Travelling through Nepal is always very special to me. What amazes me the most is that there are so many different landscapes, building styles and beauty in the mountain range. Sometimes they are similar, sometimes they are different but they are always breathtaking and beautiful. In August, I got chance to visit another beautiful place with my youth team colleagues from office into mid-West Nepal. Our trip was 11 days long. Here I am giving you a walk through of my wonderful trip on a day by day basis.
Magic everywhere when we travel
Drive from Kathmandu to Beni bazar. We started at 9 O’clock in the morning from Kathmandu by tourist bus. It took 10 hours to reach Beni bazar. We stopped at Satrasaya for lunch at 1 o’clock. After we reached Beni, we had dinner and discussed the details and share experience of the day before going to bed.
It was monsoon so it was so green and full of wildflowers!
After breakfast in the hotel, we walked around Beni. Beni is a pretty town by a river. When I looked across from the river, there was a beautiful hill with long stone steps carved into it. I really wanted to explore this hill and find out where those steps led but we were supposed to start early to our next destination so I kept quite. After we had breakfast, we learnt that our jeep wouldn’t be ready until 1PM. We had enough time to explore more. So all of us decided to go explore the other side of Beni. I was so happy.
so excited in Beni
The hill on the other side led up to a village called Jaljala. It was a beautiful valley with a remarkable temple and a museum housed inside a magnificent Malla palace which was at least a 100 years old.
exploring Jaljala in our unexpected free time
We were back to Beni by lunchtime. We drove from Beni at 12: 45 pm in afternoon passing Jaljala village and after 5 hours reached Nangi village. In this monsoon, the road was quite difficult as it was slightly raining. The road was very muddy. After we reached Nangi, first we arranged our room in the beautiful community lodge. We had tea and coffee to warm ourselves up. In Nangi, there was free wifi all over the village. After tea/coffee, we met with Toya Pariyar.. We got lots of information about Nangi village and its development from him.
Day 2 ending with a lively discussion with Toya and another friend in Nangi
When I woke up in the early hours, it was raining outside. I was quite sad because we could not seen any view from the community lodge. For breakfast, we decided to have buckwheat pancake – a local delicacy. It was a new dish for me and I really liked it. After breakfast, we first went to visit the local herb nursery. The orchid collection there was huge. I was most impressed with the orchids. We then visited the local health post which had telemedicine services. This was a shocking discovery for me as I had never heard or seen about such technology. I was so so glad to learn about tele medicine.
Next, we visited a shop run by local group of women. They make many handicraft item out of paper that they produce themselves. They demonstrated how they spend their days collecting wood, shaving imperfections off the bark, soaking and drying the bark, and ultimately crafting the bark into pulp and then paper. This has helped in bringing money to the village through the sale of paper to countries outside Nepal. The paper is used in products ranging from notebooks to wine holders. There were other items such as knitted garments, upcycled plastic baskets, and so on in this shop.
Next we visited the local school to learn about tele teaching. The teachers use technology to teach everything from programming software applications to learning about different cultures around the world.
We also learnt that people here drink yak blood once or twice a year. Yak blood is believed to contain medicinal properties and other healthful benefits. This was the first time I heard about this tradition. This was too scary and awful for me, and I wouldn’t have been able to see it live.
Our day at Nangi
Day 4 :
The next morning, we reserved a jeep and started off from Beni to Mustang early in the morning. We came across a giant water fall called Rupse on the way. I was super excited because this was the largest waterfall I have seen in my entire life.
Magnificent Rupse waterfall
The wonder of Kagbeni
We woke up early in the morning and started our hike from Kagbeni to Chhuksang. Since the trail we took was the same path as for the vehicles, the hike went smoothly for most of the part, except for some short cuts. The view of Kagbeni and Kaligandaki as we hiked was spellbinding. After walking for 3 hours we reached Chhuksang. We had our lunch there and then we reserved a jeep to Tsarang. As jeeps could not cross some parts of the road, we had to change our vehicle twice. The vehicle committee of Upper Mustang had good organization in changing vehicles so the transition between moving from vehicle to vehicle was very smooth. The total journey was about 4.5 hour drive. The drive was entirely off-road and we had to hold on tightly in order to stay firmly in our seats. We reached Tsarang, located at a height of about 3600m, in the evening. We had a brief tea stop and then again drove through to finally reach Lo-Manthang at 6:45.
Chhuksang to Lomanthang
This day, after breakfast we walked to chooser village. First off was Niphu Monastery located at a slight hillock which had a nice little prayer room. This monastery also had a great view of the valley below. After talking with the monks for a while, we went back down, crossed another river and went to Jhong Cave. We had to climb up steep stairs to enter the mouth of this cave. Inside the cave, there was multiple floors and tunnels. Through the windows, there were great views. I can imagine that this must have been a pretty safe place in the old days. After visiting the caves we went down into the riverbed and ate our dry nuts and some biscuits watching a local football mach. We got back to Lo-manthang at around 4 pm.
A day well spent in Chhoser
In the morning, we decided to explore Lomanthang thoroughly. We met a monk near the ancient Monastery who told us it story. This monastery at the center of Lomanthang city is around 700 years old. We also visited the Royal palace and the medicine museum. To roam through and learn about Lo was super cool. After our time in Lomanthang, it was time for us to head back to Pokhara. In the afternoon, we drove from Lo to Chhuksang and spent our night there.
It was nearly nightfall when we had arrived in Chhuksang the day before so I had no idea what the scenery was like. When I woke up in the morning and looked through the window, apple branches were literally poking me at my nose. Our hotel had a nice apple orchard around it. As soon as we freshened up, I went to meet with the trees. I really wanted to taste the apples but they were very raw. When waiting for our breakfast, I also saw 3 women roasting raw oats. I had never seen oats being roasted this way. We had delicious lemon flavored pancake for breakfast. After breakfast, we drove to Muktinath temple which was 2 hours away. All the boys took bath in the 108 taps. Me and my friend Mansu just wetted our hair. The water was definitely too cold for bathing. In the evening, we arrived at Jomsom.
dZi youth team selfie at Muktinath
Early morning around 5:30 o’clock, we started driving from Jomsom to Pokhara. It would take almost 7-8 hours to reach Pokhara. On the way, we had a quick stop at the famous Marpha village where there is an apple farm. We crossed through Ghasa, Tatopani, Beni and then finally Pokhara. Road up to Beni is off road and from Beni it is a graveled and easy drive to Pokhara. We chose to stay in a hotel in Pokhara lakeside.Day 10:
This was a most exciting day for most of us. Unexpectedly, I did paragliding along with 4 other colleagues. I have absolutely no words to tell how wonderful this experience was. The view from such a height is totally breathtaking. I had the opportunity to fly with Mr. Dhiraj who was so good at what he does. Thanks for such a beautiful experience Mr. Dhiraj and my dZi foundation office team who supported us for this golden opportunity.
After breakfast we went to Fewa lake for boating as we had not had a chance yesterday. After the peaceful boating, we had lunch. After that, it was time for us to head back to Kathmandu.
All in all, this was one of the most memorable and epic trip of mine. This was the first time that we were going in an office team. So thank you to my office dZi for such a huge support. It has helped us all to be better leader and communicator. We learnt so many things.