A trip to “The Gateway of Everest”

What would you like for a rainy day: a cup of tea or a coffee, or a glass of rum, or, or a comfortable chair to recline and watch it pour? Well, I and my friends, had something different in mind. Staring through my window, the dark morning of June 28th 2011 looked frightening. And with the continuous rainfall the preceding night it was utterly frustrating for someone who had planned a road trip to the countryside on motorbike. But we were not going to get dispirited by the fleeting clouds trying to get extreme. All of a sudden, the rain receded, yielding to our ardor. We revised the meeting time and place, and once we all hit the rendezvous, the sound of engine was bound to roar. One hell of a ride began…

——————————————————–The Valley Exit———————————————————-

Riding through the wide and newly built highway from Koteswor to Surya Binayak was every riders delight. With the funky beat of “All of my love” hitting my ear, the excitement doubled. The clearing sky and the tickling mist and chill added up to the excitement. I only felt two things at that moment – the roads and the doors. Here it comes from the mixtape, oh I love this!! Jimmie sing it loud, riders on the storm….. yes indeed. Get funky…

——————————————————-The Lunch Stop———————————————————-

It was 11:30 am by the time we reached Dolalghat – a place by the river known for its delicious fish meal items. Finished our lunch, filled the fuel tank, and yes, took off our raincoats smiling at the sky. Having been here so many years, I do not feel Dolalghat will ever change – the same laidback place and the same relaxed and friendly people. One can go boating or swimming in the river or fishing, which is free. But no, realizing we hadn’t reached even the half way, we packed our bags, switched driver and left the ‘Dolalghat fun’ for next time. Also, we knew the road won’t be as smooth, plain and wide as until now once we reach Khadi Chaur – tentatively the half way in terms of distance. Well in terms of difficulty, we had only completed 10% of the journey. Time to move ahead…

————————————————–Riding through the Mist——————————————————

You cannot be more helpless than while having to witness your motorbike move at the speed of a turtle! Mine was clearly not built for such steep, off-road ride. We stopped our bike periodically to cool down the engine. The grueling engine poured its pain through the exhaust pipe that quickly transformed it to smokes. To add to our misery, the clouds planned to accumulate and chuck intermittent rain at us throughout the remaining journey. The green forest and the natural, beautiful views kept us invigorated, while the fog floating about and covering everything, and in seconds disappearing like sorcery, kept our adrenaline in check.

—————————————————-The Final Showdown—————————————————-

We were completely exhausted by the time (6:15 pm) we reached Charikot – the last place to stop for food and fuel until the next 20 kilometers. If it had not been for the scenic trees, rivers and waterfalls, a pristine beauty untouched by modernization, we would have blamed the rain and lodged at Charikot for that night. We took a brief respite, drank tea and ate at the small local bazaar of Charikot. Escaping through the after-dusk darkness, we left Charikot. The destination mark increased from 15 kilometers to 17 kilometers as we rode. Interesting! We feared if we had been riding the opposite direction. After seeing a person at the no-man-land we asked for his help. He looked bit disoriented to see so many people on motorbike. He casually said we were close, but could not estimate the time it takes a motorbike to reach there. Investing on our little-left energy, we rode through the dark alley looking at the mountain silhouette. Finally there we saw through the peeps, a beautiful valley shining amid the absolute darkness. Jiri here we come…..

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