Travelling, particularly, trekking is not always fun. I say this knowing full well almost every trekker enjoys it, and then prepares for the next one. This is what has amused me thus far.
Perhaps, the suffering on the way up to destination while trekking provides meaning to it in a way Nietzsche has famously said “To live is to suffer, to survive is to find some meaning in the suffering.” Hence adventurous walking in different forms might create various levels of experiences, both satisfying and suffering. At the end, even sufferings generate many dynamic ideas and knowledge which could even lead to self-transcendence.
As we planned our trips (To Gosainkunda) riding by scooter till Dhunche in Rasuwa, we were not much in hurry. Meeting at Bagbazar around 8:30 in the morning, picking and packing up the basics leisurely, we drove off -two in one- in two scooters.
We took the highway via Tokha cutting through Shivapuri National Park. Driving across such sceneries in a sunny morning was really a captivating moment, but slowly, fear overtook joy, as we began the journey up, having to negotiate stiff and narrow pathways, shortly after we crossed Shivapuri.
The condition of the road between Ramche and Nessing village and the sudden heavy rain was beyond what we expected. That, somehow put water on our enthusiasm, and increased the anticipated travel time. We reached Dhunche around 4.45 pm, completely drenched, shivering. Our leisurely made plan to walk further three hours up to Deurali parking the scooters in Dhunche, became a forgotten chapter.
However, leaving all the worries for tomorrow, we followed a man who was roaming around the road to collect guests for his hotel. After quickly freshening up, we ordered food at the hotel we were staying, and in order to save time, we hurried to the local bazaar to find some warm clothes and a bag since the ones we were carrying were drenched too.
A log-like sleep under the wrap of warm blankets after the local food injected the required energy for the trip forward. We left Dhunche around 7 am after having breakfast. There were only three other travelers during the two-hour walk. Two of them were the boys heading towards the same destination as we were.
The other man said he was heading off to Chandanbari, aiming to get there in an hour, where he had planned to have lunch. For us, it was an astonishing target since we had allotted nearly 5 hours for Chandanbari. Yes, army personnel perform miracles physically. We had heard that when they have a piece of work at Chandanbari (3,200 m) they reach there to have lunch, after completing the training in Dhunche and get back on the schedule, easily. It was really amazing that the efficiency of human bodies can increase so much with military training.
Once we reached Ghatte khola (1960m), the much-needed warmth of the sun and the scenery there were quite mesmerizing. We had tea, coffee, gram curry, and Chowmein. There, we encountered several groups both going to and returning from their destinations.
We reached Deurali (2500) at almost 11 am. We were perhaps looking for an excuse to slow down our pace without saying we are tired. Taking pictures, having intermittent rest and interacting with trekkers helped us. We were reminded of the saying “whatever happens, happens for the good.” As we did not have much choice of food there, we exchanged our happiness that it was good we stayed at Dhunche and also good we had some snacks at Ghatte Khola. One of us had rice, a leftover from staff food in a newly built hotel, and the rest of us took fried noodles and coke, before heading off to Chandanbari.
We rested at Dhimsa (2900m) for more than 15 minutes, took some pictures, bought hot water and then continued walking. We reached Chandanbari around 2 pm, a beautiful place with plenty of options for food and stay. Happy with both food and hospitality, we spent an hour there and bought a woolen Topi scripted ‘Gosainkunda’ as a souvenir and resumed our walk towards the destination of the day, Lauribinayak (3900m), spending some time at Cholang pati, a tourist spot, which has witnessed construction of some new hotels recently. All tired, nonetheless excited, we reached Lauri Binayak at dusk.
Woke up early in the morning with a bigger enthusiasm and excitement to have a closer glimpse of the much revered mythological, and talked about Gosainkunda. We were in a hurry to take a walk towards Gosainkunda but the spectacular view of open sky and bright mountains from the hotel premises, held us up. We spent time snapping pictures and having breakfast before we trudged along Gosaikunda almost at 7:30 am.
One of us had almost given up as the road to nearby Buddha Mandir was too steep. Luckily, a horse was available to cover that upward trail famously known as Lauribinayak ko Ukalo. When the remaining three completed the route all tired, the friend who went on horse stood to greet his companions, partly genuinely and perhaps partly with a sense of ‘victory’. We witnessed humans surrender with the power of a horse. We simply thanked the horse – for being a part to accomplish our journey and promised to embody the value and strength of every single creature in the universe.
Trudging up a tiring ukalo and interesting black stony trail, we reached sunny and refreshing Gosaikunda (4380) and multiple lakes nearby, at around 11 am. Spending almost two hours enjoying the beauty of the lake, open sky, a running cloud and one member going for a holy dip in the almost freezing water were completely breathtaking experiences. At times, we felt that in the wake of categorizing humans as social animal we ramp up the disconnection of humans as natural beings, and as a result, the omnipresence of nature is being imprisoned as “nature therapy”.
We returned to stay at Chandanbari for a night. The next morning, we had breakfast at Chandanbari and purchased yak cheese, a local specialty, at DDC Cheese Production Center, before back-tracking. We set Dhunche as the destination for lunch, and Kathmandu, for dinner, collectively determined that the next trip would not be far away.
On the way to Dhunche, some of the children were asking whether we would be able to give them something. We just handed them leftovers such as biscuits and chocolates. In return, they expressed their happiness through their smiling faces and gestures.
After a scary journey, the only time we perhaps felt wise and happy for travelling with scooters was when other travelers on their return trip were hurrying and waiting long hours to board their bus. A well-managed road for smooth travel till Dhunche would no doubt provide access for a larger mass to connect themselves with nature. Although the impact on environment and naturality is another issue that needs to be considered.
We were really rejuvenated after the trip. One of our trekking members who almost quit the walk midway during the trudge was the first to purpose another trekking with the same group soon. The beauty of trekking is that you reach the destination all tired but return with energy and eagerness to plan the next one.
As such, the visiting doesn’t only disclose the beauty and hardship of geography, but also works as a Guru to impart knowledge on social structure, cultural behavior and survival strategies of day to day living.