Surendra wanted to take this short cut to Bhandarthumka Arduous is the word that best summarizes the hike of last Sunday. It certainly pushed me to the extremes of physical and psychological limits. It asked many questions of me. Focus, will power and sheer physical stamina were put to a severe test. There is always a limit to everything, that which, must be honored. However it is always nice to flirt with one’s mental strength and chip away small pieces of confines. A small victory of mind over matter, resolve fulfilled and deep sense of satisfaction. It was exactly 4pm when Bimal and I reached Jagare bhanjyang, some 2000m above the sea level. It had been a non-stop grueling climb of almost 4 hours.
There were two monstrous hills that had to be traversed to get to Jagare. Bimal was happily telling me that he thought his legs were healed, as it showed no signs of pain even after the strenuous ascent. He was badly injured in the hike from Okhreni to Chisapani at the end of October last year and had limped all the way from Borlang bhanjyang to Sundarijal. The potato curry and ginger tea at Jagare was refreshing for the tired and limping hikers. The last thirty minutes before arriving at Jagare was a treat to walk. The trail was formed on the ridge of the hill on its very edge and below you could see the valley drop. The hill itself had very little vegetation and consisted of many large rocks protruding out of the brown soil. Here and there were slender pine trees. The climb had really started soon after we left Bhandarthumka and headed towards Dhoka bhanjyang. Sixty copies and pencils were distributed to primary students of school Bageshwori Primary School at Dhoka bhanjyang. It was noon and I felt really numb at the time. Young students with ragged and torn school uniform poured out of their classroom unable to restrain their curiosity at our arrival. Their excitement gave way to twinkle and glee as the stationary were distributed. Near the school in the village district building, government officials were collecting names of registered voters. I asked the head teacher how far Dhading was, he replied that it was only two hour to the south. In the distant horizon way below in the besi you could see the river Kolpu streaming southbound away from Nuwakot district and on to Dhading.
Driving down to the dumping site from Okharpauwa, treble of Ciney Gurung’s voice revived few scars. Scars best left deep in unconsciousness, although I wonder for how long, with Mercury Retrograde just around the corner. Shortly after commencing the hike, we came at the western most end of the Nagarjuna range. From this point, the Nagarjuna hills rise menacingly to culminate at Jamacho. It would surely be another adventurous undertaking. From hereon, the hiking team crossed the bridge over a small rivulet and headed towards Bhandarthumka.