Trek to Manaslu
Trekking adds an adventurous chapter to our life. Rajubhai Maharjan is a regular trekker who loves exploring different parts of Nepal and finds himself.
Although foreigners often visit Manaslu, Raju Ji found out that it’s not a very famous place among Nepalese for trekking and hiking. Ever since his visa got rejected for the USA, he started exploring Nepal and the heavenly places that he never thought existed in Nepal. When he heard about the name, he googled the location, unfortunately, it was never on his bucket list. Manaslu, to his surprise, was not too far from the valley. Hence the less bus travel time made it easier for them to enjoy themselves more and feel less tired. The six people were headed off to Manaslu on a Scorpio, full of enthusiasm and an unforeseen situation. Little did they know, they were going to one of the heavenly places of Nepal and this trip was going to make a huge change in their lives.
Six of them started their journey to Manaslu at 7 Am from SanoBharyang, Kathmandu. Eight hours flew by so easily for him as the scenes outside, beautiful streams, and nature was ecstatically mesmerizing to his eyes. He had been to many treks and every one of them equally puts him to aww. However, there was something special about the way to Manaslu. He says,” Maybe because of the lockdown and we were locked up in our house, this trip was more important and it let me feel free after a long time.” The jeep they had hired could go only up to Soti Khola (700 m). And from there, they had to hire another local jeep (Rs. 400 per person) for them to take to Macha Khola. It was 3 Pm when they reached there, had their lunch, and because they were not tired, they started our hiking. They had to walk for 2 hours, as the roads were under construction and transportation was not possible. No vehicles mean the environment was fresh and clean, clean enough to not dirt their shoes and clothes. According to him, the flowers in Kathmandu seemed less colorful compared to the flowers in Manaslu as there is no pollution. After 2 hours of hiking, they reached Tato pani, where they had their dinner and spent a night. Since not many visitors were there, the “khana” had to be ordered to cook. This is why they would get to eat fresh and healthy foods. Altogether, the dinner and one-night room cost were only Rs.450.
The next day, they again started their hike that took one and a half hours to reach a place called Dobhan. For breakfast, they had boiled Potatoes with salt and chili pickle. he says that being a vegetarian who loves simple foods, that particular boiled potatoes from that region hit differently. They had given so many potatoes that six of them could finish it. After breakfast at Dobhan, they reached Jagat, where they had lunch. That place was worth the stay, but because they had not much time, they could not. The hotels are beautiful and most of the foreigners stay there. For the night stay, they reached Philim (1570m) at around 4 pm. Philim is a well-facilitated place with governmental offices like CDO, DAO, etc. however, there is no transportation facility so they had to hike over there as well. It was a long day of walking for them, so they took a rest and enjoyed the rest of the evening.
It was the third day; they woke up early as usual and headed off on their journey. From Philim, they passed through different places like Ebel Bhetti, Nyale Phedi, Deng, Rana and reached Bhim Phedi(1980m). Bhim Phedi covers a big area and has a beautiful nature where Gurung people reside. For breakfast, they had “Ghiu Chiya” and “Kodo ko roti”, which is an authentic traditional food there. After having breakfast, they continued their trekking. They passed by beautiful other places and for him, Namjung caught his heart. There was a hotel with a very good ambiance and the owner himself had traveled to many countries and started his own hotel. They had lunch in that hotel where the foods were served in the stones cut off to make a beautiful plate and everything was visually appealing to him. They spent some time there and headed off to Sho (2880m). They had aimed to stay in the place called Lho but due to the high altitude, considering their health and time, they had to spend their third night at Sho.
The next morning, he had “Satu'' for breakfast and the other five people had roti. For him, the roti was deep fried in oil so he did not like having it. After breakfast, they continued their hike and reached Sama(3520m). Sama has a big area where helicopter facilities are available. The place is full of natural beauty and has fertile land. The big lands are covered with agriculture. My health was good until this day. Along the hike, they had their lunch at Samdo(3870m), took a rest for a short time, and headed off to reach Dharmsala(4460m) for a night stay. Since it was above 4400m, the health condition started getting worse due to high altitude. One of his friends could not sleep at night because of a bad health condition to the point where the friend felt like giving up and returning to Kathmandu.
On the fifth day, they woke up at 3 Am, had noodles. They started walking at 4 Am and reached Larke pass at around half past nine which was the highest altitude of 5160m. They were having trouble with proper breathing due to high altitude. However, giving up was not an option for them. They were enjoying all the ups and downs. Raju Ji says that it was the first time for him to walk in the snow. They walked through the Himalaya range for 4-5 hours, calming every nerve of their existence. It was so cold that they wanted to take pictures and capture the moment but the cold would make their hands black and blue. They reached a place named Bhim Thang, where they had dinner and stayed a night.
On this day, after having breakfast, their trek trip continued to reach the Manang side of our country. They hiked down to the place Dharapani. From this area, transportation facilities were available. They had their lunch and after a while. They caught a bus and headed off to Besi Sahar. Besi Sahar was the last place of their trip from where they booked the ticket for Kathmandu and got back home.
- What have you learned from the trekking experience so far?
Trekking means learning about life. I have traveled to many places and countries. I have been abroad, of course, it is beautiful and wondrous but the visit never tranquilizes my heart. However, every place in Nepal puts me in awe, and I feel so refreshed and revived after a short trip into the nature of our country. So, I have learned that nature and belongingness make you feel free and let you explore yourself.
- Did the thought of staying there forever come across your mind?
The place is indeed beautiful. However, it is not practical for us to live there forever. When we were walking through the snow, it felt heavenly but at times, we wanted it to end and return to Kathmandu. It was a heavenly place but life is difficult there and I realized how privileged and lucky we are to be living in a well-facilitated place like Kathmandu.
- Did you become vegetarian and get dependent on healthy foods after you started trekking? How does it help in your trip?
At the beginning of my trekking journey, I would eat whatever new food items were available in those places. It has been more than a year since I have started eating healthy when my daughter-in-law got me connected with an organization named Prakriti Premi samuha. They were taking a hike of 4 nights and 5 days. The organization we went to was Nirog Ananda Dham, from where I got connected with the teacher. I learned about a 7 days program, where I learned about healthy and unhealthy foods. The choice of healthy foods has impacted my trekking trip. I do not get tired easily and can go long on the trekking routes. Now I have stopped pressure medication and feel healthy.