Hiking from Sundarijal to Gagalphedi
28th Mar 2010
Suyesh Nepal, Ritesh Khanal, Ritesh Sapkota, Niraj Shah, Shishir Adhikari, Rajiv Shrestha, Jeevan Singh Basnet, Sudeep Khatiwada, Abishesh Joshi, Bhaskar Shrestha, Kapil Pandey
Another sunday, another hiking-day. I had given in my name as well. The time I woke up, and got myself ready to go to office, it looked like I was going to be late comfortably by some 15 minutes than scheduled time, but I was not in hurry(15 minutes after scheduled time is supposed to be very early, isn't it?). But I just made it, another couple of minutes later, had I entered the office-gate and I would not have been writing this report and nor would have been present in several of the pictures below. So, little lesson for those laid-back latecomers.... BE ON TIME!
OK, enough lesson and now back to reporting...
The van engine had already revved up and I quickly jumped inside. After a quick "Jhandai chutteko.. :P!!" series of talks, the wheels started rolling. We picked up ShishirA and SudeepK on the way(at Chabahil) to complete our hiking team of 11. We felt obliged to stop by to make sure we had enough supplements for the hike. We set off loaded with full supply of food and water.
A light bit of chitchat and in no time(almost) the van got us there as far as it could(though Jeevan might disagree to this as he was already asking "Khai pugena??" shortly after we left Jorpati behind) . Everybody got off and it stationed itself quietly in the parking area. Meanwhile, the hikers entered a small local shop for light breakfast. SuyeshN wasted no time and made himself busy with his new Nikon D90; huge pile of 'jeri' his target of the moment. He was shooting the stack of sweet from different angles rotating round and round "Mauri Jastai".
After few chuckles on various well-established jokes (such as "Auto-delete feature") everybody was ready to start the walking. After exiting the shop, few hikers turned left and gave a quick glimpse to the van: a look of confirmation that they will be back and it will have to drive them back home.... the van seemed to agree. From where I saw, it sincerely rested among the row of vehicles protruding only its face and seemingly already eager for us to return...
The hiking 'kodi'-nator had set plans for the hike. He immediately diverted us towards the bridge on the right rather than taking the conventional flight of steps, we were climbing up from the right side. On the way, a small board advertising a local restaurant caught our attention and we got reason to start our hike with a laugh. Our destination for the day was some specific "Jharna" and with that declared, the 'Kodi'-nator delegated the role of leading the way to his frontman whom he liked to call "Rajkumar Dikpaal" - AbhisheshJ. (If u remember this line from the famous Nepali tale in our primary class text-book "Yo baato chito pugcha tara bich ma jungle parcha ra baagh-bhalu ko darr huncha...."). So, he led us saying we have to reach certain "Lama Hotel" and then "Jharna" was not far from there. Joy and laughing prevailed most of the way as something humerous kept on coming up to keep us entertained. Apparently we lost our path towards so-called "Lama Hotel" as Abhishesh decided that we should return and take right instead of left from the last junction that we met.
On the way, we came across the "Shivapuri Natural Reserve" entry check-point and was a help to ascertain we were walking the right way this time. A board there took our attention, it read- "Rs. 5 per person, ... Rs. 15 per motorcycle". But a bhatbhate made it way through making a cracking noise and it saved us some 100+ rupees. The check-post also corrected us that it was infact "Karma Hotel" that we were heading for.
The journey then was enjoyable with tree leaves screening the intense sun-rays, cold-running water by the side of the road, and melodious music of water hitting the stones- progressively intensifying as we climbed. Some stopped occasionally to take snaps whereas others were captured walking. The road was mildly steep with options of sharp turns some distance ahead or small 'short-cuts' in the mid-way. Some chose the former while others the later, not necessarily following the same pattern the next time it arrived... We waited at different places for others to catch-up and also found others waiting for us. On our way, Stones big enough to knock you down were rolling against us in our hill-climb(Group of NirajS above were rolling the stones). Luckily none of us fell victim of it.
It was almost time that we felt little tired when we reached the milestone- the Karma Hotel. We rested there for a while and ordered us a good meal for the afternoon. With that, we headed towards the much anticipated "Jharna". She was hiding behind rocks, not visible from the road despite being only few metres away. Only few will be able to sense her presence and stop by to admire her beauty.
So then, wasting no time, many people wanted to dive into 'Jharna' but 'Jharna' only takes in her embrace the lucky ones. The lucky ones this time were RiteshS and SuyeshN; the 'embrace' however turned out to be little too expensive for RiteshS. ;) We all had nice time around playing with the water, sun-bathing on the huge rock.
Time was running out and we had ordered lunch for 2pm, everybody was getting hungrier as each minute passed, so we bade farewell to lovely Jharna for the day. All of us were striding now to get back to the Hotel as hunger was acting dominant over the bodies. The lunch was accompanied by entertaining 'guff-gaffs' from different members. With likes of KapilP, BhaskarS, AbhisheshJ, NirajS and RiteshK, entertainment guaranteed on any day! And oh yes, I have to mention the 'Jyanmara Khursani' served alongwith the meal. I ate it for the first time, and is it hot?? You bet... Just for the records, it forced tears even out of eye's of KapilP- the tough one.
Everything done, the hiking was over for the day, and we were already heading back, this time from the normal 'stairs of Sundarijal'. We stopped for the last time at a local shop some couple of 100 metres away from bus station to have some coffee. The guffs did their trick there as well and kept us all laughing. Amidst, I spotted our captain KapilP rolling his eyes over all the participants and I had a suspicion. Inevitably, the eyes rested at this writer's sight and those big eyes stayed darted there for a minute... a voice came out loud then "Rajiv Babu, yespali ko hiking report 'mandle' garne kaam chai timro timro jasto cha ni!!" and that was it, the words were marked on stone- unchangeable and here I am writing this report...