Hiking from Jiri to Cherdong Cheese Factory
21st Nov 2009
Asim Khanal, Babins Shrestha, Bahadur Singh Baniya, Deepak Maharjan, Kapil Pandey, Pawan Pokharel, Raghu Rajbhandari, Ravi Sharma, Raunak Tuladhar, Sudip Raj Koirala
-Sudip Raj Koirala
People call Jiri the 2nd Zurich of world, I used to wonder why but my wonder turned into excitement as soon as I witnessed the beauty and charm of Jiri. Located in Dolakha district at an altitude of 1905 m , Jiri has a cold climate and pleasant environment. Winter is quite beautiful here when the snowfall begins and it seems like the hills are decorated with beautiful white cotton. We could not witness that snowfall as we were there on mid Nov but it will start snowing on late December. Nevertheless, we hikers were lucky to commit Cherdung(2633 m) peak and visit the Yak's Cheese factory situated over there. The streams and rivulets on the way up the hill kept on refreshing us and encouraging us to reach the destination. Harka B Jirel joined our hike on the way and happily guided us throughout the hike. His innocence and humble attitude was appreciable. On reaching cheese factory, We were quite desperate to drink "Mohi" , but we had to be contented with cheese because it was off-season. But Not just contented, we were more than happy because yak cheese was very delicious-YUMMY. In hunger, we gobbled about 1 kg of cheese I guess :) . We even brought home the cheese, butter and "durkha/chhurpi" as a gift from Jiri. The amazing thing was that it did not require any special refrigeration technique for preserving cheese; the cold weather was enough.
masterpiece of development in such a distant and hilly town
On the way back to Jiri bajaar, we visited Jiri Technical Institute established by Swiss people. We were happy to hear that some 250 sudents study there on courses like Sub Overseer, ANM, JTA. The infrastructure of the college was an example of masterpiece of development in such a distant and hilly town.
The most noticable factor in Jiri was the roadway to it; beautifully constructed even through the rural hills , which would surely give a glimpse of Switzerland's villages. And Jiri is also the commencing place for trekking to Namche Bajaar,, which is the base camp of Mt. Everest.
Although we returned back to out respective jobs on the 2nd day, the hospitality shown by the guest house owners and local people for the day will be memorable forever.
Hiking started as usual, late. Two days hiking as a coordinator, 10 boys heading towards Jiri with an uncharged camera, everything was going wrong until KD started sharing jokes.
There are some regular stops in D2 Hike when we travel Araniko Highway: 1. Breakfast at Surya Vinayak, 2. Lunch at Sharmila's, Zero Kilo. I had kept these things in mind because my squad knew breakfast at Surya Vinayak is served in dirty plates with unhygienic spoons and Sharmila is just name and nothing more. Well, we stopped at Surya Vinayak for breakfast but in different hotel, it was no different. It was only when we reached Khadichaur that we realized that loads of "swaari tarkari" on breakfast is not good on long drive hike, as most of us couldn't resist the sharp turnings after Dhulikhel. However, nobody chucked up.
As we headed towards Jiri, the sublime beauty of nature kept our mouth open. The curvy roads, sloppy viridian hills, a picturesque village were all demanding to take photo. We got only one camera, damn!!!
On the way, we helped two ladies(Hema and Nima Lama) from Jugu who missed their last bus to Jiri. This was what catalyzed BSB, sorry to reveal your secret BSB.
Beer and Boys really go together along with Cards. "But after getting high, you should take a bottle of water beside your bed to sleep" - Lesson learned on the trip. Ravi was looking up for water around 2 am and luckily found a bottle, god knows what it contained. 3P was waking up other guys, "Guys I am thirsty, guys I am thirsty" and thirsty SRK joined the hunt for water. BSB thought 3P talks in his dreams - god help Bahadur.
With the evanescence of the morning mist, we started hiking towards the renowned cheese factory. Ram Dai also joined us but he forfeited the hiking after a man there said "kina dukha garnu huncha, dherai mathi po cha ta cheese factory".
children from school ran after D2 van shouting, "Copy Khai!! Copy Khai!!"
Although Newton's second law of gravity came into play, serene sky & bright green field illuminated with resonating light mesmerized us to reach the destination. As we stared over the edge of the mountain with a feeling of awe, our hearts were jocund. The place had an aura of .. ammm "photo session", soon everyone started giving pose. It was the hunger that pushed us more towards the Cheese factory literally, since we forgot to have breakfast at Jiri, we needed to have ‘Mahi’. Later we had to satisfy with cheese as November is not the season for Mahi.
On our way back, children from school ran after D2 van shouting, "Copy Khai!! Copy Khai!!". We were like "What!! They still remember us and our D2 Van :D". I wonder why D2 left the culture of distributing copies/pencil to school kids.
We were in no hurry to return back to Kathmandu since we were informed that there was banda in Dhulikhel so we decided to visit Dolkha Bhimsen. It was 9-10 when I got back home. Day after the hike, I found that BSB, SRK and KD changed their status on facebook immediately after they reached home but I crashed into my bed as soon as I unlaced my shoe.
Well I am grateful to all the hikers who made it to the trip and also to "Harka Bd. Jirel who guided us to Cheese Factory" and "Expensive smiling waiter, who made the fire, served us and later asked KD to bring him an iPhone during his next visit to Jiri", and to all those people who made this hike a moment to remember.
3P = Pawan Pokhrel
BSB = Bahadur Singh Baniya
KD = Kapil Raj Pandey
SRK = Sudip Raj Koirala