Friday, October 19, 2007

Ghorepani Hiking Day 4: Back Home

17th October 2007, Wednesday

Got up early, we'd to go to Beni. We couldn't say a word to the owner about what happened last night. But when she found out about the mess, c was kinda really mad. Had tea n we left that place. There was nothing left there..

Took a jeep to Beni. The road was bumpy but there were some cool sceneries on the way.

Reached Beni. The cell phone was finally working. Called home. Took a microbus to Kathmandu. This time again there was some cool view on the way.

Kaligandaki as seen from microbus. From Ghorepani Hiking

Five of us got off at Pokhara. Me, Rajiv and Babins were to go Kathmandu directly.

Reached Kathmandu at 5, but Kalanki ko jam caused 2 hours delay.

N ya, there was one funny incident. Rajiv n me were waiting for a bus at Swayambhu to get back home but we didnt get anything. Later on we were jus makin fun waving hands to each n every vehicles that passed by us. Suddenly we happened to wave a scooter, n holy shit, it stopped n waited. We were confused what was that about.. Somewhat excited coz there were gals waiting for us. But scared too coz we didn't know what they were upto..

But before we could make a move, a bus arrived n we got into it. The bus moved n we could still see the gals (there were two of them on the scooty) still waiting.. I was still out of my mind!

Ghorepani Hiking Day 3: Rain ruined the day

16th October 2007, Tuesday

We were to wake up early as we'd to go to Ghorepani to see the magnificent sunrise over the Annapurna range. But when the 4am alarm struck, we realized it was raining. Damn! rain totally ruined our day. We walked so hard to see the himalayas, n it rained the day we were going to see it.

No question of moving, we slept again. Woke up at 8.

Had breakfast and moved towards Ghorepani. Jus took one hour. If it wasn't raining, we'd have gone to Pune Hill, but rain ruined it all. We went to a hotel and had the lunch. One interesting thing about that place was that there was television with major Nepali Channels. Cool!

At Ghorepani. It was raining, else it would have been a wonderful shot from here.. From Ghorepani Hiking

We decided to split. The guys from Pokhara – Rajendra, Sanish and Ravindra were taking the same path we took to reach Ghorepani. The rest of us had no intention of goin back to Pokhara sooner. So as per the advice given by the local policeman, we decided to go to Beni through Myagdi. He'd told us that we can reach Tiplang in around 6 hours. From there we can take a bus to Beni. And from Beni there's bus to Kathmandu.

We started at 12. The first place we reached was Chitrey. We stayed there for a while at a local Mela. We'd been hearing about this Mela since Ulleri, but didn't find anything special. Maybe the fun was beginning, but we'd no time to spare.

Annapurna Range began to appear as we left for Beni! From Ghorepani Hiking

Reached another village called Shikha. From there we took a scary road towards Tiplang. The whole journey was much better than before. It was in a true sense hiking. There were villages on the way, n there always was beautiful himalayas as we walked. We felt like we did a great job not taking same path we'd come from to return back.

At Sikha. From Ghorepani Hiking

Top of the world :) From Ghorepani Hiking

Nepal is indeed beautiful.. From Ghorepani Hiking

Beautiful waterfalls were all around. From Ghorepani Hiking

The final road was really scary. It was down the hill and the path was really steep. I felt like i lost my knee cap as i walked down the road n had to take a rest on every turn. Really tiring. We were supposed to reach Tiplang by 4 or 5 but it was already 6 when we reached there.

It was already dark when we reached Tiplang. From Ghorepani Hiking

Prajwal, Mahesh and Babins were really ahead and had reached Tiplang around half an hour earlier. And had also taken a hotel room. Interestingly the hotel was run by two young gals. You can tell why they chose that hotel. Guys r guys!

Lots of flirting with those gals but clearly no sign of anything 'special' happening. In that hotel too, jus two rooms for 8 of us. No, we weren't miser this time, but that hotel jus had two rooms left.

Things were goin ok. Some of the guys were playing cards (call-break). I was jus the spectator coz i didn't have enough member to form a team (of four). Mahesh were still in the kitchen 'flirting' with the younger of two gals. Prajwal joined soon and both of them were drinking local wine. I went there too, but returned back soon coz 'something else' was goin on there n didn't want to interfere..

But not for too long. Prajwal started shouting. Holy cow, he was totally drunk! Mahesh returned back n he was kinda upset but i donno why.

We brought Prajwal back to room and we tried to sleep. Me, Prajwal and Umang. N by da way, Umang was already sick – he'd tried the wine and vomited too. Prajwal was totally drunk and still shouting. I tried to make him sleep and myself tried to sleep. Other guys were in another room playing cards.

A few minutes later, Prajwal started to spit on the floor. Soon i realized he was goin to vomit. I got up n tried to pull him out of room, but holy mother of all craps, he vomited in the room!!!

Goddamnit. I got totally numb for a while. Didn't know what to do. Called other guys in next room. Threw Prajwal out of house but had no idea what to do with the mess. It was getting smelly already n the guys in next room (guests) were spraying air-freshener. Narendra n other guys got buckets of water n tried to clean the room, but it wasn't goin away.

I was really really mad at Prajwal n didn't care if he stays outside the whole night. But other guys called Prajwal back n made him sleep in the same room. He was into sleep instantly.

There was no way any of us sleeping in that smelly room. Five of us shared a double bed. Rest two slept outside of room (kinda lobby). Later on i also went outside coz five in a double bed was really gross. I'd to literally sleep on floor with almost no blanket!! Darn u Prajwal..

Ghorepani Hiking Day 2: Hiking turned Safari

15th October 2007, Monday

It was first time in Pokhara for some guys so they went to Devis' Falls in the morning. They promised they'll be back at 8. Me, Rajiv and Prajwal were left back at hotel, so we also decided to take a short walk. But on the way we found a shop to hire bicycle. Rs. 20 per hour. Cheap, we went for a short trip around Pokhara. Dam side, Prithivi chowk, Chiple Dhunga, New Road and the time we were back at hotel, it was already 10 i guess. And we were already late for starting hiking.

Some food and we left. We were 11 – Rajendra, Sanish and Ravindra (Electrical Dept.) were also going. Some this n that, it was already noon we left the hotel.

Some breakfast before leaving. From Ghorepani Hiking

And ya, we decided to go to Ghorepani. Our first plan was to go to Annapurna Base Camp, but since we came to know it takes a lot of days, we switched to Ghandruk. But later on we came to know that the scenery is much better at Ghorepani than Ghandruk, our destination was Ghorepani at last. But first we had to go to Naya Pul to start the hike.

Going to Naya Pul was a mess again. We changed three buses. The first one to go half the road to New Bus Park. Second was a van where we stood on the carriage. The third was a bus, where we sat at the roof half the road, back inside as it started to rain and again back to top coz inside bus it was boring, although Jiwan was havin a gr8 time flirting with a gal next to him in the seat.

On the way to Naya Pul. From Ghorepani Hiking

Our hiking finally started. It was 2 already when we started walking. We were almost sure we wont reach destination on time. But so far so good.

Hiking got better with view of himalayas. From Ghorepani Hiking

There were a lot of sheeps n chyangras on the way. We liked to call them 'Dashain'. The road was along the river and although it was hot, the road wasn't harsh to walk.

Dashain.. From Ghorepani Hiking

But things got really bad as we reached the steep hill to Ulleri. O god the road was so steep and so tiring. Soon, the fast moving guys got really ahead n the rest of us couldn't walk faster. But why bother, we walked slowly. Afterall our destination for today was Ulleri only n we can reach there anyhow. We were me, rajiv, rajendra, jiwan and umang in the slow walking team.

There were some cool people on the way. The first was the 'charko' didi. She had a shop where we stopped to have tea. She was really flirty and funny. The guys who were ahead of us had also stopped in that shop for some cold drinks. While we were there, there were other ppl from kathmandu. They were also staying at Ulleri.

View from Ulleri. From Ghorepani Hiking

We finally reached Ulleri but there was no sign of other guys. The locals told us that they moved towards Birethanti, another village one hour ahead. It was getting dark but we decided to go and catch them.

We met them finally at Birethanti. But they were getting ready to move forward towards Nangethanti and still ahead to Ghorepani if possible. It was already 6 then. The locals told us that it takes 2 hours to reach Nangethanti. We had to cross the forest named Banthanti to reach there.

And then our trekking turned into Night Safari. It was pitch dark and we were in the woods. To make things worse, i was at the tail of line. And o god, i cant explain how scared i was. I always had the feeling that someone was coming from behind. After an hour of walk everybody started to get frustrated coz it was dark n we didn't know where we were goin. And there was no sign of appearance of Nangethanti.

Trekking turned Safari. From Ghorepani Hiking

I didn't know this first but there was another reason to be scared among other guys. Some villagers told them that some kinda 'Churelni' (female ghost) scare people in the woods. Similarly 'Top' (male ghost) scale gals. I would have been even more scared if i'd known it coz i was at the back.

Two hour of hopeless walk and we finally heard noise of dogs shouting – we've reached Nangethanti. We found a hotel but the owner told us that they dont have enough rooms. But we requested coz we'd nowhere to go. Finally she agreed.

Was warm there. We also had meal with delicious meat of chyangra.

Bed time. We took jus two rooms! 11 guys in jus two rooms. We're hell miser so to speak but infact we were tight of budget. Moreover, it was cold too. In one of the rooms were the ones who were having 'toop', rest in another.

N ya, there was a funny (but scary) incident. The place had no electricity so i went to other guys room to borrow a lighter, in case we needed one. It was dark n i was staring the darkness outside through the pitch dark passage as i knocked the door of another room. Suddenly somebody came nowhere out of darkness with a candle. O god, i was almost scared to death! But thanx god, it wasn't any 'churelni' or something alike. She was the hotel owner, bringing the bill :P

Ghorepani Hiking Day 1: First Times

14th October 2007, Sunday

We were all set for the hiking and so were to meet at buspark at 6:30. But being a Nepali it's obviously against our morals to be on time :). I reached at 7. Rajiv and Rajendra followed. Babins and Jiwan were already there. Had some arguments on whether to take a bus or micro. Finally took a bus at around 7:30.

Few minutes on the road and we got stuck again at Kalanki aka Kalanki ko jam. Some yawnings, roaming around and cursing government for not broadening the road, we finally hit the highway at 11.

Bored at Kalanki ko Jam. From Ghorepani Hiking

The other guys – Prajwal, Narendra, Mahesh and Umang were on bike. Their plan was to go to Manakamana first, reach Pokhara in the evening and meet us. Our plan was to go the Pokhara directly first, have some sight seeings and meet the biker guys later in the evening.

But unfortunately due to delay at Kalanki we reached Pokhara later. The biker guys were already at Sanish's place. We finally met at Prithivi chowk.

Most of the guys were for the first time in Pokhara so we went directly towards lakeside and Phewa tal. It wasn't my first visit to Pokhara (infact i was in Pokhara for a week few months ago) so wasn't interested at all. But other guys were really enjoying the place. We stayed in a hotel at Lakeside. It was Prajwal's friend's.

In the evening, again went for some walk. Our plan was to get dinner and go to a disco. But the club we went only had a concert. There was a snooker table too, so some guys went to play. Rest of us stayed outside.

We roamed around but it only got boring and boring. I was sleepy of day long bus ride. Finally we found a club. We all decided to go there, have some beer, jump around and go back to hotel room.

But WTF, it was a dance club. I mean only a real gal dancing at the front. Not kinda disco as we all had imagined before entering. It was the first time most of us had ever gone to a dance club. And it was embarrassing. At least i was.

Things got lil okay later on. Some guys even went to the front seat and some started talkin with the dancers. But nothing 'special' happened. I came to know later on that some cops had also arrived at the bar but obviously nothing wrong with that. I had few glasses of beer. Bar closed at 11.

From Ghorepani Hiking