|Title||Hiking from Okharpauwa to Thuldanda|
|Route||Driving (Kathmandu>> Okharpauwa), Hiking (Okharpauwa>> Thuldanda>> Okharpauwa), Driving (Okharpauwa>> Kathmandu)|
|Date||December 7- December 8, 2013|
|Hike Duration||7 hrs|
|Participants||Anadi Risal, Edward W Hausman, Kapil Pandey, Manish Man Singh, Milan Lamichane, Narendra Maden, Pramod Kumar Rai, Surendra Nath Adhikari.|
|Report By||Anadi Risal, Edward W Hausman|
|Photos By||Manish Man Singh, Milan Lamichane, Pramod Kumar Rai|
|Creative Support||Kanchan Raj Pandey, Rinesh N Bajracharya|
|Edited By||Rinesh N Bajracharya|
Hiking is about fulfilling our desire to be one with nature. For me, it is also about the company you had. I will remember the hike by remembering all the walkers.
Surendra Adhikari, our host, took us to his home town village, near Okharpauwa. He provided us with the best accommodation in his own parental home. The caretakers of his house, Kanchha and his family, were more than generous with their time and effort. Surendra was looking to provide a little more spice to our hike. Rather than walking via an unpaved road that was wide, he decided to take us down a path a little less travelled. It was a path created by a small stream that had dried up. The walk was tight and since I had a rucksack on my bag, the low hanging branches kept on pulling me behind. It was tough while it lasted but was a memorable experience afterwards. I also had the opportunity to walk with Surendra and the DWIT students all the way to Kakani the next day.
Pramod Rai has a presence that puts you at ease. He led the hike from behind and provided all the support necessary for the hike to be successful. Even when we ran out of ’21 years old scotch’ and local homemade brew, he had the resources to take us in a pitch dark ‘night’ hike to acheive our goal.
Kapil Pandey was the life of the hike. He is quick witted and knew how to get a smile from everyone. He made every moment memorable by coming up with great stories, songs and ‘one liners’. The best one was when he came back from his bathroom visit and told us that he had just met someone dressed all in white (what a Nepali does when their immediate family dies) approach him with the weirdest proposition. You can ask him the rest of the details.
Manish Man Singh was our official photographer. I will remember him as our official ‘Hookah Master’. He was there to please. Constant bantering from Kapil never fazed him and he was always supportive of every plan until Kapil started mentioning ghost experiences.
Milan Lamichhane was a solid hike partner. Even though this was his one of first overnight hikes, he was very adaptable and went with the flow. He made no demands (unlike Kapil and Pramod) and enjoyed every moment of the hike.
Narendra Maden was the quietest of the bunch. He contributed by leading the walks and making sure we all were having a hell of a time.
Ed Hausman was the youngest member of the group and rightfully so, got ragged by the Nepali bunch. He accepted everything with grace and quipped back with quick wit which put everyone at ease. Since this was his last hike before his departure to the US, the team was extra special to him. Manish translated all Nepali songs, at tandem and with harmony, as the song was being sung. The team dedicated a large part of the evening to how he would be missed. I think I did see him choking up at the end.
I was looking for a serious hike and what I got was an unforgettable experience. I fulfilled my hiking desire by walking 5 hours – straight uphill to Kakani – the next day.
Edward W Hausman
At 8:30 AM on December 7th 2013, we set out from the Deerwalk Campus for a weekend hike. We took our time on the drive north, stopping from time to time to pick up supplies and to have some breakfast at a vegetarian restaurant attached to a meditation retreat.
We reached Okharpauwa and started walking up into the hills just as day started to get warm. After an hour or so on well-worn, dusty paths, Surendra decided to give us a bit of a challenge and led us on a series of detours through thick bushes and on narrow embankments on the edge of paddy fields.
We reached Surendra’s house in the early afternoon and had some snacks while we rested, then we set off in search of a “local” chicken for our dinner. In the early evening we prepared a fire and spent the rest of the night in conversation around its warm glow.
In the morning, Surendra and Anadi set off for Kakani to join a group of DWIT students, and the rest of us headed back to Okharpauwa, at first retracing our steps, and then, after fording a freezing cold river, along a new path on the other side. When we arrived, we took our breakfast, met up with the Deerwalk vehicle and set off on our way back to Kathmandu.