Sundarijal to Nagarkot Trek

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November 27th 2018
Published: November 27th 2018
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The Sunderjal Chisapani Nagarcott trek.

I had knowingly let things a bit loose on this trip. My intention was always to go with more than one other person in addition to the guide. This would have given encouragement from fellow travellers and made the exercise to come within the budget. Unfortunately Bimal (the manager at the hotel) dragged on the issue too long and there were no others to go with me. To compound that our guide did not turn up till 10AM and it was 11 AM before started the drive to Sunnderijal. With traffic and road conditions it took longer than 1 hour. So it was well over mid day when we started on the trek. Our estimate was that it will take approximately 6 hours for the trek and we will be in Chisapani before it is too dark.

What i had not factored in was how steep the climb was. We had started slowly and steadily. I had to stop on in a few places to get my breath. The incline and steps were quite steep without hardly any break. We were trekking on a well laid path with steep drops on one side. I was glad to get away from the dirt and dust of Kathmandu which had followed us to the start of the trek.

We had been climbing for about 2 hours with the steady slops not letting up. We soon realised that we had only covered a quarter of the distance. At the pace we were going we will be walking the final 2 hours in darkness which would be too dangerous. We had to make a change of plan. Luckily we still had mobile coverage. We asked a taxi to pick us up in an hour from Sunderijal and started to climb down which of course was easier. The taxi was there when we arrived. I was not sure whether i was disappointed or relieved with the turn of events as i found the climb very tough indeed. Perhaps i should have prepared better.

Next was the arduous drive through by a dust road. May be the result of the earthquake it could barely be called a road. Even the acute bends had no protection. And we were barely creeping up the slope. Night was falling when we got to Chisapani. I was sorry to miss the view of the Himalayas which would have been possible if we had climbed to Chisapani. However I was told, we can have a great view of the mountains in Nagarcott which was our next stop. The Hotel in there had one of the best view points.

The hotel in Chisapani was basic. But luckily the niight was not too cold and after a good dinner we had a good rest.

We started early after breakfast. My guide, Kumar, was not sure how much extra time I needed after yesterday's fiasco. But we made good progress. The trek itself was rather boring except Kumar telling me things about different trees and how their seeds/nuts are used for food in different ways. I was concentrating on my walking and breathing more than anything. We had only one break on the way to have small snack and rest in one of the food shacks along the way. The terrain was nothing like that on the first day. Even when there were some climbs to get over a hill it was soon followed by level ground and a decline. Average time set was around 6 hours. We made it in 7hrs even with me taking a longer time on the climbs. This was a an easier part compared to the previous day except it was longer, the emphasis on going down.

We arrived at Nagarcot before 4PM and checked into the hotel (we could hardly see the sun with the prevailing dust and mist).

The View Point Hotel in Nagarcott was much better. It was a large complex of hotels in fact. It had its own viewing tower for watching the sunrise over the Himalayas. After a hot shower and dinner we went to bed early in anticipation of the morning glory. The alarms were set to 05:30 so that we could climb to the top of the tower in the morning.

The morning came with disappointment. When we got out of the room all we could see again was the cursed dust and mist. So, we had to abandon that as well.

After breakfast we started early again for the last part of the trek. It was mostly downhill though we had to climb over a couple of hills to get to Changu Narayan temple. We got there in less than 4 hours. Our driver was already there.

Changu Narayan temple is the oldest existing temple in Nepal. It was well guarded with armed soldiers I suppose there are valuable artifacts inside. It is a two temple complex. Kumar was telling the mythological story attached to the temple. The temple was partially damagef by the earthquake but the restoration is well under way. A lot of intricate carvings were the feature of the buildings. It was in pagoda style with “Birla” type towers beside them.

.On the way back to the hotel we did stop for some time in Baktipur which had a durbar and courtyard. The effect of the earthquake was evident here as well with reconstruction going on. Kumar was telling me about the yogurt in Baktipur so we decided to have 2 bowls and I must say it is one of the delicious things i have eaten.

Even though it was only 8 km away it took us nearly 2 hours to get to the hotel in Thamel.

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