Participants : Mohana, Manindra, BikeshS (rookie), BinayaA, BhaskarB, Rajendra, Dovan, Manoj, Basu, Kapil, BalKrishana, Shalin, SanjitP, Lalbabu, Surendra, Bhanu, Binesh, Keshav, Bimal, BinayaN and vishnu Route : Lele to Lamidanda to Godavari Time : 5 hours Distance : 18 km (Appx) Date : Sunday, Mar 11, 2007 Report : DovanR Photos : BinayaN and BimalK Captions : BinayaN, VishnuK Creative Support: BinayaN Postcard: DovanR बनैभरी फुलीदिन्छु, मनैभरी फुलीदिन्छु ... Beautiful pictures of mountains, silhouettes of pine trees, wild flowers, jolly children, hiking trails and happy hikers: Looking these photographs of hiking in this blog, I guess most of us feel the urge to go hiking. But the love for cozy Sunday mornings in bed and busy schedules make us put off hiking plans for coming weeks. ‘Don’t miss this time. There will be 14 species of rhododendron blooming in Bista’s farmhouse’. Binaya N’s this suggestion made me adjust my schedule and join this hiking team from “Lele to Lamadanda to Godavari” Though the team had already gone that route, they were eagerly waiting for this ‘laaliguraans season’ to revisit. Spring is the most favorable season for hiking as temperature is temperate and the hills around the valley are all in scarlet bloom. This hiking seemed a very special one and no wonder we were 21 hikers in total, the second highest number so far. Our special and very diverse team with hiking professionals (Vishnu, Surendra, Bhaskar, Keshav), Mohana (a special appearance), me a comeback ,official photographers (BinayaN. and BimalK.), Rookie (Binesh) and new regulars on the race (Manoj Rokka, SanjitP, Balkrishna, Shalin, Lalbabu, and kapil) headed for hiking in our office van. The morning yellow rays in the streets of Kathmandu (that reminds me of impressionist paintings), sweet songs picked by Manoj, and loud chattering in the micro van behind made my sacrifice for cozy Sunday morning in bed quite worthwhile. As our van entered Lele valley, we were enchanted to see the beautiful terraces on both sides of the road. Mohana said “what this ugly chimney doing in this beautiful valley. Polluting disgrace!” “Lele”, it is a very lovely name and the place is equally lovely. In fact most hills look identical but their beauty for me varies with their degree of their slopes. I like less steeply hills like Lele. Lele looked so post cardish with green terraces, ‘Kamero’ painted white house with sweet slanting roofs and bright blue windows and fields with white and pink cherry blossoms. As soon as we stepped out of the micro van, the fresh rays and sound of spring made me feel so glad. One thing that I love most (after altitude) while hiking in the hills is the fresh sun rays that feel so pure, unhindered by dust. We encountered our first peak which left everybody gasping. We all then gathered and rested in a house, where goat had given birth to two new lambs the same day. “chorilai pewa deko baakhri” the woman of the house told us. Really, I feel touched by the openness and readiness of the rural people which is seldom found in the busy cities. But I am not overlooking our generous city dwellers like Mohana who managed to bring and distribute her homemade titaura. After again walking for a hour and half, we reached the farmhouse of Keshar Bahadur Bista, a political leader (personally I find him good thinker and orator but I don’t know why he took that stupid step to join gyanendra’s last government, maybe some miscalculation). The location of farm house was nice and we learnt that it was used for botanical farming and experiments. But for us, this place was no less beautiful than a mountain park with beautiful cherry blossoms, rhododendron bushes, orchids and daffodils. (Even though I had mentioned daffodil in one of my poems, I saw the flower for the first time in real and found them quite small than I had thought.) Among different species of plants, there was another interesting plant, a plant that produced iodine oil burning worthless looking dry leaves. There was also a pond where we found two toads copulating that attracted our photographers and initiated a series of conversation on reproduction habits of amphibians. I have noticed that people are very inquisitive while hiking. Maybe being at different place has made the difference. Oh... The travelers must have enviable careers. After some chit chat and having cookies and cheese and taking photographs, we climbed further up. Rhododendrons were in such lovely bloom that hills seemed all red. The hiking trails were also very beautiful and the view from the hills was really lovely. But the sky was bit cloudy and we could not enjoy clear mountain views as in last hiking. Our photographers were quite busy taking the pictures. Vishnu dai was already planning for next hiking routes and cracking his usual twisted jokes. Mohana couldn’t get rid of her ringing cell phone even in that far hill. (One of her buggers was our own Santosh dai). Bhaskar was sharing interesting facts in energetic shorts, Kapil was new registered chatterbox and I could hear Keshav laughing in the next hill. It took us a couple of hours to climb down to Godawari and Mohana was the gladdest to get the micro van. We stopped at Hunan and after having rice with pork curry (sorry for disclosing guys ;) we returned back to our places but Keshav and Binesh went for Salsa class. (god save their energy) I want to repeat again that we are most active, energetic, inquisitive, contemplative, talkative, open and friendly while hiking. We go hiking only once a week but let’s keep this fresh hiking spirit all seven days a week.