Thursday, January 17, 2019

First Trek Of My Life: Gosaikunda

Trek To Gosaikunda: Aug 2 2017  - Aug 4 2017 (3 Day trek Kathmandu -Gosaikunda -Kathmandu)

The plan to visit Gosaikunda was very abrupt. We were leaving on Wednesday and I was informed on Friday I think. Since my mom had visited the Gosaikunda twice already and it is a very famous pilgrimage my mom gave me permisison immediately. It was the month of Shravan, the month when there is a fair or a mela. Hundreds and thousands of pilgrims come to worship the holyness of Lord Shiva and the lake itself during this month. Its also the month of rain so we were expecting rains during our trek. I had been to hikes before and I had my mom who helped me pack the essentials. From my hiking experience, I had packed the minimal.

Day 1: Kathmandu -Dhimsa:

On day 1, we had our tickets booked for Pasang Lhamu Bus. One can get the tickets from their counter at Balaju Bypass Junction. One can also reserve a sumo or scorpio which will cost around Nrs 12000/- . The counter had asked us  to come on time i.e 6 am in the morning. They told us that the bus leaves strictly on time. We reached Balaju Bypass at 6:45. We were so late and bus was very ready to leave us behind but Venus, our friend had been asking for 5 more minutes every 5 minutes.
We took the route from Galchi -bidur-dhunche. We got stucked in a traffic after crossing naubise. That is where we ate our breakfast and Ashim completed his half done shaving. After crossing Galchiwe were again stuck in jam for about 2 hours. The road there was not black pitched and due to rain the road had got very muddy and small vehicles were getting stuck in the mud mire.

 The road was also blocked for an hour due to the ongoing road construction that was happening. 
We ate lunch at trishuli. It cost us Nrs 200 for Veg daal bhat.
The road to dhunche was pretty scary as are all the roads in the remote Nepal. We reached dhunche at 2pm. After strolling around to buy plastic as a make-do raincoat for some, slippers for ashim and bamboo sticks for walking we officially started our trek. First it was downhill for 20 minutes then it was an uphill trail until Gosaikunda. 
We kept going and climbing, resting for quick breath and snacking on almonds, raisins and juice. It also started raining mildly and gearing up with our raincoats we went on and on until we reached Deurali. There we  (Ashmi, Venus, Sony and Me) waited for the rest of our friends to catch us.In total it was 7 of us. 
 Since it was mela time, there were many temporary plastic huts with number. There was about 100-140 such huts until the lake itself. We made the hut numbers as our milestone. Stopping for quick break it every 2nd hut, 3rd hut and so on. After taking a break for 5-10 minutes we started to continue but as we took about 10 steps, it started raining heavily. So we decided to stop at hut no 9 for tea and biscuits. 
We also asked the hut owners to book us rooms at Dhimsa Homestay. When the rain stopped slightly we started making our way to the hotel. The uphill was getting tough for some of our friends. This was the time when i was really fit as I was doing swimming, dance class and workouts in a single day so I was doing fine for myself. At 7pm we reached our hotel and were delighted to get two rooms. Since this was the month of rain, we had been also careful not to be sucked by leech so seeing a leech on my leg made an outburst of screams from all the girls in the room. 
We changed our wet clothes, left  it to dry above the fireplace and sat around the fireplace to warm ourselves. We planned on leaving at 6am the next morning. 

Day 2: Dhimsa-Gosaikunda-Chandanbari

We woke up at 5 in the morning, had tea and ate the biscuits we had brought with us. By 6 we were all set and ready to leave but it was raining very heavily. We waited for a while but since the rain was not showing any signs to stop we decided otherwise. 
We reached Sing Gompa by 7. It took us only an hour. It was a place with more settlements. There were may be 10-12 hotels there whereas in Dhimsa there were 2 hotels only. Our next stop was Cholangpati. We had to go through the jungle and the trail was very very muddy and due to lots of pilgrims coming and going the muddy trail had  become very hard to walk on. The locals told us it was going to take us 4 hours to reach Cholangpati from SingGompa but we reached Cholangpati in 2 hours. We rested in a stable for 15 minutes, snacked up and dried ourselves as much as we could. The heat from our body, the sweat, the raincoat trapping the sweat and body heat and the rain was a very good combination for a dramatic scene of steam coming off of us as we rested. 
Our next stop was Laurebinayak. On inquiring, the locals told us that the trail was even more difficult and steep and we rather take a horse from here on. But we were here to trek and not horse ride, so we started our uphill trek. The route so far was not uphill compared to what we were walking now. At times, it felt like my chest was going to burst but that feeling was making me so alive at the same time. Somewhere near Laurebinayak, we got the network and we called our homes to inform them we were safe and sound. At 10:30 or 11am we reached Laurebinayak. In between, we rested in the huts for snacking on noodles, biscuits and tea. We started taking small bits of powder of timur, and other herbs as well as garlic and ginger that was sent to me by my mom. It is said to help against catching altitude sickness. We stopped at a hotel in Laurebinayak to wait for our slow walkers. As they arrived, we carried to our next stop Buddha mandir.  My mom on the call before had told me to not look up as in ascend my way from Laurebinayak. Not sure why she said that I was curious. We were told the trail was too steep and the hardest part of the whole trail. We hadn't had proper lunch and our energy was also going low. We had been walking almost continuously since the morning. Looking up we would see 3-4  hills to climb, as we reached atop of it, we would see another 3 hills we had to climb and then other 3-4 hills and so on. The weather was not favorable either due to rain. So on and on this went on, and I knew why my mom asked me to not look up  because those hills gave the deception of infinity. And yes, the steepness was too much too.  We started getting desperate so we asked many descender how far buddha mandir was or how far the lake was. Some would tell us it will take 4 hours or more some would tell us we will reach there in a hour.  By the end of it, we were so tired and less in energy that we snacked up on Ashim's workout protein bar. I spitted it out after 3 bytes as swallowing anything had become very hard. We finally reached Buddha mandir at 12-12:30pm. Oh that feeling of conquer was amazing. We were so happy to have done it. We decided to have tea and biscuits in one of the hots and gave our tiny tiger biscuits to the shopkeeper. The trail from here on was not very steep.  The buddha statue had been completely destroyed in the 2015 earthquake and so were the little stone huts which were being reconstructed.
We estimated we will reach the lake in half an hour since the trail was not so steep but due to the altitude, walking became difficult. It might also have been because of the weather and tiredness.

Before reaching the lake, we came across Sarswoti Lake and Bhairab Lake. At 2pm we reached Gosaikunda.  We quickly changed to take a dip in the lake. Then we went to trishul dhara, about 20meter above the lake. From there, me and ashim decided to take a round of the whole lake whereas, the rest decided to go back and book a room in advance. It took us exactly an hour to make a round of the lake.

 At some places the route was difficult as we had to climb and jump from the rocks. BY then we were very hungry as we had not had any lunch so we ordered daal bhaat. Ate a full plate, slept 15 minutes and left when the clock hit 4pm. We then started speeding up. We were going really fast compared to other walkers. In the descent from Buddha Mandir-Laurebinayak -Cholanpati, we crossed it in mere 30 minutes. That is where we met our friends who had a head start of an hour. We again continued running down as we wanted to cross the route of forest to Chandbari before dark. We made it to Chandabari at 7pm, booked rooms at Hotel yak and Nak with attached bathroom which felt like a deluxe suite room (It cost us Nrs 1000/1200: I don't quite remember).  We took bath in the hot water , let our clothes to dry at sat by the fireplace again. We massaged our legs,neck and hands with massage oil.

Day 3: Chandanbari - Dhunce - Kathmandu

The next morning we woke up to a much clearer view. We were surrounded by very green hills, the settlement itself was beautiful and we paid a visit to the DDC Cheese Production Center.

After having our breakfast, we started heading down. We were in a hurry as we wanted to catch the 12pm bus from dhunche. The bus counter on Day 1 had told us to call them before hand to book the tickets. So I started walking in my best pace. Ashim was having hip ache and was also doing his photography thing. Venus and Sony were behind me. Ashim, Samjhana and her friend lost their way at dhimsa heading taking the trail to Thulo Bharkhu. Attacked by leeches, they had lost all hopes in where they were heading, until they met a local villager who then directed them to the village.
On the other hand, me, Venus, Sony and Renu were waiting for the 3 at Dhunce. We ordered chowmein as we were very hungry. Ashim called us told us they lost their way and  will catch a bus from there and book the tickets as well. And when the bus came, we rushed to it, pushing and pulling fellow passengers and finally got to our seats. But there was so much issue with tickets, the counter were selling tickets from their counter, whereas the bus conductor were also selling tickets to same seat and the locals were denying to leave seat so we ended up getting off the bus.
Then we came to know we might be lucky to get tickets the Kerung Bus service. So we booked our seats and bought the tickets from the counter. When the bus arrived, the seats were packed and the locals were denying to leave our seats. At the end we ended up scooching in the last row. We were sitting 6 people on the seat of 5 and I sat above our bags the whole ride. There was also tight checking at Kalikasthan temple since the area falls under Langtang National Park.

My first trek was an adventure, a lessson and most of all an experience of a lifetime.

I support Local Empowerment. So, I’m sharing this Everest Base Camp Trek to promote a new way of trekking where trekkers can empower the local service providers like lodges, guides and porters by booking services directly through them. #empoweringthehimalayas #freetriptoeverest

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Trek To ABC

Trekking Destination: Annapurna Base Camp

Trekking Date: Sep 20 2017 7:00 pm to Sep 26 2017 7:00 am

On Wednesday morning, all of the hikers came all set and ready to our office. Our bus ticket was that of 7pm. Throughout the day, it was hard to totally concentrate on work for obvious reason. Bigyan and Angeela left early as they had to pick bigyan’s back pack from his room while me, Yuvraj, Kumar and Nawaraj left office premise at 5:30. We looked around for taxi until 5:45 and were stuck in the traffic in front of office until almost 6pm. Luckily, we made it before 7pm. Since gathasthapana was tomorrow, we were afraid we might lose our tickets as it is not uncommon for tickets sellers to resale our ticket in high price to other customers. Thankfully that hadn’t happened. PHEWW. Finally, we reached nayapul at around 7 in the morning. From there we took a jeep up to Sewai. There we ordered tea and noodles. After Changing of clothes, morning schedule of brushing and etc and having our lunch we officially started our trek at around 9:30am.
Day 1 Sewai to Upper Sinuwa: We had checked the weather forecast early hand and rain was predicted throughout our trekking journey hence we were prepared with plastic raincoats. From the start of our journey it was raining so we wore our temporary plastic raincoats, trekking shoes and trekking sticks on our hand we started our journey. Because of landslide on way to Somrong from sewai, we made a detour. The detour route (way to landruk) was full of leeches and muddy trail and the rain was aiding it. We drank tea somewhere on our detour way, looked for leeches took pictures and started off again. We reached new bridge, by now already on track to our main trek route.

Since it was raining and we had raincoats on, there is not much memory of the trek route although I remember we took a downhill route to somrong from where on after you cross a bridge the route to Jhinu is totally uphill. We reached Jhinu at 1pm. We ordered lunch meanwhile we hanged our raincoats and jackets for drying. Some of us went by the fireside to dry our tshirts and socks. Bigyan meanwhile took a powernap. After having our lunch , we again started a total uphill hike to Chhomrong. Fast trekkers took rest in tea shop and drank tea while waiting for other trekkers. After walking and climbing and climbing we finally reached chhomrong at 4 or 4:30.

There is a Lavazza shop, german bakery shop which was suprising to find. We had booked our hotel to upper sinuwa from Jhinu. From chhomrong village we could oversee sinuwa village. It did not seem very far and we were all excited to reach our destination. Which we mistook for sinuwa village was actually lower sinuwa. So in reality we had to cross lower-sinuwa, sinuwa and finally reach our destination on top of sinuwa hill: upper sinuwa. The trek was so made that you climb up from new bridge to jhinu to chhomrong, then you go downhill and again climb up to sinuwa. The route was so made that you visit the villages along the way. With all the excitement and darkness already following we had less idea of how much uphill climbing we had been making. Nevertheless, we reached our destination at around 8. I immediately took a hot shower. They use gas for cooking and shower hence they charge you Nrs 150 for a hot shower. I would say the price paid was worth after such a long day of walk. I had brought a sanjeevani oil massage , which some of us used to massage our tired muscles. We hanged our clothes in any space available for drying. After dinner, we all went to sleep with aim of leaving at 6am the next day.

Day 2 Upper Sinuwa to MBC: On the second day we started our trekking from 7am. It had been raining since morning. The route so far had been amazing. We had been told there won’t be much of leech attack henceforth. Also from here on, one is not allowed to take or travel with meat for religious purpose. I was happy since this meant everything we ate would be vegetarian. We came across waterfall, some small, some big. We walked through the thick jungle. Climbed uphill, went downhill and finally reached Bamboo, our next destination. We rested for about an hour. We ate light breakfast (egg, curry and tea). Our next destination was dovan, then Himalaya where we planned of having lunch.  We reached dovan in an hour, then we went again through a very uphill hike to Himalaya.

We rested there again. Took tea, ordered mushroom soup (we gave our soup for cooking). Most of us had their share of dry food (snickers/energy bar/nuts) on the way and so we decided to lunch at deurali as it was only 1.5 hours away. The hot tea and mushroom had warmed our body wet with sweat and rain and cold as our bodies were perspiring.   We also pre-ordered lunch at deurali’s New Panoroma Hotel.

It was again a very uphill hike. Right before reaching deurali (about 15-20 mins ahead) there was a cave where we decided to take shelter for a while. We opened our raincoats and took pictures. It oversaw deurali ahead, modi river on right and very big chatan pahad on left and right with waterfalls falling from those chatan pahad. We reached deurali at 2pm. Again, we left our shoes, socks, raincoats and jackets for drying and ate the most delicious lunch of the trek. We took pictures, massaged our neck and shoulder. We just enjoyed everything about deurali.  MBC was only 2 hours away from deurali and we had decided to stay overnight at mbc so all of us walked lazily after lunch. The weather was also lot clearer i.e. it was not raining so we were enjoying the little scene we could see. Throughout the way never realizing we had been walking with Machhapuchre on our right. We tooks lots of picture this time. We finally started seeing mountains far away. By the time we reached mbc it was pitch dark. We reached our hotel at 7pm. We could see a little of mountains around us but the weather wasn’t very clear and the air was very cold. We ordered dinner, washed ourselves, guys played cards, while we girls massaged our muscles. It was really very cold here. We were at a height of 3700m and the night was freezing.

Day 3  MBC to ABC:  We woke up at 4 in the morning and after freshening up, we took out our torch and started heading for ABC. We wanted to catch the sunrise from ABC. We left at around 5am in the morning. The morning was dark, it was hard to make out the trails and the uphill was making us breathless with each rise of altitude. The darkness was also slowly lifting and we could see Machhapuchre behind us white and high. Local bhote kukur were also leading our way. We reached ABC at 6 am, ordered tea and had biscuits with it. I met HIKE FOR NEPAL's trekking group  there. After warming up and admiring everything around us, the sun finally started to rise. Every one went behind the hotels from where we could get the best view. There was glacier beside the base camp, and at the end was where the mighty Annapurna started. The weather unfortunately was not very clear and clouds were strolling around some mountains. Though the mountains were glowing red the panoroma or the 360 was not up-to the par.
We took tons of picture in turn, with different poses. In an hour or so, the wind started blowing and within seconds everything got covered with white clouds. We decided to stay one more day to try our luck. Two of our friends decided other wise as they were having headaches and did not wanted to risk their chances. So they headed for MBC. We got bored to death staying inside our rooms. It also started raining later. We played cards, ludo and what not. 

Finally at 4pm some of us decided to head up to a lake on north of the hotel. As they were getting ready, the weather started clearing up.

Again, we were mesmerized by the view. We were happy we took our chances. And as before in a matter of seconds, everything got covered as easily as  we snap our fingers.
We had lot of options for our dinner. Spaghetti, pizza, pasta, dal bhat etc. After our dinner we went to sleep at 8pm. Later at 1am, Bigyan woke me up. The night sky was very clear and we could see millions and billions of stars and the shape of clear mountains. But it was so windy and so cold that star gazing for about 5 minutes became a struggle.

Day 4: ABC-Chhomrong
The next morning, we woke up to a clear sky. The stars and the moon up in the sky and the mountain shining in their light. We were surrounded by mountains in our 360 angle. As the sun rose, the view became even more dramatic. From gray, to white, to gold the view changed. We were astouned and unwilling to leave but we had to.

 So at 8am, we headed down. Jumping and laughing and smiling, we crossed the same path again. The way down MBC was so beautiful. We had missed it the day before as we were crossing it in the dark. The green grassland, the grazing sheeps, the guard dogs, the flowing stream which later became bhotekoshi and the mountain around us, even the clouds high up were making many things by themself. The view was like a scene from a postcard. Wanting to catch up with our two friends who had left early the day before, we  increased our pace to catch them. We had no idea where they were as there was no phone network. At 10 pm we reached deurali, and there was where wee met our friends too. We ate our breakfast there and then headed again. Today it was not raining so it was more of a relaxing down /up hill. We stopped at places to take pictures or admire the nature, other than that we kept walking. We reached bamboo at 2pm where as promised before, we took our lunch. Then the uphill trail to Upper sinuwa began. Nawaraj had left his belongings in Upper sinuwa. We took them and started making our way to Chomrong. The way back to Chomrong was a down hill from upper sinuwa and then an uphill from lower sinuwa. The downhill became difficult than anticipated because some of us were having knee pain, some were facing back pain, and for some their new shoes were a trouble in their feet. As we continued, we were in a sheer shock of how much distance we had covered in day 1's darkness. At 7pm we reached Chhomrong. It was a relaxing night for all of us as the hard part was over. We chose to eat delightfully and stayed late.
Day 5  Chhomrong-Pokhara-Ktm:
Next morning we woke to the view of Annapurna South and Machhapuchre, the view we had missed when we were heading to MBC because of the weather. We had a decent and proper breakfast for the  first time in our trek journey. At 9pm we left the hotel in a good mood. The trail was a total downhill.

 The group got dispersed half way and waited for everyone to gather at a place between Sewai and Somrong where had noodles, tea and local milk.

We took a bus from Sewai at 2pm. We reached Nayapul at pm. It took us to pokhara at around 6pm. From Pokhara we took a night bus to Kathmandu. And the next morning we reached Gongabu Bus Park at 4am in the morning. We wanted to take a later bus from Pokhara estimating we would reach Kathmandu at 6 in the morning but our sister was in a hurry to reach home so we opted otherwise.

I support Local Empowerment. So, I’m sharing this Everest Base Camp Trek to promote a new way of trekking where trekkers can empower the local service providers like lodges, guides and porters by booking services directly through them. #empoweringthehimalayas #freetriptoeverest

Wednesday, January 2, 2019

Engineering License Registration In NEC

To register for your license under NEC, first you need to get the registration forms. In their official site, there is indeed a "online registration" option but unfortunately it is just a menu option and nothing more as of 2019/January. When filling out the forms you have to be fill the first page in NEPALIPlease make sure you fill the first page in Nepali. Its compulsory. You have to write details of your name, your family, your permanent and temporary address, citizenship number, current employer. You have to again fill all of this details in English on the next page.
On the 3rd page, you fill out details of your education. Education Level, where you studied, what division you scored. Below that, two registered engineer needs to fill out their names , their engineering license number  and signature. Then you have to fill out  the oath in both NEPALI and ENGLISH. At the end, again you have to fill out the application form and fill out the basic details of yourself AGAIN.
To submit this form you'll need following things:
  1. 4 passport size photo and 1 auto size photo (make sure the photos are same. They insist on that)
  2. Copy of original Engineering license of engineers who act as your witness/recommender ( the ones who sign for you). 
  3. A receipt of payment of NRs 3400 payed in favour of NEC's Rajstriya Banijya Bank account. Only some of the branches of RBB receive the payment on behalf of NEC. As far as I know, Singhadurbar branch and Jamal branch accept the payment. Please confirm before going to any branch.  The account no is 1093. More details here.
  4. Following documents attested  in a notary or your university:

    1. SLC mark sheet,
    2. Character certificate,
    3. Intermediate level or 10 +2 Transcript,
    4. Character certificate,
    5. B.E.Degree/provisional Certificate,
    6. B.E Transcript,
    7. Character certificate,
    8. Attested copy of Citizenship.
Once you submit this, they will give you a temporary certificate which you can use to apply abroad or for any job that requires it. As of now, it takes more than 3-4 months for your original copy to arrive. Please call before going.