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Cycling to Kaalinchowk

Posted on Jun 8, 2016 by Anujghimire under Cycling

Tags: Cycling, Kalinchowk, Kaalinchowk, Dholkha, Charikot, Kuri, Adventure sports, Adventure, Adventure in Nepal, Mountain bike, Biking, Cycling to Kaalinchowk

Anyone who has been to Kalinchowk, would definitely call us crazy after hearing that we actually went to Kalinchowk on a bicycle, even though it was from Charikot. But it really turned out to be an amazing trip for so many reasons.

Loading the bikes

We had a plan to leave early in the morning and reach Charikot in time and then start cycling to Kuri the same day.   But I was stuck at work and we were delayed, we ended up taking a bus at 12:30 pm. The next morning we realized that it happened for a good reason.

We loaded the bikes in the bus tied it up real good and waited for the bus to leave. While in the bus I was still unsure about the length of the ride we could do, the clouds of uncertainty was hovering around me even to the point where reached Charikot and unloaded the bikes. May be it was because of that thought in my head that we forgot to take the helmets from the bus, I had to travel like Barry Allen, in a moment of flash to reach the bus before it was too late. It had started to rain already, we were going against the weather,  my tires were almost flat so had to get some air. A local kid guided us to a cycle repair center. Then we rushed in the drizzle to find a hotel, I had been to Charikot recently and knew few hotels there. We were on a budget so stayed on cheaper hotel, the room was good enough, so was the food, unless I’m on a sponsored trip, I can adjust to just a roof of any sorts. Even by 9 pm we weren’t sure if we would be able to ride tomorrow, because it was predicted that it’s going to rain heavy. I didn’t realize when I fell asleep but I woke up few hours later with sounds of winds, thunder and what not. It was raining cats and dogs, and I had almost lost hopes that we’d get to ride tomorrow morning.

The Ride to Kuri

 I don’t remember what I was dreaming about like most of the nights, but with the soft tone of my alarm, I woke up and hurriedly I looked outside the window, it was still dark but I could see that the rain had finally stopped. It was 4:30 in the morning, it took me some time to gather up the will to actually wake up and start getting ready to ride. By the time I was up and ready it was already 5. While it was still a bit dark, we started the ride from Charikot, since it would have been easy to go through Makaibaari route, we started cycling to Makkaibari, in less than 15 minutes we reached the point from where the trail started to climb upward. It was easy, the trail wasn’t that steep, except in the places where stones were laid, which were insanely slippery with the rain from the last night. It took us about an hour to reach Deurali, it was the last stop before you had something to eat so we decided to eat something before we leave, and since we didn’t even drink a cup of tea early in the morning, we had to at least get a cup of tea. After spending some 30 minutes in Deurali, we started riding up to Kuri, the trail wasn’t that steep for about 1 and half hours.  From there the trails started to be tougher than we imagined, not because of steepness but because of the state of the road from the rain over night. You couldn’t possible ride your bike with a stamina of a horse. It got even more tiring as we decided to take a shortcut, later realized that we would have reached earlier if we had taken the road, because we had such hardship to carry the cycle up the hill on such a steep hill  (Video on my Instagram : @mrophiophagus). We were fatigued, so decided to rest, we saw a truck returning down from Kuri and decided to ask how far Kuri was, the truck driver replied its almost 10 kilometers. I looked down on the Odometer on my bike but it said that we had already travelled 6 Kilometers from Deurali and Kuri was 13 Km from Deurali, so either the guy at the hotel in Deurali was wrong or the truck driver was, but no matter how far it was we had to  reach there anyways! So started riding again, not how long it took us, because it  was slowly starting to get tiring with empty stomach and steeper road. Finally after about 3 and half hours of riding from Deurali, we reached the end of the hill, we could almost see Kuri, that was such a relief, one because we had finally reached Kuri, and second because we actually went to Kalinchowk on a cycle, that was dream come true, not in a Philosophical sense but still we wanted to do that for a long time. 

Daal bhat power 24 hour

 After tiring ride to Kuri, we were insanely hungry, so first decided to eat Daal Bhaat and then to ride up to Kalinchowk temple. I had been to Kalinchowk previously but the area had changed quite drastically in the last few years. There are more hotels now, and it looks more lively.  We ordered daal  bhat and rested and rejoiced in the madness that we had just went through, and we were supported by the locals, at least on that madness part. We talked with the hotel owner for a long time, about Kuri, Cycling, Rolwaling trekking and most importantly Earthquake. No matter where you go these days, specially trekking you always end up talking about Earthquake, and so did we. Kuri seemed very less affected by the Earthquake. In the middle of the conversation of Earthquake we were rattled by the voice of the hotel owners wife, the food was ready, alas!  I ate so much, the food was good and I was very very hungry, it was very good and they had my favorite pickle “Patanjali ko achaar”, I’m so used to having that achar with daal bhaat with my frequent high altitude travel.

Up the stairs with the cycle on our shoulders

“Why don’t you leave the cycle here? Why do you want to carry it all the way up to the temple?” the hotel owner said

“The reason we came here was to take the cycle to the temple” I replied

“The cycle wants to worship the god as well?” The hotel owners wife gave us a little grin, definitely thinking these guys are mad                                                                                                         

I just nodded and smiled…

As we left the hotel, we could see the flag flying high on the temple top, it looked as if it was summit of Everest seen from camp 1 ( A little exaggeration but still looked like that). We started carrying our bike and were met by this group of Nepali people. As soon as they saw us they stopped and said,

”You guys are not going to take the cycle up to the temple are you?”

“Of course we are”  I replied and moved on

They were something like these guys are crazy, it looks so hard to walk empty handed and you’re going to carry your cycle up there?

But it didn’t matter, we were going to do it anyways! Regardless of what anyone said, so we started carrying the cycle and climbing up the stairs. It wasn’t that hard as I had thought it would be, but it surely took time because you couldn’t just carry almost 15kg and walk on stairs, that too above 3400 meters Asl.  We took multiple rest, with passerby giving us that you’re crazy look, we actually enjoyed that. After an hour we finally reached the base of the temple, the hotel owners looked at us as if they had never seen humans, and definitely calling us crazy. After the final climb, we were there 3800 meters asl, and carrying a cycle. There were a group of people there and they almost applauded when they saw us climbing up the final ladder, the bridge. One of them said, It was so hard for me to walk empty handed how did you carry that cycle? I just smiled and said, well it was easy!   

It was an awesome feeling to finally reach there. We had planned this trip for a long time almost a year. We had planned to do this last year a day before the Earthquake, we had a plan to go to Charikot on Friday and ride to Kuri on Saturday, but somehow our plan was cancelled and as it happened it was for a good reason that our plan got cancelled, or else we’d have been amidst the earthquake in one of the most hard hit district, that too on a cycle. So it felt good to finally stand there, with our cycle and look down on a bed of clouds that hid Kuri village below it. As soon as we reached the temple, it started raining, so we took few photo’s made a video, and the started walking down the temple.

 

Riding the stairs

 ”Can we please take your photo?”  A guy asked us

Feeling like a celebrity, we said, of course why not!

“I need to post this on my facebook to show others that people actually come to Kalinchowk temple on a bicycle”

“So you guys are going to carry it down as well?” Another guy asked

I replied, ”No, actually , we’re going to ride down the stairs and though people might think we are, we’re definitely not crazy”

The guy smiled and said, “don’t worry we thought the same”

I smiled and started the ride down from the temple.

Almost half way from the top we met the people that we had previously met while climbing the stairs, they were still climbing, one of the women said

”Baliyo bhaye pachi ke garna sakinna ra : What can’t you do when you’re strong” we haven’t even reached and you have already returned back, that too carrying a cycle” She too took a photo and said, I’m going to show this photo to my children.

The ride down was fantastic, though tricky at times and I almost fell down from the stairs one time. Before we knew we were down to Kuri, it was Awesome! We went back to the hotel took our bag and started riding back to Charikot, we had to reach Charikot before it was dark, but about 45 minutes in the ride, it started raining like cats and dogs, never seen a rain like that, the road was a mess, I could barely see through my spectacles, so I got rid of it because it was just too hard to see with those on. The rain was so hard that it was almost as if the road was a river, and thankfully we reached Deurali without falling once, and before long we were back to Charikot, with mud ridden back, completely brown from head to tail, but it was all worth it! Nothing could be the satisfaction we had.

 

If you are planning for Kalinchowk trek or need assitance with any information then you can contact me on : +977-9840069432, email: anujghimire1@gmail.com or Contact Myholidayteam: info@myholidaynepal.com Anuj Ghimire - Zoologist by Profession, Travel Blogger,Photographer and Blogger. Tweets by @Mrophiophagus

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