Biking & Hiking Tour to KalinchowkPosted on Jun 8, 2012 by nimeshchhetri under Tour
Tags: hiking, biking, kalinchowk, dolakha, dolalghat
A month long planning was finally approaching and every one of us were as much excited as I was to be on “Heaven on Earth”. Like any other planning of our Yomari Office group,” Kalinchowk Visit” was being postponed many times but we were determined to be there this time anyhow. This trip was going to be memorable and exciting for all of us for couple of reasons. Firstly we had to convince and take permission from one of our group member who happened to be in USA, the day the trip was planned. Secondly, this was going to be the first ever longest trip of our group on bike.
The trip was planned during the end of the month and everybody but me were bankrupt. Intially, it was decided one of the member will take advance salary from the office to cover the cost of the trip. He indeed got advance salary in cheque which unfortunately was not possible to be cashed as the bank was already closed followed by the 2day long strike. So, as an alternative solution it was decided that I should cover the cost of the trip and that it will be disbursed after the salary was distributed the following month. The trip was also threatened by the “Bandh” called by so called “Bahun-Chhetri Samaj”. Thank God, there was no Bandh in the day we were leaving for the trip. It was Friday night, the day before our trip and we couldn’t have asked for more but another twist in the plan. We heard the news that there will be continuance of Bandh on the trip day as well. We were heart-broken and tensed as everything was all set and we were ready to go but after the news our trip was jeopardized. Also, we all were aware of the fact that if we didn’t go this time, it was not sure when we will be going next time. We had a long discussion in Skype whether we should head for the trip the very next day or not. Then it was finally decided that we shall gather in the morning and observing the situation we will decide whether we will be leaving or staying.
It was Saturday, the big day and the trip day. The plan was to gather and meet at Jagati in Bhaktapur. I headed to Lagankhel in bike with “Toofani” so that 3 of the members take bus to Bhaktapur. To add more misery, there was not a single bus to Bhaktapur in Lagankhel. Furthermore, we heard the hype; the protestor blocked the road in Koteshowr and Baneshwor. We almost lost the hope and we thought it was all over now. How we gonna ride to Bhaktapur? That was the question buzzing in everybody’s head. We had just two bikes and there were 7 of us. Then we decided 3 of us to take taxi to Bhaktapur, we look out for taxi and found one who agreed to take us to Bhaktapur. The taxi driver took us to Bhaktapur following the alternative root and we reached to Jagati. It was a huge relief, the trip was on. We called our trip members residing in Bhaktapur. We then quickly headed to Banepa where we had to wait for another biker group member. After we met him, complete 10 members were there and the trip finally started.
It was a sunny day, may be due to Bandha hype, the highway was not so crowded. After an hour of bike ride we stopped at Dhulikhel for Lassi. It wasn’t that tasty though but it was worth it for the refreshment. We headed continuously all the way to Dolalghat which was our 2nd stop for the lunch. We had some fresh fishes with chilled beer and stomach full of Dal-Bhat-Tarkari. In the meantime, I got call from one of my friend who informed me Dolakha was bandh but it was not the news to worry for us as we were not heading to Dolakha anyway. The relaxation at Dolalghat was followed by another interval of long bike ride all the way to Mudde. The highway was so hot that each time any Lorries and buses pass through our way it released hot waves that made us feel like we were half baked. We had some cold mineral water and coke at Mudde. Our back and bumps were starting to feel the pain already but we had still long way to go. We had some photo sessions as well in DLSR camera of Toofani. As soon as we got passed Mudde, there was dramatic change in the weather. We started to feel cold and almost everybody put on their wind cheater. There was one very lovely and strange place we named “Kala Pathari”, the stones were black, the highway was rough and the weather cloudy. Two of the biker group passed Kala Pathari thinking we will have photo session there after we return back. We got passed long way to Kala Pathari and waited more than half an hour for other 3 biker groups. We already had doubts that they were doing photo sessions there and we were not wrong. We didn’t wait any longer for them and we reached to the edge of the very difficult part of our journey: The Hiking, Biking and Pushing trio and it was only 3KM far from Charikot. Two of our biker group including me waited for other 3 biker groups for almost half an hour. It started to drizzle but the journey went on. As soon as everybody was there we plunge into the hardship.
The way was rough, bouncy, muddy and slippery. Our next destination and stop was Kuri. We had no idea though regarding the length and duration of the way from the starting point. We asked the returning groups about it but we got mixed responses from all. We had no option anyway as it was already 5pm and was getting dark with no resorts or hotel in the periphery. For 10-15 minutes it was all fine, the bike was pulling the double loaders easily but the next part of the story was really pain staking. We had to push the bike all the way through to the top at different locations. One of the bikes: Unicorn got slipped more than 5 times, the sidelight got burst into pieces, the speedometer was already gone. In short, complete destruction of the bike in the midst of the up-hill forest. We had no strength to push one’s body or climb the slippery and rocky road but we had to push the bikes despite having no strength left at all. It was 6pm we were still not there. It was 6:30pm we can’t feel Kuri anywhere near. There was this very heart throbbing moment that is worth remembering. The way was completely blocked with fog and darkness; the light emerging from the back light of the bike passing through the fog, the scene was mind blowing. As soon as we passed that location, we felt we were at the very top of the hill. It felt that it was going to rain heavily as the clouds completely shrouded the sky resulting in complete darkness. We looked around from the top and headed following the way where we saw the lights coming from the couple of cottage like houses not so far away. We then realized we were finally there to Kuri. We spend no time reaching there. We looked out for the rooms in the cottage hotels which were only 6-7 of it there. We booked two rooms in one of the hotel and quickly went inside the room. It was blistering cold out there. Furthermore, as soon as we entered into the hotel; it rained with hail stones and lighting. The sound of the lighting was so loud it felt like it would tear us apart. The sound of the hail stones striking the tin roof of the hotel was also too loud which gave us the hint that the size of the hail stones should have been hellish big. It was so cold, one blanket was not enough. What more could we lads have asked for other than Tungba in such a cold condition? We ordered Tungba followed by fried chicken with wai wai to get rid of coldness and hunger for the snacks. The hail stone rainfall and lighting had stopped by then but the electricity wasn’t there for whole night. The mobile signal was also not available. Perhaps, it was the cheapest hotel I had stayed in. It was only 250Rs for one room and it wasn’t that bad actually considering the location and condition of the place the hotel was situated in. We had the supper after snacks. When everybody stepped outside of the hotel to wash the hand, My Oh My! The water was freezing cold the wind was shivering as well. The sky was clear by then. I had not felt and seen all the stars and the moon so big and so close to the earth which I felt from there. It was simply lovely and breathe-taking view of the sky. We then dived into the bed for the sleep. But unfortunately it was not just me but almost everybody was not able to sleep. The culprit was perhaps the chicken gravy we had during the supper which was hard to digest. Anyhow the night passed by and we were excited to be at the Kalinchowk temple in the early morning.
Although I had no sleep at all, just a quick nap, I woke up from bed at 5:30am. It didn’t feel like it was 5:30 though as the sun had shined fully and it was so bright. Turn by turn, we went to the toilet. The funniest part was there was no lock in the toilet door and at least one person had to be the gate keeper. We only realized too lately that there was indeed the lock in the toilet but we were not aware how to lock/unlock it. After we had a black tea, we grabbed the Puja Materials and headed for the temple around 6am. The temple was visible from the hotel and it seemed like we can make it to the top in 1 hour. The starting of the steep hill was somewhat easy and managed as the ladders made out of local stones were there on the way but as we reached nearer to the top, the way was getting dangerous. We had some photo sessions on the way as the scenery was awesome. We made it to the top in 1.5 hours. There was one bridge connecting two hills which we had to cross to go to the temple. The bridge was like connection between heaven and earth. There was a small crowd around the temple and we had to be in queue to wait for our turn. In the meantime, we started photo sessions and managed everything for the puja. We had to take out our shoes there. It was so cold out there that it was so hard to stand on the bare foot. We stayed there in the temple for around an hour or so and enjoyed our successful journey to the top by having the views of the mountain ranges all over the hills. The returning path was even more dangerous than it was when we climbed to the top. The dangerous height was visible and there was no bar for safety. One slippery step could have taken you all the way down to the bottom of the hill. However, no such incident happened and everybody reached to the bottom safe and sound followed by many photography on the way. As soon as we reached back to the hotel we paid the money then decided to go to the Dolakha Bhimesenthan as well after which we planned to have lunch at Charikot bazzar. Luckily there was no problem as such as we headed downward through the hill at 9:30am. It took around 2.5 hours to reach Dolakha Bhimsenthan temple after which we had our lunch at Charikot at around 1:00pm. We left from Charikot at 1:30pm and reached Dolalghat at 5pm. We had not many stops on the way back from Charikot to Dolalghat just a few. We had fishes with chilled beer there and after some relaxation we left for Banepa in lightning speed. We reached at Banepa at around 6pm and everybody left for home some on bikes while other on local bus and everybody were back home by 8pm. This ended the tiresome journey which was at some point at risk of being collapsed due to Nepal bandh. This journey of ours really proves the statement, “When there is a will there is a way”. There was so much hurdles & obstacles in this trip but we sorted out a way for each of them and we finally made it possible.