It was an unplanned trip, in a way that I reluctantly took a decision just an hour before departure! I don’t usually plan out my trips and treks, because whenever I did, it seldom happened…
Amidst the fuel crisis due to blockade while some of my friends were heading towards their homes for Dashain, I decided to venture far away from it. This time the destination being Ghandruk (~230 kms from Kathmandu)- long heard and long awaited!
Early morning I got my backpack ready and asked my journey partner- my brother to join and left to Jamal, where we decided to catch a tourist bus @7am. And yes, we hadn’t pre-booked the tickets! I was adamant enough not to set myself aback for any valid reasons. So we agreed upon going to Pokhara standing all the way in the bus-as the seats were packed due to festive season and fuel crisis had added upon it. However after we crossed about 30 kms standing in the bus, people were generous enough to share their seat-for-two with us. I’d heard and read that Ghandruk is a cold place at the lap of mountains. So I’d overkilled my backpack with winter stuffs. After Pokhara, its another 3 hours of bus ride (oh yeas, we travelled on the hood of local bus and was exciting) to the point where we started our trek to Ghandruk, and it was NOT cold at all. We started our trek enjoying and beholding everything at the stretch of our eye. Yellow paddy fields amidst where we strolled, Firm Mountains besides which even gentle breeze could sway ones spirit, warm sun gleaming at our soul, pious streams meandering downhill, sound of distant voices, and Alas! we now see Himalayas glazing with snow, and I cheer that’s Mt.Machhapuchre and that’s Mt. Dhaulagiri. My rejoicing knew no bounds for a moment. I was elated to meet local passerbys and ask them endless questions. My brother was grumbling for having carried heavy bag but as our hike gained an altitude (1940 m), all the pain suddenly became worthy with the closer panoramic view of great Himalayas . “Nature never did betray the heart that loved her”. Himalayas give you that supernatural energy to conquer almost anything to reach to it. Of course we took small photo-breaks to capture memories, sat by the woods and rocks, feeling the heat from our body, accidentally tasting sweats and hearing our heart pump out. All that exertion magically got healed in the lap of Mother Nature. It was cow dusk hour by the time we reached Ghandruk village and we searched for our shelter for the night, my choice being lodged at the hotel that provides the closest view of Himalayas even from inside the room and have easy access to balcony / terrace from where I could gaze at sky at night. The hotels provided free Wi-Fi and no-load shedding even at such remote place. I was indifferent to it for I needn’t ask those ease while the village was facilitating me. Stars looked bigger than from Kathmandu valley. It looked smogless, bright and more delightful. I always fantasized when I heard and read how glorified Himalayas look when the first rays of the sun befalls on ’em. It was another sleepless night despite tired body due to fear that I’d oversleep and miss the very view of seeing the golden snow-veiled mountains the following morning. Around 5am (still pitch dark) I took the blanket and lied on chair on terrace. This morning was chilled! My eyes were fixed to the north. There was a huge chunk of cloud hovering around the mountains — slowly disheartening me, for I wouldn’t have that fancied view of Himalayas. At the dawn grew stronger, the clouds started to tear apart. Only sparse cotton clouds remained while the sun peeked from Mt. Machhapuchre and hit Mt. Dhaulagiri. The touch of rays was illustrious yet gentle upon the Himalayas, providing envision of paradise right away. “Faith is but a passionate intuition.” That huge shadow which I thought was a dark cloud few minutes ago, turned into magnificent Mt Dhaulagiri after illumination by the Sun. I grew nonchalant and so did my brother besides me. Words would be ashamed in front of the panorama, I thought … our eyes were not satiated when clouds started floating above the blissful sight. Beauty is a short lived tyranny, how true! But I still consider myself blessed for the very moment that would imprint in my neurons for years to unfold. I wished to go further and closer towards Poon-hill (3,210m above sea level) but I was obliged to return home the next day, and so I promised the Himalayas my next visit soon, and more closer this time…
“My bag was heavy when I climbed up, but my memories got heavier downhill.”
Reliving on memories,