Hike Nepal 2024 – 15th & 16th May

Our 2024 gym trip is the first hike we’ve done in Nepal in 6yrs, and is not likely to be the last, but like any of our gym adventures, there was drama and uncertainty. We were tested physically, emotionally, mentally, and in more ways than one – starting with the flight there. We had driven from Bathurst to Katoomba after Maia finished school on Tuesday, then risen early on Wednesday morning to get to the airport by 8am. In the car, Maia was siffling and blowing her nose a lot, by the time we were on the first leg to Singapore she was running a mild fever and had a full blown sinus infection.

Thankfully, with another 16 mums on the trip, I didn’t overreact too much (i was thinking of stopping in Singapore or turning around and going home again!!). We drowned her in tiger balm and saline spray, and by the time we landed in Kathmandu her fever had broken and she was sleeping. Unfortunately for some of our other hikers on this flight, they were sandwiched between not one, not two, but 5 crying babies and two excited friends who caught up for 5hrs through the night. ..

While we were handling a sick child on a flight to a developing country, the participants that had flown in ahead of us found themselves stranded at the airport after a miscommunication about pick up times. They were wondering what to do when Mukta realised she could read the script… then she realised she could speak the language too! In no time at all she had organised a taxi and a local price to transport them to the hotel – what was going to be a disaster turned in to a funny anecdote!

Our first group to arrive in Kathmandu

Luckily for us on the second flight, Binod was at the airport with a garland of Marigolds each as welcome. All of us were delighted, but Maia particularly so. In between fingering her garland she was enquiring about why there were dogs everywhere, and whether or not there was a speed limit in Nepal.

 

 

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We were pretty exhausted when we arrived at the hotel, but Binod, our guide, wanted us to inspect the rooms before we checked in. By this time it was the equivalent to 4am Sydney time, and we’d all had such drama arriving, that we stuck our noses in one or two and then asked him to hand out the keys so we could go to bed!

Our entire, 20 person Hike Nepal group in the same room for the first time ever, with two of our Hike Nepal Guides, Binod on the left, and Jitendra on the right.

In the morning I was awoken by the murmur of voices in the courtyard. I poked my head out and there was Mukta and Terry – who i proceeded to holler at from the 2nd floor! Tracy, Linda, Naomi, Karla, and Mark had already arisen at 5am to catch a helicopter to view Everest and would be gone most of the morning. For the rest of us there was a buffet breakfast, where Maia tried to sell us the doughnuts as bagels, and a tour of a local temple connected to the Gosainkunda lakes which we would be hiking to when our adventures truly started. Maia was on bed rest, which she spent watching Bollywood music videos.

 

The temple that most of our group went to on the first day was called Budhanilkantha. In Hindu Mythology, this means ‘Old Blue Throat’; the title of Lord Shiva that was given by gods after the Lord drank poison to save the world. The story is that the spring that feeds the pond in the Budanilkantha temple is connected to Gosaikunda which makes it to have a direct connection to the water source from Lord Shiva. It is a very special place, and has been for thousands of years for Hindu people.

 

 

Mukta

Mukta was the one who told me this story. She was born in India, in a village that is also sacred to Hindu people. She came to Nepal for the adventure; she trusts the IntoYou people, clients and trainers alike, and felt safe being adventurous with us. However, in addition to the adventure, Mukta found a place that was deeply connected to her Hindu roots. She didn’t expect it to be so similar, spiritually and culturally, to where she grew up, and felt right at home from day one! Nepal reminded her of old places in India, ancient places alive with ghosts and spirits and stories.

Mukta is very “what you see is what you get”, but not in an “in your face” kind of way. She’s one of the most genuine, open, and loving people, with no hidden agenda.

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