickles for the journey. Sun was nowhere to be seen with the clouds all over the sky. Weather was perfect for a walk uphill, and we hoped that it would stay that way throughout the hike. The jokes and chats were making the trip so much fun and exciting. We walked about five kilometers before we took a rest. There was still about five more kilometers to go before we reached our destination - but none of us seemed to worry about that, as we were all up for it. Talking, laughing and relishing the nature’s beauty, we were at the top of the hill –our destination, Palanchowk Bhagwati – at about 1:30 PM. We visited the Palanchowk Bhagwati temple. We enjoyed the company of the friendly locals as well as the local food items, such as ‘dried Amala’ and ‘Sel roti’ – especially the local grapes which tasted a mix of sweet and sour. As it was time for our return trip, we called Ram to pick us up at the base. Downhill journey was quicker that we thought. It was already four by the time we reached the base. As we were hungry, we decided to head out to Dolalghat – a few kilometers away – for our meals. It took about twenty minutes in the van to reach Dolalghat. There we found a whole range of quality restaurants to choose from that served food with the famous local fish. We chose one and had a nice wholesome meal with local fish curry. It was 5 PM already and it started to pour heavily. With our stomach filled, we decided to head back to Kathmandu. Keeping our promise, we stopped by the restaurant we had our breakfast in earlier on the way. This time around, we ordered tea. Niraj deftly captured the beautiful view of the rain coming close towards us in the camera. Staying there for a little while, we resumed our journey back – all of us happy with the way the day had passed. Four of us came all the way to Deerwalk premises, while the rest were dropped off along the way. Many thanks to Deerwalk for providing such an enjoyable hiking opportunity, and thanks to Ram for his driving services, and also thanks to the weather for its full support throughout the hike.