In Continuation of Trek Diaries SandakPhu
Day 1: ManeyBhanjung to Tonglu
Our first destination was Tonglu and the distance we needed to cover for the first day was 13 km. We started our journey with full excitement and enthusiasm. This trail is a combination of gradual as well as steep ascents. Initially, everyone was so charged up and full on Energy Quotient; we covered the distance quite so fast. But as steep ascents keep passing our speed started lowering down.
The first village here is Chitray. We enjoyed our imported tea from Nepal in India. Yes, you guessed it right, this is on the India-Nepal border. The tea tasted so different, they must be using Yak’s milk to prepare it.
The trek route on which we were trekking was actually the India-Nepal Border. Nepal – On our left side and India – on the right. I was witnessing all this for the first time. It was altogether a different feeling. I just stopped by the valley – full of fog; which was in Nepal, I wanted to take a picture of this picturesque moment in my eyes.
Our first Hot Lunch spot was Lamaydhura- a small Tibetan Village. Everyone was hungry; we all jumped on to Hot Noodle Soup, fried rice. In Lamaydhura, there are few small Sherpa stalls where snacks & lunch is available. One Tibetan lady runs this stall. Here most of the stalls are run by ladies; coz most members of the family go to cities for earning to support their families. I found most of them are in trekking business. We got amazed when we saw alcoholic beverages in the stall. I was wondering who will have it when you are on a trek like this. Full on our appetite we started our journey to Tonglu which was still 5Km far.
This route passes through forest and bamboo glades. We pass by the old Buddhist Monastery. En route you will find many beautiful monasteries. These monasteries are built in Tibetan style. Buddha welcomes you with a smile. What I find here is; Buddha statue is bit leaned in front and not straight. That’s the respect they are depicting. Take some time to visit these temples. Every culture is rich and all gave you the message of Peace and wisdom.
“Your Prayers reach God”, one of the friend was telling the significance of those colorful flags. These are called “Prayer Flags” or “Peace Flags”. These flags adorn the scriptures of God idols, horse, and mantras. Tibetans believe that with winds these prayers and mantras spread the good will. They are used to bless the surrounding countryside. And used to promote peace, compassion, strength and wisdom.
We had given strict instructions on reaching the destination before 4:30 PM. By the time we reach our campsite, it was all dark; the sky was full of stars. I have not seen such a big moon even on Full-Moon nights in cities. The temperature was dropping. Chilly winds were making us difficult to stay still. Our tents were all set up. Those tiny tents were looking so beautiful and gave a feeling of a thrill. I thanked myself that I said yes for this trial else I would have missed on such a great experience of life.
After getting decided on tents we rushed to Kitchen tent to have some warmth. Everyone was tired; the freezing cold was making it harder to stay out for a long. Sipping on a hot black tea, we enjoyed the Nepali filmy songs sung by the Vicky- one of our trek organizer. Bollywood songs are also quite hit with them. Simplicity, you will notice in every person you will meet here. So humble and respectful they are.
After dinner, everyone headed to their respective tents. My struggle started when I saw a sleeping bag. “Wow, how to enter in this”, I asked my tent-mate. As she was experienced in this; demoed me on how to go inside sleeping bag. At first, what looked very simple to me was later discovered as a tough task. Somehow I managed to slip inside the bag and we ended our day at 8 PM.