The Universe and its endless wonders always fascinated me. I had a wish to watch the Meteor Shower. Perseid meteor shower on August 11 and 12, 2016 was one best chance to view 150-200 Perseids per hour. Also, I had the wish to capture those moments, and show the world how it looked like. On the other hand, I knew that I had very less chance to view that, as it was monsoon in Nepal. Then we decided to hire a tent and stay at the top of the hill somewhere in Gorkha. Khadak dai stays in Gorkha and he took lead in managing all requirements. I had never stayed in the tent, in the jungle but had always wished to experience someday.
When I shared my idea with dai, he was even more excited about the plan. In addition, his photography skill was way beyond mine. So, finally, the plan was scheduled for August 11 and 12. We both knew about the monsoon threat, but tent experience in the middle of “Peace” would be something (at least) we could get back on that day. I was already starting to count for that day.
The day finally arrived. It was Friday and I was leaving for Gorkha. As its Friday, energy level had already boosted. There is some energy on Friday, something that makes people happy, and something very unique. And, that was the very day I would be spending in the tent, gazing at stars. Man, my excitement level was to the top.
However, I had to rent the tent from Thamel. I was informed that shops in Thamel do not open earlier than 10AM; Understandable. I reached at the shop at around 10:15, and it was already open. I talked about the tent, and they told me that they had to wait for someone for the tent, and made a call. In the meantime, they offered me, Dew. I never used to drink Dew, as I loathe its taste. But, I had no choice there so took a small glass of Dew.
The tent man finally arrived. We went to his godown and had a look around. While I mentioned about renting the tent, he was a bit surprised. I later realized that he was in an assumption that I was about to buy the tents. He then mentioned that I had to deposit Rs.7000 to rent the tent. Now, I did not know what to do. I had no idea on that, and was not carrying that much money, and not even my ATM card.
Keeping money as the deposit was reasonable as I had been there for the first time. They should at least be sure about the safety of their tent. They need someone they knew earlier. I talked with Khadak dai, and he called someone at Thamel. Finally, with Dai’s PR I was able to rent the tent. They were asking if they need to teach on how to build the tent. I was pretty sure that Khadak dai was already expert in it.
At around 11AM, I left Thamel and headed towards the micro-bus station. The taxi driver was one funny man, I met on that day. Coincidentally, he was also from Gorkha. While he saw me with the tent, he asked me if I came from abroad. I told him that I was not. But, he was so adamant that I had been to abroad. His exact logic was no Nepalese would take a tent and stay there. Somehow, he was right. We Nepalese are very good at criticism, and to be honest, we have very less knowledge on “fun”. We rather address such activity as crazy and insane.
The driver then dropped me off at the station. I thanked him and then headed towards counter for the ticket. I went inside the Micro, right after. There I missed my book, which I had remembered only after I left for Thamel that morning. I then started to listen to music, and the microbus was leaving slowly for Gorkha. Then, I got a call from Khadak dai that someone was bringing a seedling for him. I told the microbus driver that someone was bringing something important, and asked him to slow down. The man who was bringing the plant was literally chasing our micro in a taxi. Then he finally handed me over.
Finally, micro was leaving from Kalanki. It was a very hot day, and I had very less time for food. I never liked junk food. So, I thought to eat something at Malekhu, and just took a bottle of water. But, there I had to face heavy traffic jam just before Thankot. Lots of “Unscientific” construction and unruly truck drivers had blocked the road. In that torrid heat, we had to wait like one hour just to cross Thankot. Phewwww!!!!, finally, we just crossed Thankot and I could see the other side of the valley.
Every time I cross Thankot, I get some “Tourist” feeling. Those big hills, and houses in those hills, fogs on top with landslides in few places, and vehicles moving down the road, this place would always look best. One of the passengers was drunk and staying at the front. I was less caring about the people inside the micro and was engaging myself viewing at those hills. At like 3PM, it stopped at Malekhu for “nasta”. Most of foods looked oily to me. I was starving and had no idea on what to eat. Then I took Masu-Chiura, two bananas and a bottle of water.
The micro started for Gorkha, and after we crossed Abu-khaireni, I could feel completely new. I had the same smile when I get to see new places, on my face. Khadak dai was calling me, and it looked like he was worried. He was already waiting for me at the Gorkha bus station, and I was like an hour far from Gorkha. While on the way, I could see beautiful villages along the way. I could see a big bazaar. I asked with someone inside the micro, and that was Gorkha Bazaar. Gorkha bazaar was dense, and bigger beyond my imagination.
I had been to Gorkha, but at Arughat side where trekking to Manaslu Area starts. But this part was completely new for me. At around 6, I arrived Gorkha Bazaar, and Khadak dai was already there waiting with a big smile. We then went to one restaurant, where we had some food. He further informed me to eat more like dinner. One of his colleagues was also joining us in the tent. Dai informed that he had already found one best spot for the tent. It is at the top of the hill, and just beneath a tower. Also, he had already collected firewood and had kept nearby.
We went to the Biren Chok and crossed for the tower from there. We took few foods and Coke for the night. We discouraged beer, as it would make sleepy. Then we started our hike. After like 20 minutes of walk, we were there at the top. One big ground surrounded with few small plants. It was already about to get the night, so we started making the tent. Dai had already collected firewood, very nice of him. And, this is something I like about dai, a lot. He could execute every trip, perfectly and could handle such logistic like an expert.
Finally, our tent was ready, and we started burning fire. And, there we were, three of us, in the middle of the hill. But, as expected, sky was covered with big black rain could. We could do nothing but wish those clouds to get cleared. And, we knew its not happening anytime soon. We were the middle of nowhere, with no other human at all. I was enjoying that moment a lot. We chatted there, about everything. Also, at like 10PM, we took a small hike around that ground. That was such a peace, that I was dreaming of.
As expected, dai was busy in photography. We were waiting for the sky to get cleared, to get at least a glance of that shower. But, no chance. At like 11, it started raining, and we stayed inside the tent. It was totally safe inside the tent, and no big rain would penetrate inside. I began to feel a bit sleepy. At 12, we took a nap. We were not sleeping inside. I could see that dai was trying hard to get that photo, and he stood up. The rain had stopped, and dai went outside. I decided to stay inside, as the sky was not that clear.
However, at around 4am in the morning, the sky was clear. Dai woke us up. We could see stars now. We were gazing sky for the shower. Nonetheless, we saw some shooting stars, clear, bright and for longer period. That was fun to watch though we could not capture that in our camera. Those long bright lights on the sky, and the lights of tranquil Gorkha Bazaar, the view was mesmerizing. The viewpoint Khadak dai had chosen, must be the best possible.
At around 5am, there were mountains just in front of us. I was not expecting that at all. But, there it was. Big Manaslu and Annapurna South range were looking stunning. I was more than happy to see that and just gazed over for like half an hour. The viewpoint, on the other hand, was so perfect that we could view Manakamana on one side, Gorkha Bazaar on the other side, those Himalayas range and also Abukhaireni down the hill. That could not have been more better.
We then walked downhill and headed towards Khadak dai’s room. We had a plan to take a look around Gorkha. We went to the canteen at 10am. As it was Saturday, Khadak dai’s office was closed. He showed met the garden he built in the middle of his office. The garden was perfect, could see his perfection and hard work there.
Then at like 11, we left for his room and began resting there. We were tired from the other night. Dai bought 2 beers, and we drank one each. As expected, we fell asleep.
We woke up at like 6PM, but still I was feeling hot and less humid. Then, we decided not to visit Gorkha durbar. At like 6:30PM, we took a walk around while Gorkha Bazaar, beginning from the hill. As it was Saturday, we could see children playing outside of their house. We could see few foreigners there preparing for their trek to Manaslu area, and others planning for Pokhara next day.
We took our dinner in one of the local restaurants and headed for the room. Just a few minutes walk from dai’s room, there were big Dhunge-Dhara (Ancient taps) with abundant water flowing. We went there for brushing the teeth, and dai took a big satisfying shower there. We then came back to the room and slept watching a movie.
Next day, I had to leave for Kathmandu. So, I woke up early. I like traveling in the early morning. While on the micro-bus for Kathmandu, I could see the Himalayas range yet again. I was just watching them. I could feel Manaslu while we watched from the other side, back in 2013.
While on micro, I thought to myself, Gorkha has a very great potential for tourism, both internal and foreigners. It has many things to offer. Gorkha itself has historic importance, and still Gorkha Durbar was there, where the union of Nepal had started. Gorkha bazaar stands in the middle of the hill. And, Himalayas range from there was just spectacular. Then, I promised myself that I would be coming back again, with more exciting plans next time. Also, every Nepalese must visit this historic place, and I can guarantee that no visitors should regret.