journey to solitude (continued I)

Gosaikunda and back again (Part III)

“No matter what people say, you are what you think.”

Previous Part – (

Continued from above part

Sky was clear. Sweats dropping from my forehead. By the way, I am a sweaty person. I start sweating a lot in slightly warm climate. And this time the climate was pretty hot. Sweats would come down into my eyes through eyebrows. I hate it when your eyes get sour form the sweats. The handkerchief I had was already wet. I was foolish to bring two jackets with me thinking it would be cold. After walking the steep hills with narrow trails, only made for sheep and donkeys, I saw a house at the top. Walking towards it, I recognized it was pulled off by the earthquake. Anyway, I unloaded my bag, took Gulcose-D in orange flavor. Poured it into my water bottle. Drank some of the energy drink that I just made. The trekking bag was not comfortable. How does it feel to carry a 22 Kg rucksack with a 3 kg tent in your hand ? Ask me. It was difficult. So, I used one of my jackets as a shock absorber on my back. Now, it was a bit less painful to carry that bag.

After an hour, I was somewhere in a dense jungle. I was enjoying. The trees, the trails, the birds. You might think I am crazy but I could hear great natural music there. The breeze flowing through, leaves crapping, birds humming. Every step I took was a step towards eternal life. I thought to myself. What haven’t I done this before ? I didn’t know it would be this beautiful. But some kind of fear was still with me though I was enjoying it a lot. I had my lucky swiss knife just in the right pocket of my pants in case. Why this swiss knife was lucky ? Its a long story which dates back to my wild adventure in Kalinchok. Maybe I will write a separate blog about it.

I just noticed a Nepali man in his national uniform Dhura Swarwal and Khukri attached over his hips with help of a belt. I was scared and was touching the swiss knife though I knew I wouldn’t stand a chace with him. But we worry too much. He was just a normal villager. He passed by in no time. We exchanged glances. After some minutes, I could a large gang of tourists with guides and potters. But I didn’t care too much about them. They were maybe a minute ahead of me. The stopped by a tea house. I also stopped in the same trail to fill up my energy drink. Drank some of it and headed towards the trail. It was getting more hot as noon was approaching.

I completely forgot that I have a mobile phone with me. It was the phone given by my office. It might have been vibrating from a long time. I just noticed the vibration through the nerves. It might be the case that this place that I was in previously, didn’t had network coverage. I tried to receive the call. First I had to free my hand from the tent I was carrying. It was phone from Rajesh

“Hello” – me

“Hello. Where are you? ” – Rajesh

“I am in some hill. I am travelling alone to Gosaikunda”- Me

“Really !!! Alone !!!!” – Rajesh

“I swear. ” – Aadesh

“But you said that we would go together right. Like we went to Kalinchok ?” – Rajesh

“Yes, this happened all of sudden. I am sorry Rajesh. But I promise we will go to Manaslu or other place together.” – me

“Ok. I called you to talk about the KU project. Since, you are there. We will talk after you return. Enjoy your journey. Bye” – Rajesh

“Thanks. Bye” – me

As soon as I hang up the call, and just kept the phone on my pocket, again it started to vibrate. Uff. Again someone is calling. It was Biste . His original name is Rajjev Bista. Only few know his original name.

“Hello. Where are you? ” – Biste

“Hello. I am at some hill going towards Gosaikunda.” – me

“I told you not to go alone. Why you always do this crazy stuffs. You don’t listen to anyone. Do what you wish. ” – Biste

“Yes. Thats me. I do what I like. What I enjoy.” – me

“Ok. Now you have gone. Please be safe. Have a safe journey. When are you coming back? ” – Biste

“I don’t know. Maybe next sunday.” – me

“Ok. Have a nice trip. ” – Biste

After this call was over, I made sure to switched off my phone and kept it inside the bag. I didn’t want anyone to disturb me. By this time, the previous trekking group almost caught me. As my bag was heavy, my pace was slow. Since, the tourist had potters to carry their bag, they were light and could move lot faster that I did. After few minutes, all of them were ahead of me, even the potters. I said to myself. Its not who reaches destination first. Its about the journey. Same is with our life. Its not about who is more rich or successful. Its all about the journey of our life. These measures are comparative. It means different things to different people. So don’t loose yourself to attain these. They will come and go throughout your life.

Probably it was noon and sun was just above me when I reached Deurali. The tourist group was resting over there. I washed my face. Put on the sunscreen cream to protect my face from sun burn. Then I realized that I forgot to bring matches or lighter to light fire. I hurriedly ran to the tea shop there and bought some matches. I didn’t rest there much. The tourist group were planning to have their lunch there. I found out that I had to climb up that steep hill in this hot sun. Oh no. Anyway I started to climb. Maybe after an hour, I will inside a dense forest. The sun could do no damage on me. I found some people going toward where I came from. I asked about their journey. Some of them travelled alone. Seeing them my confidence was up. If these many people can travel alone why can’t I ?

22kg bag with 3kg tent should have been too heavy from my 61kg body to handel. After some time, I started to take rest quite often, lying in middle of the trail using the bag as my pillow. Watching the blue sky. Watching the trees. But always one hand alert on swiss knife. While walking I was collecting some firewoods to cook food for lunch. After an hour, I reached to a place where there was ashes and some leftover firewood. While collecting some more firewood, I saw a tea house just above the place. I went there if I could use their fire place. I noticed the familiar face. He was the tourist that I helped yesterday to buy fruits. I greeted him. Then we started talking. I used the tea house fire place to cook lunch. I had lunch. My body was too tired. So I planned to take a power nap. I opened my sleep bag and went inside it middle of the trail. After some time, the tourist group who stopped at Deurail spotted me sleeping. I woke up as they were making too much noise. I packed my bag and started waking.

This hill had different colors of rhododendron. Rhododendron is national flower of Nepal. Magnificent hill. Different hills had different colour rhododendron. The view was enchanting. I can never forget that view. Anyone in my place would easily fall in love with the nature. I lost track of time enjoying the nature and the birds music. I was soon at Chandanbari. It had a big milk dairy. Also it had couple of big tea houses. I could see many group of tourists settled into the tea houses. I just wanted to rest for some minutes and walk over to next stop which was around two hours from there. Someone from the tea house called me in and said me to rest over there for today and continue the trek tomorrow. I noticed a boy who had trouble moving his legs and another person carried him inside the tea house. I was too curious about what had happened. I asked the next person sitting besides the boy

“What happened to him ?”

He replied.

They were three friends that came for trekking over here. All of them reached to Gosaikunda easily. Then he started developing some problem in his leg muscles. So their friends ditched him and continued the route and asked him to return back the way they came in. Till here he came with lots of struggle. But now he is kind of paralyzed. We have called Army for help. They are on their way.

It was a sadto listen. What kinds of friends are they? How could anyone leave their friend behind like this? What happens to me if I happen to have this muscle problem ? There questions started to form dark clouds on my head. I thought it was best for me that I came alone. See, the one who came with friends also had to suffer this much. If I had stayed there any longer, these thoughts might have overtaken me. As I was about to leave, one of the person in the tea house asked

“Are you travelling alone ?” – Stranger

“Yes.” – me

“Its not a safe route to travel alone. Do you know what happened a week back ?” – Stranger

“No. What happened ?” – me ( I was kind of frightened now )

He replied.

“ A week back. There were four friends came through this route. They were carrying a paper map with them. After passing the Surya Kunda, near Phedi, the bottom part of the mountain, they got lost. After few hours getting lost, they found a river. Checking into the map, one of them said that after crossing this river we can find the path which will take us towards Chisa pani. Others were not that convinced. Since they were lost they had to take this chance. It was a small river they guessed by the looks of it. Then one of them tried first to cross the river. Though it was small, the river originated high up in the mountains. So it had lots of current on it. Instantly, the river caught him offguard. Without blinking their eyes, one of their friends was taken up by river. Before they could make a move, his body crashed upon a big rock and it was over for him. Others couldn’t utter a word. They sad besides the river crying that day and whole night. Since, that area doesn’t have network coverage they couldn’t contact anyone for help. Next day, a local villager saw them and rescued remaining of them.”

It was a tragic story to hear. Now I was more fearful than ever. I was confused about my journey. Can I pull it off ? Will I also end of as one of these stories ? But I said to myself no matter what happens, I will fight for it. No matter what situations comes in. I will remain calm and act. So, I moved on from that place towards Chalangpati. The sun was almost at horizon. The day was over. But my ambition was not. I have to reach to my destination, prepare food, find a proper place to put on tent and sleep peacefully.

I was a lonley walk towards Chalangpati. I couldn’t see a bird in that route. After a hour, I thought I was lost in the dense woods. Luckly I found some one approaching towards me. He said that it would take me an hour to reach Chalangpati and the route would get a bit easier than this. Now, I could breath properly after hearing this. Now, It was too dark. To my relief, I was finally there. Now I was searching a place to put on my tent. Some figure approached towards me

“Namaste. What are you looking for?” – Stranger

“I am trying to put my tent. I can put tent here?” – me

“No. This is this tea house property. You need to pay to have your tent here.” – Stranger

“How much ?” – me

“Rs. 500 for a single tent ” – Stranger

“Why this expensive ? How much is for the room ?” – me

“A single room for Rs.400 ” -Stranger

“It doesn’t make sense. What room is cheap than putting on my tent? ” – me

Then she politely said. Your age is like my son dear. Our tea shop doesn’t have a single visitor. See the other tea house. They are full of tourists. I don’t know why our hotel is empty. So, I don’t want to let you slip away. I will charge you less if you stay in the one of our room instead of the tent. I was really confused now. Seeing her face, I was too emotional. I thought that if I spent some money in their shop that might help them somehow. So I decided to stay at their hotel. They showed me the room. Then I asked if I could have some potatoes burned in firewood. I layed down and talked with them. I asked about their life. They talked about their family, their children who are studying in Kathmandu, their daily life and the earthquake. I must have been their sweet talks that made me asleep. I felt asleep on the wooden chair near the fireplace. After some time I woke up and went towards the room and slept. It must have been the tiring day that I didn’t felt anything around me.

Woke up early in the morning. Packed the bag and paid them. Then, he showed me how to bind the tent to the bag. Till this time I haven’t noticed that I could have easily bind the tent with the bag. It would have been a lot easier for me if I knew this a day before. But its never too late. Now, both of my hands were free. The trek from that point was the most challenging in the whole trekking circuit. It had the steepest accent. I was struggling to keep up the pace to climb that hill. Suddenly, my ankle just made a big noise. I cramped ankle by placing my leg over uneven surface.

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